A consultant in any industry tends to be the top of their game. They’ll go to businesses to impart their experience and wisdom, usually filling gaps in company skill sets and knowledge. Mastering consulting with advisory skills, this is a fruitful way to progress your career and help clients take the next step in their business journey.
The financial advisory field is estimated to be worth 1.3 billion. That’s roughly a quarter of the global consulting market. Reasons to consider consulting are quite obvious, but how easy is it to make the leap?
1. Flexible hours for agile advisors
If you’re serious about taking up consulting, the first step is to work out your plan of attack. You could, for example, be a freelance advisor. Almost like a virtual CFO, freelancing would help you manage the financial side of multiple businesses on your own terms. Working on the go has a lot of benefits. You can more or less choose your hours, and when you’re travelling you can use that time to catch up on any outstanding work or perhaps prep for your next meeting.
Working freelance mirrors the way a lot of the business owners you work with operate. While the company itself is likely to have set working hours, almost every business owner we know works when it’s necessary. That’s why being able to jump online or spend a morning with them – even if it is at short notice – will really forge a bond between you.
We’re big believers in face to face communication, and the efficiencies gained from freelancing will help you fit more clients into your day. When providing consulting with advisory services to your clients, you’re often mapping out the various route they could take. Practice what you preach to get yourself get organised.
2. Research is your friend
Advisory consultancy is a strategic practice, so it’s important to know the pressures of your clients before you can start helping them. Reading up on industry changes and evolutions will put you in good stead, and will double up as a perfect conversation starter with clients.
You see market trends across a range of businesses, talk to people across industries and, let’s be honest, have seen it all before. Your clients are the people on the ground in their industry, and having someone to talk to about their experiences (you) who is also in touch with others in their space is gold. Change and growth are largely desired and needed by businesses across the globe.
The problem comes from businesses not knowing how much of a risk they might be taking by jumping into something new. You can use Futrli to support this kind of work. Plug your clients’ data into the platform and you’ll be able to give a visual representation of how industry changes might impact them. And you can both log in from anywhere with an internet connection, complimenting consultancy perfectly.
3. Never underestimate the power of words
Specialising in a niche is valuable. You’re likely to find you’re able to pick up work easier than usual because people in similar businesses talk to each other. A deep understanding of a specific industry will serve you well.
For example, let’s say you’ve done some solid work for a manufacturing company, helping them to control their cashflow more effectively. The business owner is likely to belong to a network, or at least have friends in a similar area. This one piece of work has great potential to gain you a handful of referrals. Scale that up to working with four companies, your referral rate will explode.
Just remember, it’s important not to take on more than you can manage.
Positioning yourself as your clients’ go-to expert and making yourself in demand is the goal. Use this checklist to help get yourself there.
- Select and master your niche
- Reach out to a handful of the businesses operating in said niche
- Be flexible and agile – this will help businesses hugely
- Learn everything you can about your niche
- Get yourself used to and experienced with cloud-based technology
- Visit business sites – you’ll learn a lot about a company by being in it
- Let the referrals roll in!