Starting any business becomes a full-time job if you’ve gone 100% into the business, quit your other job, have no kids, and have saved enough money to keep you alive through the first couple months of launch. If you’re starting a brick and mortar business, one where you actually have a physical location, you may need to use more money as opposed to starting a business on the internet or one without or minimal startup costs. For that reason in this article we will be discussing the topic of consulting and the five steps you need to take to start a consulting business.
5 Steps to Start an Online Business as an Consultant
An online business could be anything. You could set up a print on-demand business where people purchase items such as t-shirts, mugs, backpacks, and anything to which you can attach a logo or graphic. This business allows you to save a lot of money due to not needing to have inventory. Though online business is great, one of the best is consulting because your product is basically renewable and non-physical. So what are the steps to start an online consulting business?
- Find a niche: You need to know WHERE you will be selling your services and what the demographics of the people look like. This is your “niche”. A niche can be anything, but is a major category of a specific group of people such as business owners, real estate agents, nurses, single moms, etc.
- Make a plan: Once you know who your target market is and where you can start marketing your product and/or services, you will have to make a plan. It doesn’t have to be a full 30 page business plan, but it should at least outline what you’re selling, who you’re selling it to, what your business structure will be, and more.
- Build a website: Nowadays if you don’t have a website your customer or potential business partners will think you’re either faking it, don’t exist, or are unprofessional. Neither of those judgments is good and so just get a website please.
- Find leads: When you know your target market, you’ve made a plan, and have a website up and running, it’s time to find your first customers. Start telling your friends and family about it and ask them for referrals as well.
- Start selling: You may want to integrate a payment service through your website or send individual invoices to each client. It will all depend on the niche you’re going into, your product or service, and how much you are going to charge for it.
In conclusion in this article we discussed the topic of being an online business consultant and what you should be doing to prepare. You will need to first find a niche to sell your services to, then you will need a plan, and finally you will have to start marketing in order to get some sales and clients in the pipeline. From there you will have to learn how to grow and manage your business, but this all becomes easier to do once you’ve done the initial steps. In the end, depending on how successful your business got and how you feel about keeping it, you may decide to implement an exit strategy of either selling the business completely or putting it on the stock exchange to sell some of your equity. Either way, the most important thing is for you to start, because once you start you’re a lot closer than you if you never did.
Author Bio: Douglas Pitassi is a freelance writer and small business blogger.