What qualifications do you need to start a consulting business?

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qualifications to start a consulting business

In the UK, consultancy services are very much in demand. More and more people are looking to develop their skills, and consultancy franchises have responded to this increasing demand by expanding rapidly across the country.

Here, we take a look at the different qualifications that you need to open a consultancy franchise and why starting one could be the best business decision you ever make.

Consulting business qualifications

If you want to start your own consulting business, you need to have the right skills to do the job. Though these can vary with every franchise, there are a number of set qualifications that generally apply to all opportunities.

Industry expertise

The USP of a consultancy business is its expertise. Without it, other companies are not going to pay up for your services. The whole point of them using a consultancy business is for its knowledge.

Whether you want to start a computing, sales, property or construction consultancy franchise, you almost always need to have prior experience in the relevant sector. In other cases – like if you want to open a SME Skills Consultancy – you are going to need a general background in sales.

A lot of the time, that means that you’re going to need to have prior experience of holding a senior position at a company in a similar industry. If you don’t have it, most franchisors are likely to ask questions about where your expertise is coming from.

Training qualifications

To complement your experience, it can also be beneficial to have industry-specific qualifications. That could be anything from a training certificate to an industry award.

That being said, you largely do not need a degree or any other academic qualifications to start a consultancy franchise. Often, the most qualified candidates are those that didn’t go to university and instead spent time developing experience in business.

Networking skills

To build a client list, you are going to need the interpersonal skills to charm business representatives. If you’re not on the top of your game, there are plenty of other firms that will be queueing up to take clients away from you.

Attending industry events is a great way of introducing yourself to the right people and informing them of your services. Even if they are not looking for consultancy support immediately, it’s worthwhile giving them your card in case they need your services in the future.

Consultancy business franchise opportunities

Here on Point Franchise, we have two different opportunities available to open your own consultancy business.

SME Skills Consultancy

SME Skills Consultancy is offering passionate, business-minded people the opportunity to join them as a franchise partner. Other than a background in sales, it does not ask for any specific qualifications from its candidates.

The SME Skills Academy franchise programme will provide all franchisees with the skills and industry knowledge that they need to support small business growth.

All that the franchisor asks is that the candidates can show the following qualities:

  • A can-do attitude
  • Money motivation
  • The ability to learn
  • A passion for helping others

Business Doctors

Business Doctors offers business solutions to small and medium-sized business clients from a range of industries.

Rather than offering specialised expertise in one particular sector, Business Doctor franchise partners are trained in the necessary skills to run a successful business.

To help clients take their business to the next level, they leverage their experience from previous managerial roles. If you have the right background, a passion for business and an aptitude for helping others, you could be the next franchise partner to take advantage of this promising business model.

The different kinds of consultancy business

It’s possible to become a consultant in pretty much any field that depends on high-level expertise, niche knowledge acquisition or specialist training. However, consultancy businesses tend to specialise in one of a small number of specialist fields. In large part, this is due to the simple fact that there is much a higher demand for these kinds of consultancy services. Below, we take a look at a few of the most common consulting jobs.

Management consulting business

Management consultancy generally involves providing managerial-level (or soon to be managerial-level) employees with the skills they need to succeed in a competitive work environment.

Managing large teams is not a simple task and requires a well-developed set of skills and personal attributes. Many of these skills cannot be acquired in any way other than through training scenarios.

The management consultancy sector has also benefitted from the growing realisation that, in a services-based economy, it is the abilities of your employees that sets you apart from the competition. The UK economy has, for a considerable amount of time, been dominated by the service industries and there is no sign of this changing.

B2B consulting business

A business-to-business (B2B) consultancy refers to those companies that offer their consulting services exclusively to other businesses. In some cases, this will overlap with management consultancy work, though it also has a much broader scope.

B2B work might involve providing financial and accounting consultancy services or marketing guidance. It may help streamline the recruitment process or assist businesses when they attempt to integrate and introduce new workplace technologies.

Because the modern business cannot afford to fall behind the competition in any respect, they often employ the services of specialist consultancy services who can help them achieve their desired results to a higher standard or at a lower cost.

Digital media consulting business

Digital media is another field in which consultancy services are becoming increasingly popular. In particular, businesses require assistance putting together high-quality online marketing campaigns or designing intuitive websites. In an age when every company needs some form of digital representation, the ability to create eye-catching and easy-to-navigate websites can be a lucrative talent.

This type of consultancy work is also well-suited to the franchise system. In a lot of cases, a single piece of software can be used to create the product. By including this software in the franchise package, franchisors provide their franchisees with everything they need to deliver their key service.

This allows almost anyone to become the owner of a web design consultancy business – even if they have no experience in the industry.

Part-time consulting business

Since consultancy franchises can be run remotely and allow for a more flexible work schedule, they're also well suited to part-time ownership. This makes them a particularly attractive option for those who desire a better work-life balance and greater control of their work commitments.

Why start a consulting franchise?

There are plenty of reasons to start a consultancy franchise, particularly if you're passionate about education and the consultancy industry.

We're going to focus on three of the most popular reasons why individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds, disciplines and professions choose to become consultancy franchisees.

1. More outsourcing

In the current business environment, those companies that offer outsourcing services are benefitting enormously. Growth in the outsourcing sector hit a staggering 20 percent in 2017, with digital technology and managerial-based services responsible for much of this.

This makes a consultancy franchise a desirable and profitable businesses to own and has resulted in the development of increasingly sophisticated franchise models and packages.

Franchises benefit from attracting top talent and are very much aware that competition is growing within the sector. Consequently, they’re offering substantially improved services to their franchisees.

2. Better support

While it is possible to launch a consultancy start-up without the help of an experienced franchisor, you put yourself at a considerable disadvantage if you do so. By entering the franchise system, you will feel the impact of a number of advantages:

  • High-quality support, guidance and assistance
  • Training programmes led by industry experts
  • Access to the franchisor’s existing client network
  • The reputation that comes with an established brand name

Though some franchisees may rely on franchisor support more than others, at some point or another all franchisees make good use of the resources placed at their disposal.

Whether it's marketing materials, advice on how to get the most from the recruitment process or guidance on how to best deliver services, franchisors can offer help in a variety of ways.

3. Develop your skills

Finally, a consulting franchise allows you to develop your skills and increase your industry expertise. As a franchisee, you'll be expected to pick things up quickly and learn on the job.

This means the role suits individuals who aren't afraid to throw themselves into something new and aren't overly concerned with working outside of their comfort zone.

To grow and succeed as a franchisee, you'll need to develop your communication skills, keep an eye on what's happening within the industry and ensure you're able to motivate your team. Attention to detail is essential, as a franchise will only thrive if high standards are maintained across the network.

4. Consultancy is a rewarding business

If you are willing dedicate time and effort to ensuring that the business is a success, starting a consultancy business can be a lucrative venture.

A franchisee who puts in the hours, learns as they go and develops a strong managerial skillset has a bright future ahead of them.

>> Read more articles on the Consulting sector

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