Skip to main content

Insights from a 20-Year Consulting Veteran

Are you tired of spinning your wheels instead scaling your business? Then listen up, because I’ve got some serious insider knowledge to drop.

In this post, we’re going to reveal the top 5 scaling mistakes that could be costing you a fortune. 

And we’re not just spouting off generic advice – we’ve tapped into the brain of Mike Walker, our resident client services director and a 20-year consulting veteran.

Mike’s seen it all – from epic failures to huge success stories. And now, he’s here to dish out his priceless pearls of wisdom to help you avoid making the same costly mistakes.

So get ready to take some notes and implement these tips ASAP. Because if you’re serious about taking your business to the next level, you can’t afford to make these mistakes.

1. Failure to validate message market match.

Here’s the deal: your ideas don’t mean squat if they don’t align with your client’s desires.

Sure, consulting requires creativity, but if it doesn’t resonate with the market, then it’s time to stop patting yourself on the back and start getting inside their heads. 

Or keep blindly rushing forward . . . and end up in the scrapyard with 42% of the other start-ups whose primary reason for failure was “no need in the market.” 


To dodge that disastrous path, you’ve got to ace your message-market match. You want something that will cut through THEIR noise and grab YOUR target audience’s attention. 

Zeroed in on that, and you’ll automatically stand out because you’re gonna be one of few consultants speaking in a language your clients understand.

2. No clear pricing strategy.

Be fully aware that a clear-as-mud pricing approach can be disastrous for your business.

Pricing is like a two-headed monster that requires a blend of art and science to tame.

Sure, adding up your costs and hourly rate is a start, but to truly understand your value proposition, you’ve got to dig deeper.

Your true value lies in what you offer, not merely the expenses incurred to provide it.

Moreover, constantly fluctuating prices can confuse clients and damage your reputation—word gets around, and it’s not a good look.

To avoid this, you need a baseline pricing model that’s crystal clear. With a transparent methodology in place, you’ll put your clients at ease and make yourself look like a true pro.

3. No secure form of attention generation.

Generating leads is the bread and butter of any consultant’s business, but relying solely on referrals is like putting all your eggs in one basket – risky AF!

But before you can become a lead generation wizard, you first need to get down and dirty with your ideal client profile. 

You’ve got to know what makes them tick, what keeps them up at night, how you can get them results, and why they needed you yesterday! 

Never waste your time selling them on something they don’t need – focus on their desired end result.

And it’s crucial to adopt a long-term, phased approach:

Stage one involves tapping into your entire warm market for the initial months. 

In stage two, start asking your warm market for referrals and expand your network. 

Eventually, you’ll need a more sustainable lead generation system in place, whether through paid traffic or content creation via platforms like YouTube or blogs.

Find the method that resonates with your audience and effectively communicates your message to generate quality leads.

4.  Falling in love with short-term branding.

You need to think short-term and long-term simultaneously when it comes to branding.

It’s easy to get caught up in the aesthetics of logos, websites, and business cards. 

While these are important, they also have diminishing returns. 

Clients are after real results, not swanky logos.

And oftentimes, you’re probably going to evolve as a consultant pretty drastically. 

So you want to make sure that you leave enough room there so that you don’t completely paint yourself into the corner with your branding. 

Of course, make sure you are practicing integrated marketing communications with a professional image but don’t neglect your mission statement, core beliefs, and operating procedures. 

These elements are critical to establishing your ethos as a business owner and will impact your decision-making and the value you bring to the marketplace. 

Prioritize understanding your end objectives and mission statement as a consultant, as they are far more important than the number of mugs you have.

5.  Lack of operational systems.

This next mistake is monumental – and I mean it’s a business CRUSHER.

Forbes defines operation systems as, “the connective tissue between the vision of a company and the daily activity that accomplishes that vision.”

This is why short-term and long-term operation systems are crucial. 

Think of it this way – you’re trying to get leads flowing into your business like water through a hose. But if that hose has a bunch of kinks in it, you aren’t gonna get a consistent flow.

That’s where SOPs come in. They allow you to systematize the flow of information that a customer experiences when they start working with you. 

Without proper operational systems, you’re dooming yourself to sporadic data and never really knowing what works and what doesn’t. 

Trust me, it’s not a fun place to be.

So take the time to develop standard operating procedures for every aspect of your business – lead generation, internal operations, finance, marketing, you name it.

By doing so, you’ll not only gain a better understanding of your business, but you’ll also provide a consistent experience for your customers and team members. 

And if something isn’t working, you can quickly identify and fix it. 

Don’t forget that you’re in this for the long haul . . .

Speaking of Longevity

Well, now you have it! The ultimate lowdown on the top 5 consultant blunders and how to steer clear of them. And now that you’re armed with this knowledge, it’s time to level up your game—before it’s too late.

To keep up the momentum, don’t miss our exclusive video on the groundbreaking Proprietary 4-Phase Model for supercharging your consulting business.

Take charge, implement these strategies, and watch your consulting business accelerate like never before.

Get Our Tested, Profit-Proven Methods for Scaling Consulting Businesses

Our monthly Consulting Memo is curated, tried, and tested marketing and business building knowledge packed into a report that gets mailed to you each month (plus released in our private portal digitally) for only $27/mo (cancel any time – no questions asked).

Become a Memo Subscriber Now!

Leave a Reply