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How to start a freelance consulting business

By Sthitaprajnya Panigrahi

With flexible work hours, working from exotic locations and most importantly, freedom to pick and choose the work we do, freelancing has become the buzzword for the millennials. As India has become the biggest freelancer market in the world, the country reportedly contributes almost 40-50% of freelancers globally in the consulting domain. While another study also reveals that about 41 percent of Indian freelancers envisaged growth in the last 12 months and nearly 23 percent of them demonstrated annual average earnings of ₹60 lakh, making freelance business plan a profitable career option. Enabling a person to works independently, freelance consulting ensures that a person is paid for his professional or expert advice in a certain field or speciality. Owing to numerous benefits, such as being able to design your own schedule and choose your own projects and clients, freelance consulting business is gaining a lot of popularity amongst the youths of today. Providing advice about a specific topic or concept, freelance consultants can start a Freelance Business in almost any industry, which means there can be many opportunities for them to explore.

Some of the tips for freelance consulting and start a business around this segment are mentioned below.

Find your Niche

Choose the area you want to particularly specialize in, because consultants have the choice to specialize in several different areas of expertise. Therefore, opting your specialization swiftly can help you to streamline the process of your professional career as a freelance consultant. Finding your niche can help you take other decisions relevant to your freelance consultancy business, such as the types of clients you want to serve, the variety of projects you're interested in working on and the skills you might need to acquire or develop for helping out your clients efficiently.

Decide the Cost for your Service

In the second step, fix the rate you want to charge for your consulting services. There are numerous different options for setting a particular rate, including rates per hour or by-contract, but most freelance consultants choose to go for an hourly rate because consulting work can be easily measured in the time it takes to complete different tasks. Some of these specific tasks that the job requires include conducting research, scheduling meetings with clients, and so on. To finalize your service rate, you can take your level of expertise, years of experience you have and the resources you have into account. Combining all of these factors, you can present your business in such a way that is lucrative for your clients and profitable for you.

Create a Network

If possible, get in touch with the other professionals who are established in your domain. As freelance consultants function across many different verticals, it is good to have a network that you can turn to while searching for freelance clients. To build a network of professionals, you need to attend professional development events, join groups and online forums specifically designed for professionals in your domain. You can also reach out to the professionals whom you admire and would like to work with in the future and they can teach you methods for your job responsibilities and for finding clients as a freelancer.

Go Digital

Having an online presence will promote you and your work as a freelance consultant. Apart from that, it can also enhance public awareness of your business and help build a brand for your consulting business, benefiting the freelance consultants exclusively as they need to find their own clients and projects. Being present across various online platforms can provide you with a place for potential clients to contact you or submit inquiries. You can also build a comprehensive online presence by owning a website that promotes your freelance consulting business as well as social media profiles to tell your potential clients about you.

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