There may be a number of factors involved in establishing your fees, but starting out with beginning and small businesses, and until you line up 50 regular clients, your best bet would be $50 per hour. Count on two to three hours per clients per day, and devoting 10 days per months to work on their needs, you're talking about $1,000 to $1,500 per month from each client. Multiply that times 50 clients, and you'll be grossing $5,000 to $7,500 per month. As a one-man operation, you'll be plenty busy.
Insiders in this business say a person can leave his regular job on Friday, start a consulting business on Monday and within six months, and have an income of more than $100,000 per year. Suffice it to say that a beginning business consultant should earn from $30,000 to $60,000 before taxes and office expenses, in his first year in the business.
There's still another very important method of finding new clients, and that is via Direct Mail solicitation. This is done either by postcard or sales letter mailings. For a mailing list of local businesses, check the yellow pages of your telephone directory, under the heading "Mailing lists." Tell the advertiser the kind of mailing list you need - if they don't have it, ask them for the names of suppliers who might be able to supply your needs. Alternately, you could compile your own mailing list of prospects most likely to be interested in your services. Mark the names you want in the area business directory, and pay someone to input these names onto a computer for you. The computer should be able to supply you with peal-and-stick address labels at a nominal cost. Putting your list on computer from the start will save you thousands of dollars in money and count less hours of work.
Your postcard solicitation should basically be an elaboration of your printed advertising. In other words, an ad or a Direct Mail Consultant might be transferred to a postcard along these lines:
Are you having trouble getting results
with your direct mail business?
I can help you! Show you how to double, maybe even triple the response from your mailings! Expand your market! Increase your profitability!
Whatever your needs, I can HELP! Whatever your problems, I can SOLVE THEM! Call now, and let me explain.
After the message on the postcard, add your telephone number and your name, followed by your identification as Direct Mail Consultant.
A direct mail solicitation sales letter simply uses more words than the postcard, reads smoother, and forces the reader to respond as you direct him. Your sales letter can be any length needed to tell your story and achieve the objective. To be successful, though, it must embody and follow the "AIDA" form:
A = Attention; I = Interest;
D = Desire; A = Action on the part of the reader.
Another point to remember when writing sales letters: Always appeal to the needs and wants of the person who's going to be reading the letter. He will start reading to see if your services can benefit him. He is greatly interested in more profits, reduced production costs and higher efficiency. He is looking for answers to his most pressing problems. Keep these elements in mind when you write a sales solicitation letter, whether for yourself or for a client.
People receiving sales letters are somewhat more responsive to a letter that is typed, as opposed to one that is typeset. But the typed letter must be "letter perfect," and not of a different or unusual style of type. As a consultant, your letterhead should be simple while still conveying to the reader a sense of class. Your paper should be the best quality you can afford - not flamboyant, but sending a subtle message of success. Direct mail surveys show that slightly better numbers of responses are received when a light beige or off-yellow paper is used.
Basically, your letter should do what the postcard does for you - move the recipient to call you and allow you to set up an appointment to discuss his needs as your client. Whether you're writing an advertisement or a sales letter, it's important that you have the objective clearly in mind - what you want the reader to do. With this in mind, you needn't use the "hard sell" approach quite as forcefully as someone asking for money on the first contact.
All that's left is meeting with the prospect, listening to his problems, and hearing what he wants, then write out a proposal to solve his problems and satisfy his wants. This means selling yourself to the prospect - assuring him you know what you're talking about, and that you can make him more successful.
There you have it - a plan that can lead you to success as a Business Consultant. Remember, though, no amount of research, reading, listening or investment can make you successful until you do something with them. Action on your part is the absolute ingredient that must be added, and that's up to you.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is an internet marketing advisor.