What to consider when venturing into consulting

By theconsultant. Published on Monday April 18, 2022

One day you wake up and realize the 8 to 5 job is not cut out for you. You want to have the freedom to make your decisions. You want to set your own work schedule. You want time to work for you. You want to be even, maybe, have a bigger impact and you think consulting is the way to go. And maybe, you have seen a gap in your area of expertise and want to venture into consulting. But where do you start? By asking the right questions, setting up a plan and just doing it! The best time to start is now.

What do you want to do

To begin with, what do you want to do? Be specific. Go down to the details. Don’t make it vague. This is a soul searching process. You will need to figure it out and determine if what you want to do makes sense to you first. How do you justify it to others? In other words, ‘make it make sense’. Be SMART about it.

“There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” – Seth Godin

Why do you want to do it

Always start with your why. This is important because it will be the North Star. What you look at every single time you face challenges, look for opportunities or when you achieve your milestones and expectations. Of importance is the vision. This is what matters. This will be a guide that will help you not lose track. It will help you stay focused on the main goal.

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” – Simon Sinek,

Who are you targeting

Again, it is very important to be very specific on this. Who are your proprietors? Who are your stakeholders? Who is your audience? Please don’t say the general public or farmers or school children or teachers. Be specific – youth between the age bracket of 20 to 25 living in urban areas, small scale Horticultural farmers in Western Kenya, school going children between the age of 7 and 14 living near national parks and reserves. BE VERY SPECIFIC!

“You cannot know what an audience wants unless you engage them. Clarity comes from engagement—not thought.” – Katelyn Bourgoin

How do you want to do it

You have figured out your what and your why. Now, how do you want to do it? Are there standards and procedures already in existence? Has your idea already been done? There is no need to reinvent the wheel. This will waste a lot of time and as a consultant, time is very important.

“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rodgers

Where do you want to do it

This will easily be determined by your location, your target audience and what you want to do. It may also determine who your clients are and where they live. You may also go down to specifics to where your work station will be and why.

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” – Sheryl Sandberg

When do you want to start

Start now. There is no right time to start. There is no need to wait for the perfect time. It doesn’t exist. But excuses do exist. Be mindful of them. Think about how badly you want to do it.

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney