Consultants are a valuable commodity nowadays, as both businesses and individuals seek their specialized help. Furthermore, due to the latest technological advancement in communication (VoIP, message boards, instant messaging apps, email, and more), it’s easier than ever to start your own business as a consultant.
On the other hand, if you can do it, others can too. As a result, the competition is fierce, especially in the niches where everyone has something to say. So, in today’s day and age, where you can find a consultant on every corner of the Internet, is it still worth it to venture on a solo adventure?
We had a chat with people who started from scratch, and below you can read the pros and cons of starting an online consulting business.
An Array of Possibilities (Pro)
One of the biggest advantages of being a consultant is that you can choose whichever niche suits you best. From engineering and construction to social media and building a business online, you can have your pick.
Furthermore, you can keep improving your knowledge as the business takes off since there are many e-learning platforms and all types of resources available online.
The secret to a successful consulting business is to identify the right niche and seek out the customers that would be a perfect fit for your current skills.
You Need a Personal Brand (Pro & Con)
To be successful in the online world, you need a strong presence. For this, you need to build a solid personal brand that’s easy to identify by possible customers and relatable.
This can be both a pro and a con since it is a fantastic way to promote your new business and broaden your network, but it’s also a time-consuming endeavor. Still, if you work smart, you have the opportunity of using the biggest network of all times to your advantage. We’re talking about social media (Facebook, Twitter, even YouTube)!
A social media campaign is a great way to grow an online business, and there are different ways to grow your subscribers list. You just need to be open to a new approach!
Level of Expertise (Pro & Con)
Nowadays, almost anyone can start a consulting business online. All you need is a know-it-all attitude and people to believe you are an expert.
However, if you want to work with the big guys (aka corporations and certified companies), you will need to prove your level of expertise. This means diplomas, certificates, and projects you’ve coordinated in your chosen niche.
So, if you truly want to be successful as a consultant, be honest with yourself. Do you have the necessary level of expertise to offer the best possible advice?
People Skills (Pro if you have them)
Since consultants consult, they need to be able to make their opinions and ideas known to the other side in a way that’s easy to understand and process. This means that a lot of your daily effort will go into networking, communicating with other people, and constantly marketing your skills.
Now, even the most experienced consultants agree that this is an exhausting task, which is why they enlist help. Still, if you can’t afford an assistant (yet), there are lots of marketing tools that may come in handy (check out onlinemarketingtools is a great service to help you find the right ones).
Competition is Fierce (Con)
The online environment opened the door for many new business opportunities. For instance, a local consultant now can work with companies all over the world without leaving their office. This means that it will be that much harder for new businesses to cut themselves a slice of the pie and gain access to big clients.
If your skills are in demand and you have enough customers to vouch for your work ethic and results, your chances to reach the big boy’s table increase. However, it takes a lot of work to get there.
It’s Easier (Pros)
On the other hand, the fact that you work online means you can have a home office. This will significantly reduce the initial costs and improves the work atmosphere. Moreover, it’s easier to create contacts, send pitches to companies, and overall sell your skills due to the plethora of communication channels that are readily available.
While it may take a lot of hard work and determination, if you have the necessary skills (or the means to develop them), it is worth it to start your own online consulting business. This adventure will allow you to broaden your network and will give you access to amazing projects.
Furthermore, as an entrepreneur, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about yourself. The experience will teach you how to face challenges and how to improve yourself as a person and business owner.