On the main PCA website, we have a page where there are a few articles from some of our members. One of our articles is titled What Is A Consultant and was written by Richard Snyder, president of Cost Reduction Partners and also the president of PCA.
It’s a great article, and we hope you go to check it out, but we’d like to give a brief synopsis of whether you might be considered a consultant or not. The expectation is that many people have their own concept of what a consultant might be, but the reality is that you just might be a consultant yourself and not know it.
Overall, consultant’s sell services. If you own a pizza shop, you’re not a consultant, even if you’re the only one working there. You may deliver pizza, but otherwise you’re not in the capacity of going out to where other people have their business, sitting down with them, and helping them find solutions to issues they might have.
What if you sell office furniture? If you have a brick and mortar store that has examples of all sorts of chairs, desks, and filing cabinets around, you’re not a consultant. Or are you? Some representatives of companies like these will go to other businesses and consult on how to save space, how to take care of ergonomic issues, how to soundproof specific areas, etc. Suddenly the definition has changed. If that’s a major part of your business, you’re a consultant, whether you have a brick and mortar business or not.
Maybe you write for others for a living. Maybe you’re a freelance reporter, or maybe you write blog posts for someone else. You might even be a community manager for a larger organization. By the strictest of definitions you might not be considered a consultant. By a looser definition, however, you’re definitely a consultant. You provide services for someone else, and you’re an independent. As such, you face the same issues that other individual or small businesses face. You need to know how to market yourself. You need to learn which duties you do for yourself that you might need to ship to someone else, such as accounting services. You might even need help learning how to write contracts or negotiate prices.
When people put limitations on their thinking, then they’re “only” this or that. When one opens their minds and sees themselves in a different light, suddenly they’re way more than what they thought they were, and more opportunities arise for them. That’s the kind of thing that looking into a group like the Professional Consultants Association of Central New York can help you with. It won’t hurt you to see what it’s all about, right?