Five Reasons Self-Employed Consultants Fail!
1) Employee mentality
Employees look for work, business owners look to develop brand value and a business.
The employee mentality will keep you poor!
It is typical for consultants with an employee mindset to stop marketing whenever they get a new contract. The reason they do this is not simply because they are too busy (yes, I know you are busy) it is because once an employee gets a job they stop looking for work. Businesses never stop looking for clients – it is their primary activity! Stop equating your value within the narrow concept of the work you perform.
Hint: If your business seems to be on a roller coaster then you are thinking like an employee!
2) No brand, no value
I can see the business card now!
‘Cathy Smith – Consultant’ the cheapest business card on the cheapest paper!
Yuk! This screams ‘I don’t value myself and neither should you!’ Another mistake is to run out and get a generic branding package that looks like nothing and is completely forgettable. Know who you are, what you deliver, and what that should mean to your clients – that is brand!
If you don’t take yourself seriously, and that is what a poor image says, then why should anyone else take you seriously.
3) Under Charging
I have no idea where people get the idea that you can start with lower prices and then increase them. Once you set a price you will tend to stay there and a low price will keep away the clients you really want. Giving a special package price, a significant discount for paying in advance… there are lots of ways to lower the cost of your services without dropping your pants!
Put the energy into creating value rather than trolling for poorly paid assignments and you will fare better in the long run! Once you get busy then you can try to raise pricing to limit demand and get better customers.
4) No Voice, No differentiation
Know who you are and what you deliver! I personally know a dozen consultants who work with companies on business development and none of them offer what I offer. It is easy to be unique, so decide who you are and be that! Your voice is what you have to say – what you need to say! Figure this out early!
Scream it from the hills!
5) Won’t sell, can’t sell!
Dirty, greasy, slimy, ugly and disgusting – I am not talking about earthworms – is how most consultants view salespeople. Get over it!
Selling is the easiest thing to do poorly and the hardest thing to do well.
Selling is at the heart of your business. You’re smart so get some coaching and figure it out. Start hungry and stay hungry and never stop finding and closing new business. When you get too busy – raise your prices!