Today we are going to talk about how to start a consulting business and I’m going to use the analogy of shopping for formal wear. You shop for a new clients the same way you shop for a new dress or a new suit. The first time you go shopping, you’re probably not going to find the exact clients you want. You need to go through a process of learning how to find the exact client that fits your business the best way. This article will explain that process.


Best case scenario: You find a boutique. You find a small, specialized store that is just for you; a store that specializes in your style, your size and your body type. If you could make a store that was tailor made for you, walking into the store would reveal every suit, tie, pair of shoes, or dress you needed. It is the same principle with your clients. The best scenario is to find one particular place to find every client you would ever need. It would be a tailor made solution for your business. It is the best case scenario and your ultimate end goal. However most companies have a different reality, especially in the beginning, and it looks more like a worst case scenario.

Worst case scenario: You visit a shopping mall. When you visit a shopping mall there are all kinds of options, probably too many options. In a shopping mall exploration is mandatory. You’re going to have to walk the entire mall to see all of what’s inside and then mix and match items from different stores. For the men: you may have to get your suit from the first store, shirt from the second store and tie from the third store. For the ladies: you may have to get your heels from the first store, dress from a second store and purse from a third store. This is the process of shopping and you have to figure things out. In that process of going to the mall, you begin to learn more about your style and which stores carry the best looks for you. The next time you shop your experience will be more directed and efficient. In your business you have to be willing to shop around and find the types of clients that are the best fit you. Along the way, you will learn more about your style and where your best clients are. Each time you go shopping for clients your experience will be more directed and efficient.

How to find clients that “fit” you. In the process of finding formal wear that fits you, it may be necessary to window shop. You may not have to walk into every store, but you may have to walk in front of many different stores, see what they have on display, and consider if you want to explore the store further. You may have to take notes as you walk from store to store to remember what makes one store different from another. You may also have to take pictures, because sometimes your written word will not provide a good enough description. Lastly, you are going to have to review your research. You are going to have to go back to your desk, look at your notes and then prioritize what makes the most sense for you and your business. Shopping for clients is the same. There are many places you could spend your time, energy, and money. You have to assess all reasonable options and make the best decision you can.

The important thing in any consulting business is having clients, but you have to appreciate the fact that finding the best client is a process. It doesn’t happen automatically; you have to have some patience. It’s much like shopping for the perfect suit or the perfect dress.

How do you find clients that “fit” you?  Post below.

1 Comment

  1. Monique Y. Wells on August 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Love this analogy, Alzay!

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