Consultancy Archives

How To Find Consulting Home Business Leads

When many of us decide to work for ourselves we often do the same thing as we were doing when employed. We are working as accountants, lawyers, writers, plumbers, surveyors or whatever we were doing before, only this time we are working for ourselves and for many of us, that means having our office based at home.

Selling your original skills freelance, or as a consultant, has many difficulties. You lose the support of the organization that you used to work for. You have fewer contacts during the working day to bounce ideas off. Most of all, you do not have any work referred to you from other parts of the business.

Previously you might have turned up at you place of work and found your in-tray full every day. Now, working for yourself as a consultant you have to go out and find every piece of work yourself. Consultancy home business leads must be generated by you.

Where to find your home business leads

The upside of being your own boss and working from home is that you decide what type of work to target. If you are looking for consultancy leads this means that you are seeking to find companies and organizations that are prepared to outsource the type of work that you do. There are a number of different avenues that you must be following, some may work better for you and others not do so well. It is however important that all are followed as each supports the other in different ways.

Advertising material

Everybody should have something that explains the business to a stranger. For a small home based business this does not have to be reams of glossy brochures that you might have been used to when working for a large company. For example a sheet of good quality paper printed on both sides, preferably in color, can be perfect for a sole consultant. This can set out your services and a brief resume of your experience. It will be used to supplement your face to face meetings with potential clients.

The same two sided flyer format can be used to send regular mail shots to prospective customers. There is no doubt that many businesses prefer to receive a well prepared circular occasionally over being bombarded by email marketing shots. Sending around a 1000 at a time, around 3 or 4 times per year can gradually imprint your profile on your clientele. Such circulation does not cost a lot, and the items sent can form inserts for your main brochure.

A main brochure would consist of all your flyers in a simple printed wallet, that you can add to, or take away from, depending on a particular contact you might be meeting. The brochure is a memento of your meeting, that will given at the end of the meeting along with your business card.

Face to face meeting

Depending on your line of work meetings may bring you all of your work or none at all. Whatever the case, meetings are essential to ensure you keep abreast of the sorts of things clients are looking for and so that you can be seen to be active in the market place.

The meetings can be planned in advance, usually arranging to meet the client at their office. Alternatively you should try to attend networking functions and trade events where you know several potential clients will be. Occasional meetings like this can bring in substantial assignments.

Web site marketing

Today you will be at a disadvantage if you do not have a web presence. If you set up a decent web site it would be worth optimizing it so that you receive high volumes of appropriate traffic. Many consultants that would be otherwise unknown pick up a high percentage of their work by having a popular web site. One of the best ways that you can raise the profile of both your web site and yourself is to write technical articles relating to your area of work and have them published as widely as you can on the Internet. If these link back to your web site you will find that they increase your visitors enormously.

You should not ignore email marketing despite the comments above. It can be used to great effect, particularly if you have something important to communicate infrequently. It is also worth building a list generated from visitors to your web site.

Trade directories

Trade directories normally cost money in the form of an annual subscription in order that your details can be added. They do not in themselves often bring substantial work, but act as reference points for those that already have your contact details. It does pay to be in one or two in order to raise your credibility.

If a potential client hears about your services, perhaps he meets you at a seminar. He will take your business card then and possibly visit your web site. He will then check your details against the directory entries before perhaps ringing you up for a further meeting or a quotation for a job. This example shows how to find consultancy home leads it is often necessary to employ several lead generation methods together.

Work From Home

One of the most compelling reasons people consider “consultancy” is that you become your own boss!  As a result you may work from home.  This is attractive to those who hate the thought of driving to work every day – the rat race grind of being stuck in commuter traffic endlessly!

To work from home you need to have a business that will support you – or more than that provide you with an income satisfactory for you aspirations.  For some this may be just enough to justify not working for a wage every day – for others becoming self employed is intended to be a route to riches.

Choosing consultancy means that you are taking something you are good at, perhaps what you were doing as your daily job (e.g. as an accountant, lawyer or marketing executive, and providing advice and services to others for a fee.  For many this will just be an extension of their previous career, because they might have been responsible for winning work, doing it and then making the customer deliver payment!

However, going it alone as a consultant, even if you employ staff, means that the only support you have is what you put in or create yourself.  Therefore starting up as a consultant can be a very lonely business opportunity

My own experiences as a fraud expert and forensic accountant have shown that it is so important that you do as much networking, event attendance and coffee catch ups with business friends as possible.  This maintains a mindset that is strong enough to manage particularly the early days as a consultant working from home.

This can be supplemented by regular contact on relevant internet forums and possibly an occasional chat comment with a friend or two in a similar situation using Skype.

The message I would like to get across when considering the business opportunity of consultancy, probably working from home, is:

…don’t become isolated!  Just because you are not driving into the office every day does not mean that you become a recluse.  If you let this happen, your ability to win new work will suffer and your new business opportunity will be a failure…

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