Before you start your consultancy business, it is a good idea for you to have a clear notion of what exactly you want to do in terms of the kind of projects you will take up, the size and scope, and many other critical things. Making a business plan that encompasses all these details allows you to define your business very clearly, both for your own understanding and for others with whom you may need to work for the firm.
For example, if you are looking for investors in your firm, you need to present a business plan to them that impresses enough to bring in funds. The plan also helps you identify risks, the potential direction of growth for the firm and many other aspects, which is why it is important to invest time and attention when drawing it up.
Add Value to your Business Plan
When you sit down to this critical task, there are a few important things to cover:
The very first question and perhaps the most crucial one is: Why should the client choose you over your competitors? Your firm needs to have a clear value to add that others do not offer, and you have to make this value-add crystal clear to clients. Define your services very clearly, in a structured manner so that the recipient of your business plan knows what you do EXACTLY.
However, that is not enough; your business plan should also talk about what makes your service different from that offered by scores of competitors in the market. That’s your main selling point and it should be a prominent part of your business plan.
Define Your Clientele
The next step is to define who you will be ‘selling’ to clearly. Virtually any business can use a consultant, no doubt, but you do not want to diffuse your attention that way and go after every potential client.
What you need to do is identify a niche where your skills will help most, maybe hone new skills to make yourself better matched to the niche, and then promote yourself as an expert in this specific area. That way, you are not competing with the whole consultant marketplace, you have a chance to hone your specialized skills with each project continuously and you project yourself as THE BEST person for the job.
Define Your Marketing Strategy
How do you plan to sell your services and promote your firm?? Your marketing strategy outlines exactly this- what kind of tools you will use, whether or not you hire people to market your firm or you want to do it yourself, how you plan to do it and what kind of budget outlay you set aside for these efforts. As a startup, your business may have limited funds to invest in large scale marketing, but that only means you need to think more creatively and proactively about the various ways in which you can spread the word.
Be on Top of Your Finance
No business can run without finances, and that is why this is an integral part of your business plan. Where will your capital come from? What is the expected income and profit from your business? What kind of expenses do you expect? How long do you think it will take for you to start making a profit? These are all questions that your business plan should answer. As part of this section of the plan, you also need to outline your pricing policy- how you will price your service and on what parameters.
If making a business plan is a critical first step, another is to ensure that your firm is protected efficiently from all risks. Apart from your general insurance, consultancy service providers like you also need to consider comprehensive professional liability insurance for consultants. This insurance, also known as Errors and Omissions insurance, covers you in case a client files a lawsuit for negligence, delay in service, none- provision of service, or any other claim for damages.
Legal proceedings and settlements can drain a business of its resources overnight, and that is where this kind of insurance helps. By opting for a proper professional liability cover for your firm, you can handle court expenses, attorney fees, even damages without affecting the financial stability of your new firm.