Lost in Transition
Q: I am currently a media planner at a reputable company. I am looking for more flexibility in my life and would like to start consulting. Do you have any recommendations that will move me in this direction successfully?
Congratulations on your entrepreneurial spirit and creative energy. First off, you have to decide if your goal is to establish yourself as an independent consultant or join a firm that provides consulting services to companies. As an independent consultant, it is wise to first understand the pros and cons. The good news for anyone considering making the transition is that our current economy could provide better opportunities for consultants. In certain industries, companies without budgets for full-time employees may be more apt to bring on consultants. Before leaving your full-time job, it is absolutely imperative to investigate how the current economy is impacting your industry and the opportunities for you as a consultant.
Essentially, as an independent consultant, you are your own boss. Indeed the thought of flexibility and life balance are enticing, however, as a consultant, your schedule may be less predictable. Often, you are working around the clients’ schedule.
In many cases, being an independent consultant can be more lucrative than working in-house but it will take a few months before you start seeing cash flow. Another important consideration is that as the boss, you are carrying the cost of your own health insurance and paid time off.
Before taking the leap, it is prudent to conduct a personal self-assessment of your skills and experience, self-discipline, networks and finances.
A few questions for you to ask yourself include:
· Is my current level of experience sufficient?
· Who are my competitors?
· Is my network robust enough to bring in business?
· Are my finances in order? Do I have enough saved to cover my living expenses for the first four to six months?
· Do I have the appetite to aggressively network and pitch my business to potential clients?
If your answers support the transition, your next step is to create a well thought out business plan. In my discussions with independent consultants and business owners, one thing is sure -- operating without a business plan is similar to driving a car with a blindfold on your eyes.
Set as favorite Bookmark Email this Comments (0)
Subscribe to this comment's feed
Write comment You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.
Click here to read more from Single Edition