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Gain the Right Experience If You Want To Set Up a Business as a Consultant

Interesting stat:  27% of baby boomers want to be a consultant in retirement. (Merrill Lynch Survey)

Working as a consultant – you are selling valuable information and analysis to others who may not have this knowledge and can’t easily get it.

You have worked for years at your full time job and you have developed experience and knowledge that will be invaluable to other people.

You are selling your KNOWLEDGE.

When you take up a job, in any sphere where you have some education or experience, you are constantly adding to your own knowledge. A stage does come when your reactions to most situations are automatic and deriving from past experience and a deep understanding of your subject of expertise. This is the time when you can use this experience to become a consultant to others in a similar field of business.

Consultants are those who are able to offer expert advice to others in fields as varying as law, human resources, entertainment, technology, management, environment, accounting, engineering, design and communication. It is also possible to become a consultant in public affairs, as long as the consultant has built up a reputation in being able to understand governance and politics that people in this field have to contend with. When you become a consultant you are normally self-employed, or be part of a panel of consultants in a big consulting organization.

To become a consultant, the person must have an area of expertise that is acknowledged and proven, while in some fields, certification or passing of exams is also required. A good track record of having helped others, having completed certain projects with hands on control and an ability to guide others of a team to achieve results is a must. A consultant may not have complete control over a project, but is often required to take responsibility for its failures and successes. A consultant is one who has the full faith and understanding of the management of the business offering such consultancy and is literally expected to work as their representative.

To be a good consultant it is important that you have the right educational background in the field of expertise where you want to be a consultant. It can always help if this is at a much higher level than normally found in the field, as this will bring automatic acceptance from people with qualifications in the same field. You must have the right expertise and practical experience which are needed by the business or people for whom you are a consultant. A consultant also needs to be constantly updated about developments in the field, and the latest technologies and techniques in use by successful people in that line of business.

One very important aspect of being a successful consultant is to have an abundance of communication skills. A consultant is one who is normally far removed from the actual nitty-gritty of a business, and is only expected to guide the people in it to get the desired results. For this, it is very important that a consultant be able to communicate ideas and explain in detail what needs to be done.

Consultants must constantly be aware of the market and happenings in their filed, so that they are able to identify potential clients to whom they can offer their services. They can then put forward specific proposals which will be of help to that business. Most business managements will appoint consultants and give them specific briefs, which may be to improve efficiencies, reduce costs, reduce overheads, and achieve sales targets and other goals. Fees are quite often linked to results and a consultant working on such a basis has to be sure that any task taken on is achievable within the known parameters.