You may become a retail consultant by first gaining retail experience, preferably at the management level. Earning a degree in sales, business or marketing may also help you excel in this career path. After gaining relevant experience, search local job listings that appear in print and on the Internet for retail consultant positions in your area. You may also become a retail consultant by starting your own retail consulting business, networking with people in the retail industry and advertising your services through a variety of mediums.
Finding work at a retail business is one of the first steps you must take in order to become a retail consultant. Due to the nature of the job, it is necessary that you have well-rounded retail experience in one or more areas, which include direct sales, management and marketing. While gaining experience, it is also a good idea to research your career and stay abreast of trends within the retail consulting industry. After spending adequate time learning the inner workings of the retail business, you will be a step closer to realizing your goal of retail consulting.
While a college degree is not always necessary to become a retail consultant, a high school diploma or its equivalent almost always is. Many who work in this specialized consulting area also complete two to four years of college while majoring in relevant subjects such as marketing, business and merchandising. Some employers place a great deal of emphasis on education when hiring retail consultants, while others place more emphasis on experience. Whether you plan to become a retail consultant by working your way toward that goal through on-the-job experience or accelerating your plans via a degree, it is important to focus on learning all aspects of the retail business, in general, as well as familiarizing yourself with various consulting and retail strategies.
Once you feel you have gained experience and knowledge, and are qualified to become a retail consultant, you may either apply for an open position as a consultant or start your own retail consulting business. Search classified listings in your area, as well as online job sites, for retail companies that are in need of consulting. If your plan is to become a retail consultant by opening your own business, research local laws about opening such a business, begin networking with other professionals in your area and advertise your services in an attempt to attract new clients.