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HOT! Consulting business - thoughts?

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ddkalfa

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Jan 13, 2015
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Hi, I'm new here, and I hope I can learn from the community and hopefully contribute something myself as well.

So, am thinking of starting a business on the consulting field. Anybody here using this lane of business? Would it be considered fastlane or slowlane?

Maybe we can share ideas/experiences. What I'm thinking of is starting with group classes, and slowly build up a network of potential clients, all the while creating a web designed system of offering content to those that attend to the course, and start building a followers base.

The subject is personal finance, definitely a market a bit overcrowded, but it's something that seems always on very high demand.

Thoughts?
 
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Mr.B

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If you are good at what you do, anything is possible, especially if you productize your services.

Just keep in mind that those who need help with personal finances are less likely to have money to spend.

I think you probably should spend some more time thinking this through. Have you read TMF ?
 

ddkalfa

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Thanks for the answer. I actually happen to know quite a number of well-off people that struggle to manage their money (doctors, marketeers, lawyers, etc) and seem quite interested in learning how to better invest/take control of their finances.

However, maybe it is a limited niche (maybe over-represented in my social circle), and the opportunity is not that big? Definitely something I'll think through a bit more deeply.

I am actually current.y reading it.

Thanks!
 

Mr.B

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Thanks for the answer. I actually happen to know quite a number of well-off people that struggle to manage their money (doctors, marketeers, lawyers, etc) and seem quite interested in learning how to better invest/take control of their finances.

Yeah, I also know quite a lot of well off people who struggle to manage their money. Just because they are doctors or lawyers or whatever doesn't necessarily mean that they have money to spend on personal finance consulting.

As I'm sure you know there is a lot more to money management than the acquisition of knowledge. It's about changing habits, changing mindset and managing emotional states as much as it is knowing that you should spend less than you earn and invest the difference. How can you help people address the issue on all of these levels? I think to turn a personal finance consultancy into a fastlane business, you'd want to approach it from a different angle.

All the best.
 

Ninjakid

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A consulting business ... teaching personal finance ...?

Sounds slowlane to me.
Dude consulting business is totally fastlane. Some firms end up being worth millions and millions.

Not only that, but there is A LOT of demand for consulting.

I don't know much about the business, but here's an article that could help you out.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/41384

The concept of consulting is rather vague, so there's many many ways you could approach it.
 

Esquire

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Dude consulting business is totally fastlane. Some firms end up being worth millions and millions.

Not only that, but there is A LOT of demand for consulting.

That's like saying ... "Dude ... selling hambugers is totally fastlane. McDonalds has sold billions of em. There is a LOT of demand for hamburgers. "

I don't think so.

9 times out of 10 ... "consultant" ... is just a polite way of saying "unemployed."

That is what comes to mind when someone tells me they are a consultant.

Opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got one. But very few people can make a living "giving advice."

MJ (for example) ... could be a legitimate consultant. MJ is a best selling author ... and a self made deca-millionaire. MJ has credibility.

What's the OP's claim to fame ...? Why would I give him $10 for an hour of his advice ...?

Answer: I wouldn't. He'd have to come down in price another $9.95 before I'd even consider it.

If anything ... I'd likely charge HIM for taking the time to listen.

Absent a track record of accomplishment that makes my jaw hit the ground ... I see no future (or demand) for sharing your opinion. Slowlane with a capital S.
 

Daniel M.

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If in a long term you can build up an automatized system which doesn't need your implication in order to make money then we can talk about Fastlane ... If the time you stop working the money stops coming it is definitely Slowlane .

Maybe there is a demand but you have to decide if you want to do this seriously and you have to have a long term goal, you have to know what you want to achieve.

You could also start this activity in order to make money for other businesses. If this is what you are good at, it definitely worth a try.
 

Ranger81

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I've been a "consultant" for 8 years. And I'm sick of it. It's slowlane. I'm trading my time for money. Even though I make quite good money on the business - I don't get anything if I don't show up. I'm dedicated to go fastlane and using this business to invest in my fastlane adventures. I'd suggest you do the same.
 

MayaMagpie

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As was said before, if you're trading time for money, then it's not an ideal fastlane business.
However, if you - for example - hired someone to teach those group classes for you while you build your following, then branched out to other cities, maybe even turned it into a franchise, then why not? It all depends on the angle.
It probably helps to finish reading the book first.
 
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OscarDeuce

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I'm a consultant, and a successful one. I service a very specific niche and my clients are typically companies rather than individuals. That said, I still trade hours for dollars, just at a higher level than most. I'm in demand, but my business is built on my skills which, while probably not unique to me, are scarce. So, I can't really scale. That is one of the reasons I'm here - to break out of that trap!

