Becoming an independent consultant is a career goal for many professionals. Once you get your degree and work for a number of years in your field, there comes a time when you have the experience, skills, and network to do things on your own terms.
However, making the transition requires careful planning and consideration. As we have discussed previously in When Is the Time Right to Quit Your Full Time Job?:
“Working on a business part time is one thing, but actually making the leap to running a business full time without the safety net of your full time job is a HUGE step to take. It’s not a decision you should make lightly, and there are a number of important considerations you need to take into account.”
Making the transition from employee to independent consultant is very similar. We’ve put together some great tips on transitioning.
How to Transition the Right Way
1. Make Sure You Are Ready
• Are you really ready to make the leap?
• Are you comfortable with taking everything on your shoulders?
• Are you confident in your abilities to succeed?
• What are the short term and long term effects it will have on your career?
Considering these questions is important to ensure you are prepared. It’s also important to have a backup plan just in case things don’t work out as intended – avoid burning bridges when you leave your company.
2. Make Your Current Employer a Client
Many new independent consultants make their current employer their first client. This often creates a mutually beneficial situation – you get a client and revenue coming in, and your previous employer can hire a consultant who understands their business and can do the work without having to pay them a full time salary.
The important thing here is to be open and honest when you make the decision to transition.
3. Put Out Feelers and Take Advantage of Your Network
Your best source of business when you first start out will be your current network. Put out some feelers and test the water before making the leap. If there seems to be a demand for your services, then you’ll know going independent is the right choice.
4. Ease into It
Jumping in head first, starting a new business, setting up a new office, building a website, and looking for new clients is a HUGE undertaking. A better approach is to ease into life as a consultant – work on your website, prospecting, and even consider taking on some side projects before you become an independent consultant full time.
A final thing to get in place before you begin consulting is to get reliable business insurance. Whether you need Commercial General Liability Coverage, Home Office Contents Coverage or other business insurance, uBiz has your insurance needs covered. Get a free business insurance quote anytime!
More Advice for Making the Transition to Consulting