On this episode, James and Megan are starting a new series focused on helping you develop multiple income streams in your business. Most businesses start with a single income stream. By expanding this to include both active and passive income streams, you can insulate your business from economic ups and downs.
Our Kryptonite today: Untapped Expertise for Consulting
Why offer consulting services?:
- Many business owners will shy away from offering consulting services, because they doubt their expertise. However, if you’ve been in business for a period of time, you have specific knowledge that can help others. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been running a retail store, working in sales, in project management (like James), or just about anything else. There are insights you can offer to help others.
- Another reason is people want specific advice for their situation. Everyone believes their situation is unique and wants help that is tailored to them. However, many processes or business truths are the same regardless of the situation. You can simply adapt them to meet an individual’s needs.
- By sharing your expertise, you generate additional income and enhance your credibility and expertise. The more you see how other businesses operate and what they struggle with, the more value you bring to other clients.
- Caution: This can be time consuming and you need to weigh how you price your consulting services. Beware of how much you are exchanging time for money.
What can you consult on?:
- Think about what people ask you for advice about. This is probably something you take for granted, but they recognize your expertise in this area.
- Be specific. Most people are not looking for generalized help. Megan doesn’t just run a business consulting firm; she consults with manufacturing companies on their plant operations to address quality, process, and efficiency issues. And through The Naptime CEO, she’s been able to leverage that NOT just to entrepreneurship, but how to balance entrepreneurship with parenthood and start-up for slow growth.
- James is not just a life and business coach, although he can help people in those areas. He specializes in strategic planning for small businesses and is working to further narrow his focus.
- Similarly, you can niche down your offerings. It will help you be more targeted in your marketing efforts.
How do you start consulting?:
- One of the best ways to start is through public speaking so others can recognize you as an expert.
- Connect with other business owners in your industry and learn what they are struggling with. By developing a relationship with them, you may discover you can help them and they will be receptive to your insights.
- Try to price your consulting by the project and not by the hour.
- When scoping out an engagement define upfront specific goals, deliverables, or timelines for the project.
- Make a list of topics or areas you can consult on
- Find 6 people who are your target market and meet with them to understand their pain points
- For the nuts and bolts of offering consulting services, check out Alan Weiss’ books Getting Started in Consulting or Million Dollar Consulting. Also The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau.