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Starting a business can be very exciting, and one business that can really get you more excited is a consulting business. A lot of factors make the type of business preferably by many, and we are going to discuss them extensively. Working for yourself rather than for an employer has its challenges, such as losing insurance benefits or a reliable paycheck.

But it comes with trade-offs that, for many workers, outweigh the challenges: the ability to set your own schedule, choose your own projects, create your own career trajectory, and focus on goals that you personally value. This article will address the following points…

  • Do you need a License to Start?
  • Before starting your Consulting Business
  • Top 20 Profitable Consulting Business ideas
  • How Much Money do You Need to Start a Consulting Business?
  • How Can I Start a Consulting Business With no Money?
  • 6 Steps to Take Before Starting a Consulting Business
  • 8 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Consulting Business
  • Starting a Consulting Business With no Experience
  • Consulting Business Ideas
  • How to Starting a Consulting Business in South Africa
  • How to Start a Consulting Business UK
  • How to Start a Consulting Business Australia

Do you need a License to Start?

Do you need a License to Start?

When planning to start a consulting business, one of the questions that usually comes to mind is, Do you need a license to start? Well, Every company requires at least some kind of business license from the county, city or state in which it does business.

Read Also: 7 Legal Requirements When You Start A Business

Even though consulting companies often launch as home-based businesses, applying for the right license requires understanding the specific rules and regulations of a firm’s home territory.

Types of Licenses

Consultants can often qualify to accept client fees after completing a brief business license application with their county clerk’s office. Doing business in larger cities may require applying for a business privilege license at city hall.

States that force the collection of sales tax on consulting fees require consulting companies to register with their department of state. County or state officials may also require a fictitious business license when a consulting company operates under anything other than the personal name of its founder.

Common Misconceptions about Licenses

Independent consultants, especially professionals making a career change after leaving larger companies, often neglect to procure business licenses based on some common misconceptions. For instance, some consultants mistakenly believe that they can operate their business in the clear from client locations.

In fact, providing exclusively on-site service to consulting clients can violate federal guidelines that dictate the distinction between employees and independent contractors. Obtaining a business license can prevent clients from being wrongly accused of shirking labor laws.

What Are the Benefits of Licensing?

Registering for a business license brings much more to company owners than just tax bills. A licensed consulting company can register for its own taxpayer identification number from the Internal Revenue Service, enabling it to qualify for business credit, bank accounts and other professional benefits.

Most prospective clients require a Taxpayer Identification Number to process end-of-year tax reports and other official documentation of professional relationships. The lack of a business license or professional permit can hinder consultants from landing legitimate clients.

Some Things to Consider

Certain kinds of consulting companies may need highly specialized business licenses or permits. For instance, consultants working on state or federal government projects often require extra permits before bidding on contracts.

Consultants working in particular fields, including health care management or engineering, may also require industry certification before qualifying for their business licenses.

Effects of Getting a License

Unlike stores that post their licenses and permits in public view, consulting businesses may bristle at the notion of receiving a certificate that no client will ever actually see.

Applying for a business license may not seem consequential to some consultants, but it represents a new company’s first official act.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that management consulting services will grow faster than average between now and 2026. Registering for a business license enables consulting business owners to join the competition for new clients.

The above points show that licensing is important for your business, whether consulting or any other types of business. Before you dive into your consulting business, there are tips you need to keep in mind. Some of them are discussed below

Before starting your Consulting Business

Find Your Niche

Don’t try to offer something to everyone. You will be a far more successful consultant by applying your expertise to a niche market that needs what you have to offer. In this way, you can tailor your services so they add value to a specific group of people or businesses. Ask yourself:

  • What services are missing in your industry/geographic area?
  • What are your areas of specialty?
  • What problems can you solve that no one else is solving?
  • Who would benefit the most from your knowledge?

Once you define what you do and who you do it for in a succinct way, you’ll know who your ideal client is and how to begin pitching and marketing your services.

Create Systems

Put systems in place so you don’t have to start over for each project. For example, you may need data-gathering forms, a proposal template, a set of onboarding questions that you always ask, or a description of your services that can be sent to potential clients.

