Module 2: Limit the Scope of Your Consulting Business
By now, you should have a good idea about what services you want to provide to local businesses. The next step is to narrow down the scope of who you will initially target so that you have small, actionable pieces that you can begin marketing to. Basically, this means that you don’t run out of the gate trying to market to every small business in the country.
Instead, select a geographic area that you will focus on first. Usually, your home state or region is a great place to start since you are familiar with those businesses. This will allow you to have face-to-face interactions, when needed, and will give your clients a sense of security knowing that you can relate to them and aren’t calling from halfway around the world. As you grow, you can always expand your territory, but it is often too overwhelming when you first start out.
Another good idea is to determine a particular niche that you can provide your services to and tailor what you offer specifically to them. Social media marketing can be dramatically different for dentists as compared to plumbers and you’ll be able to get better results if you know your niche closely. Take the time to learn the niche to find out what works best for them, since what works well for one company probably won’t work the same for another.
Here are some ideas for niches you can focus on:
- HVAC, plumbers
- Lawn care
- Family physicians
- Real Estate Agents
- General Contractors
- Bars and restaurants
- Gyms, bike shops, running clubs
- Local stores
- Garage door opener installers
- Masonry, concrete, paving
Once you pick a niche, start researching it to find out as much as possible that will give you an edge when you speak with businesses owners. Learn how they generally get clients, how much a customer may be worth, how often they make sales, what the competition is doing, and how successful the number one company is in that niche. Once you have that background, you can start designing the “perfect” set of consulting services for any company in that niche.
For example, you could create a loyalty and rewards program for local chiropractors in your area. Start by researching to find out how many chiropractors are actually within driving distance of your location. If there are only one or two, it might be a good idea to not specialize in that niche unless you are certain that you can get their business.
Then, look at their online presence (website, business listings, social media pages) to see how well they present themselves and if people look to be interacting with them. If they don’t have many reviews online or they all tend to be negative, they could be a good place to implement a loyalty program that helps to filter out poor feedback. By getting customers engaged and excited about the chiropractor, you could help get significantly more business.
If you feel confident in your marketing abilities, you can certainly open your consulting up to any type of local business. This will open up new possibilities for the amount of clients who might be interested, but it also poses other issues, such as not being as familiar with that type of company. In this case, do your research on the niche before you promise anything to your client, otherwise you might learn you’ve over promised on your services!
You don’t have to spend a lot of time choosing what you will specialize in. It is more important to do a bit of research to find out what looks promising and then start to take action. You can always change your specific focus later on once you have a stable base and you will naturally expand as you gain traction and new clients.
Next, we will discuss how to set the best price point for the services you are offering.