Ever considered setting up your own consultancy?
It was a question I had been asked recently, thought I would share my thoughts on the key elements to consider if this is something you wish to do after careful consideration.
Will you charge all clients and potential clients for initial scoping work and ongoing service?
- For example to entice new clients you may offer a discount on initial work, in the hope that leads onto more work. You may chose a flat rate or a client by client specific rate dependant to the level of complexity of the required work and if they are a new or existing client.
- Calculate your operating costs to get to your daily rate. Take into account all costs in a bottom up estimating approach listing all actual costs for labour and overhead. How much profit do you / can you make?
- Overhead costs include recurring expenses associated with running your business, such as rent or serviced office space, phone bill, postage, broadband, insurance and equipment and the renewal of. Add in depreciation of your equipment as it will not last forever and will need to be updated and replaced.
Shouting about your offering
How would you promote your services – think of all the online avenues and blogging about your services and successes.
- Obtain customer references and recommendations.
- Publish a paper on a paper relevant to your service, providing powerful insights and innovations.
- Send out a regular newsletter.
- Where will your customers go for information on your services? Do you need your own or a hosted website?
- Which best practices will you follow for your service offering?
- Develop a promotional plan – noting any Seasonal (quiet times), Key events, channels for communication.
- What benefits / added value will your clients pay for? – What’s in it for them!!!
How will you measure customer satisfaction levels and the success of your service? How can these metrics be used to promote your successful service?
- What Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will you use and how often will they be reviewed for suitability?
- How will KPI’s be reported to clients?
Security, Compliance and Legislation
What type of security do you have and what will you need?
- Do you hold client data, how will this be secured and protected?
- What is your back-up and disaster recovery plan and process?
- Which legislation will you provide compliance to?
- How will you stay ahead of your clients compliance requirements? Which conferences, newsletters, blogs and new feeds do you need to be connected to keep your knowledge current?
Time to design your service offering. Find your clients. Arrange the first meeting. Ensure your team do not out-number the client in visits. Start delivering a successful rewarding service.
If you have experience of setting up a consultancy, what was your experience?
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