Using templates will ensure that you:

  • Work as efficiently as possible
  • Have a coherent, branded look for all documents and forms
  • Maintain the same level of quality from project to project
  • Don’t omit important forms or documents
  • Have a consistent approach for working with all clients
Make out time to Network

Networking allows you to connect with others in your industry, stay in touch with key people, make yourself known to potential clients, and seek introductions that can help advance your business. If you meet with someone in a professional capacity, find some way to connect with them.

You may want to exchange contact information and send a follow-up email, or you can use professional networking websites like LinkedIn. You never know who you may want to reach out to later, and online tools make it easy to find people no matter when or where you met them.

Create a Pricing Structure

Establishing a pricing structure may require some analysis and some trial and error to learn how much time a given project will actually take. When you establish your prices, consider:

  • What is standard in your industry
  • How much time you expect to invest in a set of tasks
  • What you need to earn to support your business and make an income
  • Any outside resources or expenses you will incur
  • The costs you have that would otherwise be covered by an employer, such as health insurance or retirement matching
  • Your experience and expertise

If you are worried about underpricing or overpricing, try using a pricing template or time-tracker to estimate the time a new project will take. Once you have a set rate, put your pricing structure in writing and stick to it.

Remember, people are more likely to value what they have to pay for. If you charge too little in order to get more business, you might find yourself struggling to get clients to take you seriously.

Practice your Talking Points

Think of your talking points like sound bites: short, concise descriptions of what you do and how you do it. Getting these down is key to pitching and promoting your consulting business.

These talking points should explain what you do, but, more importantly, they should highlight the reasons you are different than other consultants in your field and they should reinforce the value you bring to your clients.

  • How can you help the people you work with?
  • What will they experience after using your services?
  • What benefit do your services provide?3

Practice saying your points out loud. Enlist colleagues to listen and offer constructive criticism so you can refine your message. When you are delivering them, remember that a good consultant spends more time listening than talking. Always end your pitch with a question so you can find out more about any potential client you meet.

Figure out what comes next

As with any business, you will be a more successful consultant if you have a plan for what comes next, both short term and long term.

In the short term, have a plan in place for how you will embark on a project before you begin working with your first client. Be prepared so when a client says yes, you can lay out a timeline and expectations for how the process of working with you will go from start to finish, as well as provide any necessary materials to get started.

In the long-term, you need to know how you will position your business within your market, how you will advertise your services, and what your expectations are for income and growth. Creating a business plan will help you plan and set goals for the next one, five, and 10 years

Top 20 Profitable Consulting Business ideas

Top 20 Profitable Consulting Business ideas

Although you can be a consultant in just about any field these days, the current top 20 consulting businesses include:

1. Accounting: Accounting is something that every business needs, no matter how large or small. Accounting consultants can help a business with all of its financial needs.

2. Advertising: This type of consultant is normally hired by a business to develop a good strategic advertising campaign.

3. Auditing: From consultants who audit utility bills for small businesses to consultants who handle major work for telecommunications firms, auditing consultants are enjoying the fruits of their labor.

4. Business: Know how to help a business turn a profit? If you have a good business sense, then you’ll do well as a business consultant. After computer consulting, people in this field are the next most sought after.

5. Business writing: Everyone knows that most business people have trouble when it comes to writing a report–or even a simple memo. Enter the business writing consultant, and everyone is happy!

6. Career counseling: With more and more people finding themselves victims of a corporate downsizing, career counselors will always be in demand. Career counselors guide their clients into a profession or job that will help them be both happy and productive as an employee.

7. Communications: Communications consultants specialize in helping employees in both large and small businesses better communicate with each other, which ultimately makes the business more efficient and operate smoothly.

8. Computer programmer: From software to hardware, and everything in between, if you know computers, your biggest problem will be not having enough hours in the day to meet your clients’ demands!

9. Editorial services: From producing newsletters to corporate annual reports, consultants who are experts in the editorial field will always be appreciated.

10. Executive search/headhunter firms: While this is not for everyone, there are people who enjoy finding talent for employers.

