How to Set Up a Consulting Business
Learn about the types of consulting and how to start a lucrative, successful consulting business.
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When you think of consultants, busy schedules, high-profile clients, and lucrative salaries come to mind. But why do these companies pay consultants so much for advice or even seemingly small tasks that could've been done in just a few minutes?
Have you heard the phrase: “You owe me for the years, not the minutes”? That’s exactly why. Consultants have dedicated their careers to offering years of experience in a specific area to businesses and entrepreneurs who need their expertise.
If you’re passionate about helping others succeed by providing niche expertise honed by years of education, experience, and skill development, a career in consulting may be for you. We’ve compiled this guide to dig deeper into the world of consulting — including how to start and market your own consulting business.
What is Consulting?
Types of Consulting
How to start a consulting business, how to grow your consulting business, what is consulting.
Consulting is the process of providing expert advice, opinion, and/or strategies for a fee. Whether individual or firm-based, consultants specialize in a niche industry or trade.
Consultants are experts in their field. They possess knowledge so valuable that someone else — an individual, department, or entire organization — is willing to pay for it. Consulting can include a wide range of activities beyond simply giving advice , including problem diagnosis, data collection, feedback, strategy-building, and implementation.
Sometimes, business leaders need a new set of eyes when approaching an issue. As a consultant, you can provide that unbiased perspective. Consultants and consulting firms are highly sought after for their fresh perspectives on a pressing business problem or challenge.
Simply put, consultants work to make their clients more successful. This can require a lot of work, which is why the consulting business is so lucrative.
Consultant vs. Contractor
If you were to open your own consulting business practice, where would you stand?
You may have heard the words consultant , contractor , and even freelancer used interchangeably.
While all of these parties work with businesses, versus being employed by them, that’s about where their similarities end.
Contractors (including freelancers ) are self-employed workers that companies contract to provide services. Consultants primarily provide assessments and expert advice. They can be self-employed or employed by a consulting firm.
However, if, as a consultant, you were asked to provide a service or deliverable, you could be hired into a contractor -type role.
Let’s say you were hired to assess a sales team’s performance. Upon initial assessment, you recommend a new sales strategy and training plan. If you were then asked to draw up and deliver this written strategy, you would be considered a contractor (in addition to a consultant).
Consultants exist in practically every field. Let’s discuss the different types of consulting in which you can specialize.
- Management Consulting
- Strategy Consulting
- Operations Consulting
- Financial Strategy Consulting
- Human Resources Consulting
- IT Consulting
- Business Consulting
- Sales Consulting
- Marketing Consulting
- Environmental Consulting
- Financial Consulting
- Career Consulting
- Healthcare Consulting
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consulting
- Public Relations Consulting
- Brand Consulting
Consulting refers to a variety of specialists in virtually infinite industries.
In this section, we’ll unpack some of the most sought-after types of consulting practices, any relevant niche opportunities that fall under them, and what your career in these respective trades might look like.
1. Management Consulting
Management consulting is the most common type of consulting and includes many different niche consulting careers under its umbrella.
Firms like McKinsey, Bain & Company, and Deloitte primarily work in management consulting. It’s a $329 billion industry — at least, where it stands as of 2023.
As a management consultant, you would work with business leaders to help their companies run smoothly. This typically involves assessing certain processes and providing advice on improving or implementing new ones.
Not all management consultants are the same. Some follow a generalist approach and assess each organization as a whole, and some specialize in more specific departments or fields.
2. Strategy Consulting
An important subset of management consulting, these consultants review key business strategies and provide expert advice on improving or developing new ones.
Strategy consultants are typically experts in a certain industry or field and advise on high-level, strategic business decisions, such as company vision, resources, and investments.
3. Operations Consulting
While strategy consultants primarily work with the “why,” operations consulting addresses the “how.” These consultants handle procurement, outsourcing, supply chain management, and more. Operations consultants may also offer implementation and deployment services to help clients put their new processes to work.
4. Financial Strategy Consulting
Financial consultants work in corporate finance, financial restructuring, risk management, and even real estate . These consultants, or advisors, help businesses make informed, objective, and legal decisions to improve returns.
