Want to become an Oil and Gas consultant? People reach out to me all the time and ask, “Mark, how did you become an oil and gas consultant?” So let me show you how.
There is no magic formula and everybody’s journey will be a little bit different, but let me kind of talk you through the stuff that I think you need to pay attention to based upon our own experience. You know we’ve made a lot of mistakes and we’ve kind of figured out how to do this the right way.
So, number one is what is your motivation? This is going to be work, and this is going to be a lot more work than you working for somebody else. So you have to have some type of motivation to keep you going. So in our case we’d like to help people. It feels good, so that is our motivation to do the work that we do. The money is nice, don’t get me wrong. But our motivation is helping others. So, you need to think about what is your motivation in learning how to become an Oil and Gas consultant.
Know Your Skill Level
Number two. You have to determine your skill and knowledge level. Now, an expert is generally considered somebody that has ten thousand hours of experience doing whatever it is they’re an expert around. And, if you look at the conventional forty-hour work week, that means you need five years of hand on real practical experience doing whatever it is that you want to become an oil and gas consultant. That’s a lot of time.
I’m not saying that you can’t start without that five years, but you need to understand your skill and knowledge level. Oil and gas companies are not to hire you to do a job if they don’t think you can pull it off. And, one of the ways they measure that is what is your experience.
Then next you have to define your success metrics. What are the things that you have to accomplish in year one, year two, year three, year four, year five so that you know that you’re successful. Revenue is part of that, but also in our case we look at clients’ satisfaction. But your success metrics will be different than anybody else, but you have to figure out what that is, you have to write it down.
Want to Become an Oil and Gas Consultant? You Need a Business Plan.
And, speaking of writing things down, you have to build a business plan. This doesn’t have to be forty-page document and it doesn’t have to go real deep. But you need to understand what are your challenges, like how much capital do you need, what legal support do you need, how you’re going to structure your company. Are you an LLC an S Corp or an Inc? You need to have that business plan.
There’s a lot of organizations out there like SBA, SCORE, National Small Business Association, etc to help you figure out how to build that business plan. And you can find templates out there online, but you have to have a business plan. Your building something here, so you need a set of instructions or marching orders. You can’t wing it if you want to become an Oil and gas consultant.
Finally you need a professional image for your consulting business. A quick and inexpensive way to do this is with a virtual office. No need to hire a receptionist, buy office equipment, and get telecom and internet set up.
You Must Have a Marketing Strategy
Now, and this is even bigger than building a business plan. You have to develop a marketing strategy. Marketing is everything. How do you get your name out there? How do you differentiate yourself between and the other thirty people who are doing the same thing that you do? How do you get in front of people that can help you find prospects? In front of clients? How do you build that reputation of being an industry expert? All that is in your marketing plan and if you don’t know marketing, you should take the time to learn.
There are books, seminars and webinars to help you. But hiring a marketing expert and, word of warning here, a marketing expert doesn’t have to be this huge multi-million dollar a year company. It can be a single person. We got our start that way with TribeRocket. But you have to have a marketing strategy. It’s probably the most vital thing to do when your thinking about how to become an Oil and Gas consultant.
You Must Learn How to Sell if You Want to Become an Oil and Gas Consultant
Then, you have to learn how to sell. Learning how to sell is vitally important because that’s the only thing that brings money in the door. A lot of people think sales is distasteful and they imagine used car sales people. Those folk that try to force you to buy something that you don’t want.
That’s not what sales is at all. Sales is about problem solving. About helping people and companies solve real business issues. You can learn sales because its a science. Thats why you can develop forecastable, predictable sales models. So a good sales person is seen as valuable by their clients, a part of their trusted advisors. This is what it takes if you want to become an Oil and Gas consultant.
There’s a lot of experts out there like Anthony Iannarino, Mike Weinberg, Jeffrey Gitomer, Mark Hunter, John Spence and Ken Krogue and there are a lot of good books like The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need and The Challenger Sale but you’re going to have to learn how to sell period. Talk to any successful entrepreneur or consultant. And at some point in their journey, even if they’re sitting on top of a $2 billion year company, they had to sell. And you’re going to have to do the same thing.
Pick a Niche
Then pick a niche. So in our case, we’re the oil and gas sales experts. Our niche is how do you help other companies sell their product or service to the oil and gas industry. You have to niche down and the more you niche down the better off you’ll be. If you want to niche down to the point that you’re an SAP consultant for upstream companies and you help them write GUI interfaces that’s perfect. But see how deep and focused that is? If you want to become an Oil and Gas consultant you will have to figure out what your niche is.
So everything you can do to increase you workable billable hours by doing effective time management, is going to help you. And project management, no matter what you’re doing for your clients, it’s going to be a project. And you have to learn how to manage that project. There’s a bunch of good resources out there. Look at PMI, look on Lynda.com, look at online courses but no matter what, your going to have to learn how to use project management and time management to your benefit.
