You too can be a Consultant ! - THE BUSINESS PACKAGE


Monday, June 8, 2020

You too can be a Consultant !

The Business Package Series on Consulting.

By: Waheed Ogunjobi

A Consultant is simply anyone who gives advice or performs other profrssional or semi- professional nature of work in return for monetary compensation. This means that regardless of your area of interest or expertise, you can become a Consultant. This is because, everyone has a unique background with special experiences and interest that are duplicated by few others and that are in demand by certain individual or companies.

However, there have been growing concern about the requisite knowledge needed to be a consultant. There is the notion in some quarters that being a Consultant required the acquisition of some advanced degree. The simple answer to this according to experts is capital No!. Although, the orientation of a Consultant according to William Cohen is clearly professonal, there have been many successful consulatants with limited formal academic traning.

 In order words,being a Consultant does not necessarily require bogus academic qualification or certification. The most important thing is that you have the necessary exprlerience, qualifications and skills to help with a task that an individual or company wants performed. Where and how you obtained this skills is of less importance. There is a proviso however, if your intent is to work as a management Consultant for a major consulting firm and not working on your own, a Masters of Business Administration ( MBA) will probably be required . This is just by the way.

Independent Consulting is one of the most incredible business around. Apart from the fact that you can make a whole lot of money on your own, you can also pick your hours to work with without necessarily thinking about travelling or where to pack your car or thereabout. Another good side to consulting is that you can do it either on full or part time basis.

You may be wondering what skills are you going to deplore in consulting business. Mind you, that skill you possess that you think are not valuable can indeed add value to other people.That is the skill someone is waiting to tap from. Like someone rightly said " What you master is what the world will pay for ". If you specialise in an areas and you become so adept at it,that skill is enough for you to be a Consultant because some other people actually needed the idea. I have seen someone who became a Consultant putting marks on Yoruba words because he was so adept at it and today he gets jobs of Yoruba stress marks and intonations from different parts of the world , yet he has no academic qualification. This is to emphacise the essence of specialisation and professialism. If you master a skill and concentrate more on it,you will soon be in high demand and apart from your full time work,you can sell that skill to others who needed it at a few. Do not be a Jack of all trade, Master of none. Instead , be a master of one which will eventually stand you out.

Going forward, after you must have pissed the skill that is in high demand , what should be of utmost importance is how to connect with the right people who needed your skills or expertise. This can be achieved in many ways. You can choose to advertise your skill or expertise to prospective clients. Another better way is to do some unsolicited consulting for some individuals or Organisations. Most often times than not, people do attach monetary values to everything they do, whereas not every task you undertake for people will be adequately or handsomely rewarded. There may be some seevices you will provide for people pro bono just to launch yourself into reckoning. Such endeavour will allow people to know what you can do and how well you can do it. Once that is achieved , you can proceed to charge any amount for the service henceforth.

Another beautiful way of getting contract as a Consultant is to ensure that any little pieces of work that comes your way , you treat and execute it with utmost seriousness and professionalism. Once this is done , there are more chances of referral . Another schorlar succinctly put it " You can not get connected , unless you are recommended ".  This in essence means that , you can get consulting job through referral. 

Let me share some personal experience with you. I have had cause to work on a number of personal books from concept to editing , to graphics and priniting through self publising. This has endeared some colleagues to me who entrusted me with their book work from manuscript to print. As a result , I picked up some consulting angle of my career and through that I have worked on a number of book projects; proof reading , editing and publiahing. Through this endeavor, the book publishing aspect of my consulting career is only waiting for full commercialization. But, truth is that most people are already entrusting their book work to us. 

The bottomline from this illustration is that you too can be a Consultant by deploying that skill you think does not count. We shall be treating issues on how to market your consulting skill to the world . What should however be at the back of your mind is that you too can be a Consultant with or without advanced qualification. Yes you can! Together we can.

See you next time ! 

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