Consulting Is On The Rise – How To Start A Consulting Business

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Have you ever considered leaving the corporate rat race and starting a consulting business – maximizing your expertise and taking control of your professional future? Many professionals have given the concept of starting a consulting business serious thought as Corporate America has changed significantly.

The global management consulting services market size is likely to reach at USD 343.52 Billion by 2025.

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The need for consultants is on the rise.

However, in our experience, most professionals do not start a consulting practice because of lack of knowledge and fear of the unknown. Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “Knowledge is the antidote for fear.”

Consider the following 5 keys on how to successfully start a consulting business. If it is the right time for you, it may be easier than you think.

  1. Create a detailed list of the specific expertise you possess that could be valuable to other organizations. In consulting you are the product or service you will be making available to potential clients. Do you have expertise in certain areas of IT, finances, operations, or other business processes that would allow you to help clients from the outside-in? Identifying what makes you unique and packaging that expertise as a consultant is one of the first components to success
  2. After identifying your unique expertise and capabilities, research the possibilities of partnering with a firm/s that may be able to enhance your unique capabilities through proven products or service lines. If your consulting focus will be centered around IT, does it make sense to align with several software options so you can best serve your customers based on their identified needs? One critical key to success as a consultant is the ability to realize, quickly, that you do not need to create every client solution from scratch. Consultants that embrace the concept of ‘not reinventing the wheel’ are able to manage their time and their clients more successfully for better financial return.
  3. Develop a specific plan outlining goals and business objectives. No matter the size of the business a detailed plan is vital. You cannot effectively achieve your business objectives unless you know exactly what needs to be done and by when. There are a number of tools available to help you structure the plan. In our experience what tool you use is secondary to actually creating and implementing the plan.
  4. After you have a plan in place, it is helpful to have an accountability partner to help you stick to the plan. If you are starting your consulting practice as a solo-entrepreneur it can be lonely at times. There is no office crew to touch base with and brainstorm. Having an accountability partner that understands your business and your objectives provides connection, an outside perspective, a non-biased opinion, and quite frankly someone to hold your feet to the fire on your objectives and action steps. Touching base with your accountability partner on a weekly basis is a great place to start.
  5. In addition to partnering with an accountability partner, seek out professional networks that can become a source of professional support and industry knowledge. Tying to the example we used earlier, if your consulting practice is focused on IT expertise does it make sense to research, identify, and join associations that support the IT industry? Not only are these types of organizations great for professional support and industry knowledge they may also be a great source of potential clients and referral partners.

How to start a consulting business may seem overwhelming or out of reach but it does not have to be. You know you have the expertise and there are clients that have a need. Do not let your lack of knowledge or fear on how to start a consulting business stand in your way. There are clients for which you could make a huge difference!

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