8 Great Reasons to Start your Own Marketing Consultancy
It’s 6.00am and you’re on your way to another busy day of back to back meetings in the city. The traffic is diabolical as per usual. Ground hog day comes to mind… “Another day, another 50cents” as I used to say… It seemed the higher up the ladder I got, the more hours I worked and the lower my hourly rate became as the stress levels shot through the roof.
Now I sincerely hope that’s not what your life looks like! When I first started my consultancy business almost 20 years ago, I left a sought after high paying corporate job in a Senior Management position. Unfortuantely at the tender age of 27, I was almost burnt out. Not a great way to start a new business, but it wasn’t long before I realised how great it is to be the driver of your own destiny.
Here are 8 great reasons to be a Marketing Consultant:
1. You are in charge of your time – well at least as much as possibly human. I would like to say you’d achieve Work/Life Balance, but I’m not entirely sure I believe in that concept, as I can’t see how the two are mutually exclusive. I guess the take out from this is you can manage your time and work the hours that suit your lifestyle.
Warning: If you don’t learn to leverage, you will find yourself trapped in the time-for-money consulting conundrum, at which stage you no longer have control of much.
2. Working from home = No more traffic jams! At least not every day a drive time. I quite enjoy my commutes these days as I don’t do it very often (especially not in peak hours). I organise my visits to the city outside of peak hour periods 95% of the time. Quite often I can go for weeks without having to drive in traffic at all. I utilise the power of technology to have virtual coffee’s rather than face-to-face coffees and most of my meetings are via video conference. Imagine the time you can save by not having to travel to and fro work in peak hour! Need I say more…
Working from home has all sorts of benefits including reduced travel time, no requirement to dress in business attire if you don’t want to, flexible hours to work around family, tax benefits… But it doesn’t suit everyone. Check out my thoughts about who suits working from home.
3. Increase your ROT (Return On Time) – As I mentioned in the opening sentences, the higher up the ladder I got, the more hours I worked, the less my ROT became. This was not only in the form of an hourly rate (gotta love salaries!), but also my ability to manage my time in order to have a personal, family and social life. Work always came first. The harder I worked the more responsibility I was given, so the harder I had to work to keep up, and not necessarily with an increase in pay to match.
Not any more… Weekends and evenings are my own to spend with my family and friends. I can manage my days to fit in non-work engagements and I get to take holidays when I want to. 90% of my fees are on Fixed Fee agreements designed to reward efficiency, accuracy and fairness, or leveraged in various ways so my ‘hourly’ rate is more than 10 times the amount I earned as an employee.
I can highly recommend saying goodbye to hourly rates! Your time (aka life) is worth more than that.[tweetthis]Say goodbye to hourly rates. Your life is worth more than that.[/tweetthis]
4. Do the work you enjoy – most of the time. If you’re an employee and you love your job, changing to self employment may not suit you. Realistically running your own business means you need to do all sorts of things that you don’t have to do as an employee. Some of those things you’ll love doing, other things you may not enjoy so much. What I’ve learned over the years is to do what I’m great at and delegate the rest to people who are better than me at those skills.
The other part of this point is that I can choose who I work with and the type of work I do for them. I get the freedom to work with a diverse range of clients on a variety of projects. I really love the diversity that can be lacking in a job working for one company.
I get to call the shots… If I feel like working at a strategic level, I delegate the implementation to my team – it’s a great way to leverage and stay happy and motivated in your work.
5. Perpetual learning – I like to keep the grey matter working, so I love learning new things. The very nature of Marketing in our modern world is that there is constant change, so that part is a given. It’s the extra challenges involved in running a successful Marketing Consultancy business that perhaps I underestimated when I started. It’s a wild ride full of interesting learning curves. I love it, but boy I wish I had someone who helped me work it out! That’s why I teach other Marketing Consultants how to run their marketing businesses effectively. You already know how to be a marketer.
6. Leverage – You could argue that you can leverage yourself in a job by employing more people to work for you. The same is true in a Marketing Consulting Business. The difference is, if you leverage smartly and structure your business in a way that you’re not locking yourself in to overheads, you have the flexibility to upscale and downscale as you wish.
Leverage is an extension of point number 3 above. You can leverage other people’s time, resources and money to expand your business and earning potential. You can leverage systems to achieve passive income through leveraging your Intellectual Property (IP). If you want to build a business that is saleable, and/or has the potential to give you a leveraged income later in life, I can highly recommend considering building a leveraged Marketing Consultancy business.
7. A saleable asset – As mentioned above in point 6, if you build your business the right way, you will create a saleable asset. What better way to set up a retirement plan than to sell your asset – this is something an employee cannot do with their job.
8. You are 100% responsible for your successes (and mis-takes) – As the head of your company, there is no-one else to take your credit, steal your thunder or take blame. In my opinion I am 100% responsible for everything that is produced from my company, even though I have a team. I am happy to give the team due accolades and enjoy celebrating great work, however if a client is not happy, it is I who takes responsibility even if the team member also assumes some accountability. It is my brand and my reputation on the line publicly.
If you’re a solo-preneur you are responsible for absolutely everything without doubt. It can be a vicarious line to walk, trying to balance business development with service delivery and managing everything else in between. Too often Consultants unwittingly create cash-flow chaos by trying to do everything on their own. My advice… learn to leverage early and you’ll enjoy the fruits of a prosperous business.
Being self employed as a Marketing Consultant has many benefits. It does not suit every marketer and there are definite downfalls. Read my posts on the Pro’s & Con’s of Marketing Consulting and Is Working from Home Right For You? If you’re thinking about starting a Marketing Consultancy and would like to talk to someone who has been there and is doing that, I’m more than happy to answer your questions candidly. That’s exactly why we started Consult Me Group. You can make a time with me here.