Best,
O-2
 

ddkalfa

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Jan 13, 2015
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As was said before, if you're trading time for money, then it's not an ideal fastlane business.
However, if you - for example - hired someone to teach those group classes for you while you build your following, then branched out to other cities, maybe even turned it into a franchise, then why not? It all depends on the angle.
It probably helps to finish reading the book first.

Hi, yes that is kind of the idea on the mid-term. I'm currently well employed in the finance sector, and for me consulting seems a fastlane compared to a 9-6 job I have today, however I can see how the fact that trading hours for money is still slowlane.

But you are right, the idea would be to scale up the classes thing and using it as platform to generating a network of potential clients of the consulting business.

Thanks!
 

ddkalfa

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Jan 13, 2015
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I'm a consultant, and a successful one. I service a very specific niche and my clients are typically companies rather than individuals. That said, I still trade hours for dollars, just at a higher level than most. I'm in demand, but my business is built on my skills which, while probably not unique to me, are scarce. So, I can't really scale. That is one of the reasons I'm here - to break out of that trap!

Best,
O-2

Great, thanks a lot for the feedback. I'm pretty confident I can do consulting on a high level, and compared to what I do today I think has more income potential, but I can see how it is still not strictly fastlane.

It is however something I see feasible starting in parallel with my current job, since at the present moment I'm well employed and not willing to risk it all. But definitely something I can do when I have something going on and a bit more certainty.

Thanks a lot for the answer.
 

ddkalfa

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Jan 13, 2015
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I've been a "consultant" for 8 years. And I'm sick of it. It's slowlane. I'm trading my time for money. Even though I make quite good money on the business - I don't get anything if I don't show up. I'm dedicated to go fastlane and using this business to invest in my fastlane adventures. I'd suggest you do the same.

Thanks. Do you think there's anyway you can adapt your consulting business (using your current network of clients, or your brand), and use it as platform to create something more automated? For example generating content to a niche of clients, charging a membership, or maybe creating software that through your experience you know will generate value for the audience you are used to serve..

I wonder if consulting is kind of a 1st step for me to confidently leave my job (where I currently make good money, so I need to have some level of certainty before leaving), and then I can adapt the business to something more fastlane..
 

MVDH

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Consulting is a lucrative way of generating live long customers for ventures that are attached to your consulting business.. E.g. I consulting in the digital marketing field.. I consult with them.. sometimes for months.. then lead them into my team of people that service the digital marketing needs...
 

Mr.B

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Thanks. Do you think there's anyway you can adapt your consulting business (using your current network of clients, or your brand), and use it as platform to create something more automated? For example generating content to a niche of clients, charging a membership, or maybe creating software that through your experience you know will generate value for the audience you are used to serve..

I wonder if consulting is kind of a 1st step for me to confidently leave my job (where I currently make good money, so I need to have some level of certainty before leaving), and then I can adapt the business to something more fastlane..

Consulting can be a good way to transition from working a J.O.B. to creating a fastlane business. In my case, consulting has allowed me to earn more than double the money I used to make in less than half the time I used to work as an employee. This then gives me more time and money to work on my other business ideas, spend time with my family and enjoy life...

If you are looking for ways to adapt a consulting business to something more automated, you may find this workshop on productizing your consulting interesting (here is the supporting presentation if you want a quick overview). Note that this workshop is partially a sales pitch for a paid course, but I think you'll still find it interesting.
 

OscarDeuce

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Ddkalfa,

As others have hinted, a consulting business can be a stepping stone to other business opportunities. That's what I am doing. Because my consulting business provides me with more than enough income to meet my lifestyle needs, I am channeling the excess into another business opportunity that, were I working a job, I wouldn't have the capital to pursue.

Cheers,
O-2
 

Kinsey6287

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Ddkalfa,

As others have hinted, a consulting business can be a stepping stone to other business opportunities. That's what I am doing. Because my consulting business provides me with more than enough income to meet my lifestyle needs, I am channeling the excess into another business opportunity that, were I working a job, I wouldn't have the capital to pursue.

Cheers,
O-2

O-2,

I am thinking of jumping into consulting for aviation maintenance programs and aviation safety. I have a pretty good idea that would make this a fastlane business where it would be a more passive income stream rather than being paid for actual time on location.

I am only assuming that you are a consultant in the aviation industry as your call sign and picture are all aviation related.

I have been in the aviation industry for over 12 years, mostly focused in the military sector, but the past year has been civil, dealing directly with OEM's and MRO's as well as military Depot's.

Perhaps we could link up and talk about how we could turn this into a fastlane approach. You're in Northern Virginia,... I'm only about 2 hours from the Udvar-Hazy museum.... Take my son there all the time.

Would you be interested in touching base?

And sorry OP for hijacking your thread... Just don't want to miss an opportunity...

-Matt-
 

~Phil

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But you are right, the idea would be to scale up the classes thing and using it as platform to generating a network of potential clients of the consulting business.

Thanks!

