Today, I will be discussing the key steps to starting and managing a consulting firm in Nigeria successfully. Rest assured that this guide will equip you with a basic understanding of what it takes to start your consulting firm.
First, as a consultant, know that companies will need you to guide them in management skills, specialist knowledge, and strategic planning, to enhance or rectify some facets of their businesses or lifestyles.
You should take into consideration that to be a consultant, you must consistently seek knowledge and improve your expertise. This is so because consultancy is a business that depends largely on knowledge, personal skills, and experience.
Possessing the above qualities will make you an expert that is sought after in your chosen career. Also, you will get endless demands from different categories of people seeking your services. Individuals, start-up businesses, and already established businesses will constantly request for your professional services.
The services of a consultant are required in all aspects and sectors of the economy, such as banking, education, health, science, fashion, entertainment, and others.
What Does Consultancy Mean?
The job of a consultancy business is to give professional service to every individual business or company that seeks management skills, expert knowledge, or strategic planning to improve the condition of their businesses or lifestyles. In addition, consultancy businesses extend their services to start-up entrepreneurs that need advice on how to launch, manage, and grow their businesses efficiently.
Presently, the demand for consultancy business in different industries has soared. This development has prompted experts in various fields to start their respective consulting firms. Unfortunately, some of those who claim to be experts in this industry are unqualified. As a result of their inability to deliver their promises, they lose clients, close businesses, and eventually return to the labor market seeking other opportunities.
To be successful in the consultancy business, you must imbibe the culture of smart and hard work. The factors that will keep you going in the industry are passion, discipline, commitment, motivation, and of course, an unquenchable thirst for skills and knowledge. The above-mentioned qualities separate the wheat from the chaff in the consultancy business. These are the steps to take to be successful in your consultancy business.
1. Choose an Area of Specialization
In your quest for starting a consultancy business, you must be an expert. Even if you are a professional in different fields, you must identify a particular niche to specialize in. What aspect of the business would you like to consult on? Often, retirees or experts who are out of jobs start consulting businesses. So, you can also start your own.
2. Acquire the Essential Knowledge
It is very important to improve yourself by acquiring the requisite knowledge and skills before starting a consulting firm. Without sufficient skills or knowledge, a consultancy business may not make a headway.
Clearly put, if you lack the requisite qualities stated earlier, never venture into a consultancy business so as not to harm your clients’ businesses. This is the most important point that you should strictly adhere to. All other points are secondary to this.
3. Network With Other Experts
Building a strong network is crucial to starting a consulting firm, so ensure you have one. A large network will enable you to get consistent requests from clients.
4. Have a Well-Designed Business Plan
This step is also a vital element in starting your consulting firm. Make sure you identify and outline a clear and realistic plan in a written form. This process will help you to foresee the growth of your business and appraise the feasibility of your idea. Also, it will make your plan efficient and manageable. You can also use your business plan to attract investors. This is the exact point where you build a solid foundation for your firm. Meanwhile, it is advisable to submit your business plan to a person that is more knowledgeable than you to assess it and guide you through to avoid any possible pitfalls.
5. Register Your Business
Before you launch your consultancy firm, make sure you register the business and comply with the statutory requirements guiding your industry.
Abide strictly by these regulations that could otherwise cause a problem in the future. The step involves creatively choosing a befitting and simple business name that your prospective clients can easily remember.
6. Have an Office
As a budding businessman, you don’t need a gigantic physical structure to run your business, especially when you can use online platforms to your advantage. So, the absence of physical space should not deter you from launching your consultancy firm. With your online tools, such as a website, an email address, and a social media account, you can kick off your consultancy business.
Take the opportunities offered by social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to create your brand and attract prospective clients to your business. Either you have a physical office or not, the importance of social media in promoting your business can never be overemphasized. Before setting up your office, you can hold business meetings at parks, malls, or eateries whenever you need to meet your clients in person.
7. Promote The business
Now that you have set up a consulting firm, you need to go out there to attract clients. Advertise your business using word of mouth. Print and share complimentary cards, and use other offline and online promotional methods.
Like any other business, launching a consulting firm in Nigeria is not an easy task. However, having sufficient information about the business can make a huge difference.
This article discussed the key steps to starting a consulting firm in Nigeria. If you can implement the information shared here, you would be able to become a successful business consultant within a short time.
Cheers! See you in my next article. Don’t forget to drop your questions if you have any. I will be glad to help you further. Thank you.