Getting Started as a Consultant The Dalles OR
The Dalles, OR
Grants Pass, OR
Getting Started as a Consultant
Start a Service Business Using Your Professional Skills and Talents
By C.J. Hayden
Consultants provide their clients with analysis and advice, expert guidance, or an extra pair of hands to fill staffing gaps. Corporations, small businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies hire consultants by the hour, the day, or the project to help them solve problems, complete essential projects, or handle day-to-day responsibilities when a position is vacant.
During an economic downturn, layoffs and downsizing can create new opportunities for consultants. Companies who lay off full-time workers frequently hire consultants on a short-term or project basis to complete urgent tasks or provide missing expertise. If you’ve been laid off yourself, or fear you will be, working as a consultant can allow you to earn a good income in a time when salaried jobs are scarce.
But not everyone has what it takes to be a consultant. You’ll need to be a self-starter, able to work without a boss looking over your shoulder, and manage your time efficiently. You’ll have to learn and employ sales and marketing skills in order to land consulting clients. And you need to present yourself as a skilled professional with a defined specialty, as opposed to just someone who needs a job.
The first step to launching your consulting business should be to make an honest assessment of your professional skills and experience. What kind of consulting assignments does your background qualify you for? In what industries do you have the most experience? What type of work do you both enjoy and perform well at? If you're going to be an expert-for-hire, you have to know your stuff.
The most successful consultants have a clearly defined market niche which includes both a profes...