Consulting is such an empowering career, and it's all the more exciting when you take your solo or micro consulting business into a medium or large business to help them with their most pressing challenges.
Contrary to popular belief, rather than chasing specific income goals or riches, most people start their own consulting business to give themselves freedom from employment.
That's just as well, as less than 50% meet their annual revenue predictions!
You see, running a consulting business is a lot more challenging than many will have you believe. There's no silver bullet. No one hack or secret. And Facebook ads won't make you an overnight success either!
You think running a consulting business is easy? Well here's what owners of solo and micro-consulting businesses tell me:
For many consulting business owners they think the answer is simply to get more clients. And I can understand that.
Yet most consulting businesses aren't even set-up to handle lots of clients. The majority reach capacity at between 3 and 5 active projects, with few who can handle clients into double-figures.
It's often because they're stuck on Time & Materials billing - trading time for money.
On top of that, their business is wholly reliant on them. They have no hope of being able to sell in a team, or achieve higher profit margins with outcome-based fees.
This is also understandable though, as the majority of people start their consulting business selling their existing talents.
Trading off of their technical capabilities, maybe as a management consultant, an IT consultant, a HR consultant, a financial advisory consultant, or a strategy and business consultant.
That's where their superpower lies. In the technical expertise. Where they're an expert.
Where they're not an expert, and often have very limited experience, is in marketing and sales.
Being able to generating leads from cold traffic (people who don't know you) and warm traffic (people who are aware of you and may have indicated an interest).
What experience they might have in sales is in a pre-sales capacity where the client has already clearly identified a need and is waiting to sign-off the proposal. Or they've only really sold to people who already know them very well!
The secret to building a successful consulting business is firstly to create something that is sustainable, and ideally something that you can enjoy!
Sadly, many consulting business owners end up in a business that they hate as a result of the stress it causes them.
But once your business is sustainable you can start to scale it. That's when the magic occurs. When you can start to really enjoy it!
I'm not saying it's easy though, or that there won't be ups and downs.
To get off the starting grid, and to smooth the journey along the way, it is essential to have a system. A turnkey system.
A turnkey system that focuses on the 4 core elements that make a consulting business successful. They are: Attract, Convert, Deliver and Scale.
When I first started my consulting business I'd been consulting for nearly 20 years.
I'd consulted across multiple continents, countries and market sectors, and for some of the world's biggest companies in their respective sectors.
As Practice Director I'd opened up new offices and built new consulting practices.
But sadly, none of this prepared me for the challenges of running my own consulting business!
So along the way I invested heavily - to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds in business coaches, training courses and programmes.
Yet very little of that investment was actually of any value to my consulting business - something I found out the hard way!
Out of frustration I determined I just had to figure this stuff out for myself.
That's when I created the Consulting Compass.
It's a framework for starting, growing and scaling a consulting business. Its core purpose is to create structure, and to ensure that you can join the dots - from your client attraction (marketing), to your sales conversion, through your project delivery, and ultimately to how you scale your business.
You see, there's no point having a killer marketing method if you can't make a profitable sale, which is then made worse by inefficient delivery.
Everything in your business needs to gel together. It needs to flow.
You Attract leads that you Convert into sales.
Your sales become the projects you need to Deliver efficiently and effectively.
From there you can Scale your business.
These are the 4 core pillars of a successful consulting business - Attract, Convert, Deliver and Scale.
Together they work as a machine. And if everything works correctly, you've built a money-making machine that you just need to keep oiled and maintained.
More importantly, you've built a consulting business that gives you the freedom and the autonomy that you dreamed of - serving clients with your core skills and expertise, rather than spending all your time trying to learn new skills in the things you don't want to do be doing!
Oh, and that dream lifestyle?
Let's be honest, it's not working from a beach on your laptop. Or the perennial pursuit of a "7-figure business".
It's a consulting business that you enjoy working in, and that gives you back time and financial freedom. Whether that's a consistent $100k/year, a $1m/year or more.
(Hint: If it's a 7-figure business you're after, you're going to need a team; probably a few people - maybe as many as 10! Don't believe anyone that tells you otherwise!)
Here's what the Consulting Compass looks like:
The Consulting Compass takes the four core pillars and expands upon them to identify what we call the 12 levers to consulting business success.
Too many consulting business owners end up reinventing the wheel and trying to do it all by themselves.
This is not only time consuming and expensive, but it's needless!
Having developed the Consulting Compass framework, we also developed our implementation programme known as:
Success in a B2B consulting business starts with marketing and sales.
