Starting any kind of business of your own can be challenging and overwhelming at the same time. It’s equally as challenging when you want to start a consulting business.
The demand for a consultant in almost every industry is increasing at a very high rate day by day. According to research, the consultancy market is growing at a rate of 10.6% annually and is expected to reach $1460.2 Billion dollars in 2022.
There is no better time to start your own consulting business than now. Figuring out how to start?
Get excited! In this article, you will get the precise steps that you can easily follow to set up and start a consulting business.
#1 Define Your Niche
The very first step is to establish what services you are going to provide and how you are going to differentiate them from what others are doing.
You can be a consultant in a field where you have adequate knowledge about it. Without proper knowledge of the subject which you’re looking to be a consultant, it will be very difficult to sustain and upscale your business.
Once you’ve figured out the niche in which you are going to open a consulting business, research the market to know what others are doing in the same industry.
After a quick research, you will have fairly good data on what other companies and individuals are doing, and based on that data, figure out how you are going to be unique.
Beating the competition can be done in different ways. Improving on aspects such as delivery, giving service to the clients, pricing, etc would make you stand out from the competition.
Once you have defined a niche and how you are going to do it differently from what others are doing, you are all set to move to the next step!
#2 Identify Target Market
The second step is to clearly identify your target market and how you will initially reach them. You can’t force anyone out there to buy a service from you or hire you as a consultant because no one is going to do that!
To define your target market, the first step must be clear and well-established. Because without that you can’t find out your target market. Let’s suppose you provide consultancy services in the supply chain management sector. Your ideal client can be a big company.
The bigger companies or the MNCs who have annual revenue of more than 200 million dollars can be your great target market. As big companies have a very vast and never-ending supply chain, they will have various obstacles too!
They need consultants to solve their problems and suggest effective ways to reduce costs and increase the productivity of the company. So, here, your target market is well-established companies with huge supply chain systems.
Your target market can be very small or even individuals depending on the industry you are in. Finding out the right target market is an important step as this will help you to initially reach potential clients and give you a headstart!
#3 Business Structure and Workplace
The third step is to work out what business structure and workplace will suit you the best!
It’s time to set up your workplace and the business structure. Based on the services you are going to provide and how many team members, partners, branches and almost everything you can think of that may happen in the upcoming future.
You have to plan every aspect of the business and have the proper paperwork wherever required. If you have a partner in the business, you need to answer certain questions. Examples are: what percentage does he have in the company? What expertise he is going to offer? How the profits and work will be split?
Everything has to be crystal clear and should be mentioned in legal papers. You also have to think about what you will do if the other partner leaves the company, and how you are going to fill the gap?
Be prepared for all these situations and get your company registered. Your company can be of any type sole proprietorship, joint venture, LTD company, etc but it should meet your business requirements and help you conduct business smoothly.
#4 Develop a Brand Identity
In today’s time, for any kind of business to be sustainable, it requires a strong brand identity. It is something that most business owners miss out on or think requires a lot of budget.
Creating your brand identity is important and it is not necessary that you have to be a very big organization or spend a lot of money for that.
It will be very difficult for you to run your business if you don’t take brand identity seriously. Brand identity helps you to gain clients’ trust and builds credibility.
If you want to stand out, attract a certain number of clients every month, and charge higher, then you have to project a certain image for that in the market.
Basically, your designs, your banners, your presentation, your logo, your palettes, and almost everything which comes with brand identity becomes important to work on.
Good brand identity and design attract more clients and eventually help you in establishing a successful and profitable business.
#5 Business and Financial Goals
The fifth step is to prepare and outline your business and financial goals. You have to define how you are going to conduct your consulting business and how each component will work simultaneously.
It is very important and without business goals, you can’t sustain it for the long run. You need to define the pathways to achieve your business goals and most importantly your company’s finances.
Finance is very vital in the business. You should clearly divide the budget into different segments for the growth of the company and above all how much you should charge based on your experience with clients.
Without goals, you can’t grow effectively. Good finances can help you to achieve your business goals. Make sure you have a perfect financial plan and business goals and stick to them!
#6 Prepare a Marketing Plan
The last but the most important step is preparing your consulting business’ marketing plan. Thanks to the internet, 95% of the marketing is now done online. Unlike the old days, you need not spend too much budget on flexes, banners, T.V ads, and radio ads. You can save a lot of money just by going online!
As nowadays digital marketing is the only way to go to reduce costs and achieve great results. But to get started with that, you need to have a few things. i.e A website and a presence on social media platforms.
Going digital will be a game-changer, you can reach out to clients worldwide, and have more leads and prospects. How to go digital?
You need to have a website where you can list down your services, who you are, what makes you different from others, your pricing, and your business basic details.
You need to be on LinkedIn, as you will get most of the leads from there or based on your niche, look for the social media platform where you can find most of the leads, Be present there with an awesome profile!
Once you have your company website and social media profiles up and running, you can prepare a marketing plan or a funnel to upscale your current business.
Don’t know how to get started with marketing or setting up your business online? We strongly recommend you to visit Opterflow. Here, you can find ready-to-go website templates for your perfect company website and experts to bring you more sales with amazing digital marketing.
When you go online, you have a larger audience than offline. When you do marketing online you reach out to a large number, you get tons of leads, prospects, and customers. It’s not possible to handle it all by yourself, It’s better to look for someone who is an expert in this field and can help you with your CRM, leads, sales, and marketing. That expert third party is none other than Opterflow.
Visit the Opterflow website and send your inquiries related to online business sales and marketing and let experts handle the marketing part while you can focus on your core business.
In The End
By now you are well knowledged of the important steps needed to start your own consulting business. Now you know how to plan your business, how to set goals and budgets, how to market your business, and almost everything one needs to know before starting a consulting business.
It’s now time for you to start your consulting business and help others to achieve their business goals with your advice.