Beverley Hamilton

Article Summary:

Running your own consultancy is not jsut about being a consultant - you have a business to manage and lead.

Business Consultants: Are You an Actor or Director?

In the glamour world of running your own business consultancy you may think that the glory prize is best actor. In fact the real success goes to best director and here's why.

Firstly, independent business consultants (IBC) have often worked for medium to large organisations in which they held functional roles for example, HR manager, marketing director or IT project manager, which contributed to the bigger picture of their organisation.

They then decide that they want to have more of a say and set up their own business, offering consultancy in their functional speciality.

Their thinking is "I'll just do what I've been doing for my company, except I'll do it for other people and have more freedom" As an "actor" in my own business I will be on control and run the show.

Secondly, consultants believe that simply telling people about their knowledge and expertise will

a) generate profitable business and keep the business profitable and

b) automatically give them the freedom they dreamt of whilst working for someone else.

Or "I'll just do my own PR"

So what's wrong with that?

Well newsflash!! What you do is not your consultancy. A successful movie is not just about the actors.

What you do is your service, product or offering. Your consultancy is a business: it's the systems, processes and general infrastructure that support you to deliver what you do.

On any movie the actors are only a small part of what makes the movie a winner. There are producers, carpenters, gaffers, lighting people and caterers all working together to make the movie. There are then editors, musicians, graphic designers, special effects people and researchers that play their part in order to complete a movie. Then there are the marketing, PR and distributors that show off the movie and bring it to the movie screens

It's the same for a consultancy. There is a complete business infrastructure that needs to be in place before during and after the "delivery" of your service, in order for your consultancy to achieve constant and consistent profitability.

And who therefore is key - the director. As an IBC you can play all of these roles or work with others. The point is the delivery of your service is only part of what will make your business a success. How best can you assemble a cast that will deliver for you?

What do you need to consider as the director of your own consultancy?

How can you produce a winning script with actors and backroom boys all aiming to produce an award winning production.

Put yourself up for best director and I'll see your name in lights!.

Beverley Hamilton of One Step Further is a business coach to business consultants. She is the author of "Take Control of Your Time: 7 Straight Shooter Strategies for Success". For more information read Beverley's full bio at www.onestepfurther.co.uk.

Read all advice by Beverley Hamilton; Find more Consulting experts

More advice on Consulting
» Building A Referral-Based Practice Through Networking
» Business Consultancy: The Importance of Support and Systems
» all Consulting articles