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How to Start a Safety Consulting Business
Safety and environmental health are concerns for businesses. Added to on-the-job safety are new issues regarding disasters and epidemics, and how well companies are prepared to respond to these emergencies. Business turn to safety consultants to review their policies and provide feedback on how to improve the work environment as well as emergency procedures. This makes starting a safety consulting business a great opportunity. But before you can get started, you need to take care of a few things.
Define Your Business Idea
Before you can get clients, be clear on what you'll be offering. Will you focus on one area of safety, such as structural safety? Or will you provide a host of safety information, including workplace safety and disaster preparedness? You also want to determine who your market will be. Will you focus on one industry such as construction, corporations or schools? Or will your expertise cover a wide range of industries and work sites?
Research your market. Contact businesses that fit your market and do a short survey with them on their use of safety consultants. You want to find out if companies are willing to pay for safety consulting, what types of safety consulting they need and what they'd pay to hire you.
Set up your business. Once you've determined there is a market for safety consultants, you need to put the foundation of your business in place by getting any appropriate business license and permits as required by your city or county, creating the structure of your business (e.g. LLC), writing your business plan, setting up your office, determining your pricing, creating contracts and forms and finding startup money.
Market your safety consulting business. You already know your target market, so now you just need to write a compelling message and get it in front of them so they can hire you. Create your marketing materials, such as business cards, brochures and presentations, articles, press releases and advertising. Find out where your market hangs out, such as what trade magazines they read and what websites they visit. Your marketing materials should be placed in these resources. Also, don't be afraid to use the phone. Contact the people you surveyed earlier and let them know that you can provide them with the help they indicated they needed. Even if they don't hire you, they can be a good source of referrals.
Leslie Truex has been telecommuting and freelancing since 1994. She wrote the "The Work-At-Home Success Bible" and is a career/business and writing instructor at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Truex has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Willamette University and a Master of Social Work from California State University-Sacramento. She has been an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America certified fitness instructor since 2001.