When it comes to working for yourself instead of working for someone else, this is something that can actually have its own share of challenges, such as the loss of a decent paycheck and insurance benefits. However, there are also some rather positive factors that are associated with this, such as being able to establish your own schedule, determine what projects you want to work on, and focus on your own specific goals.

One of the best ways to transition to becoming self-employed is by consulting in the field that you have previously worked in. This will enable you to utilize your existing professional experience instead of having to worry about starting an entirely new business from the beginning.

Here are three important steps to make note of when it comes to starting a consulting business.

*First and foremost, it’s important that you find your niche. In other words, you should never try to offer something to everyone – you will be much more successful as a consultant if you apply your expertise to a specific market that requires exactly what you have to offer. Once you are able to fully define what you do, as well as who you do it for, you will then be able to determine who your ideal client is and how you can then begin pitching and marketing your specific services. You should always ask yourself questions such as what services are missing in your area, what specific areas do you specialize in, what problems are you able to solve that no one else can, and who would be able to benefit the most from the knowledge that you possess.

*You will also need to invest a decent amount of time in networking as well. This is a task that will enable you to connect with other people in the industry in which you will be working as a consultant. Additionally, you will also be able to remain in touch with current contacts, introduce yourself to potential clients, and more. In the event that you end up meeting someone in a capacity that is more professional, you will then need to find some manner in which to connect with them, such as exchanging contact information and submitting a follow-up email or contacting them through a professional networking website such as LinkedIn.

*It’s also equally as important to take the time to practice each and every one of your talking points. Think of them as being concise and short descriptions of not only what you do, but also how you do it as well. Being able to master these points is key in order to promote and pitch your consulting business. Not only should you be able to explain what you do, but you should also be able to highlight all of the reasons why you are different than other consultants who work in the same field, as well as reinforce all of the value that you deliver to your clients. Consider practicing your talking points out loud, such as having colleagues listen to you and offering constructive criticism. You should also always end your pitch with a question in order to learn more about potential clients that you meet.