As a consultant, your clients look to you to be the sound of reason, the helpful hand, and in some cases, a shoulder to lean on. If you were to step into your client’s shoes, you’d want your consultant to be someone that is knowledgeable and successful in what they do. In order to obtain this reputation in the eyes of your clients, it is important that your consulting business is organized and professional.
No matter if you’re starting your own consulting business or you are a seasoned veteran, it is important to accomplish the following 5 practical tips to ensure that run a strong and successful company.
1. Keep Up With Your Client & Their Competition
Although this may sound obvious, this is something that is sometimes overlooked by new and seasoned consulting companies. It’s as crucial to research and keep up with your client’s competitors as it is to keep up on your actual clients. This will help you stay current on any new industry developments that may be useful for your client.
Rather than focusing on the “quick-win” for your clients, take the time to get to know their industry inside-out. Not only will your client be greatly satisfied with your due diligence, but you will be more likely to gain more clients in this field.
2. Know Your Client’s Finances
To be successful, you must know your client’s finances. In any meeting, you should never be the one to say, “let me check” or “it’s around”, you need to know the specifics of your client’s present finances on cue. You and your client will come off as a united front that is confident and ready to take on any venture.
Some financial records that you should have on-hand are:
- Gross Profit
- Overall Revenue
- Market Cap
It’s important that you memorize these numbers. The time it takes to sort through all of your paperwork to find these numbers is the time it takes for the client to look for another consultant.
3. Get to Know Your Client’s Team
It is important that you familiarize yourself with more than just the CEO of your client’s company. Get to know the VP, senior management team, or anyone of this nature. This will not only help you better understand your client’s inner-workings, but also help you better manage client relationships.
By getting to know the people that your client works with on a daily basis, this will help you maintain a professional demeanor about yourself and your consulting business during interactions. Your client’s will be confident in their choice to work with you.
4. Organize & Create an Informational Hub in Your Office
Your consulting firm needs a place to properly and efficiently conduct research. If you haven’t already, start creating a hub for project-related documents. There are so many things that can be in your information hub that will make it easier for you and your employees to create, research, and locate exactly what they need for success.
Here are just a few of the many things that we suggest you keep in your hub:
- Your client’s annual reports and 10ks
- Analyst report on competitors
- Copies of previous client-related work
- Information about the industry
5. Create Company Culture
It is important that you make your employees feel important. To make them feel valuable in your eyes and in the eyes of their peers, create a positive company culture. Treat your employees to lunch every once and awhile, or even create team-bonding activities.
We understand that these things cost money. Because of the contract based nature of your consulting business, you are constantly waiting for outstanding payments from clients. Rather than letting your company culture or other aspects of your business suffer from this, utilize consulting factoring. This is a service that allows you to get up to 96% of the cash owed to your business in just 24 hours or less. A factoring company will work with you to determine the best factoring service for you.
By partnering with a factoring company, your business will always have a strong source of capital to fund its everyday operations and more. This will give you, your employees, and your clients peace of mind.
We hope that these five tips help you to make your consulting business as successful as possible. Although these tips may not seem that outlandish, the implementation of them can help change your business tremendously. If you have tried any of these tips in your consulting business, tell us about it in the comments below!