5 Steps You Should Take if You Want to Grow Your Consulting Business
The global consulting industry is worth 262 billion dollars and growing.
As a consulting business owner, there’s no doubt you’re in a lucrative market. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re bound to make the big bucks. There are thousands of consulting firms in the United States alone, which means competition for clients is fierce.
So, how do you position your consultancy for growth in a competitive market?
That’s where we come in!
In this article, we’re fleshing out the various strategies you can use to grow your consulting business and pull in the profits.
1. Work on Your Professional Reputation
A consultancy is only as good as the people behind it.
If you have a poor professional reputation, not many people will want to be associated with you. Your business is an extension of your professional brand.
As such, it’s important to keep working on your professional reputation even as you as strive to set up and grow the consulting business. And talking of reputation, we don’t mean just polishing up your profile on LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
In the world of consulting, credentials matters. Clients want to hire firms led by industry leaders who are highly educated. So if you currently have a master’s degree, it’s time you enrolled for a doctoral program or other professional courses that can enhance your expertise.
2. Don’t Be a Jack of All Trades
Consultancy is a wide field. There is:
- Management consulting
- Strategic consulting
- Business consulting
- Healthcare consulting
- Manufacturing consulting
- Information technology consulting
- HR consulting
- Marketing consulting.
Common wisdom dictates that offering an array of consulting service is an effective way to increase the size of your target market. Technically, this is true, but as a small consultancy, it’s best to focus on a specific field. This should be the field where you have expertise.
For instance, if you’re a healthcare professional, naturally you will open a healthcare consulting business. You have no business offering, say, IT consulting.
Yes, you can hire in-house IT pros to offer this type of consulting under your firm’s roof, but many clients looking for healthcare consulting services will be wary of working with your firm.
You guessed it. Jacks of all trades are masters of none.
That said, you can expand your service as the business grows, just as long as you don’t stray too far off your niche. If your business offers management consulting, for example, you can gradually expand into strategic consulting, because the two are closely related.
3. Build a Competent Team
You might have started your business as a one-man band, but as clients start streaming in, you’ll need more people pulling the strings.
Now, recruitment is one of the tasks many consulting business owners do wrong. There’s lots of talent in the labor market, meaning it can be difficult to pick the right job applicants, especially if you’re not a human resources consultant.
Just because a job applicant has stellar academic qualifications and meets your experience requirements doesn’t mean they’re a good fit for your company. Yet, if you go ahead and make a wrong hire, your company will pay the price. Replacing a worker can cost you up to $15,000.
This is why you need to put a lot of focus on your recruitment strategy. Look for workers who’re also a good cultural fit and have a real passion for consulting. Alternatively, you can outsource the task to a recruitment firm in your niche.
4. Build a Strong Online Presence
Americans aren’t just purchasing physical products online. They’re also looking for service providers on the web.
If you want potential clients to find you, your business needs to be where they are: online.
You’re probably thinking, “But I have a business website and the company has social media profiles and sales aren’t getting any better.”
Well, having a website and being on social media is just a starting point. What are you doing to, for instance, ensure your website ranks on Google’s first page? Do you have a blog where you share your expertise with the world?
To build a strong online presence, you’ve to invest in digital marketing services. This way, you’ll have professionals who will craft and implement an online marketing strategy for your business. Gradually, your business will be easily found on the web and sales will pick up.
Another benefit of having a digital marketing agency on your team is your company gets real-time reputation monitoring and management. These pros will deploy online listening tools that will catch negative reviews and comments about your firm.
5. Keep Up with Industry Trends
The consulting industry might not be as fast-changing as other industries, but every new year comes with a couple of trends.
For instance, the advancing technology means consulting firms have to stay abreast of tech innovations and integrate them into their operations. If a client is tech-savvy, they will also want to work with a company that’s up to speed tech-wise.
Therefore, it’s vital to monitor developments in your niche. Read industry magazines, follow niche leaders on social media, and attend conferences and other events.
Take Your Consulting Business to the Next Level
The demand for consulting services will always be there. As a consulting business owner, the key to success lies in knowing how to tap into this demand.
Lucky for you, we’ve outlined effective strategies that can help take your business to the next level. Your responsibility now is to put them to use.
All the best and keep reading our blog for more business tips, hacks, and insights.