To start and run a consulting business profitably you must know who are your potential clients. Knowing your potential clients is the basis on which you will be marketing your consulting services. And, as a fact of the matter, your consulting business cannot survive without a proper marketing strategy or an effectively actionable marketing plan.
Whether your consulting service is specifically for large corporations or it’s something of small businesses and startups’ interest, let’s list down the reasons for which any organization will hire a consultant.
15 Steps to Find the Target Market for Your Consulting Business
Knowing these reasons and their presence around you will help you identify your target market easily. Let’s see what they are;
1- Expertise: one of the reasons organizations look for a consultant, is his or her expertise. Having skills is not enough; you will need a track record too. Here are some of the highly demanded consulting services.
2- Problem Identification: sometimes employees are too close to a problem inside an organization but they are not able to identify it. That’s when they need a consultant. Such type of consulting services is mostly needed in large organizations. So, you should also know how to rightly price your service.
3- Supplementing the staff; when a business discovers that it can save huge money by hiring a consultant rather than a full-time employee. Such services are much in demand by service-based startups. Depending upon the nature of the startup, you can offer a flat rate or even partner up with them on a profit-sharing basis.
4- When an organization needs a change. Again, this is something required by big corporations and to be the right candidate for such a position, you must have an impressive track record of relevant change you managed earlier.
5- Organization needs you for much-needed objectivity. For instance, an on-page SEO expert who can help the business website get a boost and can suggest guidelines for on-going changes. These services are required one time, or once in a three to six months period, and should be charged accordingly.
6- The organization needs a consultant to train its employees. Again, one-time effort, but it is usually priced higher.
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7- They want to eliminate the whole department without getting a bad impression!
9- An organization needs new ideas to bring new life to an organization.
10- They need more business. Now that totally, depends on the industry you are operating in, If you are a consultant with a huge number of direct business contacts, this type should suit you well, i.e. other than regular consultancy, you can connect businesses with clients for a certain amount of commission.
11- They need to cut down the costs.
12- They need efficiency.
13- They have ideas, but need the right plan/strategy.
14- They need to influence other people with your strong network.
15- They need to reach more people.
Depending upon your expertise and your location you can even create your own market in an innovative direction. The above list is, however, for a quick reference!
Ideally, a consulting service should cater to the needs of businesses of all sizes, i.e. startups, small businesses, and corporates. All you need to do is to have fair pricing and packages for each category, which you can establish with thorough market research and an effective business plan.
Remember that a business plan is a must; don’t worry if you don’t have time to create a detailed one, for now, you can start with a quick one-page business plan, and get a detailed one ready before you start operations for your consulting business.