It can seem like everyone is picking up a side hustle these days, and consulting is a popular option. However, as a result, it’s also a pretty saturated market and can be hard to get a successful business up and running. Here are a few tips to help you set yourself up for a successful consulting side hustle.
Build on What You Know
Consulting is a broad field, and it can be tempting to try to cover a wide range of industries to keep your options open. However, it’s usually most effective to stick to what you know. Consider the skills and industry knowledge you bring to your everyday job, and consider how you can spin that into your consulting business. This way you can leverage specific projects and accomplishments you have while talking to potential clients about what you can offer.
Research, Plan, Project
Don’t jump into consulting too quickly. Startup costs can quickly get out of hand, you might find that there are certifications that you need or would be a good investment, and you need to have a starting point to work from for project rates. So take the time to research other consultants, plan out your expenses and how much time you can put into this endeavor, and make projections about profits and goals.
Don’t Let It Take Over Your Life
Side hustles can quickly begin to take over all of your free time, but don’t let that happen. You still need to maintain a healthy work-life balance, so set some boundaries early on. Determine when you want to work on consulting, how much time you can dedicate to it every week, and make sure you’re able to set aside emails and communications when you’re enjoying “off” time.
Leverage Your Network
Finally, you need clients to have a successful consulting business. The best way to find clients and build your portfolio is through your existing network. Reach out to your colleagues, let them know about the services you plan to offer, and consider offering some discounted rates for your first round of projects as you build rapport. This will help you get more referrals in the future by connecting with people who already know and trust your work.