Training

We offer a step-by-step guide on starting and working as an independent consultant

If you wish to use your scientific, technical or management expertise to work as an independent consultant we provide you with the necessary training to set up your business.

This one-day course provides step-by-step training for people who have extensive scientific or technical background and have worked in the industry, public sector or academia before and now wish to set up an independent consultancy business to work for themselves.

This course is accredited and is approved by the Royal Society of Chemistry for Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Spending one’s career as an employee of various companies at any level enables individuals to build on their formal academic education, deepen their knowledge and skills in their field and widen their expertise in new subjects. Typically, moving up the career ladder is achieved by focusing on the job whilst leaving other tasks and duties to the employer’s admin system take care of. Hence, it is not uncommon for middle or high ranking employees of companies to be totally unfamiliar with how the business is run every day. Normally, this lack of familiarity with routine business operation does not pose a problem unless and until people decide to set up their own business to work for themselves, perhaps as consultants.

The purpose of this course is to familiarise the prospective consultants with all they need to know about setting up and running a consultancy business successfully. Key subjects that will be covered include:

  • Pros and cons of working independently
  • Constructing a vision of the business
  • Conducting market research and developing a business plan
  • Detailed discussion about various business entities and key features of operating as a sole trader, limited company or partnership
  • Avoiding costly mistakes before setting up the business
  • Company registration with Companies House and Director’s legal responsibilities
  • Bookkeeping, accountancy needs and basic concepts
  • Accountancy software and whether to use external accountants
  • Work environment; home office or external facility
  • Selecting a good business name and internet domain name registration
  • Setting up a website, business email, phone lines and IT needs
  • Marketing the business and finding work
  • Consultancy compensation model, contracts and fees
  • Consultants’ business ethics
  • Building and maintaining business reputation
  • Time allocation and management
  • Banking and finances
  • Taxation and VAT registration
  • Professional indemnity insurance (PII)
  • Day-to-day administration of the business, procedures, protocols and forms
  • Client satisfaction and maintaining trust
  • Continuous professional development (CPD)
  • Networking and support for consultants

The interactive course also provides a range of examples, handy templates and information sheets to help the trainees to set up their business quickly.