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TreetopAO

Dream of starting my own business achievable?

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Hi All, 

 

Last time i posted here (under a since closed account), I was a total newby looking for someone to take me on as a trainee. Worked my way from groundy, to climber, whilst studying a level 4 before taking a job at a local highway authority. 2 years later moved to my current position as a planning focused Arb officer. 

 

I love the job, its a great platform to further develop myself professionally, however does bring its challenges! Council politics, high planning demand, and my biggest challenge - managing a contractor with a dedicated arb team, who are dedicated to winding me up...but that's a rant for another day. 

 

I want to future proof myself, and start up my own business in my free time. Iv studied the local market, and believe consultancy is the way forward. Big question....How?!  

 

How does one set up a consultancy company? PI insurance, Kit, how to work out what to charge, finding clients, just about everything apart from the job itself i'm unsure of! 

 

Can anyone offer some words of advice?? 

 

Most appreciated, 

 

 

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Dunno abt Consultancy. What are the needs in yr area and what specialities can you offer ? Development surveying or Eco stuff ? Bit of a Piece of String question yr posing. K

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Would help to know a bit more.  Consultancy is a 'big and broad' area.

 

You mention looking 'at the local market'.  Any thoughts on what specific things you'd plan to offer?

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You're working as a Local Authority Tree Officer and you want to start your own arb consultancy business in your local area in your spare time.

 

What does your contract of employment say about doing other work. You also need to think about the conflicts of interest that will arise. How can you do a BS5837 survey, AIA, AMS for a developer in your consultant role, and then consider the implications of that development on the trees in your Tree Officer role, effectively reviewing your own information to see if the proposal is arboricultrally acceptable.

 

You will almost certainly have to leave your current post to become a consultant.

Edited by EdwardC

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You're working as a Local Authority Tree Officer and you want to start your own arb consultancy business in your local area in your spare time.
 
What does your contract of employment say about doing other work. You also need to think about the conflicts of interest that will arise. How can you do a BS5837 survey, AIA, AMS for a developer in your consultant role, and then consider the implications of that development on the trees in your Tree Officer role.
 
You will almost certainly have to leave your current post to become a consultant.

A local council up here offers private consultancy, something I’ve always considered a bit open to suspicion.

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2 minutes ago, Jcarbor said:


A local council up here offers private consultancy, something I’ve always considered a bit open to suspicion.

And there are some that offer tree surgery services.

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53 minutes ago, EdwardC said:

...

 

You will almost certainly have to leave your current post to become a consultant.

No you won't... You might have to declare any conflict of interest if your working on your patch but if your working out of borough that would not be an issue... Private consultants do the TO role in lots of councils..

 

You just need some PI insurance and clients.. The main issue I see with being a 1 man band private consultant is getting in the work as a steady work load, IME it can be patchy and clients always need it doing yesterday..  As a tree firm we have a established business and spend £1000s a year advertising but don't get anywhere enough to keep a full time consultant. I guess you might if you got a load or regular clients and were more targeted with your advertising..

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2 hours ago, benedmonds said:

No you won't... You might have to declare any conflict of interest if your working on your patch but if your working out of borough that would not be an issue... Private consultants do the TO role in lots of councils..

 

Including me Ben. But that's different to being an LA tree officer who does consulting in their spare time in their local area. Not least because their LA contract of employment will have something to say on the matter, and I can't imagine the LPA would like it. Hence the condition in the contract of employment requiring you to get permission from your employer for second jobs. 

 

I'm very mindful of the possible conflicts, but as an LA employee you need to be extremely mindful. You would be opening up your LA to all manner of accusations, which wouldn't be good for them.

 

If you declare an interest in a development you've done consulting on, you won't be able to do your job as the LPA tree officer in respect of that development. And the next time the developer puts in an application you haven't worked on, you would still have an interest. It's just not going to work.

 

I knew a DC planner who did a bit of consulting on the side without permission avoiding his patch. He got caught out and was sacked. I think he upset someone and they dropped him in it.

Edited by EdwardC

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1 hour ago, EdwardC said:

Including me Ben. But that's different to being an LA tree officer who does consulting in their spare time..

Fair enough....  I can't see working outside of your council would be an issue but I guess if your contract states you can't then you should discuss with employer.

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