When you have spent more than 10 years of your life working that nine-to-five job, you can get to the point where you are tired of the routine. And although it is a big leap, turning the skills you have acquired through years of experience into an investment is a good option for you to do. With this in mind, your skills and your experience are your best assets when you want to venture out committing to a consulting gig. However, before you take the leap, you must take your time into making your business plan of your new endeavor. The business plan will not only help you map out the opportunities before you but also the threats.
Although business plans do not generally appeal to everyone, it can be a critical factor in starting your business on the right foot. The business plan will outline your strategies in order for your business to thrive. Remember that just about anyone who has the right skills and experience can start a consulting gig, you have to make sure you identify yourself differently from your competition. And one way of effectively doing that is through an accurate and comprehensive business plan.
Making a business plan for a business consulting firm is actually pretty straightforward. However, it is also difficult at the same time. This means that when you are making a business plan for business consulting gig or firm, you need to find the areas in which you have to stay focused on. With that, here are the key areas to focus on in a business consulting business plan:
You have to determine and present what makes you different form your other competitors. You have to present what you have to offer that others don’t. Your value proposition is the key factor that will help attract more customers. In order to build a solid value proposition, you have to give decision makers solace that they made the right decision. To do that, you can (1) offer a service guarantee, (2) build and take prospects through a well-defined methodology, or (3) specialize so narrowly that it is easier to increase your stature. Although these steps still has their fair share of disadvantages, the most important thing is it can still help you distance yourself and make your individuality known to your prospect clients.
For this area, you have to answer the question: What is the best target market for you, or do you hunt every potential client that might possibly need your services?
Although understanding your target market is a difficult task, developing an understanding of the competitive landscape is crucial. You have to be able to determine how you should go to market, and how much you should charge your clients, familiarizing industry jargon and understanding the problems you are trying to solve will help during the planning process of your business consulting business plan.
There can be various approaches on how you can do this. One is to choose a few industries and then outline the size and type of businesses that you’d like to work within those industries. According to Beth Corson, the founder of Your FundingKey Advisors, instead of taking any client out of being desperate, being selective and creating a clear rod map of where you want to go will help you more. Though working with similar clients in a specific industry will help your company create a level of expertise making it easier for you to perform well and get new clients.
In order to figure out what marketing method or strategy works best for you, you should answer the following questions: How do you market your consulting business? What tactics do you employ to get in front of decision makers to evaluate your offering?
Just like in any businesses, marketing your skills and experience to potential clients will help you get your business off the ground. However, if you are a sole proprietor it can be challenging since the time you spend on marketing your skills and experience means it’s time you are not getting paid for. And although hiring a firm to help you specifically for this purpose is ideal, it can add to the cost for your business.
With that in mind, you need to be creative in finding the most effective way for you to market your business. It can be through public speaking engagements or partnering with other companies that might offer complementary services to your own. But in order for your business to continue growing and thriving, you need to develop your own client relationships independently.
The main issue with a consulting business is figuring out how to leverage yourself to grow revenue. Regardless of the accomplishments some consultants have like managing to publish a book and charging an hourly rate, they are still not able to serve to client simultaneously. In order to allow your consultancy take on more projects and flourish, you have to use the appropriate leverage.
The key here is to align your revenue arrangements with with employee compensation and how to pay employees to ensure they are available when you need them. Once your business is large enough, you have to assign key people on a salary with performance bonuses. This will assure you that they will stick with you with knowledge of your go-to market strategy, and know your methodology inside and out. Here are some guide questions you can refer to during this process:
In order to make an effective business plan, you need to know and understand the various inclusion that comes with it. This way when you start making your business plan you know what to write about, where to put it, and how to fluently convey what you mean. Hence, here is a list of the contents you should include in a business consulting business plan:
Now that you know about the contents you should put in your business plan as well as the areas you should focus on, you can begin making your business consulting business plan. With that, here is an easy guide you can refer to while on process of making your business plan:
The first step in making an effective business plan for your consulting business is to determine the scope of the services you offer. This means that you need to clearly set the boundaries or extent for the services you offer to your clients. However, you also need to match your skills and capabilities with the needs of your potential customer base. You need to make sure the scope of your skills, knowledge, and experience are within the needs of your potential clients to ensure that you are worth what your clients pay for.
There are bound to be competition in every field, industry, and expertise in business. Therefore, you need to present what makes you different from the others. In order to effectively do this, you need to study and understand what your competitors offer and find the factor or aspect that you have that they don’t. You have to articulately present why your services are different from the others. You have to present your company’s competitive advantages clearly in order to attract potential and more clients.
Your business model contains the finalized types of services you will be offering and what you will charge for each. The business model will service as your guide on how to operate your business as well as how to identify revenue sources, customer base, products, and details of financing. However, it is important to note that you should consider adding more services or improve your business model as you go on with your business especially if you have an established customer base to sell these new services. This will help you accurately accommodate the needs of your current and new clients efficiently and effectively.
Your marketing plan will serve as your guide on how to market and sell your company to your target customers. It should contain an outline of the methods and strategies you will employ in order to attract customers. In this day and age, making a website for your business is very relevant since people will want to efficiently know and contact you. The marketing plan should present how your website and search engine strategies will draw in potential customers. Aside from that, you should also include marketing strategies that you will use offline.
You have to include financial projections in your business plan. This will ensure you that you are on the right path when it comes to revenue, expenses, and growth. Since the forecast is based on past, current, and projected financial conditions, you can track the financial progress and errors you have made so far. In addition, this will help identify future revenue and expenditure trends that may have an immediate or long-term effect on your business.
Making a business plan for your business intended to consult other business can be tough. However, if you already have a clear idea on what you want to do and how to do it, it can be easier to outline how to operate your business. In case you are still having a hard time making your business plan, here are some tips you can use:
As a business intended to consult other business with regards to specif aspects that make the business thrive, it is important that you do not sell yourself short. Therefore, a business consulting plan will help you attract more clients through presenting relevant information about your skills, experience, and what you can offer. We hope you have learned about business consulting and business consulting business plans with the help of this article.