11. Gardening: In the past decade the demand for gardening consultants has blossomed (pun intended) into a $1 million-a-year business. Not only are businesses hiring gardening consultants; so are people who are too busy to take care of their gardens at home.

12. Grantsmanship: Once you learn how to write a grant proposal, you can name your price.

13. Human resources: As long as businesses have people problems (and they always will), consultants in this field will enjoy a never-ending supply of corporate clients, both large and small. (People-problem prevention programs could include teaching employees to get along with others, respect and even violence prevention in the workplace.)

14. Insurance: Everyone needs insurance, and everyone needs an insurance consultant to help them find the best plan and pricing for them.

15. Marketing: Can you help a business write a marketing plan? Or do you have ideas that you feel will help promote a business? If so, why not try your hand as a marketing consultant?

16. Payroll management: Everyone needs to get paid. By using your knowledge and expertise in payroll management, you can provide this service to many businesses, both large and small.

17. Public relations: Getting good press coverage for any organization is a real art. When an organization finds a good PR consultant, they hang on to them for life!

18. Publishing: If you’re interested in the publishing field, then learn everything you can and you, too, can be a publishing consultant. A publishing consultant usually helps new ventures when they are ready to launch a new newspaper, magazine, newsletter–and even websites and electronic newsletters.

19. Taxes: With the right marketing and business plan (and a sincere interest in taxes), your career as a tax consultant can be very lucrative. A tax consultant advises businesses on the legal methods to pay the least amount of tax possible.

20. Writing services: Anything related to the written word will always be in demand. Find your specialty in the writing field, and the sky will be the limit!

How Much Money do You Need to Start a Consulting Business?

Launching a successful consulting business requires both financial preparation as well as a solid business plan. We’ve compiled four tips to help you figure out how much money you need to start your own business.

1. Start Up Capital

Don’t be surprised if your first few months of financial reports show far more output than income. Even if you land your first client immediately, it could be 30 days before you invoice, with some net payment terms stretching out to 60 days. That means 90 days before money starts coming in.

Prepare yourself by including enough start-up capital to keep your business running for at least six months without income. Remember, building client relationships and credibility from the start will be more valuable than quick cash in the future.

2. Savings

When running your own business, always expect the unexpected. While it’s important to remain optimistic and confident about your business, it’s also safe to assume that there will be instances when your revenue is unexpectedly cut or delayed.

You may run into clients who are unable (or unwilling) to pay their bills, emergency replacement or broken technology, or an unexpected lull in new clients or projects. To account for this, it is recommended to maintain at least six months’ worth of expenses in a savings account.

3. Start-Up Costs

Your operating costs will include repeat expenses such as utility and Internet charges, project supplies, and subscription-based fees. However, in addition to these monthly and annual costs to your budget, there will likely be a number of initial purchases to consider as well.

Office technology such as a computer, printer, or scanner, as well as software or office furniture are now items that you are responsible for as a self-employed individual. While these initial investments may be a one-time expenditure, they do add up quickly, so make sure they are a part of your budget considerations.

4. Initial Expenses

Remember, when starting out, your focus should be on landing your first client. There will be plenty of opportunities to expand your budget as your needs grow. When preparing your initial financial budget and business plan, it’s important to remember that some expenses can wait until your business is more established.

For example, the significant expenses involved with renting an office space can be delayed or even permanently eliminated by working out of a home office or by joining a coworking space. Likewise, marketing expenses can be put off in your early planning stages and reconsidered as your business grows.

How Can I Start a Consulting Business With no Money?

All you really need is a proposal. A proposal is a simple document outlining what you intend to do for your client, what will be included, the timeline and the costs. You can do this for free with a Word document.

But here are the steps you can take to start consulting businesses with a $0 budget.

  1. Brainstorm business ideas.
  2. Decide on a business idea.
  3. Pick a company name.
  4. Create a value proposition (a pitch for the business).
  5. Build a list of your target market (companies, names, email addresses).
  6. Send them your pitch.
  7. Arrange a telephone call with interested leads.
  8. Discuss your pitch and flesh out your proposal on the phone.
  9. Send the prospective customer a proposal that contains the contents of your discussion.
  10. Once they accept your proposal, begin work.

