Before we can focus on the things which make a business model unique to a small business consulting business, let’s take a quick look at what information is contained in a business model itself.
A business model is simply a way of getting all the ideas which go into the creation of your business down on paper. It helps you to organize your thoughts, and presents all the information in a clear and logical way. This not only helps you to see your business more clearly, but also makes it easier for potential investors and others, to quickly understand your business.
Generally, a business model will cover 4 different areas: Infrastructure, Offering, Customers, and Finances.
Core: What are the things that are necessary, in order for your business to do what your business does?
Partners: What other people or businesses are you working with to conduct your normal business?
Values: What are those things which make the business something good for you to be doing, and what makes it something good for your customers?
What are the business’s products and services? Why should someone go to your business for those products and services, rather than get them from another business?
Who is the target customer of your business?
How will your business deliver your products and services to your customers? What is the business strategy behind your distribution channel?
What things will you do, and what processes will you use, to develop a relationship with your customers?
Cost: What are the total costs to your business, if you successfully follow your business model to conduct business?
Income: What are all the different ways your business will make money?
Your Small Business Consulting Model
The actual creation of your business model, is to provide as much detailed information as possible in answering the questions in those four areas. As you continue to create your business model, you can start to get a sense of how these areas will relate with one another within the structure of you business.
For a small business consulting business, all you need to do to create a business model, is to take a look at your consulting business, and answer each of the business model questions for yourself.
Obviously, I cannot give you all the details for your own small business consulting business. The details will be unique to you, based upon your specific situation. I will give you a few general things to think about. You can use these as starting points, when coming up with your own specific answers, for creating your business model.
First, look at all the various ways you will go about contacting potential customers. Try to think outside the box. Keep in mind that many traditional methods of marketing and advertising may not be as effective in generating leads for your consulting business.
Next, try to decide right now what process or procedures you can put into place, so you will be ready to expand your business the moment you can justify doing so. What hiring or training can you do now, in order to prepare for your success?
A consideration which follows close on the heels of preparing for your eventual expansion right now, is to keep your costs in check. Do your planning right now so you will be prepared when the day comes. But weigh the decision carefully before you actually invest any money into that preparation.
There are of course, many things to consider when building your business model. The last thing I will leave you with right now, is to think about what your clients will need, and how you can best serve that need to them.
If you are consulting to small businesses, ask yourself what things are most important to the small business owners you will be serving, and what are the best ways you can help them achieve those things.
Once you have asked yourself that question, go out and actually ask small business owners to tell you how you could best serve them. Ask them what they need, and how you can help them get it.
Not only will you be gathering information which will help you create the best business model possible, but you will also be developing relationships with the very same people who will shortly become your very best clients.