1 Comment

15 reasons consultants fail

So, you have set yourself up as a self-employed consultant. You have lots of expertise in your area of business. You are waiting for the contracts to roll in, but they don’t. Or, you start off with a flurry of work, and it quickly dries up. What’s going wrong?

Here are 15 main reasons why self-employed consultants fail. The fails fall broadly into three main categories: business set-up, client communications, and the consultant’s own behaviors.

Business Set-up

  1. No Branding

There is a lot of competition out there. Any new freelancer, and longstanding ones for that matter, needs to stand out from the crowd. When a prospect or client hear the consultant’s name, it should evoke positive thoughts of wanting to work with only that person. Too many consultants rely on their expertise speaking for itself, and forget they need a clear visual identity in their advertising. They need to have hard copy materials that include company name, logo, and branding.  It is important to get clients to associate that identity with the expertise, and then they’ll keep coming back.

  1. No Internet Presence

Potential clients needing a consultant will, more often than not, do an internet search. Add to that, when a consultant is cold-calling, it is incredibly useful to point potential clients towards a web page. Make that web page a lead magnet – well-designed and informative – and it will help hook clients in.

  1. Charging by the Hour

For a consultant, charging by the hour is immediate death to their business.  A solo consultant should only charge on value and only deal with buyers who can write that big check. For a client, especially when working with a consultant for the first time, charging by the hour is off-putting, because they cannot tell what the final costs will be and clients may think the consultant dragging out the process to bill more hours. Working out an overall price per job is much more attractive to clients.

With value-based pricing, the faster a consultant solves someone's problem, the more valuable that person is. If they fix one problem a day, everyone is happy.

  1. Using Cookie-Cutter Solutions

Assuming “one size fits all” is a common mistake. Each client is different, and that means they have different working methods and require varied solutions for their projects. Consultants must learn to ask what the client wants, and discover what they need.  This is the consultant that gets paid the big bucks.

  1. Poor Client Focus

Many inexperienced consultants focus their business around what works for them – charging by the hour and cookie-cutter solutions are just two examples. All too often, consultants forget about client needs and structures. The most successful consultants always do their research, put themselves in the client’s shoes, and aim for results. They are there to solve the clients’ problems and must allow clients to define what solving the solution is to them instead of the consultant defining how the project will be successful.

 

  ...continue reading

Quit 9 to 5 Job

Since the beginning of time, we have had this weird misconception that we are supposed to be working every day of our lives and that it should be a punishment. There are many people all over the world who work common 9 to 5 jobs and hating every second of it. Why do they do this? Because it has become part of the norm. It seems to be acceptable to just sit back, do what you are told, and retire at the age of 65 to enjoy long walks on the beach with your wife or husband.

I myself was in this boat not too long ago, but I made a decision that would change my life forever. I was tired of being stuck in a rut and having to do what someone else wants me to. I was tired of making someone else rich. I left my job when I was very young and very impulsive, which is probably why I am the success I am today. I had no plan when I walked out of there – all I knew was that I wanted to be an entrepreneur.

This was something that scared me, and I know that there are folks reading this who might be feeling the same way as I did. It’s totally normal, but don’t ever doubt yourself, It took me a long time and loads of hard work to create a new image for myself; one that I loved and that I wanted to be. I had to make many sacrifices and I started out in a spare room in my parent’s house. After buckets full of blood, sweat and tears and the invaluable help of my coaches and mentors, I eventually reached my ultimate goal. Today, I am proud to say that I am a consultant.

Being an consultant is much more than just paying salaries and owning your own company. You have a lot of freedom to do what you want, but with great power comes great responsibility. I would say that it is one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done in my life, and I do not regret anything that happened during the process or afterwards for one single second. The ride has been beautiful, and I know that it can be amazing for every single person reading this article who wishes to escape the confines of a daily 9 to 5 job.

The most important thing that you need to know is that you can’t just decide on a whim that you want to quit. You need to know for sure that you want to be your own boss. There are a few important things that you have to think of before you pursue your dream. Things that will make the journey much more memorable and exciting. Here are a few tips that I can give to those potential entrepreneurs who want to break the yokes of life once and for all.

Prepare Yourself for Entrepreneurship                                                               

Many people make entrepreneurship to be a very glamorous thing to do. The truth is that the image Donald Trump and his friends sell, is the end result. The beginning might not be so kosher at all. Yes, you are your own boss, and yes, you make all the rules, but you are not going to wake up after one day’s worth of work with billions of dollars around your room. Your ideas might not work out the way you want them to and you may need to modify it, or you might have to scrap it completely. Do research on what you might encounter during the first few months or even years. ...continue reading

2 Comments

Working Vacations

Skip the Working Vacations!!

It is time to just say ‘No’ to all working vacations. I get it! This is hard to do for entrepreneurs to do. I’ve struggled for years in trying to make this happen and finally realized the importance of unplugging from work and technology after my health took a hit.

Holidays are supposed to function as the optimal reset switch, helping you recharge your batteries so you can resume work with a rejuvenated aim. Nevertheless, even while you're resting in a hammock on the beach drinking a margarita, provided you're also occupied checking emails on your gadget you aren't actually getting the vacation time you need and deserve.  Without a definite seclusion between work time and leisure time, your getaway may possibly feel significantly less like a getaway than merely the subsequent business vacation. In addition, spending your time checking emails, working on projects or dealing with the everyday stress of work doesn't just do harm to your own revitalization and health; it can be draining for your family and friends as well.

If you really need a break and your work doesn't allow you to disconnect, what do you do? Thankfully, there are ways to unplug from work to get the relaxation time you need. All it takes is some careful planning, a few tech tricks, and a little determination and self-discipline.

In an ideal world, you’d work-proof your devices and online activities so that you could use the phone, computer or internet without coming into contact with any work-related issues.

Try following these five tips to help you completely unplug on vacation without hurting your work performance:

Timing Is Key

Pick a time that won't compromise the success of current projects. A holiday might not be placed on your radar 6 months ahead of time, however starting out earlier might guarantee that your work operates seamlessly while you're experiencing some "me time.”

Creating a Work Plan Before Vacation

Before I begin planning my perfect getaway, I do my best to create a work plan, checklists, and organize my calendar in order not to leave any stone unturned before the trip.  I notify all my clients at least a few months in advance so they can plan accordingly and make sure all assistance are available to take care of everything while I’m gone.

Take some time to plan and organize your work projects so everything is completed or taken care of before you are gone.  After all, your vacation should be what it ought to be.  A vacation, not a work-a-tion. ...continue reading