Business Opportunities and Start Up Ideas
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Opportunities and Start Up Ideas
Business, Commercial Consulting, Coaching, Mentoring and giving Advice
You might see your business as selling advice in an area, where you have a particular skill, acquired, say, through your former activity. You might even be in the lucky position to have your old employer as a client from the start.
One of our senior consultants here was in that position. In the early 1980's, he was employed by a large international computer manufacturer at its European Headquarters in Paris in a financial capacity. His job included planning and supervising the financial part of new manufacturing plants in Europe and Asia. That included doing advantageous tax and subsidy deals for the company, in return for placing new manufacturing units in countries like Ireland, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, Scotland and Thailand and, much later, China and Vietnam.
In addition, he was also watching over the financial side of the construction and equipment purchases. When the company, as a result of temporarily declining sales, decided to move his job from Paris to the U.S.A., he proposed to his employer to continue as their "captive" consultant. After some hesitation, the company accepted and he continued to have a beneficial relationship with the company for more than a decade. Although, he had to accept some restrictions for whom he could work as a consultant, during the first five years, there were still enough companies that desired his services outside the strict business area of his former employer. At the same time, the relative security of the income from his former employer, now his client, enabled him to build up a whole consulting group, centered around placing manufacturing, research and administrative units in foreign countries.
This is a fairly typical example of how new business ventures are created by the economic ups and downs through which companies go. The key for the consultant is that he starts early enough to venture out and find new clients, so that changes in the management structure within his former employer and now major client, will not suddenly leave him "high and dry"!
Working as a consultant can be a difficult business. Besides your technical skills to solve the clients problems, you have to have good sales skills, to convince the client that you will provide the solution. Moreover, you require good people skills, to convince the client to do, what you tell him. Unlike an employed manager, where you have authority inherent in your position, as a consultant, you do not have any authority. Your power and potential success is purely the result of knowledge and more importantly, persuasion!
The array of required skills is considerable, if you want to start a consulting business. Many consulting businesses fail, because their initiator did not clearly understand the distinct aspects of the skills needed. Often, consultants are not good at selling solutions to the client. Or, they get into conflict with the client about the steps that should lead to the solution to the problem. Clients often have strong views about what works and what does not within their company.
Starting up a consulting business, there are a few areas where you should be careful to spend your money wisely.
Below are some products and books that will help you. Some, are just informative and should make you think. Others are specific tools, that cover important areas in the administration and management of consulting.
Lifestyle and Other Consulting Areas
Personal Training and Life Style Consulting are becoming ever more popular. Unlike your standard Personal Trainer, who is feeling the economic pinch, Personal Training and Lifestyle Consultants are doing better than ever. Even during the economic downturn, their business is growing. With people worrying about their economic future, they have less time to relax. This increases their stress levels, making them irritated and, hence, performing less well in their job! The downward spiral is well known! While a Personal Trainer concerns himself with your physical work out only, the Personal Training and Lifestyle Consultant goes much further. He/She wants to change your lifestyle to a healthy survivable one. One that does not make you go through the usual "slimming and bingeing cycles", all to commonly experienced. It is a sort of "total immersion" into a new lifestyle like total immersion when you go to a country and learn a new language!
Some of the key issues you will have to deal with in this business are:
There are obviously a number of areas you could incorporate into your Lifestyle Consultants business. For instance tennis training, aerobic training, riding and horse training, BMX biking, swimming, hiking and various other physical activities.
You can also create "bootcamps" or corporate training weekends. If you get together with human resources managers, you might be able to convince them that your training weekend, or maybe even in-house training after work, will reduce stress levels and therefore absenteeism.
In order to grow your business, you can start to employ personal trainers, nutritionists and other specialists. But you have to create well written manuals first, that enforce your message to your crew, so that they spread your "gospel"!
Selling your services as Lifestyles and Personal Training Consultant will not be easy. You have to understand the "in's and out's" of the fitness business. You might be the Lifestyle Consultant employing Personal Trainers, but you have to understand, where your future employees come from and the arguments that they have to encounter to make successful sales. The course below is also an excellent short introduction to sales strategies that you can employ in your Lifestyle Guru approach!
The package of legal forms and disclaimers will protect you from claims that potential clients may have against you. It will not protect you from negligence and stupidity, but if you are doing things right, it will give you the protection you need!
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