All financial consultants must meet certain requirements and obtain a license to offer financial advice.
5. Human Resources Consulting
These specialists address HR processes, including training and development, conflict resolution, management philosophies, benefits, and employee satisfaction. HR consultants serve the purpose of helping companies hire and retain remarkable employees.
HR consultants also ensure businesses are following legal and ethical personnel practices.
6. IT Consulting
Information technology (IT) consultants implement and manage new technologies, such as systems integration, software development and management, and enterprise architecture.
This consulting division is highly specialized and lucrative, worth almost double the management consulting industry — $666 billion . As an IT consultant, you might help businesses determine what software to invest in and how to use it to meet goals.
7. Business Consulting
Business consulting is a broad term for specialists who work with businesses on anything from financial advising to training to layoffs. (You’ll see that this category overlaps with others in this list.)
As a business consultant , you’d typically work with small to mid-size businesses (SMBs) — instead of management consulting, where you’d work with enterprise-level companies.
8. Sales Consulting
Sales consultants work to improve sales teams' performance, regardless of size or industry.
As a sales consultant, you’d typically work in sales training and development. You could also be brought on for other purposes, such as choosing a CRM , improving the sales process, or boosting team morale.
With sales being considered one of the most important parts of a business, financially speaking, quality sales consultants are highly-valued and sought-after.
9. Marketing Consulting
Marketing consultants evaluate a business’s marketing efforts and provide guidance on improving strategies to meet goals and bring in revenue.
As a marketing consultant, you might specialize in a certain field of marketing, such as content marketing, PR, or social media marketing. Or, you might focus on a niche marketing process, such as defining target audiences , customer acquisition , or brand awareness .
10. Environmental Consulting
Environmental consulting is particularly important as companies work to reduce their permanent impact on the environment.
As an environmental consultant, you may advise businesses on how their practices affect the environment around them and often work with industries like construction, waste management, real estate, and energy (but can be hired by any type of company).
11. Financial Consulting
Financial consulting overlaps somewhat with the financial strategy consulting we discussed above. The main difference, however, is that this category also includes independent financial consultants that work with individuals, families, and entrepreneurs.
As a financial consultant, you may help with everything from day-to-day expenses, investments, and taxes to cash-flow issues, insurance, and financial legalities.
12. Career Consulting
As a career consultant, you may help clients with skill development, resume building, job applications, interviews, and understanding the job market as a whole.
Individuals and businesses use career consulting to equip themselves or their employees to grow in their jobs. Career consulting may be for you if you have a background in HR or recruiting.
13. Healthcare Consulting
The purpose of healthcare consulting is to maximize the impact and output of healthcare organizations.
Healthcare consultants are management consultants that work in the healthcare industry. They analyze an organization's personnel, profits, and processes and advise on how to improve and solve pressing challenges.
14. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consulting (DEI)
It’s not uncommon for companies to find themselves lacking the specific skill set that diversity and inclusion consultants bring. Hiring an HR consultant is simply not enough to overcome bias in an organization. That’s what makes DEI consultants some of the most sought-after professionals.
As a DEI consultant, you’ll bring an objective point of view to businesses’ equity problems — especially those that involve personnel and culture. If you have a background in HR, psychology, or nonprofit management, you may find that DEI consulting could be your next career move.
15. Public Relations Consulting
While public relations might be a staple in enterprises, the function is often coupled with marketing and communications in smaller companies. But public relations is a discipline all its own, and unfortunately, that fact is usually realized in the middle of a crisis.
As a PR consultant, you might work on a retainer to help plan for crises before one occurs, or you may be brought in during the middle of one to determine a company’s best course of action to work with the public and media.
16. Brand Consulting
Brand consultants may work closely with marketing and sales consultants to bring products to market and adjust prices. These professionals offer creative expertise to position a company in a certain way in the minds of consumers.
As a brand consultant, you’ll assess where a brand currently stands. Competitor analysis, research, and design may fall under the scope of work, but if you prefer to specialize in one area, that’s an option.
- Assess your skills and strengths to choose your niche.
- Analyze your market needs and pain points.
- Develop your brand, website, and service offerings.
- Open your business.
- Market your business to attract new clients.
