Future-Proof: A Simple L&D Consulting Starter

TSS #001: Future-Proof: A Simple L&D Consulting Starter

Jul 08, 2023

Read time: 8 minutes

L&D layoffs are an all-too-familiar topic on LinkedIn these days.

One comment caught our attention and struck a chord:

Maddening, isn't it?

What's more maddening, though, is people prepare for this “what if” situation by dusting off their resumes.

The truth is, you are 100% responsible for your future.

And, if you're a great employee, you'll probably be great on your own.

The earlier you embrace this truth in your career, the better off you'll be.

And you don't need to quit your job and go "all in".

Similar to constructing a solid bridge, simply start by laying the foundation for your consulting business, on the side.

It’ll take you one day to set everything up.

So start future-proofing yourself now…

Take control as an L&D consultant

Now, you might be wondering, "Aren't consultants affected by the recession too?”

Not really.

Consulting remains a significant part of the labor market.

During times like these, there are a lot of new problems that need solved. And companies aren’t gong to have access to their usual workforce to address those problems.

So consultants are uniquely suited for this situation.

Now, we’re purposefully leaving out items that might not be useful to you until you start doing outreach, and sign your first client.

Once, you’re getting some meetings, maybe then, you’ll go, “I kinda need all my ducks in a row.”

So we’re being very resourceful here with our recommendations.

And if you don’t do these simple steps, you’re shooting yourself in the foot before you run a marathon.

Choose a name and domain name

People overcomplicate this one.

They put themselves through agony trying to come up with a name for their consulting business.

Here’s the thing:

It doesn’t matter if you pick the right name at this stage. You can always change it later.

What’s most important at this stage is you choose something and go live as quickly as possible — in 10 minutes.

Keep it simple.

Longer than 10 minutes, means you're wasting your time.

Here's how:

Choose a name for your consulting business using one of the following four options:

- [First name] [Last name] .com. (Eg. annasabramowicz.com).
- [Last name] [Consulting] .com. (Eg. sabramowiczconsulting.com).
- [Your initials] [Consulting] .com (Eg. amsconsulting.com).
- Or anything else you can come up with in less than 10 minutes.

If “consulting” doesn’t work, try a word like “media” instead. The main thing here is to keep it simple and don’t overthink it.

Once you have a name for your consulting business the next step is to purchase your official domain name.

To do this use NameCheap → Namecheap.com

Set up a professional email and calendar

If you're trying to be ahead of your market, and if you're trying to really show you know your stuff, and you're still using an AOL email, it's not a good look.

Neither is Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail, or any of these things.

Is it essential to have an email using your own domain? No. You can use your Gmail, or whatever, and you'll still be able to get clients with it.

However, the amount of time it takes to set up a business email, which is less than 10 minutes, and the cost which is $6 a month, it makes this one a no brainer.

When sending direct outreach emails or other business emails to potential clients, using an email from your own domain name enhances your credibility, increases the likelihood of receiving replies, and improves the chances of converting them into paying clients.

It shows you're more established.

It shows you're serious.

Use Google and set up your business email and calendar → Workspace.google.com

Connect with clients remotely

You want to record all you sales calls and refer back to them afterwards to see what went well and what didn’t go well so you can iterate and improve.

We don’t recommend you take in person meetings.

Since the pandemic took place, people are already expecting to take meetings virtually.

And it saves you a lot of time.

It’s way better. You don’t have to drive to the client.

We’d rather you be doing lead generation than driving to the client's place, even if it’s a local business.

Just keep it to online calls.

Everyone is cool with it. We’ve never had a problem with it.

The tool everyone is familiar with → Zoom.us

Streamline bookings for efficiency

You need a software to book calls with prospective clients.

Because usually what happens when people start to reach out, they’re like, “Okay, let’s jump on a call. When can you do it?”

And they usually do that through email.

“Can you do Tuesday this time…?”

Then the prospect gets back 12 hours later, “No. I can not do Tuesday. I can only do this time, this time, this time…”

Then you get back 10 hours later, “Okay. These times don’t work for me but this other time also works. Does it work for you?”

And it goes back to the prospect 10 hours later, “Okay, yeah. That totally works for me.”

You don’t want you to go through those back and forth messages.

They’re usually very time consuming. And they're flat out unnecessary.

Simply share a link to your calendar, which not only appears more professional but also eliminates the need for multiple messages to schedule a call.

