A consultant is a professional who provides professional or expert advice in a particular field or job. Right now, the consulting business is booming! Global consulting industry revenues will be about $391 billion by the end of 2012, which represents reasonable growth from $366 billion in 2011. But, what really goes into becoming a consultant?
The average start up for a business consultant is anywhere from $100-$20,000. There are many different fields of consulting and depending on which area of expertise you decide to enroll will help determine the costs to consider.
Marketing consultants spend an average of $7,462 a year on marketing. About 22% of consultants spend the most time on networking while 38% of consultants say that referrals make them the most money. Other consulting occupations to consider are transportation, office supplies and insurance. The average monthly insurance premium for individual coverage in 2011 was $183 a month. These costs included the setup fee, franchise tax, annual report and registration fee, and income and stock tax.
Another thing to consider is whether to be an individual consultant or a full time employee. Choosing to be a consultant over a full time employee has its benefits, but it can also be risky. If you choose to be a consultant, you get to choose your own hours, take vacations when you want, set your own fees, pick clients, refuse assignments, and work on a variety of projects. However, the risks of not working full time is the scare of not having a steady and regular paycheck, no administrative help, no benefits or health care, no tech support, and other things employees take for granted.
To set your fees when becoming a consultant you’ll need to consider how you want to get paid. Majority of consultants do it one way or the other – by the hour or by the project. Strategy consultants usually command the steepest fees. Followed by operations management, human resources, and IT gurus. To set your rates you can either base them on the market and what the market is prepared to pay for by the opportunity and how much you would make if you did something else.
The top fields in consulting currently are computer and information systems, human resources, management, environmental and conservation, accounting, and sales marketing and PR. So, do you think a career in consulting is in your future? Where do you fit in?