An independent consultant career is an appropriate one for those who aspire to be flexible with their work. Here is a guide to set up your independent consulting firm. Read on!
An independent consultant is a person who is no employed with a particular company or enterprise. He or she is a professional providing service on a contractual basis. The client can be either a company or any individual entrepreneurs. In this article, we will discuss how to become a consultant in your own field, consultant duties, and independent consultant opportunities.
What is an independent consultant?
An independent consultant is an expert in a particular field and guides clients. A consultant’s duties involve resolving any issues of clients in exchange for a contractual agreement for compensation. He or she is not affiliated with any company; works independently after signing an independent consultant contract.
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Consultant vs Contractor
In this section, we will discuss the difference between consultant and contractor. Before we start discussing Consultant vs Contractor, it is important to understand that both the roles are not employees of a company.
They work independently offering services to their clients; a commonality to know while comparing contractor vs consultant. An independent consultant is an expert on a particular domain, product, or technology. The person assesses and evaluates the need of customers and provides guidance.
Who is a contractor? A contractor may assess the needs of a customer, suggest the actions be taken, and execute the action. In the majority of the circumstances, the contractor follows the plans set forth by customers; a key difference in consulting vs contracting.
Top 15 independent consultant businesses one can start
In this section, we will discuss the top independent consultant businesses or the independent consultant companies one can opt for to become a consultant. There are several independent consulting jobs and opportunities now. Check the consultant description, and select the best for yourself to become an independent consultant.
1. Research consultant
A research consultant is one of the elite jobs for independent consultants. The person is usually affiliated with academics. He or she gathers data by scanning through multiple sources and performs extensive analysis on the data. The analysis leads to designing innovative products or documenting the findings.
2. Independent marketing consultant
An independent marketing consultant devises strategies for customers to increase their market presence. The person analyses the opportunities and targets consumers of the company’s products and services. Accordingly implements the strategies for further growth and earning end users for consumption.
3. Freelance consultant for content writing
What is a freelance consultant? A freelance consultant for content writing is one of the trending independent consultant businesses in recent times. You can write for a website or an online business or a company’s internal blog content.
4. Independent IT Consultant
If you are competent in IT skills related to any specific technology or product, then you can opt for an independent IT consultant job role. Many IT companies are nowadays outsourcing activities like design, testing, development to an independent consultant.
5. Independent educational consultant
How to become an independent educational consultant? The role of an independent educational consultant is to provide assistance and guidance to parents in researching for admissions in colleges and universities. The person matches the student’s abilities, marks, and ambitions to the best of the academic institutions and guides them throughout the admission process.
6. Paparazzi independent consultant
A paparazzi independent consultant is responsible for selling fashion accessories of women and others. The person brings the products to various fairs, events, parties, and expos for selling them to potential customers. The consultants need to enroll in the paparazzi program to earn commissions.
7. Freelance business consultant
A freelance business consultant or freelance management consultant is responsible for providing a multitude of services related to managerial, functional, and technical to a particular business. He or she researches the business domain of the company and extracts potential growth opportunities; one of the intelligent independent consultant businesses.
8. Independent wine consultant
The vineyards and wine firms promote and advertise their wines in various wine tasting events, parties, and festivals. An independent wine consultant acts on behalf of the firms and presents the wines to the consumers. The primary job of the person is to assist in enhancing the sales process.
9. Independent sales consultant
An independent sales consultant or independent sales consultant companies are responsible for selling the products or services of a firm to consumers. Depending on the number of sales, they are paid commissions by the company; decided mutually in independent sales consultant jobs.
10. Independent jewelry consultant
An independent jewelry consultant sells jewelry in person or online by conducting exhibitions, fairs, and events. The person is not affiliated with any company. Nowadays jewelry consultants even tie up with e-commerce firms for selling their products.
11. Self employed consultant with virtual assistance expertise
Virtual assistants are now in great demand. As more and more companies are focusing on advertisements on social media platforms, the need is arising. A self-employed consultant with expertise in social media algorithms conducts live events, creates promotional messages to target potential consumers.
12. Independent nurse consultant
An independent nurse consultant can work on a contractual basis for any healthcare facility including hospitals, nursing homes, or health centers. They can also work directly with my family or household requiring nursing care facilities for old people, child care, and for people suffering from ailments.
13. Independent consultant insurance
Independent consultant insurance or a risk manager guides building owners, companies, or individuals in assessing the level of insurance required. They diagnose the anticipated risks and suggest the insurance schemes to their customers which includes the tenure and the amount. Besides, they even suggest the best insurance companies for their clients.
