The problems faced by someone setting up and running a training consultancy fall into two broad categories: those faced by all consultants, and those specific to the education industry.
These are problems faced by anyone considering a career as a consultant, whether that be in management, I.T. or training. useyourspeak As such, they are well recognised, and have spawned a whole cottage industry of consultancy self-help literature.
Lack of Resources
A lack of resources: people, time, and money; is a problem faced by most small to medium enterprises, especially when they are just starting out. The lack of staff can be alleviated to a small extent by building and relying on a good network of peers and a support group of family and friends, or the temporary and part-time employment of office help.
A lack of sufficient working capital is the primary cause of 13% of business bankruptcies. To avoid this, a consultant needs a reserve fund of cash or line of credit. worldintrend From an informal survey of computer consultants that I’ve worked with, redundancy payouts and second or re-draw mortgages seem to be popular sources of start-up capital. You might also consider seeking venture capital, listing on the stock exchange, and grant funding. Of these, I’ve only ever heard of consultants obtaining venture capital, usually from a relative or friend, which often led to personal problems between them further down the track.
In his book “Great Consulting Challenges: And How to Surmount Them”, Weiss states: “otherwise excellent consultants are starving because they don’t know how to market and refuse to learn. A great many mediocre consultants are doing quite well because they’ve mastered marketing”. Knowing how to market pre-supposes knowledge of your customers, your competitors and the unique value you can offer to potential clients in your area. tokopediaweb Knowing these things, you might explore: giving presentations, advertising, writing articles, radio interviews, newsletters, conferences, press kits, writing a book, publishing in journals, undertaking research projects, making phone or personal calls, writing letters, sending emails or faxes, creating brochures, giving and attending receptions, and creating a web site. Obviously, this is a large area of expertise to master, and you might benefit from the advice of a marketing consultant; a tertiary degree in marketing, or at least a study of marketing texts and web sites.
Even with great marketing, potential customers can be wary of new consultants, preferring to use recognised ‘brands’ for mission critical training. Reputation is an important intangible asset, and one to be carefully built by networking, publishing and speaking at engagements. These days you would also have to be prepared for ‘googling’ – having your clients look for evidence on your expertise on the web. To raise your web profile you could publish in the local press, journals and of course, on the web; perhaps maintaining a blog, posting to mailing lists and forums, and creating a web site.
Australian Bankruptcy Reports on the “major” and “contributing” causes of bankruptcies listed management “inexperience” as a major cause of 29.0 percent and contributor to a further 20.6 percent of total bankruptcies. lafoxmedia Obviously good record keeping and planning skills are necessary for a viable business, but don’t underestimate the time and skills required. Quarterly business activity statement submissions; yearly tax returns for you and any company you might have set up; superannuation; insurance; pay as you go taxes; leases; paying bills for utilities, consumables and equipment; payroll tax and tracking fringe benefits and deductible items all take a toll on productive work hours.