Being new to this site I was wondering what people on this site are looking for. I’m aware that trainers/facilitators/managers are extremely busy, so you’re not just on here to kill some time…
So what problem would you like to have solved today, tomorrow, next week?
Are you looking for training resources, questionnaires, tools, cartoon pics, more time, better facilitators, a training venue, etc.?
What is your biggest need today?
Sure I’ll write something for the skills portal. Something along the lines of the above, as I think many independent consultants are facing major challenges in the current economy.
Hi Nicki & Judy,
Judy thank you for your excellent contribution – maybe you would like to put those suggestions into an article for the skills portal?
Nicki, Judy is absolutely right – working from home can be particularly lonely & it does mean that you need to consider other options to keep up to date – it’s amazing how much information is circulated informally around workplaces – coffee machines, smokers corner, etc. One of the objectives of skills-universe is to provide that service for the independent operators & I’m sure that you will make many contacts here.
Everybody has to start somewhere.
Sometimes clients find you in the strangest ways. I’ve found children’s birthday parties to be particular good sources of referrals. What really helps this “client finding process” is knowing exactly what they look like – almost like a “missing persons” report. The more detail you can describe, the easier they are to find.
If I were to send you 5 dream clients what would they look like?
From which industry would they be?
Private sector/public sector?
What problem would you be solving for them with your training?
Where do these clients hang out? (Professional associations, organized business networks, chambers of commerce, etc.)
What do they like to do in their spare time?
Who would typically make the purchasing decision? (Line managers, HR manager, Training Manager, Talent Manager?)
What kind of projects would they want you to work on?
How much should each of those projects be worth? (What I’ve learnt is that we all long for that BIG BREAK, and often it comes disguised as 10-15 little breaks)
An approach that worked well for me was to get in touch with a good number of training companies and larger consultancies to work on a project/free-lance basis. Trainers/facilitators I worked with kept in touch and involved me in other projects.
This approach requires a bit of caution as many consultancies require some sort of contract – be very aware of restraint of trade clauses as well as payment terms.
Some notes on working from home:
It can be very lonely and you run the risk of becoming isolated if you don’t set up some sort of a peer group or regular get together with like minded individuals. An organisation that worked well for me was BNI (business network international) http://www.BNI.com They have chapters in just about every city in the World. They meet on a weekly basis with the sole purpose of exchanging referrals.
You’re welcome to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.