There has never been a better time to start and develop a consulting business. Why? There are many factors – and here are a few of the most important ones:
1. COMPANIES & GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS ARE DOWNSIZING—
As businesses of all sizes strive to restrict or reduce their fixed payroll, needs and opportunities for freelancers and consultants automatically occur. Projects that would have been handed off to an “internal ” staff members must now be given to outside service providers – who, incidentally, should have more specialized expertise related to that particular need, and therefore accomplish it more efficiently, cost-efficiently and effectively.
That’s how I became a consultant, I was downsized from a day trading firm which helped to position me as a consultant. That downsizing was the ultimate turn-around point for me starting my consulting practice.
2. IT HAS REACHED A POINT WHERE NO ONE PERSON AND NO ONE COMPANY CAN KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT EVERYTHING TO HANDLE ITS OWN NEEDS
Even solo entrepreneurs and small business owners who, by personality and preference, would prefer to do everything themselves if they could — but they can’t. The needs for information and specialized know-how are just too diverse. The main street retailer no longer operates with just a cash register, a weekly newspaper ad of their own devising, and their family stocking the shelves and serving customers these days. To survive and prosper, they need a cash register, a computer, a managed mailing list database of customers and prospects, a FAX machine, voice-mail, use of many different advertising and marketing media and methods, legal and psychological knowledge for hiring, managing and firing, inventory and cash flow management, and on and on. Just as his life has grown ever-more complicated, so it has for bigger businesses, only on an even bigger scale.
3. COMPANIES HIRE CONSULTANTS TO GAIN SPECIALIZED INFORMATION THEY DO NOT HAVE OR DO NOT HAVE TIME TO DEVELOP INTERNALLY.
Just think how many companies are in constant need of web developers, designers and Internet marketers.
Computers, marketing via computer networks, desktop publishing, database management – all computer related situations that companies turn to consultants for assistance for – because, even though they have very smart people or they may be a very quick study – it will be more time consuming and costlier to figure these things out for themselves than to hire a consultant with substantial experience with a specific aspect of computerization, marketing and/or technology. consultant
Even consumers hire consultants these days, for the very same reason. An interior decorator, for example is really a consultant. There are also party, wedding and event planning consultants: personal fitness trainers are consultants who come to the busy person’s home and help him get in shape; and this list, too, goes on and on, limited only by recognition of a need, imagination, innovation and marketing.
4. COMPANIES HIRE CONSULTANTS TO HANDLE SUDDENLY SEASONALLY OR TEMPORARILY INCREASED WORKLOADS.
In some of these instances, the term “consultant” and “freelancer” may blur. Let me give you a personal example: a client hired me to quickly develop a recruitment strategy and an employment manual for his small business. Truthfully, this client could have done this job internally, with his own people and resources – but fitting it into their existent workload would have provided for completion over a period of many months; I could deliver it in a couple of weeks. They bought a combination of expertise, probably only equal to what they possessed, and time, which they did not have.