There are free tools you can use to start your consulting business.

  • WordPress blog
  • Facebook profile
  • Twitter profile
  • LinkedIn profile
  • GoDaddy GoCentral Free Trial
  • Canva (for logo creation)

6 Steps to Take Before Starting a Consulting Business

1. Determining your niche

Consultants usually work in a business with which they are highly familiar. You’re selling your expertise to potential clients. Before starting a consulting business, you should have a clear understanding of what services you will offer.

You should also connect with your local small business administration or a professional in your industry to determine what kind of licenses you may need. At a minimum, you’ll likely need a business license or a different business structure (such as an LLC) for tax purposes. 

To get started with figuring out your niche, try:

  • Brainstorm ideas on what you offer that can help other business owners be more successful
  • Identify problems that you can solve for your clients
  • Write a business plan that includes your unique value, industries you can serve, details about your target market, and preliminary marketing ideas

After you have an idea of your niche and have developed a business plan, share your plan with friends or colleagues for feedback. They might have feedback that you haven’t considered, such as potential competitors in your area. Having a solid business plan will make the process of starting your consulting business go more smoothly. 

2. How to name your business

Naming your business can be one of the most challenging parts of starting up. You’ll build your logo and your branding strategy around your name. There are many factors to consider when deciding on a name. One straightforward way to choose a name is to create your name around your industry. 

For example, if you are a digital marketing consultant, you could build your name off of the word “click” because you’re helping clients generate more clicks on their website, but you’re also selling ad strategies that click. 

You could also create your name around a synonym for your industry. If you’re starting an accounting firm, you could build your name out of words similar to “number,” such as integer or figure. Remember: your name will be the cornerstone of your brand. Once you start building awareness, this is the term that will stick with your clients. Be creative!

3. Conduct market research

When you first start figuring out how to start a consulting business, research is key. You probably conducted preliminary market research when drafting your business plan to be sure that there is a market in your area for your consulting services.

Once you have completed your business plan and have a better idea of how to start your consulting business, conducting more market research will help you devise marketing strategies. 

You can conduct interviews with members of your target demographic to see what types of marketing best reach them. Useful data is also available from competitors. Take stock of the services they offer and determine who their clients are. This can help you come up with your strategy for targeting clients. 

If you have a lot of market research to conduct, you may consider hiring a professional firm to help you. Some business owners skip this step because it can be costly, but you’ll be poised for greater success if you develop a business plan and marketing strategy that is based on solid data.

4. Marketing your business

When you first start a consulting business, your primary marketing goal will be to build brand awareness, generate leads, and land new clients. Your strongest initial marketing tool is your website, which should include at least four pages: Homepage, About, Services, and a Contact page. 

Your website should be mobile-responsive and must align with your overall branding. Choose colors and fonts that are similar to your logo to maintain a consistent brand. Utilize keywords when drafting the copy for each of your pages to boost your position in search engines. Constant Contact offers an easy-to-use website builder tool that you can use to create a professional website.

Once your website is up and running, take advantage of digital marketing tools. When you’re just starting your consulting business, you’ll likely use a multi-pronged marketing strategy that includes a mix of print and digital channels.

5. Social media

After your website, social media platforms are some of the easiest ways for clients to find your business online. Building LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram pages for your consulting business and regularly posting content can help you keep you at the top of search engine results. These platforms also serve as good ways to network. Some tips for making the most of these platforms include:

  • LinkedIn: When building your LinkedIn page, use the tagline as a resource to communicate what you do. It should be short, but this is the best place to add keywords that help people find you. You can also join professional groups and regularly engage in discussions to showcase your knowledge and communicate your value to potential clients. Once you have a few projects under your belt, LinkedIn is a good place to post testimonials from happy customers. 
  • Facebook: There are two ways in which Facebook can benefit your business – through organic posts, which are your regular social media posts, and through ads or sponsored content. Running Facebook ads is beneficial for small businesses because the platform lets you set your price, which is based on the number of impressions. Facebook is a good tool for building relationships with potential customers. 
  • Instagram: This is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. According to Sprout Social, the app has 1 billion users worldwide. Using Instagram is a great way to build brand awareness. Creating visually appealing posts and using keywords and hashtags in your captions helps people stumble onto your business. Instagram also offers sponsored posts that you can use to build brand awareness. 

