One of the best types of home based businesses is a consulting business. With a consulting business, all you really need are your skills. All you need is to have some expertise in a marketable area and then take off running with it. Right? Well not exactly.
While an area of expertise is certainly a necessary foundation for a consulting home business, it’s not all there is. It also requires a certain level of professionalism. Professional conduct is sometimes lacking in consulting businesses. Michael Zipursky laments this fact over at Consulting-Business.com where he talks about some unsavory characteristics he has encountered. He speaks of consultants who don’t return email in a timely manner, don’t return phone calls, and who fail to show up for meetings.
Mr. Zipursky further wonders how these people can stay in business and theorizes that they are simply driven to success. I have an alternative theory for that. In some areas of consulting, consultants can get away with this type of behavior simply because they don’t have much competition. Either they work in a super-niche area where there are few other competing consultants or else they are ‘super experts’ in their subject matter and are at the very top of their field. In either case, they can be highly sought after and clients may tend to just put up with this behavior.
It is also possible that consultants who engage in this type of behavior don’t know any better. Perhaps they are so good at their field that they never paid attention to the finer aspects of running a business. Someone told them “hey you should start your own business” and they did. But no one told them they need to focus on professional conduct and standards.
If you are just starting out in a consulting home based business or you are considering one, keep this mind. Avoiding this type of behavior can be a way for you to build quality into your business and at the same time can help you rise above consultants who don’t act professionally.