Independent Consultants: How to Design Your Consultancy Services

A key activity for independent consultants and contractors is to package their services in such a way that prospective clients find it easy to buy from them. A great way to do this is to turn your services into a product as clients often find it easier to buy a product than a consultancy service. It overcomes two potentially fatal objections – “we don’t use consultants” and “we don’t have a budget for consultants.”

This article will show you how to package your services to create a consultancy product that sells.

1. First make a list of the ten steps you carry out when you deliver your consultancy service. It doesn’t necessarily have to be ten but trying for ten makes sure you drive out all the key steps. For example, for one of my service products I have five key steps but they cover all of the phases in the service I offer.

2. Next, write down ten things you do to complete each step. Again, it isn’t always necessary to have ten… just make sure you have covered all of the essentials.

3. Now create a process for the ten steps in each of the ten activities and write a manual on how to do them. This is your blueprint for carrying out your service.

4. Give your blueprint a catchy name. The five step blueprint I mentioned earlier is called DISCO as the five steps are Discovery, Insight, Strategy, Construct and Optimise. These are the key phases for delivering a Procurement Category Management service. Clients find it easier to justify buying the DISCO process and its implementation than they do spending the equivalent amount on consultancy, even though the end result is the same.

5. Finally, price the product in a way that your services look a bargain. One way to do this is to charge a license fee for the product and an additional implementation fee. A prospective client will benchmark your day rate for the implementation but will have no equivalent to test your license fee. If you have pitched your implementation day rate reasonably then the prospect will see the package as being value for money – the upside is that your effective day rate from the combination of license and implementation is much higher.

Follow these simple guidelines and you will have an effective consultancy service that prospective clients will see as having value to them.