Focusing on the top half of the Consulting Compass framework - Attract and Convert - our programme, - The Six Figure Consultant - is an an 8-week intensive programme that ensures you create and implement an effective marketing system and sales machine in your B2B consulting business.
To ensure that you can attract the attention of your ideal clients without having to become a full-time marketer.
It will elevate you from someone living on the revenue roller coaster - where your business revenue is up and down and entirely unpredictable - to a business with a consistent flow of leads, a winning sales process, and an effective pricing model.
It will help you to develop a sustainable business that you love!
The programme is designed for you to work 'on' your business with support and guidance for a 8-week period. It consists of four components:
These components have been designed to overcome many of the failings we've experienced ourselves in training and coaching programmes. Specifically, to overcome the general ineffectiveness of online courses, the programme includes group coaching sessions twice each week.
To overcome the frustrations of coaching being limited to the training materials only, we include mentoring. The chief aim is to provide tailored advice and guidance to you, during the 8 weeks of the programme, on any matter related to running your consulting business.
And finally, so that you don't get stuck in the weeds with detail, we provide you with a number of key business assets that save you both time and money. These include:
The programme runs for 8 weeks and consists of 8 modules (opened weekly), each containing 5 lessons:
If you have an existing B2B consulting business and you have landed clients...
If you are about to start your consulting business and are yet to land any clients (but only if you have at least 5 years experience in the niche in which you want to consult)...
If you are currently, or would like to, sell your consulting services to medium and large businesses...
If you are prepared to go to client site to deliver your consulting (this programme is NOT for online-only businesses)...
...then this programme is for you!
Unfortunately, the term 'Consulting' is vague and ill-defined. Often it gets confused with the term 'Coaching'.
We have a firm belief that, whilst the activities of a consultant and a coach maybe similar at times, a consulting business is very different from a coaching business. To ensure absolute clarity, we created our Manifesto to layout the aspirations of our coaching clients.
The Six Figure Consultant course is for three groups of people:
The Six Figure Consultant course is for business-to-business consulting businesses that aim to sell their services to medium and large businesses. You don't have to be yet, but that must be your target.
The course is not suitable for businesses who sell to consumers, solo business owners, or small businesses.
Anyone looking for a remote-only online business. We help you to consult to mid and large corporates. That means you'll need to go and see them. To be face-to-face with them. If you want a business where you can work from wherever you want, or sit on a beach all day, then this isn't for you. We focus on the real-world of business, not the nonsense you see in social media ads!
Finally, this is not for coaches. Coaching and consulting are NOT the same thing despite what many people believe. This programme won't help you to run a successful coaching business.
In my quest to build a successful consulting business I tried most of the other courses that are out there.
The Six Figure Consultant programme is different because:
The Six Figure Consultant programme is 8-weeks long.
I never liked the term homework when I was at school, let alone now I'm an adult!
But in short, if you want to get the most out of this programme then there will be tasks for you to complete each week. Why wouldn't there be!
However, we know that life gets in the way, as too does real client work. Of course, you get out what you put in, but the programme is designed so as not to be overwhelming. And you'll have lifetime access to the online training materials so if you don't get everything accomplished in the 8 weeks, you can still carry on beyond that timeframe on your own.
Yes. Everyone has delivery commitments that can make it difficult at times. However, we do encourage you to attend the live Q&A sessions so that you’ll get the most out of the course and be able to interact with your peers.
There's a ton of courses out there to teach you Facebook marketing.
And I use Facebook marketing for my coaching business. But I've never found a consulting client through Facebook. That's not to say it's impossible, but Facebook ads are an easy way to lose a lot of money very fast, and Facebook is not where your clients are at - at least, not doing business anyway!
Instead we focus on using LinkedIn organically (no ad spend) to reach out to your target audience.
No-one needs another shelf ornament!
Everything you need while you’re in the program is accessed in the private member area online.
The benefit of this to you is that, for as long as the materials are available, you get access. That includes updates created after your 8-weeks in the programme.
If we’ve missed anything, or there’s something you need to know, book yourself on a free Breakthrough call. On the call we'll discuss the strategy for your firm, and we can determine if there's a fit for us to work together.
Creator of Consulting Compass
Hi, I'm Martin. I always knew I'd run my own consulting business one day.
And after nearly 20 years of being an employed consultant, I went out on my own.
If only I'd have known how hard it really would be!
Anyway, 5 years on and I was still in business, despite there being so much conflicting information out there about how to run a successful consulting business.
That's why I created the Consulting Compass framework. To teach people what I believe and know is the best way to start, run and grow a successful consulting business.
Copyright - Consulting Compass