Consultancy as a business model is growing. With so many new companies out there, the client base is only expanding. Not all of these businesses will have the funding or the know-how to handle all of their needs in-house. The good news is that there are outsourcing solutions. One of the more common firms now being outsourced to is consultancies.
Consultancies are given a problem, and they use their own research to create a working, effective strategy to solve it. When you consider how essential engineers of all types are in solving problems and bringing ideas to life, you start to see just how useful and wonderful an engineering consultancy can be.
The consulting industry is considered to be one of the main driving forces behind technological change and transformation.
As a consultant, you can do what you love and are good at and put your skills to great use while remaining your own boss. While you will be a business owner, the business model of consultancy agencies is entirely different than owning your own engineering firm for a manufacturing company. It can be done just by you with a laptop and a phone to start, allowing you to get started as a consultant a lot sooner and for far less than other job ideas.
That doesn’t mean that you should just jump right in. You need to know how to manage a company and run it. You should also know how to market your company, manage your clients, and have a firm idea of how and where to grow.
Building Up The Skills and Credentials You Need
As an engineer, you will already have a lot of the skills and credentials that you need to take your work into consultancy, but you may not yet know everything you need to start your own engineering consultancy firm. You can absolutely look into working for an existing consultancy to start, but for the most freedom and eventually the biggest payoff, you will want to start and grow your own business.
A great way to do both is to earn an MBA. There are many great online MBA degree programs, and many are well suited for engineers. The best, however, are the ones that allow you to earn more than one at a time. For example, you should be able to earn both an MBA and also a Master’s in engineering management or in operations management. You can really focus on both degrees by adding on certificates.
Consultancies need to understand how businesses work in order to provide the best and most comprehensive services, especially to new engineering firms. You also need to know how to run and manage a successful business of your own. An MBA, and another engineering masters that you can earn concurrently, is a great way to do both.
Building Up Your Client List
Start first with those you know. Your network up until this point is a great place to market yourself and to get started. After all, one of the best ways to market your company in the future will be to showcase the many happy clients you have helped in the past. Start by those who already know you and trust your skillset, and then use that to market beyond.
Another way to market and build up your clients is by obtaining as much media coverage and accolades as you can. See if you can apply for competitions, awards, and so on. Write for engineering magazines and other publications to get your business’s name out there.
Not only will these potentially bring in new clients, but they can also win them over when you use more traditional marketing tactics to entice them to your site.
More than anything, however, you need to use your previous clients. Offer benefits and other incentives whenever a previous client refers you, especially in the beginning when you are still making a name for yourself.
Have a Plan in Place to Grow
While you can genuinely start your consultancy with just yourself and your own skillset, if you start bringing in clients and seeing success, you’ll find there are simply not enough hours in the day. Eventually, you will need to hire others, including researchers, to do the legwork, and other engineering specialists to take on more clients. There are so many ways that you can grow, but to avoid issues and overspending when you do, you need a solid plan in place.
Your business plan should outline how you intend to grow and the tools, roles, and solutions that you will use to get there. Only with that forethought can you consistently drive your new consultancy towards success.