Whether you are just starting out your career as a marketing consultant, or you are an established expert in your field, you are always faced with certain risks in your career. Whether it’s in relation to the advice that you offer, unhappy clients, the security of your data, or even your physical building and business assets, there are multiple risks that marketing consultants face.
Below, we discuss in detail the different kind of risks that marketing consultants face, and what you can do to protect yourself from these risks.
- Dissatisfied clients
No matter how good you are at what you do, it’s not possible to keep everyone happy all the time. At some point in your career, you will have to face clients who are dissatisfied with your service. This is one of the most common risks that marketing consultants face.
There are various reasons why a client may be unhappy, complain about your service and may even slap you with a lawsuit. Some of these reasons include missed deadlines, providing incorrect or inadequate advice, cost overruns, failure to deliver on promises and expectations, lack of appropriate due diligence, among others.
The best way to prevent unhappy clients is to be honest, transparent, set realistic goals, and do your best to deliver on your commitments. Make sure that you keep your clients informed and updated at every stage. Good client communication should never be underestimated.
Before you start working with a new client, make sure that you are on the same page in regards to project goals, scope, and costs. Always put everything in writing and get a signed contract that clearly details all the terms of your agreement.
No matter how many preventive measures you take, there are chances you might end up with unhappy clients, and some may even be dissatisfied enough to file a case against you.
In such cases, professional liability Insurance could protect your business. Also referred to as errors and omissions coverage, this protects you from claims of financial harm caused as a result of your mistake or oversight. It also covers legal defense costs, settlements, and court judgments. Find out more about professional liability insurance at Bizinsure.
- Cyber-attacks and data breaches
Cyber-attacks are among the most common risks that consultants face. In fact, as many as 58 per cent of executives at SMBs, including consulting firms, are more worried about a data breach than a disaster like fire or floods. Besides, considering how expensive data breaches can get, it gives you all the more reason to be worried.
Many marketing consultants gather and store personal data of their clients in their systems. Moreover, in the process of business, you gain access to important data to troubleshoot procedural issues or to improve workflow. As such, there is a significant amount of vital information in your system.
Adopting the best cybersecurity practices and being compliant to all safety and security regulations are crucial. Always review the security protocol of your technology service provider carefully.
Another step you can take to protect yourself from this risk is by purchasing Cyber Liability Insurance. This policy is designed to protect your consultancy business in the case of data breach. It usually covers legal fees, cost of data restoration, payroll spent, and income lost.
- Scope creep
Scope creep is when a client requests deliverables and additional time, which were not initially agreed upon in the original scope of the project. This can be a tricky risk to navigate because on one side, you want to keep your clients happy, but simultaneously, you would have to do more than you were paid for or sacrifice commitments to other projects.
Especially if you are a new marketing consultant who is just starting out, it can be extremely uncomfortable to say no to your clients. Besides, you may think that going above and beyond will help build your reputation and earn you glowing feedback and recommendation. However, scope creeps can backfire easily.
One of the most common causes of scope creep is poor client communication. Make sure that you and your client are on the same page from the start by detailing all project expectations and deliverables in the contract. If you and the client are working towards a long-term relationship, then make sure the language in the contract reflects that. Additionally, as the project carries on, make sure that you regularly update the client on progress made as well as any obstacles.
A smart approach is to include any possible scope creep situation in your estimates. This way, you can set expectations around the project cost as well as work involved, even if it doesn’t make it into the final agreement. If you take on additional work that is outside your project scope without any extra charge, make sure to still send your client an invoice that clearly details the extra work, but with the charge zeroed out. This is an effective way to let them know that you have provided additional value and gone above and beyond for them.
- Property theft and/or damage
Your tangible business assets such as your building as well as business tools and equipment including desks, chairs, computers, printers, mobile phones, are incredibly valuable to your marketing consultancy business. These assets need to be protected too because damage or theft to property is a very real and common risk that many consultants face.
One of the best ways to keep yourself and your business protected is by getting the right insurance. A general business insurance can cover your office space, furniture and fixtures, office equipment, and stock.
As a marketing consulting business owner, you will face various risks throughout your career, regardless of how good you are what you do. But if you use the right risk management strategies such as insurance to keep yourself prepared and protected, then you can effectively limit your risks.