10 Things I Wish I Knew BEFORE I Started a Consulting Business

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

10) Pace Yourself… Being an entrepreneur can actually turn out to be MORE demanding than having a traditional job. You have to set good boundaries for yourself with family and friends, manage your time efficiently, and be sure to create and adhere to a Self Care schedule. You’re going to need it to survive both the booms and the lulls of business growth and development.

9) Have a repeatable SYSTEM for service delivery. If you don’t have a System, it’s very difficult to explain to people what you actually do. Also, you end up with redundancies in operations, and in how you complete your project deliverables as well. Take some time to consider not just what services you provide, but HOW do you provide those services.

8) Get a TEAM. As AMAZING as you are, you are limited in knowledge, time, and capacity. Also, being an Entrepreneur can be a very isolating experience as well. So having a team member that you can bounce your ideas off of is essential to maintaining your sanity, as well as growing your business.

7) As a small business owner, you will ALWAYS be in need of FREE support, particularly regarding Financial, Marketing, and Legal concerns. Enter Start Small Think Big! They are a wonderfully efficient non-profit organization that provides excellent advice, and can also connect you to relevant professionals who provide pro bono services in these areas.

6) In case you don’t already know, I’m an introvert. What that basically means is that the idea of Networking and Small Talk makes me cringe! LOL! However, those 2 skills are absolutely ESSENTIAL if you plan to stay in business. Dale Carnegie’s famous book, How to Win Friends & Influence People has saved my life, and bailed me out at numerous Chamber of Commerce meetings!

5) Scaling my business has always been something that I’ve wanted to do, but didn’t have the faintest clue how to actually do it! One of my team members (see #8!) gave me a book entitled: Build a Business, Not a Job by David Finkel! Mind blowing! An easy, step-by-step process, complete with checklists, which I like!

4) As my company Pure Momentum Consulting, LLC serves non-profit organizations, one of the biggest challenges that I had, particularly at the beginning, was trying to find a way to get in front of groups of prospective clients. The Tri-Valley Non-Profit Alliance, and the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy both have served as places where I have met clients, AND most importantly build relationships with colleagues and other fellow consultants, which has been critical to our success. I’m so grateful for these 2 organizations.

3) Once you start hiring employees, the next big concern can be which payroll provider to use. Another team member (see a pattern here??) introduced me to Gusto, and I’ve never looked back! Not only do they make managing and running payroll simple, they also have an extensive Human Resources component as well, which is critical for your employee on-boarding process. Now I can do a complete employee on-boarding in about 20 minutes! Looking forward to adding other company benefits such as medical insurance and retirement plan options very soon as well!

2) We can’t talk about business without discussing money. How much is coming in? How much is going out? And the infamous: Are we actually making any profit??? Bench has become my very best financial friend! Their customer service and how they manage bookkeeping and taxes is absolutely incredible, especially for the price point! I can rest at night knowing that I can keep an accurate close eye on what’s happening in my business financially.

1) This is the one you’ve probably been waiting for: How can I get new clients?? Once of the worst and oftentimes discouraging parts of running a consulting business is when you’re about to end a project, and you have no new projects on the horizon, this can be even more disheartening, if you have a team that relies on your business for a portion of their monthly income, especially right now. This is where NOI Digital comes to save the day! I’ve been courted by many people who said that they could overflow my business with warm leads, but as a Systems- minded Consultant, no one impressed me more than NOI Digital. Give Neville a ring!

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