- Stay organized and scale.
Are you specialized in a certain field or niche industry and believe you could offer quality advice to others? You may consider opening your own consulting business.
Here are six steps to follow to start a consulting business that helps both you and your clients succeed.
1. Assess your skills and strengths to choose your niche.
Before anything else, brainstorm and define what skills and strengths you believe would make you a good consultant.
What makes you an expert? What do you love to do and talk about? If you had to stand in front of a classroom and teach on any subject, what would that be? What do your friends, family, and coworkers ask for your advice on?
These are just a few questions to ask yourself to consider what skills and strengths would make you a qualified consultant. Jot down your answer before moving forward.
If I were answering for myself, I’d say I’m an expert in writing and content marketing. I’ve worked in this field for my entire career and genuinely love creating content and helping others do the same.
2. Analyze your market needs and pain points.
Once you establish your consulting niche, you should better understand what industry and market you’ll be targeting. Following my example from above, I would target the marketing industry and specialize in content marketing.
Narrowing your market as a consultant allows you to understand your potential client's needs, challenges, and pain points. This can help clarify how you can use your skills to provide solutions.
Let’s say my target audience struggles with consistent content creation, SEO, and tracking published content. Defining these factors allows me to know precisely how I can help my clients (e.g., with writing, SEO, and metrics) versus simply saying, “Hey, I can help you with words!”
Just as you specialize in a certain skill set as a consultant, you should also specify what services you provide for your clients. This information can also help you better market to clients, which we’ll talk about below.
3. Develop your brand, website, and service offerings.
Next, create the external-facing components of your business. This includes your website, branding, and service offerings. These resources can help clients identify you from competitors.
Whether you identify your business with your name (e.g., Allie Decker LLC ) or with another name (e.g., Content Marketing Consulting LLC), you should give it an official name and website to boot.
The other important part of this step is outlining how you work with clients and how much your consulting costs.
Whether you organize your services into clear-cut packages or simply list them, you should at least give visitors an idea of what you specialize in and how you can help them.
4. Open your business.
This step is more complicated than flipping a proverbial sign from Closed to Open .
First, consider the legal structure of your business. Legitimizing your business gives you credibility and direction when it comes to taxes, staffing, and other legal details.
Next, consider what tools you need to conduct business and connect with clients. These might include tools to help find new clients and jobs — like a LinkedIn membership — and video conferencing software like Zoom or Skype.
At this stage, you should also open a business bank account, invest in an accountant (and eventually an assistant), and order business cards with your branding and information.
Download The Complete Consultant's Success Kit to access eight free templates for planning, researching, and client onboarding.
5. Market your business to attract new clients.
Now that you’ve opened your business, it’s time to grow .
A consulting business isn’t a business without clients. Sometimes, you may find yourself selling your services to people who aren’t even aware they need them.
Consulting marketing can adopt a variety of marketing methods:
- Podcasting .
- Speaking and teaching.
- Social media marketing.
- Print or digital advertising.
- Cold calling and emailing.
Regardless of how you promote your consulting business, invest in consulting marketing methods that will get you in direct contact with your potential clients.
Methods like blogging, podcasting, and social media marketing don’t necessarily draw a direct line to new revenue, but they are powerful for growing awareness and establishing expertise.
Once you get in front of potential clients, have an established elevator pitch and client proposal template ready to go. Half the consulting “battle” is providing advice. The other half is selling your advice in the first place.
As you grow your client base, use a CRM like HubSpot’s all-in-one CRM platform (which comes in a free version for small-to-medium businesses or a paid version for enterprises). It can help you keep track of client information as well as the context of your relationship with each client.
6. Stay organized and scale.
As you grow and master your consulting business, stay organized and consistent. High-quality results are the best way to incite referrals from previous clients — and referrals can be your best source of new sales .
In fact, as you build successful relationships with clients, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals for new leads.
Once a month or so, sit down and analyze your consulting business. Look at your client list, software tools, and other business practices. Analyze what’s working and what’s not.
Understand where you can cut extra effort and resources to ultimately save money. Lastly, subscribe to industry trends to keep your business relevant to the challenges and trends your clients face.
- Conduct a competitive analysis.
