Mike Walker, CEO Opterre
The early influences
Why did I decide to train consultants? It is a rags-to-riches-type story where I grew up in a fairly poor background. My mom was divorced. She was a single mom with three kids. We basically have to live on food stamps to augment our living. And my mom was not the type of person that really was all that keen about that, so what she wanted to do is give me the food stamps and I’d go into the grocery store, buy the groceries, come back out and go back home.
Well, there was one event that occurred where I was buying the groceries and I’m walking out the door. And as I’m walking out, as I was paying for ’em at the food stamps, the clerk was talking to somebody else, because [SP] I know he probably stole ’em. And, you know, like, some people have these catalyzing events, well, for me, that was one of them.
Another catalyzing event occurred, which is I was quite responsible for outsourcing a lot of jobs from the U.S. to other countries, most particularly India. And in that situation, I was visiting a client, and was discussing with them the plans of outsourcing some work over to India, over a span of about two years. I came back to do a review with them, and they had already said, “Well. we just got rid of ’em, got rid of the employees.” And that really didn’t sit well with me. It never really sat well with me that I would outsource people’s jobs away to begin with. But that one was just the sort of, like, event that just was, “I need to do something about this.
Who do you serve?
An individual who is probably in the age of 30 to 65, who has at least 10 years of experience in some area so that they really have a good base of understanding of the pros and cons and the ins and outs in such a way that they now can be regarded as somewhat of an expert. One that is very entrepreneurial and really just wants to go out there and start crafting and sharing their expertise. Those that are really, in a certain sense, looking over their shoulder because of automation taking jobs away, outsourcing, like what I used to do, taking jobs away, or M&A-type activities are happening where jobs are eliminated because of corporate consolidation.
What should I expect?
I’ve compiled all the best practices, as well as my own discipline and what I’ve practiced out myself in my own businesses, and now compiled that into a program that is easily digestible.
What is the consultants assessment?
After you have defined your unique value proposition, then you have to really kind of define, how do you approach your market? What are the best approaches to reach out to them? How many different channels are available? We provide a questionnaire, to start with, so that they can kind of do their own assessment. But in another level, they need to evaluate us as coaches, mentors going forward with them
Next Steps for the Consultant
Legal setup issues, proforma, niche market identification, market lever, marketing, who is your market, how you will deliver your product & scale.
Field Guide offer
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Soup to Nuts
“Here’s how you figure it out if you can be a consultant, this is how you do it?” An individual could figure this stuff out for themselves, but think about how much time it will take, how much effort it will take, possibly even spending some money doing the research or testing out various tools. We do the 80/20. We give you 80% of what probably you already need, already packaged up, ready to go.
Don’t second-guess themselves and think that they can’t be a consultant; they can do this.