6. Networking

One of the most effective advertising strategies is word-of-mouth. By networking, you can spread the word about your new consulting business. Consider joining a local business association and attending networking events to find new prospects.

If your industry has a professional association, sign up for networking events or set up a booth at a trade show. You can use LinkedIn groups to build your digital network. If you’ve joined a group, contribute to discussions. 

8 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Consulting Business

Becoming a consultant brings many benefits; there’s flexibility in determining where and when you work, the jobs you take on, and the rates you charge for your time. There are minimal overheads to starting a consulting business, and it’s easy to scale up and down to accommodate your lifestyle and financials. 

Despite these advantages, there are important factors to consider in order to give your consultancy the best chances of success. Here are some questions to ask yourself before starting a consulting business, including how to define your niche, set your rates, and grow your client base. 

  1. What’s my specialty?
  2. Do I need special training?
  3. What industries hire consultants?
  4. How should I charge for consulting work?
  5. How do I structure my services?
  6. What registrations and licenses do I need?
  7. How do I get referrals and find new clients?
  8. What about contracts?

Starting a Consulting Business With no Experience

To start with, get rid of any notion of becoming a “general business consultant.” That path leads into the desert with no water or food in sight. As a generalist when you try to market to everyone you are marketing to no one.

As a new consultant with no experience you need to find a niche where you have interest, where there is a high-value need, and then build your expertise, authority, and solution set. These are the basics you must have before anyone will consider hiring you. So, how can you get started when you have no experience?

Before you begin looking for clients some things you should do to gain domain experience and build a knowledge foundation are,

  • Find and learn from a mentor
  • Join consulting or industry organizations and learn the language and culture
  • Work as a minimally skilled partner or sub-contractor on related projects
  • Work as a freelancer at hourly rates once you have some skill and experience
  • Begin networking and increase your visibility and availability. As your expertise grows so will the gravitas of your name

It is much easier to start a consulting business if you already have expertise and experience in a business or technical niche, but you currently work as a full-time employee.

Before you leave your employer, there are many things you can do to make your launch successful.

As a new consultant “with no experience” there are a few things you must consider that go beyond the usual consulting business startup.

Consulting Business Ideas

Although you can turn any type of knowledge into a consulting business, here are a few ideas you can consider now:

1. Career Consultant

A career consultant does many things like assessing the client’s needs, preparing resumes, cover, other related documents, coaching interviewing skills, assisting in job search, recommending training and many more.

As it is a self-employed job you can earn a good amount provided that you build a good client base. To manage all this one must look for a good consultancy marketplace technology like Panther.

2. Marketing Consultant

Marketing is a very broad field of work, making it a scoring option for consultants. From email marketing to paid acquisition, to content creation there are loads of areas that a marketing consultant can give assistance to. If you have a degree in marketing/communication you just need to take the first step or having prior experience in the field would also be sufficient.

3. Financial Consultant

People in this role are tasked with identifying cutbacks to improve profit, or simply protecting, restructuring, or maximizing a company’s bottom line. Small businesses won’t have the need or budget to hire a full-time finance team so it requires a professional financial consultant to fill the gap. Using consultation market software will pitch your clients and help manage customer relations.

4. IT Consultant

A tech consultant is hired to ensure a company’s software and technology aren’t hindering their productivity. Since it is a technical field, those in this line have the educational background of computers. Therefore, these consultants need to have vast experience and knowledge of computers and software.

5. Legal Consultant

Larger companies usually have their own internal lawyers or a law firm on contract, while many of the small businesses don’t have the need for a full-time associate. Due to the nature of this role, a person with a degree in business law is required to ensure their clients don’t fall foul of any laws surrounding their business.

