Practical Guide to Starting a Consulting Business

Starting your own consulting business can be a challenge but it might be the best decision you have made in your life. If you are an expert in a specific field you can easily start a consulting business. As a consultant, you will get the chance to help those that hire you to achieve their goals by identifying their problems and finding creative solutions.

When starting a business you have to take many big and small steps in the right direction, and they may vary depending on the field, the type, and the size of the company. But regardless of that, the process is complex and time-consuming.

If you have been working as a consultant for a while now but want to start doing it on your own, follow the actionable tips listed below.

Start with a business plan

You can learn a lot during your business plan creation phase as it will eventually provide all the answers you require. Generally, a business plan includes description of the company, industry analysis, financial plan, marketing plan, operations plan, and much more.

To write the perfect consulting business plan you can use templates as they contain all the vital points you will need to complete your business plan. You can also consider hiring a professional if you don’t feel confident about writing a business plan yourself.

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Keep in mind that you can update and improve the document as your business situation changes and you need to adapt. 

Focus on your niche and build a team

Consulting is an industry that has a lot of different niches. It is important to find the niche that will best suit you and your company. A defined niche will allow you to market your services as well as determine which skills you should focus on developing. 

Besides that, you will also have to build a strong consulting team that can be deployed and covers a lot more business ground. However, it’s important to train your employees and transfer all your knowledge so that they can operate at optimal levels and bring your company profits.

Promote your business

It can be difficult to find clients even if you are individually well-respected but it can be even more difficult for consulting businesses that are just starting out.  For this reason, you will need to entrust the marketing strategy duties to a specialist that has had previous experience in this field.

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Your marketing experts need to provide relevant, high-quality content to your potential clients and convert them into customers. You might also task them with helping your clients troubleshoot any problems that occur with your services. 

By building a strong presence online you will build your brand, reach more people and create a community.

Take care of your legal duties

Opening a consulting business is like any other business. You will need to complete paperwork and comply with certain legal requirements. Registration with the IRS goes without saying, and don’t forget to pick the right legal structure for your company depending on your circumstances and needs. If you are working with other people, a partnership structure should suit all parties, but if you decide to go solo, think about LLC rather than a sole proprietorship.

Besides the regular legal documents, consulting firms must have a valid license of operation and if you don’t possess one you could face hefty fines. 

Invest in software

Small businesses now have greater chances of success because of technology’s increased efficiency and productivity. Various types of software can be used to automate repetitive tasks and save time in your consulting business operations.

Automation can help you stay, create proposals, communicate with clients, and much more.  It also helps you manage administration, billing, and invoicing which are usually time-consuming.

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Outsourcing is another option, aside from the numerous software tools that are available to businesses to increase productivity and deliver on time.

While you might think that you can take care of all the work at the start, as your business grows, you will feel the need for additional support. However, outright hiring someone might not be the best course of action. Outsourcing allows businesses to work with exceptional talent at lower rates, which can help businesses make a substantially larger turnover.


No matter how large or small your company is, opening a consulting business can be challenging. But with the right knowledge and resources, anything is possible. Take a look at the tips we shared in this post and implement them in your strategy to ensure a successful start to your business.

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