What is Consultancy?
So let’s address the consultancy side of things: believe me I completely get that making the move from being an employee to becoming a consultant has its challenges! So this blog is something for those of you considering the move, hopefully this is something that will help support you in your transition into the wonderful world of consultancy.
A couple of pointers that may help;
Value Add & ROI
The top of your list as a consultant/freelance/contractor should always be return on investment for your clients. Can they look at the amount of month they have spent with you and see value add and progression? If the answer is yes then they will continue to work with you – if no then you will end up with a cancelled contract or a client who purposefully begins to distance themselves from you.
Considerations: Make sure you can deliver a service that adds real value, something that is different to your competitors or your industry standard, even if the value is your time and specialist knowledge/experience. Ensure you tell your client what the benefits will be to working with you and reinforce the message throughout your consultancy with them. Start building your relationship.
Visibility & Focus
Both are key to make sure that your clients really do feel that the time you spend with them is their time. When onsite with your clients always ensure you have 100% focus on their projects, never be caught out checking emails, browsing the web or generally not being focused. It’s a very quick way to put doubt in your clients mind about how committed you are to their projects and how often you are really working on them. To make your relationship work they have to be confident that they are top of the important list.
Considerations: Make sure you interact with the client and their teams, but not to a point where you are using their time to socialise and distract their employees. Make sure they all see that you are focused on your own project delivery. It may not be the client that you have to impress; they may ask the team what they feel about your input into the workload/projects you are working on.
This is your time in front of your client and their teams. Again really important to make sure when you are onsite with them you are 100% committed to them (as far as they are concerned you have no other clients!). If you need to take time out to do other things then shorten the time onsite and confirm it with them so that they are happy and understand time-frames.
Considerations: Confirm your time onsite – down to the last 15 mins so that your client can see exactly what you have been doing. Use activity logs or online time tracking apps, whichever works best for you but ensure every minute of your time spent is easily accountable and able to be shown to the client on a regular basis should they need it.
Making sure you are all on the same page is essential to ensure the delivery of the work you are hoping to achieve. You can’t achieve if you aren’t sure what the outcomes and successes are meant to be. You definitely can’t succeed in the eyes of your client if they aren’t aware of what you have outlined as your successes.
Considerations: Make sure you are clear, concise and have agreement with the key people. Make sure you document and sign off on the projects you will be working on, what they entail and what the successes will be.
I know from experience that if I’d been told these things at the very beginning of my launch into the consultancy world I’d have gotten to where I wanted to be a lot quicker. So I’m hoping these pointers really do help.