6. Social Media Consultant

Social media consultants are relatively a new area of consultancy. It ensures that a business is doing all it can to provide potential customers to its website via different social media channels.  

7. Fitness Consultant

It is not just a personal trainer; they have expertise in nutrition or sports. They help their clients implement fitness programs on a company-wide or personal level.  You can go for an on-demand consultancy app to provide your customers with access to your services which saves your time and effort.

8. PR Consultant

A PR consultant’s job is to help extend the reach of a company’s presence and improve the public’s view of the company. They are tasked with writing and pitching press releases, building campaigns, working with media and influencer partners, conducting or setting up interviews, etc.

Starting a Consulting Business Checklist

Consultants who have not prepared before starting face much greater risks. If you choose the wrong niche or fail to develop a prospect pipeline your income will go through the infamous feast-or-famine cycle and your independence and satisfaction may disappear as you scramble to recover.

To help you create a firm foundation for starting and building a thriving consulting business here’s one of the best startup checklists on the internet.

Finding Your Perfect Niche

Consultants who are “experts at everything” and “market to everyone” reach and serve no one. They waste time and opportunity by trying to be everything to everyone. Choosing the right niche (industry, consulting offering, and differentiation) is key to success as an independent consultant.

  • Identify an industry
  • Identify your consulting domain – strategy, operations, human resources, …
  • Identify your micro niche – Six Sigma quality, startup strategy, onboarding, social media marketing, …
  • Identify the niche’s high-value opportunities, problems, and trends
  • Confirm and review same-size competitors
  • Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Create a Minimum Viable Consulting Offer (MVO)
  • Validate a need for your services with the MVO
  • Identify potential adjacent industries and specialties

Finding Your Ideal Clients

Finding clients is no longer a case of joining the right country club and schmoozing or making a zillion cold calls. To compete and grow you must find the exact people who need your services and nurture a relationship with them until the time is right and they need you. You can’t force a sale and turn it into a trusting, long term relationship.

  • Create a list of potential contacts and referrals you already know
  • Create a client profile with data-searchable characteristics
  • Test the profile validity in LinkedIn (free)
  • Test the size of client base using LinkedIn Navigator
  • Find industry associations for networking and speaking
  • Develop your Prospect Problem to Client Solution matrix

Setup Your Business Structure

As an independent consultant you work both in and on your business. You must setup a solid foundation with legal, insurance, and tax framework. You also must automate or simplify every business system you can.

  • Create a revenue forecast v budget model (If your niche and client profile are valid you will need 3 to 6 months financial reserve.)
  • Choose a business name
  • Choose and file a legal structure
  • File a Doing Business As (DBA) report with local governments
  • Obtain an Employee Tax Identification number
  • Open a business checking and credit card account
  • File with national, state, and local tax agencies
  • Buy appropriate insurance (liability and/or errors and omissions)
  • Setup accounting software with a chart of accounts for professional services

Promoting Your Consulting Services

You could be the world’s expert in your niche, but if you cannot promote your consulting services you will not grow. Referrals rarely last longer than the first year so it is critical for you to setup proven marketing and promotion systems that work regionally and internationally.

Promoting your consulting services has multiple parts. First, build your foundation, a LinkedIn profile and simple professional website that validate who you are. Second, begin promotion and marketing with two marketing channels from those below.

Creating all of this can takes weeks – keep moving forward and you will build it.

Marketing Planning and Preparation

  • Write and memorize your one-line Magnetic Marketing Message
  • Write a Cornerstone outline of your services and benefits
  • Identify marketing channels that match for you and your clients
  • Use SEO analytics to discover your competitor’s top blog topics and keywords
  • Create an editorial calendar using your Cornerstone and top competitive blog topics to align and leverage content for speeches, blogs, and articles
  • Build an Authority Proof Platform using the following…

Proof of Authority: Testimonials and Case Studies

  • Capture detailed testimonials from clients or past employer’s
  • Write two or three two-page case studies (clients or prior work as an employee)


  • Create a client-oriented LinkedIn profile and picture
  • Use your name in the LinkedIn URL

 Website and Lead Generator

  • Register your web and email domain name
  • Subscribe to a web host that has site templates, email services, and CRM (customer list)
  • Create a minimal professional consulting website


  • Create an email and newsletter template
  • Create an editorial calendar to leverage topics

How to Starting a Consulting Business in South Africa

Below is the needed information to guide you on how you can start your consulting business in South Africa.

