Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Have You Considered Consulting?

I meet many people today who are using their expertise in a certain area to help others and at the same time creating a business opportunity. Usually these consultants are focused on a particular area that they have exprerience in. I think it's a great time to consider consulting as the job market is not quite back to where everyone hopes it will be.

If you enjoy helping people and your knowledge base is up to snuff then consulting might be for you. Everyone seems to have strengths and experience in many areas but in particular very specialized areas. Classes are always available to fine tune or get up to date information on some lucrative areas that might be considered.

The most important thing is to run your consulting business as a professional organization. For example, have you considered what area you will focus on? Who will be your target market? How much will you charge? Do you need to rent or share office space? Do you need administrative help with billing and answering phones? What type of billing system will you use? What are the needs of your customers and how will you satisfy these needs better and more efficiently than your competition?

If you haven't been on your own before and don't have sales experience, you'll need to learn these skills quickly. Networking and building new business is vital to success as a consultant. Referrals are a great way to bring in new business but differentiating yourself and providing quality and professional work is also key.

What types of networking groups will you join? Will that group provide you as a referral to prospective clients? Social media is a popular way to market your services and it's easy to learn once you get started.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Benefits of Linked In

Linked In is a great way to stay connected professionally, network, generate new business and find a job. It's becoming very popular as more than 55 million people in 200 countries are using it today. A new member signs up every second.

It's easy to get started. Just post a profile and preferably a picture. You can always add more information as you go. Some people just use it to post their professional and educational information and then don't utilize all of the many benefits.

If your company needs a product or service, why not go through your connections to get an introduction to a trusted resource within your network? It's much easier and more reliable than searching on the web.

It's also a great way to stay connected with former colleagues. Since they know you, it's more likely they'll reach out to you if they hear of a position and know that you're looking based upon your Linked In updates.

There are multiple groups that you can join that can help keep you apprised on a certain topic or industry. It also gives you the opportunity to ask a question or get advice from the group that you're connected with. Why not utilize the knowledge and expertise of your network or group? It also makes it that much easier to stay connected with your Alumni group.