There are a number of factors you need to take into account if you are starting out as a Self Employed Consultant. You firstly need to know a lot about your specialist area of course, without a good deal of knowledge there isn’t any point becoming a Consultant because your job is to advise people who need help from a specialist.
You secondly need to have the appropriate industry qualifications depending upon what industry you are in. In many cases you would not be able to practice as a Consultant or specialist without qualifications or accreditations.
Thirdly, you will need to know who your customers are going to be and where you will find them. A marketing plan would be a good way to get clear how you are going to do this. Starting a business without knowing how you are going to get customers isn’t a good way to begin.
Another essential requirement when you are starting up is to have the right Business Insurance. The risks of not having adequate insurance are too big to take.
Let’s say for example that you have given some advice to a client that has caused them to suffer a financial loss. You might be claimed against because of the loss that person suffered. If the loss was a large amount you might be liable for that claim.
Obviously paying a claim like this could have a significant impact on your business, it would probably force you to go out of business. If you had adequate Business Insurance however you would usually be covered for the cost of the claim by your insurance.
In the UK if you are a Consultant giving advice to other people you will usually need to have Professional Indemnity Insurance. This will cover you if you are claimed against because any advice you have given has caused a financial loss for a client.
By Michael Williams