Virtual consulting is a process that involves working remotely with clients. While the pandemic may have caused many consultants to go virtual, there are many other reasons why they do it.
One of the main factors that contribute to the success of virtual consultants is their ability to work from anywhere. As more people resist being displaced, remote work allows small businesses to thrive. Flexibility is key for almost every business these days, and remote consultant work is able to offer that.
1. Embrace Technology
Thanks to the pandemic, companies are now able to offer better remote capabilities. As more companies adopt cloud-based services, such as Slack and Zoom, the demand for remote infrastructure has increased. There are more digital tools available to businesses than ever before.
However, this doesn’t mean that going virtual is a smooth transition. There will be growing pains as clients get used to the new technology. Many people have been forced to try it for the first time, and there can be a steep learning curve.
To avoid potential issues, start by exploring the various tools available to virtual consultants. These tools can help you get up and running quickly. Having the necessary knowledge will allow you to pass it on to your clients. The best way to ensure clients are as comfortable as possible with new programs and technology is to be comfortable with it yourself, so you can readily aid in learning and troubleshooting.
2. Adjust to Client Needs
One of the most important factors that you should consider when it comes to implementing new technology is to make sure that your clients are comfortable with it. Not everyone has the same technical knowledge. One of the most important factors that you should consider when it comes to implementing new technology is to be prepared for the unexpected. This will allow you to address any issues that may arise smoothly.
When it comes to implementing new technology, make sure that your clients are comfortable with it. It’s important to be real with them and react appropriately to distractions and disruptions that can occur when working from home.
Having a good flow of work is also important to ensure that you can make progress. While distractions may be inevitable, work with your clients to reduce them as much as possible when handling communications so everyone can focus on the project.
Having a good communication strategy is also important to ensure that you can keep up with the changes happening in the company. Having the ability to regularly update and communicate with your clients is also beneficial for both parties.
The dynamics of a remote environment change drastically from working in person. Without the luxury of being able to be onsite, project details can get lost in the shuffle. Having a good communication strategy is important to ensure that you can keep up with the changes happening in the company and keep your clients up to date on deliverables and progress.
It’s crucial to establish a schedule that works for both parties. In most cases, it's better to overcommunicate than to leave your client wondering what in the world you've been doing all this time. Commit to sending a weekly update on your progress, or scheduling a bi-weekly phone call to discuss the project in-depth. Whatever you choose, ensure you are maintaining your client’s trust in your ability to complete the project.
Virtual consulting comes with its own unique set of challenges, but the flexibility and ability to expand your client base beyond your immediate geographical area can be immensely appealing. Just make sure you take the time to find technology tools that work well for you, respect your clients’ unique needs, and communicate thoroughly throughout each project. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to building a successful virtual consulting business, allowing you to work on projects and check in with clients from anywhere in the world.
About the Creator
Gregg Jaclin is based in Princeton, NJ and has dedicated his career to business consulting. He is particularly involved in working with entrepreneurs and focuses on companies looking to launch IPOs and other public equity matters.