Business model: Consultant

I love business models. They act as a type of “structure” around which you can create a functioning, profitable business. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel — you just need to find a business model that works for you and “plug in” your USP and your offering.

THE CONSULTANT BUSINESS MODEL

This is one of my favorite business models. It works like this: Identify your expertise in a particular area, set up a website, and pitch your services to prospective clients. That’s it! It’s such a versatile business model so the exact details will vary from one consultant to another. This was my business model for years when I was a freelance writer. This is my wife’s business model in her work as a consultant to children’s program directors for local religious organizations. In fact, this is the business model of just about every freelancer, consultant, coach, and strategist out there.

Success tips:

  • You need some type of experience or expertise or education to competently deliver your services but you don’t have to be the world’s foremost leading expert. You just need to find a target market that you can serve. Even a little experience is useful. Remember: “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”
  • One of the things that makes this business model so powerful is its versatility. You can start your consulting work in one field, transition into another field, and never miss a beat.
  • One of the other advantages is how quickly you can get up and running. It’s a service business, which means that you don’t need a lot of equipment or inventory. So if you have been dreaming about starting a business, you could theoretically have a business up and running this evening using this business model.
  • I also like this business model because it you can plug other monetization opportunities into it. You can pull in things from other business models, you can write books, sell products, whatever. It’s “extendible”.
  • A challenge that many people face when they use this business model is the challenge of selling. If you’re not used to selling then it might seem intimidating.
  • Related to the above: A lot of people fail because they do the marketing but not the selling and wonder why they aren’t getting any clients. This is one of the most common reasons that businesses fail.
  • I’ve also found a challenge when scaling up. You might disagree but, in my experience, this is a hard business model to scale. Your time is so closely tied to the delivery of the product or service. You almost become a celebrity brand of sorts (or, at the very least, your personal brand gets tied up in the business brand and it’s hard to extricate those two). Some businesses do it but many don’t… not without transforming the business model pretty dramatically.

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