1. Acquire Business Knowledge: the consulting business can be established based on your skill and knowledge in the choice of business field.

Therefore it is advisable to acquire a piece of in-depth knowledge about the business field you choose through self-learning or an educational institution

2. Business Plan: build a good business plan that is easy to implement and falls within the range of your startup capital.

This is because whenever your business plan exceeds your startup capital, you’re left in a position that is prone to challenges

3. Market Research: conduct extensive research into the consulting business, which will present to you data of which type of consulting business has a high marketing demand for you to decide on what you can provide for the market

4. Target market: after researching the market, you should be able to locate the group of people you intend to offer your consulting services to. Maybe your target might be farmers, young entrepreneurs, companies, and many others

5. Location: learn how to spot a good location that is easily accessible by clients and has a good marketing potential

6. Office Leasing: rent an office if there’s the need to operate outside the home, deposit rent payment to the office owner to help acquire the legal documentation that indicates that the office is fully under your control until the lease term is over

7. Business Registration: register your business with the CIPC to acquire your legal certification in running your consulting business. Also, register with SARS for your tax

8. Know Business Competitors: it is good to know the competition in the business. Knowing your competitors will help prepare you for the launch of your business.

Also, competitors will help you know if you can fit into that kind of consulting business or not.

9. Business Website: build a good business website that is user-friendly enough to help clients reach out to you without making physical contact with your business premises.

Your business website must project to your clients and potential clients the kind of services you offer and how efficient your services are

10. Pricing: note that pricing determines whether your clients will keep coming back for your service or not, and to attract more clients, set an affordable price rate for your services to help sustain your business

11. Branding: build a good business brand that stands out tall among your competitors. Branding also plays a role in attracting many customers, therefore must be taken as a serious aspect of running your business

12. Advertising: use google ads, social media, business cards, flyers, or advertising billboards to conduct an efficient advertisement for your business.

How to Start a Consulting Business UK

If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, it could be both professionally and financially very rewarding. Follow the steps below to find out how to start a consulting business in the UK.

1. Decide to start a consulting business

Starting a consulting business isn’t the right choice for everyone. You need to have solid industry experience behind you and the skills to effectively communicate your knowledge. You’ll also need to be organized and able to work autonomously to keep on top of your client workload.

However, if you already have a wealth of experience in your chosen field then your experience will be just as valuable as these. For example, if you want to become a management consultant then experience setting up your own successful business will give your clients the reassurance that you can offer them valuable advice.

2. Work out a business plan

Your business plan is an important step when setting up a consultancy and isn’t one you can leave out. Your business plan will help you visualise what you hope to achieve from your business and how you will go about doing this. Things to think about include but are not limited to:

  • How you will fund your business.
  • How you will gain clients.
  • What will set you apart from the competition.
  • What your fees will be.

Your business plan will be your instruction manual for running your consulting business, so it’s imperative that you put in the time and effort to make sure it’s sound and workable. This is the stage of starting your own consulting business that you need to consider carefully and plan thoroughly.

3. Register your business

Next, you’ll need to work out what is the best way to operate as a management consultant. This is most likely to be a choice between becoming a sole trader or a limited company, which will influence how you manage your company’s finances and how much tax you will owe.

Registering as a sole trader

Registering as a sole trader means you will be solely responsible for the liabilities that come with your business. Should you make a loss then you personally will be liable, but should your business be profitable then so are you. There are advantages to setting up as a sole trader.

If you think being a sole trader is the best option for you, you will also need to consider the disadvantages. You will be personally responsible for any financial losses and debts that may accrue, which means any assets you own can be put at risk.

