Over the years, I have heard arborists (as well as others in the broader horticultural community) describe certain specific actions as “consulting”. Yet, since 2012, when I did my first presentation, Responsible Consulting for Arborists, it has become painfully clear that the term is utilized without clear definition and, even more troubling, without consideration for outcome and profit.
If you are in the business of consulting, then you are in the business of providing advice to clients for a fee in order to help them solve a particular problem or range of problems. The most important thing to note here is that Consulting = Drawing Fees. If you're not charging a fee, you're not actually consulting. You're providing an opinion in order to make a sale later.
Arborists often recognize that their expertise can be used to make profits, and they wonder how they can get into the consulting business. You probably already provide some consulting services, whether or not you realize you're doing it! Or, at least, you provide some services that can be TURNED INTO a consulting business. Routinely, people will ask you, “What do you think I should do?”, or even more graphically, “If this was your tree, what would you do?” If you answer, you are looking, “down the rabbit hole”... you're beginning to consult! Once you recognize that you're ALREADY consulting, the question stops being, "How can I start consulting?" and moves to, "How can I MAKE MONEY in consulting?" Because, remember, it's not really consulting unless you're charging a fee.
Do you want to learn how to increase your consulting fees, too? The next step is to join our professional-level lessons: ISprofessor. You'll get monthly lessons delivered right to your email inbox, for you to study on your own time. The first lesson will be published in June, so now is the best time to join. Don't miss a single lesson!
TCIA 2015 Expo
Are you planning on attending the TCIA 2015 Expo in November? If you are, you can attend Jeff's session (Friday) on Consulting: The Talk, the Telling, and the Selling. Learn about viable, responsible consulting, and have a chance to ask a few questions, too! If you're interested in meeting with Jeff one-on-one, please contact us so we can schedule a consultation time.