- Start a blog.
- Share thought leadership content.
- Explore new consulting verticals.
- Network and make new connections.
Starting a consulting business is a remarkable feat, but that’s not where the work stops. These five activities will help you grow your consulting business, too.
1. Conduct a competitive analysis.
If you haven’t done so already, conduct a competitive analysis of other consultants or consulting firms in your niche and area.
Examining your competition can be intimidating, but with the right mindset, you can learn how to grow and improve your consulting business. Moreover, you can identify gaps in the market and find new ways to improve their strategies.
How do they market their business? What consulting services do they offer, and how do they describe and bundle them? What are their prices and fees?
When you study what’s working for your competitors, you learn more about your clients’ customer journeys and how you can improve your chances of being hired over your competition.
2. Start a blog.
Blogging is a uniquely effective way to market your business, establish authority in your niche, and help your business organically rank online. Many people hesitate to start a blog because they don’t know what to write about. Well, we’ve compiled a helpful guide to help you pass that roadblock.
Download our free guide to starting a successful blog and receive an 8-part planner to get your blog up and running.
Another source of great blog content is your client base. Pay attention to what issues or questions your clients face and gather feedback about what information would be helpful to write and share.
In the same vein, blog content can also serve as sales enablement content — sharing a popular blog post or two with potential clients can help them understand why to hire you and what they may learn from working with you.
3. Share thought leadership content.
Like starting a blog, publishing thought leadership content can help you establish your authority. Consider platforms like Medium that already have an audience. Publish your most authoritative, data-driven content on there to boost your brand awareness.
You can also use tools like HARO to connect with journalists and bloggers looking for expert quotes, anecdotes, and stories for their content. Respond to queries to get your voice featured as a thought leader in your consulting niche.
4. Explore new consulting verticals.
Take a peek at your competitive analysis: Did your findings yield any verticals or specializations that your competitors are offering and you aren’t? Consider adding new verticals to your services to further differentiate yourself and grow your business.
For example, if you’re a content marketing consultant, you could consider introducing consulting services for email marketing and social media marketing. If you expand, just be sure you have relevant experience and expertise — don’t add new services for new business.
5. Network and make new connections.
Between social media, dedicated Slack channels, and online masterminds, you are the only thing standing in your way of making new connections and friends online.
Networking in person is pretty straightforward. But networking online... well, that’s a different story. Thankfully, with today’s technology, there are countless ways to network and make new connections.
One of my favorite spots to network is on Twitter. It’s the easiest platform to engage with folks and start interesting conversations. I’m also reminded of old connections that I can revive with a short Tweet or email.
Test a few platforms and programs and see which one helps you get connected, attract clients, and build a community.
Start Consulting Today
Consulting may be a fascinating, lucrative career, but it’s also a mindset. Successful consulting businesses begin with an individual or team of experts passionate about helping others.
Regardless of your firm's size, keep your passion and expertise centered and you’ll always find success. Top consultants are great at planning, presenting, and marketing their services. Start your consulting business plan by downloading our free consulting templates below.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in December 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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Consulting Business Plan
Do you have vast knowledge through experience and education and are ready to share that knowledge with others? Then, starting a consulting business is the best option for you.
Everyone has a problem that they can not solve by themselves and need expert advice. The problem can be anything professional like how to scale their business or personal like overcoming drug addiction.
Also, they are even ready to pay for it. That makes the global consulting industry one of the largest and most mature markets in the service industry.
Before you start writing your business plan , spend as much time as you can reading through some examples of service-related business plans .
We have created this sample consulting business plan to get a good idea about what a perfect consulting business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan .
As per the statistics, The global management consulting market is worth a whopping 160 billion U.S. dollars per year and will grow by around 80% per year over the next few years.
A large part of this consulting industry is ruled by freelancers and individuals. Still, there are 15% of consultants work at large, mid-sized, or small organizations.
The consulting services include mainly strategy consulting, technology consulting, management consulting, operations consulting, financial advisory, and human resources consulting.
Things to Consider Before Writing Your Consultancy Business Plan
Find your niche.
Doing good as a consultant is chiefly about being so good and so well-versed with a business segment that you can solve almost every problem that comes your way.
Figure out a way to convince people that your advice will work
More often than not, there’s no room for errors in a consultancy business. Your advice would turn out the helpful majority of the time or not
Customer base and services
Figure out your target customer base and how you would reach out to them. How will you convince your customers that your services are valuable?
Carry out a competitive analysis
Write your business plan.
If you are planning to start a new consulting business, the first thing you will need is a business plan.
Reading sample business plans will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for. It will show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and their language to write their business plans.
Consulting Business Plan Outline
This is the standard consulting business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.
- Market Validation
- Short-Term (1 -3 Years)
- Long Term (3-5 years)
- Mission statement
- Keys to success
- CCI – 3-Year Financial Highlights
- Company Ownership/Legal Entity
- Interior Operating Facilities
- Hours of Operation
- Startup summary
- Visa and Government Relations
- Business and Investment Consulting Services
- Legal and Compliance Services
- Human Resources
- Market segmentation
- Market Trends
- CCI Market Distribution
- Competitive Advantage
- SWOT analysis
- Marketing and Promotion Programs
- Positioning Statement
- Marketing Channels
- Pricing strategy
- Organization chart
- Management Team
- Hiring plan
- CAPITAL CONSULTANCY INC
- Important Assumptions
- Brake-even Analysis
- Profit Yearly
- Gross Margin Yearly
- Projected Cash Flow
- Projected Balance Sheet
- Business Ratios
After getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this consulting business plan template into your business plan and modify the required information and download your consulting business plan pdf or doc file. It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.
Business Planning Resources
We have plenty of free business planning resources available to help you with your planning. You can download our resources to learn all about business planning.
Not found what you are looking for? Explore our 200+ sample business plans to find match for your business.
DISCLAIMER: The business plans, templates, and articles contained on upmetrics.co are not to be considered as legal advice. All content is for informational purposes, and upmetrics makes no claim as to accuracy, legality or suitability. The site owner shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions or for damages of any kind.
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Consulting Business Plan: Complete Consultant Template & PDF
This consulting business plan is a comprehensive copy/paste example that includes an operating and marketing plan for any kind of consulting business. You can download it and make edits to create a plan for your business, whether you’re a startup consultant business or an existing consulting firm that wants to grow faster.
(Estimated reading time: 19 minutes)
Table of Contents
Consulting Business Plan Template
This plan for consultants contains in-depth information to build your own version. Simply modify the examples in this consulting plan to fit your specific line of work and you can quickly create a plan for industries such as (but of course not limited to):
- management consulting business plan
- advertising and marketing agency business plan
- healthcare consulting business plan
- IT consulting business plan
- fintech consultant business plan
- environmental consulting business plan
- security consulting business plan
- software consultant business plan
This business plan for consultants covers the following topics that go into a plan: your service list and descriptions, target market, marketing strategies for consultants, competition, and financial projections. You can download this example plan as a Google Doc for easy editing in Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, or save it as a PDF:
How to Use This Consultant Business Plan to Attract Clients
- Consulting Business Plan Template – This section provides guidance on what to include in each part of your business plan.
- Sample Consulting Business Plan Text – This part includes actual text from a real consulting business plan example that you can use as-is or modify to fit your specific needs.
Since many consulting businesses are established by solo practitioners, this consulting business plan example will focus on one-person firms. However, if you have partners or are part of a larger company, you can easily adapt this plan by replacing singular pronouns (I) with plural forms (we).
To help you chart a revenue course to starting your consulting business, this business plan example also includes a brief overview of a marketing plan. I recommend taking a look at (even downloading) my detailed marketing plan example as a model for yours.
Sample Consulting Business Plan
Let’s begin with the sections that make up your consulting business plan. I include sample text below the description of what to focus on within each section.
The first section of your business plan introduction is critical for framing your consulting practice.
1. Consulting Business Plan Executive Summary
Here are the key topics to focus on in this section of your consultant business plan:
- An introduction to your consulting business and the services you offer
- A summary of your target market and their needs
- Your key differentiators and what sets your consulting business apart from competitors
- Your approach to delivering high-quality consulting services and achieving measurable results
- A summary of your marketing strategy and how you plan to reach your target market
Consultant Business Plan Executive Summary Example
I specialize in strategic planning, market research, and growth strategies for small and medium-sized technology businesses that cater to the financial sector (i.e., fintech). Additionally, I offer consulting resources such as training programs, workshops, and customized solutions tailored to each client’s unique needs.
