Becoming a consultant comes with a lot of perks but making it happen is easier said than done.
For one, you need to be an expert on a particular subject. That advanced knowledge is what people will be paying for.
A consultant’s potential to earn is almost limitless and will depend on the quality of service he or she has to offer. It also comes with a lot of non-financial perks, making it one of the most in-demand professions to date.
To become a consultant, it’s essential to learn some of the basics first which we will further detail in this blog post.
A consultant is defined as an expert whose responsibility is to advise a business or an individual about all things relevant to his or her expertise.
In short, a consultant’s job is to consult. Nothing more, nothing less.
There’s pretty much nothing that separates a successful consultant from one that isn’t except for their passion and commitment to excellence.
It goes without saying that knowledge of the subject he or she is considered an expert for is also a primary consideration and yes, it does make a huge difference too.
Now, consultancy may sound pretty vague and that’s perfectly understandable because one can be a consultant for practically any industry or niche. What’s important is how your experience and extensive knowledge can help a business solve its problems.
As mentioned, consulting is not limited to any industry or niche. If you want to get a better idea, below are some of the common types of consultants.
A business consultant’s primary responsibility is to help identify possible areas of improvement a business can capitalize on.
They are professional advisors who help companies take advantage of valuable resources, bring new business skills, and more importantly, save time and money.
Business consultants professionally analyze the business so they can create solutions that will allow a company to reach its goals.
Most business consultants work as independent contractors though hiring them as in-house employees can also be a possibility.
As the name implies, a marketing consultant’s primary focus is to help businesses with their marketing initiatives.
Marketing advisors are tasked to help organizations plan, create, and implement marketing strategies to increase brand awareness and generate leads.
There’s no question that sales are an integral part of any business which is why it’s crucial to hire a sales professional to help develop and improve a company’s sales process.
Apart from improving an organization’s sales performance, a sales consultant is also responsible for conducting sales training for employees, among others.
Equally important to any organization is the legal aspect making it all the more important to get the services of a lawyer or a legal professional who can advise you on legal matters.
Businesses are prone to legal issues and having a legal consultant on stand-by definitely makes a world of difference.
Another important business aspect organizations need advice for is the accounting or financial side. You’d want to make sure that you’re making good financial decisions and that you’re aware of how much money comes in and comes out.
For a business to achieve its goals, it needs to establish clear communications with the public which is exactly what a public relations consultant does.
Some of the responsibilities of a PR consultant are to write press releases, do public speaking, and organize various events for the company.
Technology has come a long way and knowing how to use them to one’s advantage can help organizations in a big way, something a technology consultant does.
A technology consultant helps businesses improve their operations and business performance through the implementation and use of technology solutions.
Getting into the consultancy business comes with several perks which probably explains why a lot of people are looking for a career shift. Below are some of the benefits you’d enjoy once you become a consultant.
One of the more prominent perks that come with being a consultant is the flexibility it allows in terms of work hours.
Most consultants prefer the independent contractor set up which means they have control of their work schedule much as freelancers do.
The role also allows the opportunity to telecommute especially once everything gets settled. What this means is more productivity and better work-life balance, something a lot of people are looking for these days.
Companies who hire consultants would like nothing more than to see their consultants succeed in his or her role.
This makes perfect sense because a consultant’s success means success for the business as well. So how do businesses ensure consultant success?
More often than not, organizations subject their new consultants to training and various onboarding processes to ensure that they start on the right foot.
These trainings are designed to provide additional knowledge, tools, and resources that will help consultants perform their roles more efficiently thereby allowing the business to achieve its goals.
One of the first things we look for in an organization is opportunities for professional growth, something a consultant is more likely to get.
There’s no denying that consultants get paid good money. In fact, CNN Money reported that consultants have an average 10-year salary growth that can go as high as 41.2%
That’s relatively huge given the flexibility one can enjoy compared to other professions.
Another perk that sets consulting apart is the exposure one would get in dealing with a variety of clients. Being a consultant puts you in a good position to work with clients of all sizes, effectively expanding your network in the process.
It’s also worth noting that clients have different products, services, needs, expectations, and audiences which means consultants get to work on projects of all kinds.
As an expert, keeping up to date with industry trends is part of your responsibility which means learning never stops.
While this may sound overwhelming to some, this will benefit you in the long run because clients would always appreciate consultants who can think out of the box and know how to adapt to the times.
Now that we got everything out of the way, it’s time to address that most important question and that is how to become a consultant.
Below are several steps that will help you make a smooth transition.
Since consultants are considered experts, quality of education is of utmost importance which is why a good first step to finish your undergraduate degree.
This makes perfect sense because most industries require a bachelor’s degree for their entry-level positions. If you want to work as a consultant for a specific industry, you need to consider a minor in that field in addition to a business degree.
One of the things you need to keep in mind if you want to become a consultant is that it won’t happen overnight.
Apart from the knowledge you’ll obtain from your degree, you’ll also need some work experience especially in the field you’re planning to consult on.
So what do you do?
First, consider working in that industry for at least a couple of years just so you can build some experience. Knowing how the industry works will make you more attractive to potential clients.
Certification may or may not be necessary for the industry you’re working in. However, having one gives you an advantage over others who don’t.
While companies don’t always require a certification, having one improves your chances of getting hired because it further solidifies your title as that of being an expert.
Most companies prefer consultants with advanced degrees which is why completing a master’s degree or higher is highly recommended.
Just like having a certification, a master’s degree increases your stock, effectively giving you more opportunities to take advantage of compared to those who don’t have one.
As with other employment opportunities, building your network is essential because this is how you get more projects and clients to work with.
That being said, it would be beneficial to connect with other fellow consultants so you can get sound advice on specific things like how to run your consulting company or pricing, among others.
This will help a lot especially if you’re just starting out.
Becoming a consultant is easier said than done. It requires a lot of hard work and patience to obtain the knowledge and experience you need to become an expert in the field you’ve chosen.
While it may take years for this to happen, becoming a consultant is without a doubt a very rewarding career given the benefits you’re bound to enjoy.
If you’re tired of being an employee and you want to take your professional career to the next level, start working your way to becoming a consultant by implementing the steps provided.
No minimums. Fast access to top US and international talent. Rated 5 stars on TrustPilot.Start Hiring