Traveling is routine for many business consultants. It comes hand in hand with the profession. But, do business consultants travel a lot?
First, it depends on the type of business consultant. Business consultants that work for a national or international consulting firm spend a good portion of their time on the road. In fact, traveling is often a significant requirement stated in their job description.
When it comes to independent consultants or consulting firms, on the other hand, a business consultant’s travel frequency depends on a variety of contributing factors.
One of the components that determine whether a business consultant travels a lot is their location. Although obvious, it is key.
If a business consultant lives a great distance from their clients, they are naturally going to travel more. You might be wondering why a business consultant in this situation wouldn’t just consult with businesses that are closer in proximity to them. Well, it’s not always that easy.
For business consultants that reside in urban areas, sure, they can. There are probably plenty of businesses to consult with. But, rural areas are different. Even though studies show that rural small businesses earn better profits compared to those near cities, a business consultant living in the countryside may have great difficulty finding nearby, perfect clients, forcing them to travel a lot.
Similar to a business consultant’s location, their service area also affects their travel frequency.
Almost all business consultants have a defined service area. If not, they ought to, even if they consult with businesses from all over the country. A service area is simply an area in which a company has chosen to market and do business. Service areas are often chosen after careful market research in order to focus the company’s marketing dollars and efforts as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Depending on their service areas’ size and proximity to each other and home base, a business consultant may end up traveling quite a bit. For them, the ideal scenario might be to position themselves within one of their service areas, but this isn’t always feasible.
A business consultant can have numerous, distant service areas and still may not have to travel a lot. What matters is their service frequency – how often they meet with their clients.
All business consultants have their own ways of doing things. Two could have the same service areas but have drastically different travel needs. For example, a marketing consultant might work with a business once a month, allowing them to travel occasionally, while a business turnaround consultant works with the same business on a weekly basis. Then, there’s the consideration of how long a business consultant works with a business in total.
Service frequency doesn’t act alone, however. Traveling to the next town over once a week is a piece of cake. It’s when a business consultant’s service areas and home base start to separate that service frequency begins to have a substantial impact on their travel obligations.
Desire to Travel
The last element to whether business consultants travel a lot is simply their desire to travel. As mentioned above, business consultants employed by the bigger firms typically don’t have this luxury, or at least to the same degree as an independent business consultant.
Some people love to travel for work. Others don’t, especially due to the common side effects. The same applies to business consultants, and their perspective on traveling can have a huge impact on their frequency of it. Location, service area, and service frequency are all pieces to the puzzle, but they only have as much of an influence as a business consultant allows.
At the end of the day, it’s up to the business consultant and the type of life they want to live. If they want to live on an island off the coast of Florida and travel to Chicago every week to consult with clients, so be it. If they desire to reside and work out of the heart of New York City, where they can ride their bicycle to each and every one of their clients, more power to them. They’re the boss.
For performance-based business consulting, contact The Business Turnaround Group.