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What am I? Contractor, Consultant or Business Owner


December 19, 2019 / fbcadmin



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What am I? Contractor, Consultant or Business Owner


When a new business consulting service starts out, the first few years are always a scramble to get whatever business you can to fill your billable hours. You take jobs that are wide and varied and there’s not really a strategy. Other than get more clients and see how it goes.

At some point every service provider needs to ask themselves a simple question: What am I? Contractor, Consultant or Business Owner

  • Do you have one or a few regular clients that you do all your billable hours for? Are you working deeply in the customers business as a part of the team, delivering projects or programs? You’re not really hunting for more clients? Then you’re a Contractor.


  • Are you continuously networking and growing your potential new client pipeline to ensure you’ve got enough hour’s month to month? Do you work loosely in the clients business, but are an advisor to their teams, not a member of the team? Then you’re a Consultant.


  • You’re a Business Owner if you’re strategically planning the year ahead, growing your networks and customer base. Business Owners create new and diverse income streams, perhaps bringing more people into their business. They also spend time and effort developing their business skills, not just their product/service offering.


Many Contractors call themselves consultant or business owner, but the truth is they may not want to be either of these, and contracting is comfortable and profitable for them.

There’s nothing wrong with being a contractor, not everyone should and can be a business owner. If you’re a Contractor, and happy then own it and don’t feel the pressure to be more that.

Business Owners who provide business consulting services are most effective and profitable when they are laser focused on what type of consulting model they run, and who their real customers are.

The broader the customer types you sell to, the less focused and effective you will be.

Each stage of growth in a business brings a different customer mindset, challenges and price points that the client is willing to pay for a consultants time and expertise.

If you want to be a consultant, but you’re falling into the trap of being a contractor to your customers, you need to adjust your model and terms of service so that the client always sees you as an advisor, not just another team member. Otherwise the value of your Business Consulting Services in the customers eyes diminishes over time as you become part of the furniture.

You’ll also need to move away from being comfortable with the work you have. To think like a business owner is to always be aware that customers don’t stay customers forever. Good business owners have a sales and marketing process and pipeline that they fill perpetually, not just when a customer is lost and you need to fill their spot in your diary.

Need help working on your strategy as a consultant or business owner? Contact us at Foundational Business Consulting to book a planning session.

Call us to find out more today!


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