14. Contract consultant
A contract consultant essentially provides expert advice to the customers on varied subjects. The subjects can be domain-related, industry-related, functional, technical, or technology-related. Simultaneously they execute and deliver the recommendations or strategies and thus are responsible for the end-to-end completion of the project.
15. Independent travel consultant
An independent travel consultant guides travelers in selecting their travel destinations and suggests the best packages. They can either conduct travel tours in their entirety or assist in selecting transport, and accommodation from other vendors. Besides they guide their clients in selecting the itinerary as per the preferences and budget.
How to become an independent consultant?
By now we have understood what are the different roles available to pursue being an independent consultant. In this section, we will focus on how to become a consultant, the academic and professional skills to be accrued for the same.
1. Research well before becoming a consultant
Read the different suggestions, recommendations, and guidance provided by established independent professionals before becoming a consultant. For example, if you are interested in independent beauty consultant companies, then check verbiages from renowned beauticians before becoming an independent consultant.
2. Select your niche for independent consultant jobs
Select the niche for the independent consultant jobs you are opting to pursue. The niche must be related to your area of expertise and academic abilities. You can select multiple niches as freelance consultants; a critical step for how to be an independent consultant.
3. Clarity on the products or services offered as part of freelance consulting
Be confident in the products or services you have planned to offer as part of freelance consulting to your customers. List down the salient features well before initiating communication with the clients. You need to understand which products or services attract consumers and which features are preferred by them.
4. Finalize the rates for freelance consulting jobs
Research on the market prevailing rates in various freelance consulting jobs. Select the rates accordingly. As an independent consultant, you can set a base rate wherein you can provide a bulk of services. For extra services, you can put add-on rates. Customers may have varying payment schedules, which you may need to negotiate before signing the contract.
5. Build expertise and experience by being a consultant
Write some blogs on a website or work as an intern to gain expertise and experience in independent consultancy. Being a consultant initially in a small business firm will also help in enhancing your credibility and knowledge level.
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Independent consultant salary
An independent consultant salary in the US is on average of USD 25K per annum approximately. The lowest salary can be USD 18K per year and the highest can be USD 42K per year. Denver has been recorded to be paying the highest average i.e. almost USD 25K per annum to an independent consultant.
The middle 67% of US independent consultants earn approximately between USD 22K and USD 29K per annum. The upper 67% of US consultants earn almost USD 42K per annum. On this, the independent consultant taxes have to be paid to the Federal US government which reduces their take-home pay to an average of 22K per year.
Independent consultant resume
A sample independent consultant resume is illustrated below for your reference.
1. Marketing Independent Consultant Resume example
Summary: Marketing Independent Consultant with 20+ years of experience in Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management in electronics, transportation, oil, and gas processing industries.
- Designing business processes related to internal and external supply chain network processes for oil and natural gas industries.
- Managing and monitoring service requirements on-air/ocean forwarders, carriers, and customs brokers.
- Documenting the requirements and design specifications
- Expertise in the documentation of customs clearance formalities
- Conducted audits to check the performance levels of suppliers, fabricators, and forwarders
- Tracking shipments, and delivery by monitoring the promised order delivery dates and the arrival dates.
- Curated innovative and automation frameworks resulting in almost 90% improvement of the shipments being delivered on time.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management
- Master’s Degree in Supply Chain Management
- APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional certification (CSCP)
- Experience in devising strategies for market expansion
- Analyzing the market trends
- Developing strategic relationships
- Good verbal and written communication
- Result-oriented mind-set
Employee versus consultant
Employee versus consultant – Let us try to debug the key differences between an employee and a consultant. Employees work directly for the company they are employed in and do not work independently. An independent consultant is not associated with any company and works as per the independent consultant agreement.
Employees are mandated to provide their services regularly to the employer, the terms being defined during the hiring process. Consultants work for a fixed term or maybe for a specific project. The working hours of an employee are determined by the employer. Consultants define their working hours, the target is to complete the assigned work.
Kuntala is a versatile writer with a focus on diverse areas around work, productivity, collaboration at work, hiring, management, HR, and training. Her background of past experience in technology and consulting helps in molding razor-sharp insights into the research and user-focused content she creates. Professionally she is an IT consultant in a sales role and also a writer of short stories and poems, travel blogger, and fashion influencer.