Do you want to consult Startups? You’d be surprised how many would-be entrepreneurs there are out there who have fantastic ideas which could become viable, profitable businesses, but who don’t have the first clue when it comes to writing an actual business plan or getting it off the ground. There are so many tasks you might not have even considered that need doing before you start, from meeting deadlines to dealing with health and safety procedures (click here for more info) which could get overwhelming at first. But if you’re willing to put the work in, you will soon reap the rewards of starting up a consultancy business.
If you’re a person who is detailed, practical, has a good head for business and can draw various strands of information together to weave a coherent, structured plan and put it on paper, can teach, or help entrepreneurs connect to the right people, you could be sitting on a potential gold mine without realizing it.
A good business planner is always in demand although there are already lots of Indianapolis business consultants that offer brilliant services so you’ll have to bring something unique to the table. And since you’re on a site about startup ideas, we assume you at least have some business sense with some unique plans.
Could this be the opportunity you’ve been looking for? Read on to find out.
Startup Consultant Step 1: Gain Qualifications or Experience
If you have an MBA, you should be good to get started. For those of you who don’t have such qualifications, however, it may be necessary to get some sort of diploma in order to prove to potential clients that you know what you’re doing.
If you have previous experience launching new ventures, even better! Make sure you communicate this with potential clients, since it serves as your resume and will make the difference between getting hired or not.
Qualifications can include:
- Multiple Start-ups
- Consulting experience with Start-ups
- MBA – Masters in Business Administration
- Entrepreneurial Experience
- Industry specific skills or knowledge
- Industry specific connections / network
Startup Consultant Step 2: Pick an Area of Expertise
While business is business, and behind the scenes it is largely the same the world over, picking a subject matter to specialize in will help you build a strong and distinctive reputation and brand. You could come to be known as The Tech Startup Guy or The Restaurant Startup lady much faster than you could become known as a general consultant.
NICHE, NICHE, NICHE
Every business sector has its own unique challenges and pitfalls to navigate, and specializing in one area will A) Narrow your competition pool and B) Give you a more distinctive and memorable brand image.
Startup Consultant Step 3: Get your Name out There
If you want to catch fish, you have to go fishing. This is not the kind of business that is likely to succeed by street flyering or cold calling. Creating a professionally designed, attractive website which showcases your skills is the number one way to get you name out there for potential buyers to find.
Once you have a website built and are ready to find some clients, invest in Google ads and prove your expertise by writing regular posts on a blog, on Linkedin, and by offering free advice on business related forums on the internet.
Don’t underestimate the power of a business card either! As you know, sometimes technology lets us down, so there’s something quite reassuring about a piece of card with all your essential contact details listed in a handy format. Before you order business cards of your own, think about how you want them to look. You’ll be handing them out in no time!
Pro Tip: Being able to put together an attractive website and create an ad campaign alone IS a skill set existing businesses will pay for if you know how to do it well.Keep that in mind!
Startup Consultant Step 4: Network
As you become known, whether it be in the real world or the virtual, the key to success as a consultant in any field is networking.
When it comes to intimate matters like business, people are far more likely to hire someone they know and trust as opposed to a stranger. After all, your potential clients may be sharing financial information or secrets like patents or new ideas with you. They need to know they can trust you.
Building a network is the quickest and surest way to achieve this step. Go to trade fairs, find out where business managers socialize, and meet and greet entrepreneurs and business owners in your area. If you’re working online, get signed up to web business forums and startup sites. Make contacts on Linkedin and establish yourself.
Startup Consultant Step 5: Showcase your Success to Attract More Success
Once you land a client or two and help them make their dreams a reality, you want to show it off as a badge of honor. New clients will be much more likely to hire you if they can see a history of success than if you have nothing to show for yourself.
Ask clients who are now successful business owners as a result of your help to testify through a quick video or a photograph showing a handshake or holding a check. All of this will help enhance your brand and reputation, and allow you to attract new clients.
A GREAT article / resource on 8 Keys to Providing Consulting Services for Startups – by Entrepreneur.com
Summary: How to Start a Business Planning Service or Startup Consultancy
With the dawn of the web, more entrepreneurs than ever are diving into the opportunities it presents. If you can act as an experienced consultant who has the information they need to help them navigate the choppy waters of starting a business, they will pay you for it.
Good luck with your startup startup. It’s a valuable service, and one you should be proud to offer!