Why become a consultant? As members of the baby boomer generation, we have something that makes us particularly valuable. We have years of experience, knowledge, skills, and contacts.
Becoming a consultant is a great way to make use of your expertise and relationships. And it can be very profitable. The market for consultants grows every year. As businesses strive to do more they rely on consultants for specialized skills and knowledge, short term projects, and complex programs. Many businesses hire consultants short term so they don't have to hire a long-term employee.
How do you become a consultant? First, determine what skills and expertise you have to offer. Consultants offer many different services, so consider any area where you are the expert.
Once you have determined what your area of expertise is, determine how you will market your services. Do your research. Check out others who offer the same or similar services. Find out what they offer, what they charge, how they advertise, who their market is. Then determine how you can set yourself apart from them. What can you offer that they can't? What market can you target that they neglect? Can you be more affordable and yet still be profitable?
Establish yourself. If you already have a reputation in your chosen field, you are one step ahead. If not, you need to develop one. Do some volunteer work, publish articles, and offer to speak at events. You need to let your target market know that you are the expert.
Establish your business. Now is the time for a professional logo and business cards. This is one case where you definitely do not want to do your own - unless that is your area of expertise! You do not want to look like an amateur now. Build your website. Have brochures made outlining your services. Create a resume outlining the experience that makes you valuable.
Market your business. There are many ways to do this. Choose the ones that fit your needs. Issue a press release, attend networking events, host a free seminar, send out mailers, email former employers.
Becoming a consulting can be challenging, exciting, and financially rewarding. Follow these basic steps to develop your business and put your years to work - for you.