My Step Into Consultancy

I started out as a consultant because I needed the flexibility to work around my growing family and there was no shortage of work.

I set up in 2006 when the Construction Industry was booming.  I was working in the housing sector and was developing a specialism for refurbishment projects.  The company I was working for had been bought out by an international business with a phenomenal safety record.  I worked on the transition team for a year, training up our site managers in the safety philosophy of the new parent company but my sites were finishing and I would have had to move South to continue with the company.  I saw this as my cue to go my own way.

My Consultancy Vision

I didn’t initially have aspirations of being “a consultancy”.  I was just going to be a freelance Health and Safety Manager.  I intended to take on as much work as I needed to match the salary I had been earning.  I basically had a blank diary to fill and marketed myself as an outsourced safety manager.  I intended to work on clients premises during office hours, so I didn’t need an office and kind of figured I needed 5 developers to work for 1 day a week each.  My pricing strategy was simply charge the same hourly rate as I got when I was employed (BIG MISTAKE)

Turns out this wasn’t really a good business plan for several reasons.

  1. Most developers have in-house Safety Managers.
  2. Working for your old hourly rate fell massively short of the monthly salary I was used to.
  3. I didn’t consider time or money for marketing

My Biggest Fear

I’d seen many people I worked with set up their own consultancy businesses and had always said “That’s not for me.  I couldn’t sleep at night if I didn’t know how much I’d earn at the end of the month”.  The fact that I now have a successful consultancy business and a full diary will be hysterically ironic for people who worked with be in the early 2000’s!

As it turned out, I didn’t need to be too worried about money.  It kept coming in thick and fast for the first 6 months but that was pure luck, not strategy or planning.

Where It All Went Wrong

I didn’t consider for one minute that the construction industry would come to a standstill, pretty much overnight.

But it did.

And that is when it all changed and I went from a freelance, rent by the day Safety Manager to a Consultancy.  And that is a WHOLE different ball game.

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