Have you ever heard of khan academy? They teach personal finance classes to the masses among many other topics.


https://www.khanacademy.org/economics-finance-domain/core-finance

Great story about the creator Salman Khan....

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/01/2...utoring-into-khan-academy.html?_r=0&referrer=
 

bmlyon

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O-2,

I am thinking of jumping into consulting for aviation maintenance programs and aviation safety. I have a pretty good idea that would make this a fastlane business where it would be a more passive income stream rather than being paid for actual time on location.

I am only assuming that you are a consultant in the aviation industry as your call sign and picture are all aviation related.

I have been in the aviation industry for over 12 years, mostly focused in the military sector, but the past year has been civil, dealing directly with OEM's and MRO's as well as military Depot's.

Perhaps we could link up and talk about how we could turn this into a fastlane approach. You're in Northern Virginia,... I'm only about 2 hours from the Udvar-Hazy museum.... Take my son there all the time.

Would you be interested in touching base?

And sorry OP for hijacking your thread... Just don't want to miss an opportunity...

-Matt-

I would be greatly interested in sharing ideas with you two. I have spent the past 7 or so years in the aviation industry, military maintenance related and I have been looking for a way to infuse the "fast-lane ideology with some aspect of aviation whether it be aircraft parts sells, aircraft painting business, small FBO/Maintenance station etc. Feel free to chime in or start a new thread, aviation related.

Brandon
 
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bmlyon

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I would be greatly interested in sharing ideas with you two. I have spent the past 7 or so years in the aviation industry, military maintenance related and I have been looking for a way to infuse the "fast-lane ideology with some aspect of aviation whether it be aircraft parts sells, aircraft painting business, small FBO/Maintenance station etc. Feel free to chime in or start a new thread, aviation related.

Brandon
 

eqttrdr

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Sorry but I cant see how you can fastlane any consulting business.

If a "customer" of yours loves what you are doing there is a finite amount of clients you can take on. Between face to face, skype, phone calls,emails, etc you only have so much time in your day. Once you reach a limit of working 24/7 you are SOL in terms of your ability to take on more clients.

Sure you can "hire" people but customers want YOU... not your employees


ask me how I know...
 

Pete799p

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The other thing about consulting is that it can be a very high margin low overhead business. Therefore it can be a great place to start for those with more time then money etc. or as mentioned above a great way to get out of a job and still bring in income, often with a significant pay raise. Plus there are always tons of opportunities that can arise while consulting. Working in an industry and solving problems should provide you ample new business ideas and the industry connections to quickly validate it and take it to the market.

Sometimes its not about doing the fastestlane thing all the time but doing something. Especially something that you can build on that will take you closer to where you want to go. Plus, I dont know about all of you but if I was trading my time for $500k or $1mil+ per year it wouldnt take long for me to hit the fastlane and yes I know many "slowlane" consultants making several million a year.
 

eqttrdr

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yes I know many "slowlane" consultants making several million a year.

How is this even possible? Are they charging $10,000/hr?

Just curious because even the big sales consultants I know dont pull anything close to that
 

Pete799p

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How is this even possible? Are they charging $10,000/hr?

Just curious because even the big sales consultants I know dont pull anything close to that

Number of different ways and usually a combination of both.
-First as @eqttrdr stated above value based fees. Bid the job vs. by the hour
-Leverage- they often have at least a few employees and possibly some junior consultants etc. This will be industry dependent but people like assistants, analysts, marketing professionals, sale folks etc. The idea is to free your time up to focus on the most important and highest dollar tasks, usually meeting with clients. Just like any other business delegation is key.

That being said I have seen several high income guys who run solo so it is possible to be a one man band and still bank paper.
 

edward222

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If you really want to have a successful business/company, I suggest you to get help with the company that provides services like company formation services, this kind of service will not only register your desired business/company, but will also help you to avoid tax. Actually many business owners are using this kind of service.
 

Mr.B

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If you really want to have a successful business/company, I suggest you to get help with the company that provides services like company formation services, this kind of service will not only register your desired business/company, but will also help you to avoid tax. Actually many business owners are using this kind of service.

I don't think that offshore banking is really a requirement for a successful business...
 

Andy Black

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As others have said, consulting is a good way of getting to know (finding?) your market better, and maybe earn more doing so.

Keep your eyes and ears open. As a consultant helping a business, you have a great opportunity to find pain points. You'll grow your network. You'll find clients who might want ongoing services/products that you can deliver fastlane style.

Check these two podcasts out:
www.tropicalmba.com/consulting
www.tropicalmba.com/services

They recommend the following order:
1) Learn a skill
2) Sell the skill
3) Scale the skill

Try different models of using your skill to deliver value.

Get burnt, and burnt out.

Iterate from your learnings.

That's my circular route so far out of the consulting/freelancing/contracting lane.

Good luck!
 

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