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4 Types of Consultant Roles to Watch Out For

4 Types of Consultant Roles to Watch Out ForWhen starting up a new IT business as a consultant, you might think that there’s not much to consider about the role you want to play within client organizations, but that’s not strictly true.

There’s a need in every marketplace for four types of consultant, so depending on the services that you offer and the clients that you want to attract, you’ll probably want to offer a blend of these roles in order to meet as wide a range of needs as possible for your niche:

  1. Consulting in name only – Quick and easy to sell and deploy. You offer a one-size-fits-all service for a common issue in your marketplace. The client knows what their issue is and what solution is required, but does not have the labor to deploy it.

  2. Basic consulting – Slightly more in-depth. The client has identified the issue and knows what some of the solutions could be, but the client needs guidance on the best solution and its deployment. You’ll work hand-in-hand with the business to implement the solution. This includes training, coaching, and handing-off to them at the end of the project.

  3. Full service consultingLong-term contract. The client recognizes that it has a series of issues and no IT strategy in place. The client wants a long-term relationship with a consultant who has a good reputation and is at the top of their game. The client is in the market for a virtual CIO and wants to collaborate with someone who will take on that role without requiring much input from them.

  4. More than IT consulting – Long-term in-depth contract. The client is casting their net everywhere to find a solution to their company’s troubles. The client knows that it has issues, but it is systemic. This type of role requires analysis of the entire business. Strategize closely with the client to come up with solutions and the steps needed to implement them.

The problem of course is that sometimes these roles/clients masquerade as each other, and it’s your job as a consultant to find out what each client needs by asking questions and listening carefully to their answers. This way you can be whichever type of consultant is most suitable for their needs.

You may also have a preference about the type of role you want to undertake. Number 4, for instance, would have many signals for some that would make them discount the client on day one, but for others that is one of the types of consultant challenges that they relish.

How do you achieve the right balance across these four types of consultant roles for your business? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments section.

And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free copy of the special report on How to Start a Computer Consulting Business: 6 Proven Ways to Build Your Initial Client Base.

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