Marketing Consultant

Startup Costs: $2,000 - $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? No

THE BRIEF:

Let's face it: Without marketing, businesses cannot survive. So, it is no surprise that high-quality marketing consultants are in demand across North America. If you are an experienced marketer, the time has never been better to put that experience to work and lead other businesspeople down the path to marketing success.

Marketing consultants offer a wide range of services, including developing marketing plans, establishing marketing budgets, hiring and training salespeople and developing advertising, telemarketing and direct marketing programs to meet each client's needs and budget. Marketing consultants also help businesses expand into new markets, and even new countries, as well as build new distribution channels and profit centers.

In short, marketing consultants are the Jacks-of-all-trades in terms of helping clients build their businesses, revenues and profits. Market your services through networking activities, and by setting appointments with business owners and managers to explain how your services will benefit and ultimately profit their businesses.

ASK THE PROS:

How much money can you make?

Entrepreneur Press author Eileen Figure Sandlin is careful to break down potential earnings into multiple categories, including an hourly rate (she says "a consulting rate of $40 to $60 isn't out of line"), a project rate (hourly rate * projected hours * 1.1), a retainer and a bonus rate. 

Payscale.com says the median salary for a marketing consultant is around $60,000 per year, with hourly rates around $38.

What kind of experience do you need to have?

Sandlin says a business might hire a consultant for ten reasons: 

  1. To obtain specific expertise. 
  2. To identify problems. 
  3. To supplement a company's internal staff. 
  4. To act as a catalyst for change. 
  5. To be an objective onlooker. 
  6. To teach. 
  7. To do a company's "dirty work." 
  8. To bring new life to an organization. 
  9. To assist with a business launch. 
  10. To share contacts.

All of these require an established record of experience and success, which can make it difficult for a marketing consultant who doesn't already have a track record. According to Payscale, a consultant with 20 years of experience or more typically earns twice as much as someone new to the game. Depending on your profession and your goals, you may also need certifications, so be sure that you're fully qualified before you start trying to take on clients.

What’s the most important thing to know about this business?

"Smart marketers know that every business situation is unique," writes Eric Samson, founder of boutique consulting agency Group8A. "Strategies that worked for one company might not work for another."

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