Learn about setting up and how to operate a successful consultancy practice.
- Learn about planning a consultancy practice - including how to get into consultancy, devising and implementing a business plan.
- Learn about generating and retaining business.
- Learn about the essentials of record keeping for your business.
- Learn how to maintain and expand your business.
- Our courses are self-paced, so you choose when and where to study.
- Exceptional tutor support - our students have unlimited access to university trained professionals with decades of industry experience.
Course Structure and Lesson Content
There are eight lessons in the course as follows:
Lesson 1. Determining if a Consultancy Practice is for You
- Attributes of successful consultants.
- Advantages and disadvantages.
- Codes of Conduct.
- Are you ready?
Lesson 2. Planning a Consultancy Practice: Part 1
- Methods of getting into consultancy.
- Business structure and name.
- Working from home or an office.
- Set up costs.
- Surviving start up.
- Getting assistance
Lesson 3. Planning a Consultancy Practice: Part 2
- A comprehensive Business Plan and Implementation / Pro-forma
Lesson 4. Knowing What to Charge
- Your costs.
- Available Working Time.
- Different ways to charge.
- Value based fees and justifying your fees.
Lesson 5. Setting Up Your Consulting Practice
- Letting clients find out about you/Advertising/Marketing.
- Creating a press kit.
Lesson 6. Keeping Accounts and Records
- Keeping Records.
- Source documents.
- The invoice.
- Being organized.
Lesson 7. How to Generate Business and Keep It
- Using agents/brokers.
- Using other consultants.
- Asking advice from clients and potential clients.
- Asking for a reference.
- Writing articles.
- Successful client relations.
- Keeping clients.
- What to do if a potential client says ‘no’.
- Principles of acquiring business.
Lesson 8. Maintaining Your Consultancy Practice
- Professional development.
- Hiring staff to expand your business.
- Creating passive income.
- Pitfalls to avoid.
- Analyse current industry requirements and your individual needs to determine if opening a consultancy is appropriate.
- Determine the business structure appropriate for your consultancy practice.
- Produce a business plan and implementation schedule.
- Determine costs involved in setting up a practice and how to set fees.
- Describe different communication and marketing techniques.
- Describe different administrative procedures including invoicing and maintaining records and accounts.
- Determine industry best practice for obtaining and keeping your customers.
- Recognise responsibility towards yourself and employees in maintaining and expanding your practice, and to develop strategies to cater for increased demand.
How Can You Become A Consultant?
Some people start out by studying; some by doing research and networking; and others just jump into the job and learn by their mistakes.
Formal training such as you get from this course can help you minimize mistakes that can cost time and money; however, experience will always be needed beyond any course.
Learning to be an effective consultant is a big part of being successful, but you must also have some degree of "expertise" in your discipline, in order to make your consulting practice of value.,
The type of practice you are intending working in may dictate what qualifications are desired. You cannot practice medicine if you do not have the correct qualifications. You may not need the formal qualifications in many other disciplines; but you will still always need the "expertise". A business consultant may for instance, build a successful practice based upon their years of success in business. They may not need a diploma or degree in business; but to attract clients and command a good fee, they need to be capable and knowledgeable about business, at a level equal to anyone who has graduated from a diploma or degree.
Engineering and architectural consulting firms will tend to employ people who have a degree or diploma qualification. Garden consultants are more likely to have trained and worked in the horticulture industry, and evolved from there into the position.
Different industries may also require you to register (and maintain registration) with a relevant registration board. You may also be required to obtain some sort of accreditation. By achieving accreditation, you can then market yourself as being a quality provider.
Recognised credibility can also be gained by being a member of relevant institutes or associations. Skills can be gained from ongoing professional development offered by these bodies as well as association with other professionals.
Knowledge, expertise and industry contacts can be built in any industry through studying a qualification (e.g. certificate, diploma or degree) in that discipline; but the qualification alone is unlikely to equip you to be a good consultant.
Many courses teach you about the discipline and industry, but don't teach you about being a consultant. Further studies specific to consultancy are important to maximising your chance of success.
It can be tough being a consultant – but it can also be rewarding. You must be totally committed.
Some of the people who have contributed to the development of this course include:
John L. Mason Dip.Hort.Sc., Sup'n Cert., FIOH, FPLA, FAIH, MACHPER, MASA
Mr Mason has had over 35 years experience in the fields of Horticulture, Recreation, Education and Journalism. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. He has held positions ranging from Director of Parks and Recreation (City of Essendon) to magazine editor. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over thirty five books and of over two thousand magazine articles. Even today, John continues to write books for various publishers including Simon and Shuster, and Landlinks Press (CSIRO Publishing).
Tracey Jones B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), PGCE (Education)
Tracey Winning B.Bus, Adv Dip Arts, Cert Mort Lend
Geoff Potter B.A. M.Stud.Psyc.
You Can Start at Any Time
Our courses are studied by distance learning - you choose to study online or by eLearning. You can start at any time.
If you have any questions or want to know more, please get in touch - phone us on (UK) 01384 442752, or (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE.