How To Start an ERP Consulting Business (5 Steps & Case Story)

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What is ERP consulting, and how do you start an ERP consulting business?

If you have years of experience and specialized training in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and digital transformation, you can start an ERP consulting business.

Consider Tony Velazquez, a member of our Clarity Coaching program. Tony earned many years of deep expertise and experience with ERP platforms and project management throughout his career.

He used all of his knowledge to create his own consulting business, Angelus Advisors, where he now helps large-scale companies identify and implement the best ERP systems for their needs.

You can do the same thing, taking everything you’ve learned about Enterprise Resource Planning software and offering it to organizations as an ERP consultant.

You might be an expert in all things ERP…but how much do you know about the business of consulting?

In this article, we’re going to show you how to do that. By the end, you will know exactly what you need to do to start and grow your own thriving ERP consulting business.

What Is an ERP Consultant?

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) consultants help companies identify and implement Enterprise Resource Planning software. This enables digital transformation and increases organizational efficiency. In some cases, they may even design and develop customized software for their clients.

Why would a business hire an ERP consultant? Here are a few examples:

  • Analyze a company’s current processes to determine how effective they are,
  • Helping the client determine how best to streamline or improve their processes,
  • Designing, identifying, and implementing ERP systems to meet the client’s goals,
  • Training employees on the new system and guiding the company through the change.

Let’s look a little closer at Tony Velazquez of Angelus Advisors.

After twenty-five years in project management, with the last ten years focused exclusively on implementing an ERP platform, Tony knew the challenges that companies face when trying to select, implement, and optimize ERP.

Now, as he puts it, “I am their dedicated resource.” To that end, his consulting business helps companies at every stage of the ERP process.

As it says on his business’s website, “We help clients manage a complex implementation process by reviewing their current processes, which leads to new configuration decisions, and identifies their new operational needs and business requirements. Then we help manage the tasks around building, testing, and deploying this new system.”

Examples of ERP Consulting Services

ERP consultants help client companies at various stages through the entire complex process of moving over to an Enterprise Resource Planning system.

For example, Angelus Advisors helps clients with the planning process by providing strategic advisors to train and support project managers and their teams. But they also offer implementation services where they continue to help clients after they’ve implemented their ERP system with ongoing support.

Tony Velazquez was well aware of the unique set of challenges and frustrations the ERP process presents to companies of all sizes. So he took his experience and turned it into a suite of consulting services for every stage of the process.

As one of Angelus Advisors’ clients put it, “Angelus Advisors provides the people skills to manage ERP projects, processes, and tasks.”

5 Steps to Become an ERP Consultant

So how can you do what Tony did and transform your experience with ERP into a successful consulting business?

Start with these 5 steps:

1) Get specific about your ideal marketing client

A wide range of businesses across many industries use ERP systems, including companies of all shapes and sizes.

You might think it makes sense to target as many of them as possible so you can reach many potential clients.

But if you aim broadly, your messaging will be less impactful.

Instead, your first step should be to narrow your focus and target a very specific kind of client.

Consider carefully who your ideal client is going to be so you can reach them with magnetic messaging that addresses their specific needs and challenges.

For example, Tony Velazquez focuses specifically on large-scale Fortune 500 companies, for whom implementing an ERP platform can be a massive undertaking that requires careful and consistent project management.

Once you have a clearly defined ideal client, you can communicate the value of our services to them far more easily — making it possible to set higher prices.

2) Write messaging that attracts your ideal client

Magnetic Messaging is tailored to the specific needs of your ideal client, so when they read your content, they quickly perceive that you understand the challenges they face and offer real solutions.

Let’s suppose a large-scale company is struggling to understand how they can transition to a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning system because the sheer size of their company makes the process seem incredibly complex.

Company leaders may not realize that there are specialized ERP consultants to guide them through that process.

Then they come across messaging from Angelus Advisors, where they learn that Tony and his team have successfully guided some of America’s most prominent companies through ERP implementation and deployment.

To create impactful messaging, we recommend using the following framework: Problem – Action – Results.

Create a list of the marketing challenges that you know your ideal clients struggle with:

  • Maybe they don’t know which ERP system will work best, and they need someone who can match the system to their needs.
  • Maybe they need an expert to bring their team up to speed on using their ERP system.
  • Maybe they need help with the significant effort of deploying ERP across their entire company.

In your messages, make it clear that you understand your client’s specific challenges and needs.

Then, explain how you use your own experience and expertise to help clients just like them overcome those challenges and meet their needs.

Finally, share the kinds of results they can expect to enjoy by implementing your solutions.

  • Problem: Your ideal client doesn’t know how to identify and select the right ERP software from the many available products on the market, and they’re afraid of choosing the wrong one.
  • Solution: You offer a two-day assessment program that involves figuring out the client company’s needs and circumstances and matching them with the best ERP system.
  • Result: Clients who have gone through your assessment program have experienced an average 40 percent improvement in operational efficiency once the ERP system was implemented.

To make this process simple to understand, check out our “Magnetic Message Formula” which will show you exactly how to craft impactful messages for your ideal client.

This is the basic formula you should follow:

I help [WHO] to [solve WHAT problem] so they can [see WHAT result].

Remember, an ERP consultant’s job is to help their clients identify and implement ERP systems that will streamline their operations, boost efficiency, and make the move to the cloud as seamless as possible.

3) Create and price your strategic offer

The value you bring as an ERP consultant should be easy to communicate: your ideal client has some ERP-related challenge, and you are going to provide customized solutions to help them overcome that challenge.

If you communicate clearly how you can directly address their issues and help them achieve their desired outcome, your ideal client will be more than happy to pay your consulting fees.

Be specific about the positive impact your consulting services will make for them. For example, if you can tell your ideal client that you will increase their operational efficiency by 40 percent through ERP implementation, they will have no problem paying higher fees because the value is clear.

We discourage you from using an hourly fee structure. Charging by the hour ensures that you only get paid for “on-the-clock” work.

But ERP consultants also do a lot of work behind the scenes to build their businesses: like marketing.

4) Rev up your marketing engine

Many of your ideal clients may not even realize that they can hire an ERP consultant to guide them through the process of identifying, selecting, and implementing an ERP system. It’s your job to reach out to them and communicate the value of your services.

Share your expertise and advice through marketing content, and you will build trust with your target audience.

Over time, as they derive value from what you’re delivering, they will begin reaching out to you with an interest in learning how you can help them.

We recommend delivering value over time using these three marketing methods: Outreach, Follow-up, and Authority-building.

  • Outreach – This involves sharing regular, valuable content with your ideal clients through your LinkedIn profile or by email to provide solid advice and generate interest in what you have to offer.
  • Follow-up – Beyond regular posts, you can continue to add value over time by direct messages or personalized emails to those same clients. Remember, this is not simply advertising your services, but sharing valuable information on topics relevant to your ideal client.
  • Authority-building – Finally, you can post regular valuable content on your blog, website, and social media platforms to position yourself as an ERP expert. This will make your follow-up efforts more effective.

Through outreach, follow-up, and authority-building you continually build and strengthen your relationship with your ideal clients, earn their trust, and create opportunities for meaningful conversations with them.

5) Create meaningful conversations

Once your marketing “machine” is up and running, the clearest sign that it’s working well will be when your ideal clients begin responding to the valuable content you put out there. They will, in turn, reach out to you, seeking meaningful conversations about their own ERP needs.

During these conversations, remember that you’re not simply trying to close the deal. Rather, you are trying to help your client gain clarity around their challenges and begin to envision their desired outcome.

Once they agree that you provide the best solution, only then should you make them an offer.

ERP Consultant Case Study

So how much should you charge your clients for your ERP consulting services, and how much will they be willing to pay?

It is not uncommon for ERP consultants in Clarity Coaching Program to make a generous six-figure income using value-based fees.

However, your income will vary depending on the kinds of services you offer and the kinds of clients you target.

However, you’re only going to make this kind of money if you get away from using hourly fees.

Let’s take a look at how Tony Velazquez achieved amazing growth for Angelus Advisors.

Through his consulting business, Tony helps client companies identify the best ERP systems for their needs and guides them through implementation.

He offers a range of services that can focus on specific parts of that process, or he can guide them from beginning to end (and beyond).

Here’s how Angelus Advisors communicates the value of their services to their large-scale ideal clients: “We provide high level/experienced Angelus ‘Angels’ with advanced implementation experience, project ownership/leadership and ‘let’s roll up our sleeves’ attitude. We advocate for our client teams while keeping the project on track and providing a positive constant attitude.”

Tony credits the Clarity Coaching Program with helping him refine his messaging to make it more impactful to his target audience, which ultimately led to 4X revenue growth.

Get Help Becoming an ERP Consultant

You might be an expert in all things ERP…but how much do you know about the business of consulting?

Are you comfortable marketing your services?

Reaching out to potential clients?

Creating authority-building content?

Selling your services?

And pricing your offers so you can run a profitable firm?

If you’re unaware of these subjects, that’s ok. As long as you have the subject matter expertise in your craft, we can help you learn and apply the rest.

In our Clarity Coaching program, our coaches have helped over 1000 consultants to build a more strategic, profitable, and scalable, consulting business.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CLARITY COACHING

We’ll work hands-on with you to develop a strategic plan and then dive deep and work through your ideal client clarity, strategic messaging, consulting offers, fees and pricing, business model optimization, and help you to set up your marketing engine and lead generation system to consistently attract ideal clients.

You’ll learn how to generate more profit with every project you take on — and how to land more clients than ever before. Learn more about Clarity Coaching and get in touch to talk about your situation and goals.

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