A consulting practice can be a hugely rewarding career especially if you are passionate about your area of expertise and have great skills in imparting your knowledge to others. But, is that all that you need to keep your business flourishing?
Unfortunately, no, even the best of consultants, with the most enviable knowledge base about their niche, can fail to achieve optimum success if they do not understand how to gear their business for growth and visibility. If you have been feeling that your competitors are getting the better of you despite your impressive competence and skills, then it’s time to revisit your business development strategies and perhaps implement some of these ideas:
Showcase your expertise: As a consultant, your biggest asset is your expertise, and you have that inadequate measure, but how do your prospective clients know that so that they can choose you over your competitor?? Well, it is up to you to make it known and to do that you need to present your knowledge to the outside world in small, bite-sized measures.
Today, this is easy to do with a plethora of virtual platforms. Start a blog where you talk about your niche, discuss the latest updates, analyze developments, talk about projects that you have completed or common challenges faced in this niche. This is a great way to tell prospective clients that you really know what you are talking about in this field.
Network more efficiently: Whether you have a LinkedIn profile or a Facebook page or a Twitter account or any other social media tool, it can do a lot for your business apart from just make you accessible over the net. These can be great networking tools if you use them to connect with and follow valuable contacts who can drive more business towards you.
Remember that it is not always necessary that your contacts actively market your business for you; you can spot great business opportunities if you spend enough time on pages of the right people. Do not hesitate to initiate conversations as well as be an active part of conversations on pages of your virtual connections because that is how you get to know of opportunities that may not be evident.
Be an active participant in local meet-ups: Keep track of local events that pertain to your niches such as exhibitions, talks or conferences. Try to be an active participant and not just a spectator at these events. For example, if there is a meet up of consultants in your locale, you can ask to be one of the speakers talking about the business. Being active in local events makes you very visible and adds to your credentials quite significantly. Also, interacting with others at such events gives you a number of useful contacts too. That’s great for your business’ growth as well.
Manage your reputation online: Often, business consultants forget that their future clients may be searching for them online and when they do so, they need to see good things about them. Positive reviews, good feedback form overall a good impression about you and push the future client to contact you. If they find bad reviews about you, then they are going to avoid you at all costs, that is obvious.
However, if they find very little about you online, that’s not a great thing either because there might be a competitor in your locale about whom the future client is able to glean more information. It is important to manage your reputation online so that there is enough information about you and all of it is information of the right kind, meaning positive reviews, feedback, and buzz.
No matter how well you gear your business for success, there is always also a need to be prepared for setbacks that may pop up in the form of legal claims against you. In such situations, you prove your innocence by challenging the claim through legal channels, thereby demonstrating your confidence in your work.
However, this can still be a very costly enterprise, and you should prepare ahead for this. You protect your business against such contingencies by shoring up your agency with the right kind of insurance plans. Click here for more information about the kind of insurance you need and what it should cover. With the right insurance plan backing your business, you know that you are fully prepared to deal with any legal claims that you might face!
Managing a consultant business is an exciting job, but it can be very challenging at times. When you know that your competitors are doing much better than you in the marketplace, it is time to review yourself and implement an effective plan of action to bring better visibility to your business and to solidify your position with old clients while attracting new ones.
Also published on Medium.