November 18, 2014
Being an entrepreneur is both liberating and enslaving. On the one hand, you are free from bosses, their schedules, and their sometimes arbitrary job requirements. On the other hand, your new boss – you – may be even worse than the old one! As you consider the world of entrepreneurship, let me nudge you toward becoming a consultant in your field.
Why, indeed? Why should you go into consulting, when you have a skill that is marketable? The answer is clear – YOU HAVE A SKILL! Do you realize how many people do not have a skill?
According to Education Portal, a consultant is “hired to lend their expertise to clients in need of insight they do not possess… Consulting is a broad area of interest, and, from businesses to personal services, there’s consulting opportunity for practically every industry.”
This is so true. My dad was a diesel mechanic with his own garage. He was a genius at “trouble-shooting”, and as he got older, he made as much money answering phone calls as he did doing actual mechanic work. A truck driver could call Dad and say, “Hey, it’s going whump, whump, whump.” And, Dad would say, “Hmm, you’d better get the drive train looked at” and bill the company $200. This is because he was an expert, with “vast knowledge and experience” in his field.
Are you an expert? Because if you are, other people need your expertise.
Consulting Has No Barriers to Entry
Compared to starting a software company or a retail business, consulting has relatively few to no barriers of entry. Many entrepreneurs discredit consulting, thinking it takes years of skill to acquire enough expertise. This is far from the truth. Consulting requires confidence and only more skill and knowledge than the customer. You don't have to be the world's leading expert on blank. Take the skills you have, research the market and start selling. The worst that could happen is someone tells you no, and you move on to another prospect.
Consulting Can Fund Other Businesses
Many successful entrepreneurs started as consultants, the reason? Consulting can be easy revenue, funding more cost heavy business ideas like apps, software companies and more. Being a consultant also allows you to work directly with your target market. Overtime, you see trends on the front line and can get to the heart of a problem. Consulting won't be able to solve all of your customers problems, but working with your customers may lead to your next business idea.
Consulting is also an easy business to scale and outsource. There are likely thousands of qualified candidates in your area, just check eLance and other sites. If you can sell to customers, you can outsource to experts, taking a majority of the profit for providing the client and work. This saves your time, still brings in money and allows you to pursue the other business ideas on the back-burner.
Consulting is a Wide Open Market
The consulting market is wide open and many are starting to get the hint. The most recent economic quarter led to the highest number of Americans quitting their jobs in over six years. Companies and consumers are spending billions on consulting each year, shouldn't it be on you?
Take one of the easiest paths to being an entrepreneur, even if it is temporary. Quit your job, become a consultant, interact directly with clients and be exposed to your next business idea.
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