How to Successfully Start A Political Consulting Firm in India
This is the ultimate guide — with tips — on how to start Political Consulting Firms in India.
Beginning any type of business is a challenge, but starting a consulting firm where you handle political figures and help them run their campaign and elections is doubly challenging.
If you have volunteered on several election campaigns, moving your way up the ladder, or have worked for many years with another political consulting agency in mumbai, you may now feel the itch to start your own full-fledged Political Consulting firm. Political strategists and consultants do not have any special qualifications in order to start a firm, however one who is interested must have a good understanding of the political system, the foundation of politics, and the current political situation.
As winning an election has become more complex and Indian electoral is increasingly globalised, the need for the best political consultants has turned out to be more crucial than ever. One of the key challenges is knowing where to start. Here are some tips we’ve learned over the past years that hopefully help you avoid some early mistakes and hack some growth to quickly make your new firm successful.
Get the Business Basics Right
Before opening a new business, nothing will work well unless you decide your consulting business model. That means you need to build a type of consulting business that should support your goal. Either work as a solo consultant with your clients and handle the complete project yourself or opt for a better business model of choosing a consulting firm where you are responsible to run the firm instead of working on client projects.
For example, a person runs a political consulting firm, where he or she helps politicians and parties with strategies, consulting and election management. Instead of working on client projects yourself, he or she manages a team of consultants who implement projects for their clients.
The consulting firm model is a great choice for you if you don’t want to be focused on the “day-to-day” work, want to build a business that runs without your presence.
Define Your Vision, Values, Purpose and Mission
Every new political consulting in India makes a common mistake of juggling multiple projects and services and failing at it! It is easy to take every opportunity that walks in your door but before you take any political campaigns and projects, write down your company goals, mission and vision, values, who would be your clients, your strengths and services you are famous for. The aim should be to carve out a niche within your political consultancy market, showing how your history, both personal and professional, translates into a unique perspective that’s of value to your clients.
For Acharya Election Management, the founders curate and run political campaigns and elections for candidates – big picture thinking and all-encompassing approach for online as well offline marketing and advertising is how we differentiate our company from competitors. We partner with our clients for the long-term and consult on how to put their best foot forward during the elections and win over potential voters to get elected for desired positions.
Assess your strengths and skill set
You cannot count on simply having a solid skill-set and a lot of expertise in your field to give your political consulting business a competitive edge. If you can’t provide political parties with solutions to their problems, then your consulting political business will simply stagnate. In addition to assessing your strengths, take a look at your weaknesses and gaps so that you can work on filling those gaps and can help clients. You should also take an objective look at your weaknesses as well as what skills you might have that are lacking. It is important to remember that, depending on your area of expertise, you may need to obtain specialised certifications or licences in order to become a consultant.
For example, from writing ads and press releases to developing budgets and expenses accounts, you need to be extremely organised and capable of multitasking a lot at the same time. If you want to put a positive spin on negative issues, you need good problem solving skills and some imagination. Also, if you want to build relationships within the government and the media, you need to have good people skills. It is very important for every consultant to feel comfortable with public speaking, managing press conferences, and training the candidates and political parties. You shouldn’t be intimidated by other opposition in power or journalists who attempt to undermine the issues that they address in the campaigns.
If you really want to have your hand in all aspects of the election and help your client win the political race, you can become a comprehensive consultant and work with all the best and brightest professionals in each vendor and service category.
Identify Your Targets
Once you get to know about your skill-sets, the next step is to clearly identify your targets. You may have already worked with different political candidates and parties for local, state or national level elections, so you may have made a decision by determining which region you want to handle or the type of candidate for a particular size race in terms of pricing do you want to handle or work with?
This will help you as you approach prospects for marketing campaigns, companies, and independent expenditures for new work, by developing a profile of your ideal targets.
