How To Start Consulting as a Side Hustle

Monday, September 10, 2018

A lot of people have been branching out in life and becoming consultants and I think it's a great and empowering thing, especially for women with all the responsibilities at home.  So if you want to start consulting as a side hustle and eventually go full time I put together some helpful tips to get started.

#1- Start Networking Early
Some people try to start networking after they've begun their consulting or whatever work they want to do on the side. The problem here is that you're already behind because you don't have a client list or potential client list.  So if you are even beginning to think of becoming a consultant make sure you start letting any professional/business contact you're around know.  Give them your personal information (number and email address) and ask for theirs.  When you begin your consulting gig you can reach out to each contact personally and even include a freshly updated resume.  

You wouldn't open a store without advertising the grand opening day would you? Then why would you even think of becoming a consultant without telling anyone?

#2- Have a Contract Ready
Make sure you create a consulting agreement template that's ready to go when you're securing a client.  You'll protect yourself but also save time because you won't have to draw up an agreement from scratch.  You should also have a one pager that you can send out to potential clients that explains what you do and how it can benefit them.  Templates are lifesavers, trust me!

#3- Have a Business Plan
Figure out what you're good at and then make a plan for it.  If it's writing grants and contracts, then devise a plan on how you would work on that task for clients.  Think of the knowledge you have and how your clients could benefit from that knowledge.

#4- Determine Your Rates in Advance
Some people try to determine what they'll charge a client as they go but that can be risky in the beginning when you're just getting your feet on the ground.  Set a fair rate and stick to it.  If you charge to little of a rate for one client but more for another, you may feel less motivated for the lesser paying client.  That's why it's always important to use standard rates when starting out, with the ability to still tailor the price to the person's specific needs.

#5- Set a Schedule
In order to be your own boss and work for yourself, you still need to have discipline and routine.  Have a designed area of your home strictly for consulting work. Set up a schedule based on the time of the day you're more mentally productive and energized.  Select specific days of the week as meeting/conference call days and other days solely dedicated to the work for each client.

#6- Update Your Goals
Your goals should away change as your consulting business grows and you get more clients.  It's always healthy and motivating to increase your goals based on your current workload and recent successes. 

I hope some of these tips have helped you! Good luck!

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