Wondering how to start an educational consulting firm? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Educational consulting firms have the potential to be profitable second career options for educators. After spending decades in education, teachers and other professionals sometimes transition into small business ownership by opening a consulting firm. And in today's red hot education market, the odds of success are much greater than they were even a decade ago.
The qualifications for educational consultants are fairly obvious. A background in education is mandatory. But it's also useful for would-be consulting firm owners to have a solid understanding of small business concepts. Even if your consulting firm is a one-man operation, it needs to treated like any other small business with attention given to marketing, accounting, and other common small business requirements.
Consultants help parents and students navigate the complexities of the educational system. The consultant's role is to assess the student's preparedness, develop an educational strategy, and monitor its execution. Since most educational consultants focus on the transition from high school to college, a working knowledge of college admissions requirements is a critical competency.
Educational consulting clients use several criteria to evaluate prospective consultants. In addition to a background in education, clients look for a familiarity with the institutions to which the student is applying. Although familiarity is important, independence is also highly valued – make it abundantly clear that you are not formerly associated with the institution. Professional certifications from independent consulting associations can reinforce your neutrality and boost your credentials.
There are several ways to promote an educational consulting firm. Parents and students use the Internet to identify consultant prospects, so a strong online presence is a necessity. Start by creating a search engine friendly website and expand your online marketing efforts to include Internet ads and a social networking strategy.
Essential Features of Business Plans for Educational Consulting Firms
Every business plan is unique, yet the most effective plans share a handful of essential traits.
If your plan lacks required elements like an executive summary or marketing plan, it could jeopardize its potential to deliver real benefits to your startup.
But in today's business environment, it's also important to discuss the external factors your educational consulting firm is facing. As a rule, we recommend including a PEST (Political, Economic, Social & Technological) analysis in your business plan as a way of addressing potential threats and opportunities at the macro level.
Look Over Competitors
Long before you open an educational consulting firm in your town, it's a smart move to find out how you will fit in the competitive landscape. Use the link below to get a list of local competitors in your city. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of educational consulting firms in your town.
Is the established competition doing a good job? It's important to understand their strengths and weaknesses and think through how you'll stake up against those established businesses.
Learn from Others Who Are Already In This Space
If you are seriously contemplating launching an educational consulting firm, it's a wise move to have a conversation with someone who is in the business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
However, an entrepreneur who owns an educational consulting firm in a different city will be much more likely to talk with you, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. Indeed, many experienced entrepreneurs enjoy offering advice to startup entrepreneurs. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
The key question new becomes: how to find an owner of an educational consulting firm that lives outside of your area?
It's easy. Here's a link you can use to find a mentor outside of your area.
Advice for Acquiring an Educational Consulting Firm
Many entrepreneurs elect to acquire a profitable educational consulting firm instead of navigating the challenges of a business startup.
Yet for many entrepreneurs, financing represents a major hurdle to buying an educational consulting firm. Business acquisitions are easier to finance than business startups, even though the financing process can still be exhausting.
Our Business Acquisition Financing Tips have the information you need to successfully navigate the challenges of financing your new business.
Is Franchising the Right Option?
In many cases, a franchise is the shortest route to successful small business ownership. Leading franchises offer aspiring educational consulting firm owners a turnkey business model and other resources that simply aren't available in a non-franchise startup.
The Gaebler consulting franchise directory is full of exciting franchise opportunities for educational consulting firms as well as other businesses. Just click the link to peruse the possibilities.
Remember, like any business, a franchise requires commitment and capital. Although the capital requirements vary by franchise, with a little research you should be able to identify a franchise that is capable of meeting both your ownership goals and capital budget.
These interviews should be of interest to you.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you currently own an educational consulting firm, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to educational consulting firms, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.