For any project management professionals out there who want to level up, now might be the right time to consider establishing their own consulting business. One of the biggest advantages to working as a consultant is having a potentially wide pool of clients that you can work with, which holds especially true for anyone in project management.
Although starting your own business can be scary, a consulting role can be extremely fulfilling for those who want a challenge. If so, read on below for some of our tips on starting your own project management consulting business.
Define your niche
The first step to starting any consulting business is finding your niche. The nature of project management means that your consultancy skills can be applied to virtually any industry, so you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin. In fact, narrowing your niche can actually lead to more clients, as news tends to travel faster within industry-specific networks. If you’re planning to set up a business with a partner, you might want to also consider their own specializations to see if you can amp up your services. As a general rule, it’s always better to dig deep within your chosen niche and excel in your field.
Opt for the right business entity
Consultancy work is all about mitigating risk, and to that end the business structure you choose can help address this. Project management consultants who are just starting out may want to consider setting their business up as a limited liability company (LLC) as this protects owners from incurring any personal liabilities. According to ZenBusiness, the process of starting an LLC can be completed online. There might be some differences when it comes to specific state regulations, but the overall process should be relatively straightforward.
Start marketing your services
Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing is crucial for startups, so don’t underestimate the power of speaking directly to family, friends, and even previous colleagues. Of course, it’s also important to remember that credibility is key to any WOM strategy. While you might want to ask people in your network for referrals, it’s important to remember that these individuals need to disclose their relationship to your company before giving an honest opinion. Being upfront with WOM marketing establishes your company as trustworthy, which can then go a long way in building brand loyalty.
Invest in the right software
One of the biggest benefits to running a project management consultancy is that you don’t need a physical office to operate from. As such, you can opt to funnel these costs into powerful software that will streamline your operations. Our previous post on Project Schedule Management cites the likes of Microsoft Project and Schedule Cleaner as software that can help you plan out your management process and clean up confidential information from your schedules. These are small tasks that can quickly add up and become difficult to manage on your own, which is why investing in software is necessary.
Starting a project management consultancy business is an extremely exciting process. Not only will you widen your skills as a project management professional, you’ll also be able to hone your organizational skills by building your business from the ground up.
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Written by Andrea Leslie