Common characteristics shared by successful independent consultants include: a marketable skill, the ability to sell and negotiate, a very strong work ethic, self-motivation, satisfaction with one’s own work, no need for total control over people or programs, excellent written and verbal skills, good networking ability, and strong problem-solving and analytical abilities.
Once you’ve decided to begin providing independent consulting services, you’ll need to assess whether you will employ other consultants in a consulting practice or simply provide consulting services as a self-employed, independent consultant. These two options are quite distinct from one another, and have implications relating to business registration and taxation.
Exercises such as a SWOT analysis allow you to understand the consulting industry as a whole better and the particular sector(s) you intend to target.
The online Market Research Centre run by Enterprise Ireland holds a wealth of market research knowledge, and it can be accessed here.
Additional free market research and market data service is available through ResearchFindr. .
A guide to developing a strategic plan and online planner from Planware can be accessed here.
A guide to compiling a business plan and a comprehensive business plan template from Planware can be accessed here.