In this article in Forbes, Jim Moffatt, CEO of Deloitte Consulting says, “To be successful as a consultant, you must be different; you must be strong; and you must be committed.”
The first requirement is key – be different. You must answer two questions:
1) What do you do? 2) How is that different than others doing the same thing?
Answering these question gets you started and makes you focus on meeting a need in the market. You have to know this to ensure you don’t end up “competing for consulting work on price.”
You need to know how you can translate your difference into solving a client’s problem in an elegant way. You need to consider your interpersonal skills. In “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” Marshall Goldsmith reminds us that successful people sometimes have blind spots about a part of our personality that is preventing us from getting to the next level. Work on this as well, and watch what happens.
Second, to be strong build a team through a partner or ally and together you can grow. Build a team that is flexible to work under changing conditions, are results oriented enough to figure out the right actions to take and then act.
Third, be committed to customer satisfaction, continuous improvement, and business development. You need to understand why what you deliver is vital and how it add value; to keep sharpening the saw or you will become obsolete; and let your passion for solving problems be your calling card.