Invest in the tools & vendor network
While you might be an expert in your field, your firm requires additional tools, softwares and outsource/vendor network. The goal is to work smarter, not harder—so you can focus on the work you do best. Find the right combination of tools, softwares and vendors that cater to the nature of your work and the business at large. It can be used to conquer everyday tasks from tracking candidates’ position and performance, and streamline communication, media and collaboration. Also creating a network of vendors you can trust will help ease tensions and foster a resilient work flow of your election campaigns. There are some things you should consider when working with a vendor. You should ask for references and discounts; in order to stay in business and margins have to be maintained.
In addition to these analytics and consultant-specific tools, you should invest in brand building, including developing a website, ordering business cards, establishing an LLC, opening a business checking account and credit card, and hiring an accountant to make sure that the books are in order and that taxes are filed on time.
Build your team
Build a team of young professionals to provide meaningful contributions to Political Affairs. Hire people for positions that will provide your company with immediate benefits in the beginning. In order to decide what positions to hire, you must take into consideration what aspects of the business pose the most significant challenges. There is no one right answer to what these positions might be – every political consulting business has its own unique challenges. When you think about the positions you would like to hire for, think about the limitations you have as well.
If you’re a newbie to marketing, consider hiring a marketing manager to help you strategize your business. If you’re not confident about invoicing and numbers, hire a billing specialist to handle accounts and ensure payments are collected. You will create a stable foundation for your business, if you hire an employee who is an expert in those areas in which you are currently lacking. A strong, well-rounded team will create a stable foundation for your firm.
Set your pricing and client proposals
In addition, when you create a proposal for your client, you have the chance to illustrate how you can serve them and solve their problem. It is important to be clear about what the project is, why you are lending your political consulting services, and when the project will be completed. Additionally, it is important that you are clear about every detail that will be involved in the project, including deliverables, the budget, and how the results will be measured at the end of the project.
You need to be also aware of what your competitors are charging. Also your brand management can influence how your political consulting services are perceived. A high-end brand positioning and logo will lead to a higher perceived value. Clients, especially new clients, may be willing to pay more if they trust your consulting brand more than your competitors.
Stay organised and deliver results
If you want to gain repeat candidates and referrals as a political consultant, you need to stay organised and deliver results. In order to avoid losing valuable information, delivering past deadlines, or forgetting to manage a press conference, it is crucial that you stay organised. Start by looking for ways that you can automate certain processes so that you don’t lose valuable information, deliver past deadlines, or forget to coordinate with the team.
Consider a variety of ways to get paid. Perhaps you can have your payments made electronically rather than by check or you could switch to an online bookkeeping system. You may also consider using software to help you keep track of your clients.
Providing results is a bit of a challenge, but it’s very important for your political consulting firm’s survival. In order to ensure that your candidates are receiving results that they want and that help them to achieve their objectives. It is important to stay on top of industry trends and to keep in touch with them so you are ensuring that you’re giving them what they want.
Political strategists and consultants play a key role in ensuring that political leaders are able to win the hearts of millions of people across the nation. On the grounds of the nature and frequency of elections, political strategy and consultancy firms have started gaining legitimacy over the last decade, not just in India.
There is no doubt that your political consulting firm will set up for success, if you are able to help the political party and candidates with comprehensive election management services.
Acharya Elections leading political consulting firm in Navi Mumbai helps a candidate win elections by expediting election campaigns via driving people thinking. Having a holistic understanding of what to offer as a political consultancy firm, we enable the candidate to venture into the role of political strategist even more effectively. Hence, here is a quick rundown of what we do as an Election Consultant for a Candidate or Party:
- Help in the registration and set up of Political Party
- Help in Election Strategy for Candidates
- Help in Nomination, Election Campaign Management, Press Release, War Room Management, Volunteer Registration, etc.
- Strategizing Social Media (i.e. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and more) Campaigns.
- Showcasing involvement through Digital Media for targeting audience
- Drive Campaign, Advertise, Exit Poll, Opinion Poll, Socio-Political Survey, Poll Survey, Digital Marketing
- Audit and Expenditure management
- Online Reputation Management, & Promotional Bulk SMS/Calls