My consulting business is built on the belief that every business has the potential for growth and success. To achieve this, I work closely with my clients to understand their goals and challenges, and develop customized solutions that help them achieve their objectives.
My target market consists of small and medium-sized businesses in the financial technology industry, a.k.a. fintech, who are looking to make their operations more efficient based on data and methodical research. My management consulting services are tailored to meet their unique needs, and my approach is focused on delivering measurable results that align with their business objectives.
What sets my consulting business apart from competitors is my focus on collaboration and transparency. I believe in working closely with my clients to develop solutions that are customized to their specific needs, and I keep them involved in the process every step of the way.
To reach my target market, I will establish a strong online presence through content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO for consultants). I will leverage social media platforms to engage with potential clients and showcase my expertise in the fintech industry as a top consultant.
My consulting business is committed to helping businesses solve challenging business management problems that require rigorous analysis and careful calculations. With a focus on delivering innovative solutions and building strong relationships with my clients, I am confident in my ability to help businesses succeed and thrive in today’s competitive market.
2. Consulting Business Plan Service Description
Every consulting business description is slightly different. I’ve provided two variations in this section so that you can identify which one resonates best with your goals. Each version provides similar information, but is structured differently. I have also included consulting service description examples for each version.
Version 1: Service Description
Focus on these elements for this section of your business plan:
- The types of consulting services you offer and their value proposition
- A description of the types of clients you serve and the problems you solve for them
- A summary of your consulting methodologies and tools
- An explanation of the benefits your clients can expect to receive from your services
If you are an independent consultant or small group, even in serving in a consulting capacity at a different firm, you can introduce the fact that your years of experience enable you to offer the same caliber of services that larger more expensive firms provide at significantly higher rates.
Sample Consulting Service Description
- Achieving product-market fit
- Improving operational efficiency
- Enhancing strategic planning and decision-making processes
- Implementing change management initiatives
- Developing growth strategies and market expansion plans
- Optimizing financial performance and risk management
My consulting methodologies are based on a data-driven approach that combines qualitative and quantitative analysis to identify and solve business problems. I use a variety of tools and techniques, including process mapping, benchmarking, and SWOT analysis to develop customized solutions for each client.
Working closely with my clients, I help them develop actionable plans and implement them efficiently to achieve measurable results. By leveraging my expertise and experience, my clients can expect to:
- Improve profitability and reduce costs
- Increase efficiency and productivity
- Enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Expand into new markets and drive growth
- Stay ahead of the competition and achieve sustainable success
I will share examples of past projects that provide a detailed framework along with results to show clients what they can achieve by hiring my consulting business.
With my 15 years of niche industry experience and wealth of successfully completed projects, I am able to offer exceptional high caliber service at lower overall rates than larger firms. My management consulting services are designed to help businesses achieve their full potential and thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.
Version2: List of Business Consulting Services
Before you start writing this section, ask yourself the following questions to help define and refine your consulting services. For this consultant business plan example, I’ve included the following prompts to focus on what a management consultant would focus on. Tweak these as needed for your line of consulting.
- Types of consulting services : Describe the different types of management consulting services you offer, such as strategy consulting, organizational design, change management, or project management.
- Delivery methods : Explain how you deliver your consulting services, such as through workshops, one-on-one consultations, or online platforms.
- Benefits : Highlight the benefits of your consulting services for clients, such as increased efficiency, optimized performance, improved profitability, or streamlined operations.
- Unique value proposition : Describe how your consulting services are unique and different from those of competitors. This could include your methodology, tools, experience, or industry knowledge.
- Website URL : Include the URL of your website where clients can learn more about your consulting services and contact you for more information.
Below is my example of a management consulting services write up, including descriptions of each service, the benefits they provide, and your unique approach to delivering them. You can modify this section of your consultant business plan to fit your exact services offered.
