A small business consultant works with clients on strategy, planning and problem solving, and helps clients develop business skills and knowledge. These topics range from designing a business model or marketing plan, to determining which marketing techniques to use and how to use them. You’ll often help clients learn how to plan and implement projects. A small business consultant gives advice, teaches skills, and brainstorms with the client to produce practical results and enhance strategic thinking.
- Get your ego out of the way. While your work can and should be meaningful to you, you are not a consultant to pump up your own ego. You are a consultant to serve your clients. You are going to advise them, help them to determine the pros and cons of each course of action, and then allow them to make their own decisions. You cannot stop them from making unwise decisions or from not following through on an implementation plan. Equally, if your client has a big win, it may be partly due to your advice, but much of the praise needs to go to your client for making it happen. Decide in advance what a “successful client engagement” means to you.
- Be honest about your own areas of personal development. No one is perfect. Sometimes they procrastinate. Sometimes they get distracted. Sometimes they let anger or fear get the better of us. Sometimes they don’t communicate as well as they could. Discover your weaknesses and either learn how to overcome them, or hire staff to help deflect them.
- Choose marketing techniques that bring qualified leads to the sales conversation. Track your marketing relentlessly. If your marketing isn’t bringing the desired results revamp it. Do not choose marketing techniques because they are a hot trend if they don’t bring in leads or help build your brand recognition.
- Learn problem solving, decision making, project management, and time management skills. These four skills will provide the backbone of the assistance you will offer clients and help you run your own business successfully