Business Consultants, or sometimes also called by different names such as Strategy Consultants, Management Consultants and Management Analysts, undertake to study business model of the client organisation with an objective to evaluate and transform the business. They do so by aiming to improve organizational efficiency, effectiveness and overall productivity. Their suggestions help the business expand, cut costs increase profits or a combination of these.
How to Become a Business Consultant?
Step 1: Have a Good Education Degree
Educational requirements may vary as per the nature of consultancy you wish to offer or the specific industry you may wish to specialise in. While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum you should have, you will gain respect from the prospective clients if you can a post graduate degree or doctorate along with the field experience. Typically, clients look to engage the services of a consultant who has a combination of Engineering Degree with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Degree in Finance such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Accountant (CA), Cost and Works Accountant (CWA).
In addition to a good combination of education degrees in the pocket, the aspirant should be able to communicate effectively using business terminology, use technology to analyze complex systems and employ skills acquired to provide effective solutions.
Step 2: Decide about your line of Specialization
After you begin to work, you need to familiarize yourself with different aspects of the business. This will help you to decide what you would like to specialize in.
Choosing your line of specialization will determine nature of consulting assignments or what kind of business consulting you may like to run.
For example, you may consider out of Sales, Marketing, Human Resources Management, IT Systems, Accounting, Finance, Projects Management etc. Some people specialize in more than one field as well.
Step 3: Gain Sufficient and Relevant Experience in the Field
Business consultants typically have to earn grey hair. In other words, they need to acquire sufficient years of hands on and in depth experience in the chosen field. This could be an industry – such as Pharmaceuticals and / or this could be a domain such as Sales and Marketing of FMCG or Healthcare products.
Becoming an unquestionable authority of sorts is an absolute necessity before stepping into the world of business consulting.
As the experience in the industry and the consulting increases, the business strategy consultants may be able to increase their fee, clientele and scope of role.
Video: How to Become a Business Management Consultant
Step 4: Certification
These certifications could sometimes be a statutory requirement and in general it helps the person to market and present himself better and at a premium as a successful business consultant.
Also earning theses certifications may be especially helpful to those who do not have an MBA degree.
Specialised Institutes like The Institute of Certified Business Consultants, Wilmington and DE, USA, Business Training Institute, Key Biscayne, FL, USA, Institute of Management Consultants USA etc. offer such certifications.
Step 5: Memberships of Chambers of Commerce and Associations
To make yourself be seen at the right time for the desired set of clients, it would be a good idea to enroll yourself as the member of the local chamber of commerce and Industry Association or Association of Business Management Consultants in your area.
This will help you to set up and sustain your practice as a successful business consultant.
Step 6: Develop Communication Skills
The importance of good communication skills to make a person successful in almost any field hardly needs to over emphasized. The role of excellent communication skills assumes all the more importance, especially when where you are selling yourself all the time to corporate businesses.
Make a point to work on your communication in everyday conversation. There is a need to be good at verbal, written and presentation skills. If you think there is a scope for improvement then do not hesitate to take the help of an expert or take communication classes to cover topics like business writing, speech, power point presentation etc.
Please refer to: Effective Personality Development Tips
If shyness is your problem, then please refer to: Personality Development Tips to Overcome Shyness and Gain Self Confidence
Step 7: Become a Business Consultant
Next you have to decide whether you will look for employment in a big international consulting company such as Ernst & Young, McKinsey or want to be an independent consultant. The third option could be to join a consulting firm which is a national or regional level player but is willing to give you a large role.
If you decide to work for business strategy consulting firm and do well in your job, you may have opportunities to become a partner or move on to other high-level management positions.
What is the revenue model of a Business Consultant ?
Management Consultants or Business Consultants are usually self employed professionals or they are the employees of a Consulting Services company. A few are not employed full-time but are associated with one or more companies and they work on assignment basis.
Those who are self-employed enjoy being their own boss and theoretically have more flexibility with their schedule. However, they have a varied set of responsibilities and activities to undertake. For instance, they will be responsible for marketing of their services through building and maintaining a strong client base. This is in addition to working on the project once an assignment is bagged by them.
Business consultants work out of their own office as well from the client’s office. Of course, an individual consultant with no staff or limited staff sometimes prefer to work from home-base office to save cost and commuting time.
Wishing you all the best in your career as a Business Consultant!
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About the Author
Sundeep Kataria is the CEO of ACS Consultants – a Management Consulting Firm. He holds multiple qualifications: MBA, PGDIT (IIFT), MS in Counselling & Psychotherapy and Diploma in Company Law. He has also formally learnt Digital Marketing and Website Making.
In 1995 he pioneered the concept of professional Career Counselling, Executive Coaching and Mentoring. Over the years he has mentored many professionals, like CAs, Engineers, Sales & Marketing Professionals, IT Experts etc.
The unique style of Sundeep Kataria is that he connects with each and every individual personally, holds in depth discussion before undertaking the assignment.