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How can I Become a Consultant?

Article Details
  • Written By: G. Melanson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Consultants provides professional advice to an individual or organization on the basis of their own particular expertise. There are several different fields of consulting, including finances, technology, marketing, and environmental solutions. Many individuals or organizations seek out consultancy services because they require a more in-depth knowledge of a certain subject than their in-house staff is capable of providing. For example, a retail store that already employs a bookkeeper may contract a financial consultant to augment their financial planning and help with the long-term financial health of their company.

In order to become a consultant, whether an independent, self-employed consultant or one employed by a consultancy firm, you need to have a proven track record of your experience in a particular field. This experience should be reflected in your resume alongside clearly-defined results. For example, a sales consultant might note that he or she increased a company’s sales by a certain percentage, or a financial consultant might note that he or she reduced a company’s costs by a percentage within a given time frame.

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To become a consultant and land initial contracts with clients, the easiest method is an “inward-out” approach. This means approaching contacts with whom you are already familiar in the beginning, rather than soliciting unknown potential clients through cold calling or other methods. This could mean approaching a friend or acquaintance, or even a company of previous employment. Once consultants are over the initial hurdle of securing their first few contracts, they typically have an easier time approaching other individuals and organizations with whom they have not had previous contact.

In order to become a consultant, you must ensure that you are conducting business within the laws that govern your place of business. For example, laws surrounding the frequency and amount of tax that must be remitted by a business vary depending on its location, and may also depend on the company’s revenues, products and services.

Consultants who are self-employed should ensure that their company is registered with their province or state, even if they are the sole employee of the company and/or they do not yet have a name chosen for their business. Registering a company is a service that is performed by the government, typically at a cost of less than $100 US Dollars (USD). To become a consultant that has staff, one needs to take into consideration the standard labor laws that govern his or her state or province, such as minimum wage rates, payroll deductions, and workplace safety.

To become a consultant who stands out among the competition, your promotional material -- including a website, advertisements, and pitches -- should clearly list what you can do for a potential client. Whether a consultant can reduce costs for the client, elevate sales, generate investors, or come up with environmentally-sustainable solutions, these client benefits should be emphasized in preparing promotional material to become a consultant.

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