Many consultants leave consulting to build their own businesses. And why not? Entrepreneurship would not be a surprising exit path for consultants as their experience offers many advantages for entrepreneurs. They are generally equipped with the essential elements to start their own company.
Sophisticated Business Knowledge
You definitely need sophisticated knowledge when starting a business. As an entrepreneur you need to be competent in the main functional areas of a company, such as sales, marketing, finance, and operations, etc. You need to understand how to raise capital and how to find a business model that will work for you. You also need to be knowledgeable about the market you’re attempting to enter in order to deliver a good product or service to this market.
And these are just some of the most important knowledge one has to have to build a successful startup. Apparently, consultants are constantly exposed to complex business problems and help companies reach new growth targets. Therefore, they have the advantage of gaining sophisticated business knowledge across diverse industries. They pretty much understand the ins and outs of running a business.
Strong Startup Contacts
Apparently, consulting is an industry filled with entrepreneurial people. That means consultants have the luxury of strong professional networks that are essential in building your own startup. Perhaps, building valuable contacts during their years as a consultant would be the best benefit they can gain. It is because at the end of the day, it may all boil down to whom you know, rather than what you know, right?
As consultants learn about many different industries and businesses, they also hone the necessary skills to run a successful company. Their everyday lives basically involve rapid problem solving and business plan and analysis. That makes their problem solving decision-making and creative skills sharp. As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to come up with fresh ideas, and make a lot of good decisions in order to grow your company.
Creativity, problem solving and decision-making are skills that professionals from the consulting industry generally developed over time. That makes them ready to face their own business problems in the near future.
Key Traits and Characteristics
Successful entrepreneurs and consultants have a lot of traits and characteristics in common. Some of which are:
- Leadership: Entrepreneurs need to lead and motivate others in order to deliver a certain vision. Consultants are very much used to managing different teams to achieve a common goal.
- Interpersonal and communication: Consultants are known to be excellent communicators. In order to be a successful entrepreneur you need to be competent in all types of communication in order to sell your vision to potential clients, as well as to team members, and other people.
- Negotiation: People with consulting experience generally have strong negotiation skills as they deal with different clients with different goals, requirements and personalities. An entrepreneur can certainly take advantage of this trait when negotiating prices and when resolving differences between staff.
- Optimism and persistence: Consultants are generally known to be go-getters and achievers. And optimism and persistence are truly valuable assets for any entrepreneur, particularly during tough times.
Sufficient Capital and Finance Management
Consulting is known to be one lucrative industry. Competitive salaries and year-end bonuses offer an opportunity for consultants to save enough funds to build their own startup. As you know, you will need to have more than enough credit in order financial support your business.
Moreover, an entrepreneur needs to know how to cut costs and increase productivity. He must ensure proper finance management. For instance, there should be money allocated for current expenses and future investment. And someone with consulting experience has been advising other businesses on how to cut cost and increase revenue. So he can pretty much use their own advice when it’s time to run their own business.
Keep in mind that there’s no single path to entrepreneurial success. However, having a consulting experience can provide a great foundation for starting a business of your own. The steep learning curve in the management consulting industry may just help you equip yourself with the important tools.
If you need more information about management consulting career, download our free consulting career guide for tips on how to write an excellent job application, network with key people in the industry, and prepare for the daunting case interview. Guidelines on how to answer experiential questions are also provided.