5 Reasons why Entrepreneurs should Consult
All true entrepreneurs can consult, the difficult part is to sell your superpower. In fact, it’s often difficult for an entrepreneur to even identify his superpower.
Find Your True Superpower
Companies do not pay for all-round consultants, they pay for superpower consultants. As entrepreneurs, our problem is often that we are all-round people, we do sales, accounting, HR and handyman work all day long. This is not a superpower; this at best defines housewife skills.
You need to find a superpower that is decidable and that companies would pay good money to have access to. Lawyers have knowledge about law as their superpower and taxi drivers have their local knowledge and access to a car as their superpower.
It’s a great exercise for entrepreneurs and you will instantly know what tasks you should delegate and what tasks you should take care of yourself in your next company.
Don’t come up with a lame superpower statement like “intermediate the technology needs with the business goals of the organization”; it sounds like you are just another Accenture consultant;the world already has too many of those.
My superpower is:“to create excitement and momentum about a new technology related product or service in a greenfield market”. What is your superpower?
Become a Better Seller
People who have chosen entrepreneurship as a career are often gifted sales people, but selling your own consulting services might be even harder than raising venture capital for a start-up.
You put yourself out there, naked and without any bells and whistles. If the client refuses you, it’s highly personal; it’s not the product that isn’t good enough or the marketing that wasn’t fancy enough. It’s you who’s not good enough.
Being a consultant is like being a prostitute with a different superpower. There is no product to demonstrate and the only assurance you can give is a promise about a great result.
For entrepreneurs that are not familiar with how to sell like a prostitute I recommend to read the blog post from Neil Patel: “Do Business Like A Prostitute”
Learn About Other Companies
As an entrepreneur you really get an inside look to another organizations, how they work and collaborate among them. Yes, you have some ideas by working with partners but this is not enough as long as you don’t get full insight into the organization.
In Connection Consulting, we have been working with companies sizing from 10 to 5 000 employees located on 4 different continents. It’s amazing what you learn about corporate culture, workflows and strategies working with such a wide range of companies.
By providing our superpower to companies, we have learned about their organization, successes and challenges as a part of the process. This knowledge is not taught in universities but it will put you above and beyond any competitor when founding your next enterprise.
Learn About a Different Industry
In today’s business world, very few companies work exclusively in one industry. Used car sellers make their commission by selling finance products, computer manufacturers make mobile phones and computer programmers solve business issues.
If you start consulting, the chance is big that you will have to learn about new industries that you didn’t even know that they existed. Getting inspiration from other industries can become extremely valuable. Some years ago I learned about the funeral business and the complexity of the industry from a client. I was blown away seeing their custom built ERP system for the industry. The logic and workflow are similar to many other industries, but the sensitivity in use of labels in the software is extremely important. A funeral company does not have clients, they have mourners, and their CRM is completely empty for leads.
Always try to win projects where you can use your superpower in an industry you normally don’t do business in. I have learned about so many industries in great depth by offering my technology related superpower to companies.
Extend your Network Through Consulting
This is the part I like best about consulting in a small scale like I’m doing. I get to change the business card in my folder or at least change the presentation on my beamer and be another company for some hours or some days.
Large organizations will approach you in a very different way and with different people if you introduce yourself as Mr Smith from Large International Corporation Inc. than if you present yourself as Mr Smith from Garage Start-ups LLC.
Your new and extended contact network is yours to keep after the consulting gig is finished.
Are you an entrepreneur that consults? Leave your thoughts and comments in the field below.