It is easier to become a sole trader, but you will still need to fulfill your legal obligations with HMRC. You’ll need to register as self-employed and make sure you submit tax returns and pay any taxes owed on time. You also need to ensure you are up to date with your National Insurance contributions.

Registering as a limited company

Registering as a limited company means your business is a separate legal entity that is owned by shareholders and managed by the terms laid out in the memorandum and articles of association.

If you decide to register as a limited company, liability for any financial losses or debts falls on the company, instead of falling on you as an individual as is the case with sole traders. Keeping your accounts in order isn’t as easy for a limited company, so you will need to hire an accountant to deal with these. It can be easier to raise money as a limited company and to sell your business.

There are also some possible disadvantages to consider if you are thinking of registering as a limited company. You will need to annually file your accounts with Companies House. This is a legal requirement and there are financial penalties if you fail to do this.

4. Make sure your consultancy business is insured

No matter how professional you are, there’s always the possibility that something might go wrong. And if it does, you’ll need to make sure your business is protected with the right business insurance. Having the correct cover from the outset means your business is in the best place possible to recover in the event something does go wrong.

The policy you choose is tailored to your business to make sure you have the best level of cover for you. Professional indemnity insurance will cover you in the unfortunate event you make a mistake that ends up losing your client money. Perhaps you made a mistake with your figures and this resulted in you giving some bad advice.

It can also be pertinent to consider public liability insurance. This will cover you if you regularly attend meetings at your clients’ business premises, or have clients visiting you at yours, and will cover you for any damages or losses that could occur during this time. It will also cover you if a member of the public or a client brings a claim against you for an injury they occur or property that is damaged as a result of your work.

5. How to land your first consulting client

Once you have your business set up, you need to think about your first clients. Usually, you will find your first clients from your existing professional network. Think about people you have worked with in the past and still maintain a working professional relationship with.

It can be as simple as an email letting them know you’re offering your services on a consulting basis. Then ask to meet them for coffee or lunch and discuss how you will be able to help and support them.

It might transpire that they don’t have an opportunity for you right now, but they know someone who does. Word of mouth is important when setting up your management consultancy business, it’s how you’ll grow your business and, hopefully, go from strength to strength.

How to Start a Consulting Business Australia

Once you’ve pinpointed your consulting skillset, it’s time to take the steps to actually become a consultant. Here’s where you need to start a consulting business in Australia:

1. Research certifications

Having certifications can help attract clients. The Certified Management Consultant (CMC) certification is awarded to consultants who have met global standards of performance in technical competency, ethics, consulting competency, project management and personal conduct.

2. Take care of your finances

Starting a company is a costly proposition, so it’s important to create a budget that lays out all your costs. You may decide that you need additional capital to be successful. If you do take out a business loan, make sure that you know how you will spend it.

A problem many consultants face is separating personal finances from business finances when they first start. To avoid spending mishaps, implement ways to distinguish your business costs from your personal costs by opening a business bank account.

3. Set your consulting fees

What are customers willing to pay for your services? This is an important question to hash out at the beginning. There are different consulting fee models, but you ultimately want to base your rate on your clients, the services you offer and the time a proposal takes.

Read Also: 10 Business Ideas for Stay-at-Home Parents

After you determine your fees, you need to select a payments system that allows your clients to pay for services. Many consultants use invoices to bill clients for the hours worked. With a robust invoice system, you can fill out your client’s information (which is saved in a customer directory) and send the billing statement in seconds via email.

4. Create a business plan

Now it’s time to write a business plan. Your value proposition and target market are the base of your plan and should be highlighted at the beginning of the document.

From there, you want to create a plan that includes a competitive analysis as well as financial considerations, which include the cost of your consulting business and your forecasted profit.

Take note that business plans change over time and that’s okay. Don’t be afraid to modify your business plan when long-term goals evolve and new opportunities arise.

5. Create a marketing plan

Because the consulting business is competitive, a marketing plan is crucial. Networking is the best method to secure consulting work. You want to become a reputable source whose opinion is valued in the industry. To do so, you have to constantly network and build loyalty among your client base.

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