Are You A Business Consultant That Have Specialised Skills You Can Use?
One of the most important aspects to consider when you want to become a Business Consultant, and in particular, a Consultancy that specialises in offering Company Registration and Related Services to clients is to appreciate the fact that the industry is very competitive. Most of the competitors offer a turnkey solution to their clients, i.e. they do all the administrative and paperwork on behalf of clients for a fee. Following is a list of some of the Leading Competitors in the industry; my advice would be to critically analyse their service offering, costs, scope of the work they do on behalf of clients. With this information in hand, you will be able to firstly identify whether a ‘gap’ exist for you to effectively compete against these and other firms. You need to determine what can you offer different or in addition to these firms. Moreover, you need to determine whether you will be competing on Price (Cheaper); Delivery (Quicker Turnaround Times); Geography (Your Location/Niche Market), etc
On the administrative side of becoming a Business Consultant, you may wish to explore the opportunity of offering a ‘Virtual Assistant’ service, where you are effectively an ‘extension’ of a client’s administration department. You can offer any administrative services, e.g. typing letters, doing presentations, booking appointments, etc. Whether you’re running a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a private company, you have to be registered with the South African Revenue Services (SARS). If you’ve registered a company with CIPC, you’ll automatically be registered as a tax payer with SARS. Sole proprietors or partners need to register as provisional tax payers directly, and this can be done at any SARS office or online. For further information and to download the relevant forms, visit the SARS website, where you find exact information aimed at Small Businesses and Private Individuals.
Many Business Consultants work on a retainer system. It is just like having a monthly salary. With a retainer, you agree with your client to be on call for a specified number of hours, days, weeks or even the whole month, for an agreed-upon monthly fee. Alternatively, you can bill your client per project, per service, per hour, dependent on the requirements and needs of your client. In South Africa there are many businesses, especially SMEs that don’t have all the skills internally and would require the assistance of a Business Consultant. Start your research by compiling a market analysis. This is a regional/area study of economic, demographic and other factors made to determine supply and demand, market trends, and other factors which may be important to your new business. Make your study as complete as possible. Use the internet to conduct research. You can also approach Chambers of Commerce, Universities, Press Releases, Business Directories, Academic Studies, etc. to help you to narrow down your target by interest, demographic, and common trends. These are the kind of questions you need to ask:
- Who is your target audience?
- Where is your target audience located?
- How will you attract them to your consulting services?
- Who else is competing for their loyalty and devotion?
- Are you targeting business or consumer sectors?
- What extra value can you offer?
- Are your rates competitive in comparison to your competitors?
With all the above being said, it would be advisable, if you are currently employed, to start your Business Consulting Service on a part-time basis. This will not only reduce your risk of no/limited income but it will provide you with an invaluable opportunity to ‘test’ your market and assumptions and determine whether in fact, there are ‘room’ for you to enter the market effectively.