This straightforward process saves you valuable time and makes it easier to book a call promptly while the client's interest is high, avoiding the need for extended back-and-forth exchanges.

And, for you to have that link to our calendar,…

We recommend → Calendly.com

Remember, connect your Zoom account with Calendly.

Register your consulting business

This is another one of those things that trips people up.

Sometimes these tasks can be a bit daunting.

Also, people will tell you, "Oh, you must talk to a lawyer."

Generally, you should never listen to anyone who's not a business person about business.

Now, it’s not mandatory to have a business to get clients and make money. You can "run like a business," without registering one, and use your own name, but…

It’s not recommended.

Because it’s not what professional consultants do. The perceived image of not having a company doesn’t wash well with people, especially vendors.

A lot of vendors, and prospective clients, are not even going to accept you if you don’t have a business.

No one will take you seriously, unless you have a business.

And we’re kinda with them.

If someone doesn’t have a business, we’re like, “What’s this person doing? Is this person a hobbyist? Is this a one-off?”

You want to do things properly and don’t take any shortcuts.

Registering your business is easy, cheap, fast and the benefits of doing so are big. Use either of these sites to register your business today:

Register a new business in the US → Incfile.com

Register a new business in Canada → Ownr.co

You can always change things in your business at a later date, so not having the ideal setup now isn’t going to be an issue forever.

Accept credit card & banking capabilities

This is a big one.

We're shocked when we hear somebody doesn’t have the ability to accept credit cards.

If you can receive money instantaneously without shuffling any paper or moving a single finger, then you should be doing it. You shouldn’t be using manual clunky processes like checks and bank wires.

And having the ability to accept credit card online and via the phone is essential in today’s business world. It is mandatory.

Accepting credit cards gives you the ability to ask for payment right on the sales call when the prospect has agreed to sign up.

We need the ability to strike while the iron is hot and take payment right then and there.

The only way to do that is with credit card payments.

All you have to say is, "Will that be Visa or MasterCard?" then they will tell you, "Okay, we can use Visa.”

To get started, you first need to set up a business bank account under the name of your registered business.

Set up your business bank account → Wise.com

Then, to accept credit card → Stripe.com

A website?

This is another one that absolutely grapples with people.

It aggravates and bothers them, including us.

People often debate between WordPress, Squarespace, and numerous other platforms. They obsess over themes, designs, colors, photos, and even personal appearance.

People constantly ask about having a blog, starting a podcast, or replicating websites like Apple's or Oprah's. They become fixated on trying to achieve the same look and feel.

It's madness, really. These things are not crucial.

Yet, the desire to compare oneself to others and match their website becomes addictive — an ego-driven pursuit.

But here's the truth:

It doesn't matter.

People hire you to get them from their current situation to their desired situation.

If you can do that, your website doesn’t matter, and nobody will care what it looks like.

Social profiles are more important.

So our recommendation is to leave website design for when you already have a client. For when you have time, and for when you’re already getting paid.

Then you can think about creating a website. You don’t need a website to get clients.

We say this because a lot of people use it as an excuse to not do what they have to do which is reach out.

Because it might be a little bit tempting to say to yourself, or kinda lie to yourself, that you’re doing the work by working on your website, because it’s a bit scary to reach out to people.

It’s a bit scary to jump on a call, when you have never done it before. We know that.

And we don’t want you to use, “I’m creating a website. I’m busy now creating a website…” as an excuse to not do your outreach to not jump on a sales call with prospects.

After all, what truly generates revenue?

It's doing outreach and jumping onto sales calls with potential clients.

And the only set-up you need to go do that, is what we've already covered.


Now we know for some people these things might seem too simple to really make any sense.

But once you have your consulting name, domain, business registered, banking, email, Calendly and Zoom, you pretty much have everything you need.

You now have your email.

You can start doing outreach through that email.

You have your calendly link.

So whenever you go into booking a call with a potential client that you’re talking to, that’s the link you’re going to use.

And with Stripe and Wise, you have the ability to accept payment.

These are the things you have to have to have any chance of success.

Start today, and build your future safety net.

Inner Circle Mastermind is LIVE!

Focusing exclusively on helping people start & grow an online L&D consulting business. Are you interested in being a part of this? Go to this link here to learn more.


Leverage trends, boost engagement, and level up your L&D career.

Join 8,000+ subscribers who get 1 actionable tip every Saturday morning.

We will never sell your information, for any reason.