Consultants work with businesses and other organizations to analyze practices and make recommendations to improve efficiency and profitability. Also, known as Management Consultants or Analysts, the top ten percent earned more than $142,000 in 2012 working full time. Employers normally require a Bachelor’s degree and some prefer a Master’s degree in the related area. If you are aspiring to be a consultant in the field you have specialized in through your professional career, your work experience may be just what an employer is looking for. You’ll need the ability to work well with others, have good communication skills, have a personality that likes to serve others, great problem solving and logical reasoning skills and a creative and positive spirit.
Consider being a consultant if you have skills in these areas: Human Resources, Management, Web Development, Career Consulting, Insurance, Travel, Logistics, Procurement, Education, Advertising, Graphic Arts, Site Management, Business Transition, Image / Style, Business Security, Home Security, Green Living Consulting, Cost Reduction, Post-Merger Integration, Business Strategy Development. The list of consulting opportunities goes on and on.
Here are some steps that you can take to get started as a consultant:
- Determine what area of expertise you have that you can offer as your primary consulting service
- Determine if you need any Licensing or Certifications and obtain them if you don’t already have them
- Determine what your services will cost
- Start out with an in-home office, to keep costs low
- Determine what your primary and secondary markets are
- Create your marketing plan. At a minimum, you’ll need a website and business cards
- Research your immediate area and locate potential clients then spread out to other potential areas
- Get out there and sell yourself
- Build your client base as you gain standing in the community