How to Start a Consulting Business
A consulting business is one of the best business models that can be created. There are no expensive product supplies that have to be regularly set up, plus you can charge based on your time. So you can fill your time with work that is going to pay. And there are always ways to improve your revenues with additional services, commissions, and more. So in this article, we discuss how to start a consulting business.
Advantages of Starting a Consulting Business
There are numerous advantages and benefits of starting a consulting business. Some of the benefits include:
You Learn Lots of Skills – There are numerous skills that a consultancy business owner needs to have besides their specialty. You need leadership, sales, financing, marketing, time management, and more.
Build a Network – Whether the long-term plan is to run the business or to get another job at a different firm, having a network is a powerful benefit that a business or employer wants.
Flexibility – Those who own the consultancy get to choose where and when they work, within reason.
Experiences – One of the best advantages of being a consultant is that you’re exposed to an incredible amount of experiences that cannot be obtained from other careers.
Set your Rate – Choose what rate you would like for the work that you do. You can choose to charge by the hour, day, or even by the project.
Exit Options – Consultancies are often in high demand and there are plenty of businesses that are willing to buy out consultancies because of the access they get to other clients that they can immediately add to their revenue stream.
How to Start a Consulting Business
Here are the instructions that you will need when you want to start a consulting business.
Step 1 – Choose your Specialism
Even within a set market, like digital marketing, you need to have a specialism. For example, in digital marketing, you could be a copywriting consultant, website consultant, SEO consultant, or email marketing consultant. While you might offer services in other areas, it is the main one that you want to be pushing, it gives focus and gives you a way to distinguish yourself from the competition.
Step 2 – Choose Operational Behaviors
Operational behaviors are how your business is going to operate and work. Are you going to be a solopreneur offering your services as yourself and not hire anyone else. Or are you going to try and build a team of consultants that allows you to service more customers and utilize the benefits of collective knowledge?
In addition, how are you going to deliver products? You could try to sell your time for in-person consultancies. Or you can deliver everything online. There are also hybrid options that you can offer.
Choosing these elements early helps you make tough decisions later on.
Step 3 – Create a Brand
Now you know what you’re going to offer and how you need to create a brand for your business. This task is one of the hardest options that are available. You want to make sure that you have a brand name that is easily memorable and unique. You might want to use a business name generator to help you create a name.
You also need to think about the colors that you want to use and the logo. Logo designers can be found on websites like Upwork and other platforms.
Be sure that any name that you choose is available. You can do a business name search in your state and others for free. You might also want to check social media (LinkedIn in particular) for domain availability.
Step 4 – Build a Website
A website is one of the most important elements that you need for your business. Numerous purchasers won’t buy from a brand that doesn’t have a website. Yet interestingly there are so many small business owners, including consultants, who don’t have a website. Yet these are also the brands that are more likely to fail.
A website domain costs $10 per year. You want to buy a domain with as many domain extensions as you can. Hosting for a domain can cost $15 per year. Building the website can take a few days to complete on your own. WordPress websites are some of the easiest to build, but you can also use Squarespace or Wix, which have very easy-to-use What You See Is What You Get page builders with them.
If in doubt, you can get a website builder to create a website for you, but it will be slower and cost anywhere from $100 to $5000.
Step 5 – Social Media
Now you need to create your social media channels. You want to have Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and TikTok as a minimum. Though if you want to add in more you can do. Regular publishing of content on these platforms can help you reach a larger audience.
Ideally, at least once a day on each of these platforms is preferable.
You should also look at setting up your consultancy’s email marketing system. Email is one of the best ways to sell to audiences, with the average business earning $44 for every $1 they spend on the campaign.
Step 6 – Network & Marketing
Once you’ve got your consultancy website and social media setup, then you can go out, market your brand and make sales. This can take a long time but that doesn’t mean that it is hopeless. There are normally some local business networking events or trade shows that you can attend to help you make your first sale.
It is important to remember that you’re not marketing what you do for the business, but the benefits of using your services. And you might need to work at a lower rate while you are new with no reputation. However, as soon as you start to build a good reputation, you can improve your rates and earn more money.
Final Word: How to Start a Consulting Business
Above are the steps that you need when you want to know how to start a consulting business. These are very simple steps to follow. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t face challenges, half of all businesses fail within the first six months and 90% within five years. It takes a dedicated business owner to make any business succeed.