People usually become a consultant after being downsized, fired or jobless for a few months. There are some that make the transition from full-time employee to consultant. However, I was downsized.
The only difference with my situation is that I was preparing to become a consultant. I had no idea that I would be downsized. Either way, it was one of the greatest things that could have happened to me. Let me give you the six factors that can make or break your career as a consultant. Here goes:
Having a set of marketable skills and a bucket of services?
Target market: Choosing a target market(s) and areas of specialization with substantial, consistent, growing needs and demands that you can fulfill. You can choose more than one. I’ve worked with colleges, high schools, boards of education, hospice organizations, salons, spas and consultants. You don’t have to choose one. You can date a few until you find the right industry for your skills, background and expertise.
Knowing how to effectively market, sell and promote yourself and your services to a chosen industry. A systematic approach works best. I’ve developed a system for myself to use as I manage project while still having to promote myself.
Being willing to sell, promote and market your services regularly? Again, a systematic approach will help.
An ability to manage your consulting business for profit. If you don’t want to get paid then volunteer but don’t mix the two.
Being able to deliver. You’ve got to be able to fulfill the promises of your promotion. This is not like a path-mark coupon where you can get a rain check for an item that’s on sale but not on the shelf. You’ve got to be able to satisfy your clients, with positive results.
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