I'm gathering certifications now and experience, but would like to open a consulting firm. Can you offer any advice on start up and scale please?
Last year, I made six-figures from consulting on the side (while I had a full-time job). Here's how I did it...
I think a lot of "wantrepreneurs" overcomplicate the process of starting a business, and just throw up their hands because it can seem overwhelming and complicated.
A lot of my work came from referrals. By simply finding one person who needed help, I was able to two additional clients who needed help (that came recommended by the first person).
The first person found me on LinkedIn, so I would look into optimizing your LinkedIn profile. Search around for consultants in your industry and see how they write their headlines and biographies especially.
If you want to scale to a large company, it first starts with one client. And snowballs from there.
One great tip I've heard is whenever you have a client, ask them "I don't spend anything on marketing because I want to spend all my time helping you. So I rely on my clients to give me more referrals. Are there 3 friends you know who would be interested in my services?"
I think you can grow a sizable consulting business through referrals only. Most people overcomplicate thinking about Facebook Ads, hiring a bunch, and other things.
Walk before you can run!
I started up more than 30 companies across 21 years. In some years I started a few, but later years there are lesser.
Disregards I am a management consultant, just from my personal experience as an entrepreneur, my little thoughts should give some helps to you. You are asking for "how" ... there are many avenues, and properly tons of books, article outside there you already read.
Can we look at "what" and "why" you want to start a Salesforce consulting company? If you ask me given 10 hours for me to do a strategic task, I will spend 6-7 hours to do understanding, 2-3 hours to plan, 1 hour to execute the task. Therefore I am so into "what" and "why" at start.
1. what you do or intend to do?
2. got sufficient people to buy or not? already there or need to find?
3. what you want to achieve = volume, value, duration?
4. so on
Many questions on the "what" and "why", please do more in depth on these before you look at how. Once you have thorough understanding of "what" and "why", you somehow will be guided to "how" very easily.
Hope the above help you to kick-start. Drop me any message if you still cannot obtain that level of clarity to push you forward,
After spending 7 years and counting running a successful mobile app business and getting some tremendous results (7 figure revenue, installs & selling numberous mobile apps). I am doing consulting as well and the clients have found my industry experience extremely valuable.
TIPS WITH EXAMPLES
NICHE - What is your specific market. Being a consultant in general really can say to others you are not specific in what you are consulting in. Find a niche you focus to sell on and then add additional services on the backend.
Example - I do an assessment on your mobile app business. Then share what the small tweaks you can make to improve your mobile app. Personally, I would guarantee if I can't find actionable items as I know my value or money back, I am not saying you should do the same unless you truly believe you can (most wont and it is a bold move).
If I went in and said I can do business consulting on your mobile app business, that can mean programming, design, monetization, marketing, building teams etc..... It is saying the same thing, but I am niche on the business assessments.
You really need to start and talk to the people you know. This can be personal, Facebook, LinkedIn, companies you have worked at etc...
Example - Take your phone out of your pocket, go through each contact and see how can they help you or who they know.
CONTENT & ADDING VALUE
Creating content and showing yourself as an expert in salesforce consulting. Creating lots of content and sharing it on LinkedIn, Youtube etc... This is a time-consuming process, but so is everything else, just do it :)
Example - Writing this post, I am creating this post which my goal is to overdeliver value. It may help someone reading it, the more value I can bring to other people (paying or not paying today), I believe in the end will help my position.
YOU or AGENCY
You can start as an individual consultant or an agency. When it comes to scaling and demanding more money, an agency in the way to go. You will get bigger and better clients, however, the demand level is high as well.
Example - When you set your branding and website, make it about the company, not you.
I hope that helps, of course, if you want to jump on a call let me know.