RESEARCH WAYS TO BE COMPETITIVE IN THE MARKET. Knowing the market before you get started can save you a lot of time, money, and energy. In today’s environment, you could be a consultant in an area that is flooded with professionals who offer the same service you do, yet have been doing it for much longer. There is always going to be some level of competitiveness, however, it’s best to target an area where there is a great need for your particular field.
If you’re in a market full of consultants offering similar services, this should challenge you to become better and more marketable than the competition. Find out what the going rate is, and beat it. Go to your clients rather than having them come to you. Incorporate technology that makes it more convenient and cost-effective to do business. Research what is lacking from the competition and offer it. If market research isn’t your forte, consider hiring an expert who can professionally examine the competition, area, and costs related with your desired industry.
SECURE YOUR CREDENTIALS. Be sure you have the appropriate licenses, certificates, training, or insurance to go along with your expertise. While these credentials may not be required, they do make you more marketable and competitive. Furthermore, there are some businesses and individuals who won’t do business with consultants who don’t have the proper qualifications. You don’t want to miss out on potential contracts because you didn’t become certified or licensed in your field. These credentials may be costly as there are usually fees associated with registering or obtaining the documentation. However, the investment could mean the difference between closing the deal and losing the opportunity.
Aisha Taylor (@realTAYLORmade) is co-owner and chief consultant at TAYLORmade Professional Career Consulting, a Web-based, full-service career consulting company committed to “equipping, preparing, and empowering today’s professional” globally. Check out her weekly insights on job-seeking and interviewing success every Friday on BlackEnterprise.com.