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Published by Yakambram Govindu

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Published by: Yakambram Govindu on May 03, 2011
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Going towork for alarge companyislike getting onatrain: areyou going 60 miles perhouroris

thetraingoing 60milesan hourandyou’rejustsitting still?


After considering all the previous factors, disadvantages, the knowledge, skills and

personality you need to become a successful consultant, by this point you might be

thinking ‘Is this worth it?!’

Interestingly enough, research conducted in 2000 by MORI (a major market

research agency) into Britain’s self-employed, documented in I Want To Be My Own Boss –

Inside the New Self-Employed Revolution, came up with the following results.

T|me Out!

86% said self-employment wasmoreenjoyablethan havinga permanentjob
85% wouldtakethe samedecisionagaintowork for themselves
78% feeltheynowhaveamuchbetterqualityoflife
65% claimtohavemoretimetodothethingstheyenjoy.
Source:Alodis/MORIpoll 2000

So, in order to assess whether consulting is for you, investigate the area in which you wish

to consult and consider another few key pointers:

do something you really enjoy

build a network; talk to as many people as you can in the business

set realistic goals

be patient.

Exercise 2.7 Is consultingfor you?


Spend a few moments reviewing the information and the characteristics described on the

previous pages and evaluate how closely you meet those criteria.

Do you fully understand the consulting process?

What are your functional skills or specialized content knowledge?

How do you rate your skills?

How credible are you as a consultant?

Does your personality fit?

Did you have a clearly defined code of ethics?

What is the size of your network?

Does consulting fit your lifestyle?

Can you deliver the work?

Can you market the work?

Can you organize the work?

Can you budget to manage the ups and downs?

Is this work something you really enjoy?

34 / Be a Successful Consultant

Evaluating Your Fit / 35


Beforemoving ontoChapter3, thinkaboutthe followingquestions:

haveyoucreatedan objectivelistofprosandcons ofthisprofessiontoyou? Haveyou

discussedthislist withthosewhoare closetoyou? Haveyoudiscussedthelistwith

peoplewhoare consultantsinyourchosenareaofpractice?

Intermsofthe qualities ofsuccessfulconsultants,haveyou evaluatedyourselfagainst
the criticalcategories outlined byKelley?Whatareyourcriticalcompetencies? Where

doyou rateyourselfaslacking skills, knowledgeor expertise? Howcanyoucapitalize on

yourcompetencies? Howcouldyoubuildcapabilities whereyou perceiveyou maybe


Haveyoucompletedtheexercises ontemperament? Haveyou reviewedthe other
temperamentdescriptionssothatyouarefamiliar withthedi¡erencesandcomplexities

ofeachtemperament? What e¡ectdoyouthinkyour temperamentmighthave onyour



WhatType of Consulting Business Are
You Running?

Game plan

The first critical stage in starting your own practice is to be specific about your business

direction by defining your vision for the future of your consulting business, identifying

your unique selling proposition, and categorizing the main responsibilities for your

consulting business.

The purpose of this chapter therefore is to help you:

Create a vision for your consulting business to keep you focused on ‘bad days’.

More clearly articulate your possible strengths and weaknesses as a consultant.

Clearly define what you can uniquely contribute to the client.

Analyse your business using SWOT analysis.

Build an overview of your business activities so that you can focus on what is


Why de¢ne your business beforejumpingin?

Often when individuals consider becoming a consultant, they think of the logistical steps

in getting started such as getting business cards, setting up the office, buying a computer,

etc. But the first critical stage in starting your own practice is to define what you want your

business to ‘be’. Most people begin with a vague notion they want to be a consultant but it

is very important to become specific.



Unique selling


SWOT analysis

Key result areas


Fig. 3.1. Steps in setting business direction.

What Type of Consulting Business Are You Running? / 37


When peopledescribewhatthey wanttodotheymaketwomain mistakes:

First,theyexplainwhatthey wanttodoinvague, long sentences.
Second, they try tobea‘jack-of-all-trades’and notbetiedtoonearea.Tryingtobeall
thingstoallpeoplecanresultin notbeinganythingtoanyone!

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