10 Steps To Being A Better Project Management Consultant

These 10 steps to being a better Project Management Consultant are easy but important tips for anyone serious about making a successful change for a client organization.

  1. Plan ahead.  Develop procedures in advance, and write them down for future reference.  Try to plan for different situations that could occur, and when the unexpected happens, you’ll be better prepared.
  2. Develop a marketing plan and stick to it.  By following a marketing plan, you’ll be sure to continue your efforts even when you’ve got more business than you can handle.
  3. Always continue your education. You’re an expert in your field, and you’ve got the experience and talent to follow through with what you promise your clients. Keep your mind sharp, and you’ll always be able to offer your clients the most current advances and knowledge available.
  4. Develop a niche. You should always work on building your skill set, but becoming a specialist in a niche area, or becoming known for a particular quality of service, can put you in high demand among the businesses that need your expertise. Being a specialist can enhance your brand identity, and can also help differentiate you from your competition.
  5. Save yourself time and money by using a portable employer of record. Many successful independent consultants and freelancers utilize the services of a portable employer of record. These companies handle invoicing and collections, which can take up a significant chunk of a consultant’s time.
  6. Always have a signed contract in place. Your contract should clearly explain the scope of your project to avoid any confusion and any potential disagreements down the line. Be sure to outline the limits of what your project includes, what your client is responsible for completing or providing, the timeframe, your fees, and payment terms.
  7. Practice patience and understanding. You’re a consultant, an expert your client hired to help solve a problem. That doesn’t mean that they will always be willing to take and follow your advice without complaint. Chances are, at some point your solution for one of your clients is going to require a significant amount of work, change, or money on their part, and they may question your advice. It’s part of your job to learn to eloquently handle difficult situations while leaving everyone satisfied.
  8. Ask for referrals. One of the easiest ways to get new clients is from a recommendation from other satisfied customers. Advertising and marketing has its place, but nothing beats a strong testimonial. In addition, plan to be able to showcase past successes to win new business. Get permission to mention clients, use them as references, or showcase your work for them in a portfolio or case study.
  9. Learn effective time management. Building a successful consulting practice takes a great deal of energy and persistence.  As you gain experience, you’ll learn to better estimate how long a project can take, but in the meantime, you’ll have to learn to prioritize, delegate when possible, and complete tasks as efficiently as possible. Use calendar or project management software so that you always have a grasp on what needs to happen, when.
  10. Have fun! You went into business for yourself because you love what you do. Keep hold of that passion, and you’ll learn to overcome any obstacle that comes in your way. Your love of your career will show in your dealings with your clients, and in your finished work. That means satisfied clients, and greater success for you! Nothing can be sweeter than enjoying the benefits of waking up every day to a profitable career that you enjoy.

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