This version is a little shorter than the one above and also includes a case study example link, since content like that will help clients understand the value you bring to the table. You can add a link like this in version 1 above as well.
Example: Management Consulting Services Offered
- Strategy consulting : We work with businesses to develop effective strategic plans that align with their mission and vision and drive business growth.
- Organizational design and development : We help businesses optimize their organizational structure and processes to improve performance and efficiency.
- Change management : We assist businesses in managing organizational change effectively to minimize disruption and achieve desired outcomes.
- Project management : We provide project management services to help businesses plan, execute, and deliver projects on time and within budget.
- Performance management : We help businesses implement performance management frameworks that align employee goals with business objectives and drive results.
Our management consulting services are delivered through a combination of workshops, one-on-one consultations, and online platforms. We use a data-driven approach that combines qualitative and quantitative analysis to identify and solve business problems. Our unique value proposition is based on our extensive experience working with businesses in diverse industries, combined with our personalized approach and commitment to delivering results.
Clients can expect to achieve a range of benefits, including improved organizational performance, increased profitability, enhanced employee engagement, and optimized project outcomes. See our go-to-market strategy case study example for details on the types of results clients can expect from our team.
3. Consultancy Business Plan Target Market and Buyer Persona
It is important to focus on a niche rather than offering generic services.
Consulting as an industry is highly competitive, so prospects may not be able to determine who is the best consultant for them. When you focus, your marketing efforts can be customized to the niche you specialize in.
Think of it this way: if you were to implement Salesforce or Hubspot in your business, would you hire a general IT consultant or a specialist in the product? A general IT consultant may have experience with different systems but may not be as familiar with the intricacies of how to set up Salesforce or Hubspot in a way that makes the most sense for your company. A specialist, however, will have in-depth knowledge and experience and most all will use best practices for your business.
You would pick the Salesforce or Hubspot specialist without question. In my prior companies, I went through this exact exercise and hired specialists for each of these products.
Similarly, your management consulting business plan should focus on a specific target group so that you become known as a specialist for your niche.
Additionally, create a buyer persona – or a few – to get a clear picture of who you plan to target.
What Goes Into a Buyer Persona for a Consultancy
- Sample Name, Job Title and Role : I always like to give each persona a name to make it more real. Then, include the specific job title and role of the individual who is most likely to hire a management consultant, such as a CEO, CFO, or HR Director.
- Industry and Company Size : Add the industry and size of the company that the individual works in, as the challenges and needs of a small startup may be different from those of a large corporation.
- Goals and Objectives : Be sure to list the most common goals and objectives that the individual is trying to achieve, such as improving operational efficiency, increasing revenue, or expanding into new markets. These should tie into your product or service offering.
- Pain Points and Challenges : Know the pain points and challenges that the individual is facing, such as difficulty retaining top talent, ineffective decision-making processes, or lack of innovation.
- Decision-Making Criteria : Identify the factors that the individual considers when making a decision to hire a management consultant, such as experience, reputation, price, or industry expertise. This can include the influences – or rather, influenc ers , that the buyer relies on to make final purchasing decisions.
- Communication Preferences : Add what you believe to be the preferred communication channels and styles of the individual, such as email, phone, text or in-person meetings.
- Personal Characteristics : You can include the personal characteristics of the buyer, such as their values, beliefs, and personality traits, which may impact their decision-making process.
I’ve created several samples that you can download and have also provided one for this consulting business plan below.
Download 5 Free Buyer Persona Examples →
Sample Management Consulting Target Market
Given my strong background in financial technology (fintech), I specialize in working with fintech startups and small to mid-sized financial institutions.
My clients are typically looking for help in implementing new technology solutions, improving their operational efficiency, or expanding into new markets. As a fintech consultant, I help them identify market expansion opportunities where they could increase their total addressable market ( TAM ) and clarify the marketing plan to penetrate deeper into existing accounts, also known as the land-and-expand strategy.
My consulting services are tailored to each client’s specific needs and can include everything from strategic planning to project management. By working with me, my clients gain access to my expertise in fintech, as well as my extensive network of contacts in the industry.
