Are You a Subject Matter Expert? Try Consulting

If working from home has always piqued your interest, you may wonder if your experience translates into paying clients. If you're an expert in your field, you might think of opening your own consulting firm. Management consulting services are in high demand for those who know how to mine C-level clients to help them in decisions that will drive their company toward their goals. If you're interested, here are some things to know before you try consulting. 

Types of Management Consultants

There are five basic types of management consultants:

  • strategic management
  • operations management
  • financial management
  • human resources management
  • compliance management

Strategic consultants advise high-level management regarding new and on-going decisions that will affect the company's short and long term growth potential. Operational consultants, for instance, help mid-level management with issues and decisions regarding daily or short term goals. For instance, the operational consultant might advise a logistics team on how to manage the ebb and flow of receivables coming into their business.

Financial managers help businesses make decisions about risk and financial plans for their employees, such as a 401k and other retirement issues. Human resource and compliance consultants advise how to manage policies, procedures, training programs and the like. Compliance consulting often goes hand-in-hand with human resources since there are many regulatory deadlines and employee classifications to work with. Compliance consultants also work with managers about ISO:9001 procedures and updates.

Can Retired SMEs Make It as Older Consultants?

If you're a retired subject matter expert, you'll have the benefit of experience that their younger counterparts don't. However, younger consultants are often more Internet and social media savvy when it comes to recruiting clients and marketing. There are ways to educate yourself to remain competitive in the digital world, such as taking local classes. If you know enough about the Internet to take online courses, many of those are free through community programs or local colleges. 

If you've decided to offer consulting services, start planning. Network before you retire. Don't spend hours pouring over administrative details like letterhead and logos before you've even gotten a client unless you have start-up capital socked away to invest in those.

Don't lose confidence. It's a competitive, networked world out there. Opening a management consulting firm might be just the ticket to land you in that state of retirement bliss that most people just dream about: working your own hours and at your own pace, setting your own fees, and enjoying your hobbies. Learn more about consulting by reaching out to a management consulting firm.