You Will Have to Choose
And then, here’s a big one. Are you going to be the oil and gas consultant that advices oil and gas companies or are you going to be the oil and gas consultant that does the work? Two totally different things.
So when you’re advising, people come to you as a thought leader. They want your help, your mentoring and they want you to help them make right decisions, but you’re not actually doing the work. There’s a nice place to be, but it takes much longer to get there.
But you can also actually do the work. That’s a quicker place to get to, because maybe you’re doing work they can’t do themselves. Maybe you’re filling a position that isn’t worth them hiring staff for. Maybe they need some skills and experience that they do not have, which is all valuable to the company.
So your going to have to figure out are you going to be a consultant that advises or consultant that does the work before you become an Oil and Gas consultant.
Then, you have to spend the time to know the oil and gas industry. You have to know understand the problems that oil and gas companies are dealing with. If you want to become an oil and gas consultant, you’re going to have to be a problem-solver. And those problems are going to have to be real business problems that the companies are dealing with. And once you learn it, you’ll have to learn again next year. And the following year, and the next. The business drivers in this industry are always changing, always in flux. So you have to truly understand the problems that oil and gas companies are struggling with so that you can offer them something of value. Which is you helping them fix their problems.
Develop Your Business Process
Then, you have to develop your own business process, how do you do contract? How do you build your milestone billing? How do you invoice? How do you do expenses? Just like you’re going to help your clients with their business process by solving problems that they have, you will have to develop your own business process and it needs to be repeatable. And it it needs to be written down and updated.
Then speaking of things written down in business process, take a look at what you’re really good at and figure out what you can outsource. We talked earlier about marketing and part of that is stuff like search engine optimization and creating content like this blog. I could easily have outsourced this.
We chose not to, but you may choose to outsource this. Look at what is not key billable time for you, then figure out what you can’t outsource and what you can. There’s a bunch of good companies out there globally like VAT that will allow you have virtual assistance for as little as $8 an hour, take advantage and free up your time.
Then, here’s a big one. You have to be transparent in all your business dealings and you have to be detached from the deal. So when we engage with a new client, I’m not thinking “Oh I really hope I’m going to close this deal” or “I need to close this deal today”. No, no, no.
I’m trying to figure out if it’s the best fit for the client. If it’s not, very transparently I say “I’m sorry but I don’t think I can help you”. And, I’m not emotionally attached to closing that deal. Now, be real careful here. People will tell me “Well Mark, you need to be excited you need to want to do business.” Yes, but that is different.
That’s having a passion for what you do best, it’s different than being emotionally attached to the deal. If the deal is not meant to happen, you can’t make it happen. You can’t make oil and gas companies buy from you if they don’t want to. They are only going to buy when its a benefit to them. And its impossible that you can provide benefit to Everybody.
So, you want to find out quickly as possible whether they’re a good prospect. And if they’re not, you want to move on. And once again, total transparency. Everything we do business-wise we talk it through with our clients. The way we price things? We do it with them in the room as a team. If you want to become an oil and gas consultant that is successful, you need to practice transparency and being detached from the deal.
No Need to Reinvent the Wheel
Then, why reinvent the wheel? Whatever you’re doing, I promise you somebody else has probably done it already. So find a mentor. There’s a bunch of organizations out there with very senior people looking to help mentor people. We do it as well. And if you’re going to become an oil and gas consultant, I think you have an obligation to help mentor other people. To help keep this thing alive and keep it going. Finding a mentor will help you so much, and keep you from making those really big mistakes.
Here is one we’re guilty of, but you need to build out your exit plan. You can’t do this forever, even if you build a robust oil and gas consulting business. At some point you’ll have to stop working. And you want to have ability to exit, even if its something you want to do right now. Typically what you do is develop some intellectual property. Then include your processes, and then you want to develop some technology. And that could be a simple as an app that mirrors your process. And finally train somebody in what you do.
Now you have the intellectual property, the technology and the person that can do the work. You now have something that you can sell or hand over, so you can exit. And for most, the goal is to have other companies that are bigger you’re looking at acquiring way before you’re looking to exit.
And then finally enjoy. We love what we do, it’s a passion for us and at the same time we actually can make a living at it. You need to enjoy what you’re doing. If you don’t enjoy, if you don’t have a passion for what you are doing. Its going to fizzle out and your dream of becoming an oil and gas consultant is just not going to go anywhere.
I know that I went through a whole bunch of stuff here. Like I said, people ask us these questions all the time on how to become an oil and gas consultant. Hopefully we helped talk you through this. If you found this very valuable, can you do me a favor? On the side here, can you click these social share buttons, it helps us get our message out to more people.