4. Marketing for Consulting Firms
As a consultant starting a new business or growing an existing one, it is crucial to have a well-planned marketing strategy to acquire clients. In the Marketing Strategy section of your consulting business plan, you should outline how you will promote your consulting firm and services to potential clients. This section should also include information on your consulting branding strategy and how you position yourself in the consulting market.
Here are ten marketing ideas to consider when developing your consulting marketing plan, written as tactics that you can copy/paste into a consulting business plan template or PDF. You can even use ChatGPT, Bard, or other AI-writing tools to create a starter outline, but be sure to include your own original content.
Sample Marketing Plan for a Consulting Firms
To acquire new customers and expand deeper within existing clients, I will deploy the following marketing ideas for consultants and leverage partners to expand my brand’s reach:
- Developing an educational website : My website will contain information on my services, but more importantly it will include case studies and thought leadership content. The key to success will be my educational content as part of my long-term content marketing strategy. I will add lead capture forms on each high-intent article to convert website visitors into leads that I can nurture through email marketing and social media.
- Leveraging SEO : I will identify specific high-intent keywords related to my fintech consulting niche and optimize my website content accordingly. This will help my website rank higher on search engines and attract more potential clients through my educational content. Many of my articles and guides will include videos because research shows that content with videos and images enhances SEO. While many firms rely on paid advertising, using long-tail keywords can be an effective and cost-saving approach. By targeting “low keyword difficulty” and “high search volume” phrases, I can tap into organic search traffic that can continue to generate leads even after the initial investment. Therefore, as a consulting firm, I will prioritize SEO as part of my overall marketing strategy to increase my online visibility and attract potential clients. I will use MoreBusiness.com’s SEO Coaching services to accelerate my footprint online to drive sales from organic traffic.
- Podcasting with thought leadership content : I will share my knowledge and expertise by starting a podcast . This way, I can repurpose the content I create into multiple channels, including writing articles, blog posts, and white papers and using clips to sprinkle throughout my social media channels. I will also produce webinars and slide decks from these podcasts to educate my target market. Having experts as guests on the podcasts will allow me to expand my reach when the guests share posts on their social channels as well.
- Attending industry events : I will attend relevant industry events to network with potential clients and showcase my expertise. I will identify 10 unique events every quarter and inquire about speaking to build my reputation and attract new clients. My goal is to speak at least twice each quarter to new audiences.
- Partnering with complementary businesses : Partnering with complementary businesses can help me reach new clients and expand my services. These businesses would provide services such as IT managed services, accounting, legal and HR, which can lead to referral business.
- Building a referral network : I will leverage my existing network to generate referrals by first providing opportunities for others to get more business. This approach builds trust first, which can lead to getting referrals from others.
- Advertising on industry-specific platforms : I will advertise on industry-specific platforms such as trade publications, industry associations, and job boards and look at the cost-benefit of Google and LinkedIn advertising.
- Using email marketing : I will send regular email newsletters with business consulting topics to stay in touch with clients and prospects. I will send newsletters with trending topics, case studies, and other relevant content to keep them engaged and informed about the industry as a whole as well as projects related to my services.
5. Consulting Business Plan Financials
To calculate your projections, your business model needs to consider several factors such as your revenue streams, cost structure, market size, and growth potential. You’ll also need to look at any historical financial data you have to create realistic projections.
It’s important to keep in mind that financial projections are not a guarantee of your business’s future performance, but rather an estimate based on the information you have available. That’s why it’s essential to make sure the assumptions in your business plan are realistic and backed up by data.
Overall, the financial projections section of your consulting business plan is a critical component that helps you understand the financial feasibility of your business and attract investors or lenders. In the example below, I’ve included an outline of what an individual business plan consultant might put into their business plan. If you are operating with partners as part of a larger entity, modify this example to accommodate for your team’s output and productivity. This consulting plan example also includes various sources of revenue, not just billable time.
Sample Financial Projections for Consulting Business Plan
As a consulting firm, I have several sources of revenue aside from billable hours. These include:
- Retainer Fees : Some clients prefer to pay a fixed monthly fee in exchange for a set number of hours or a specific scope of work. This can provide a predictable revenue stream for the firm.
- Project-Based Fees : For larger projects with a defined scope, I may charge a fixed fee based on the work required. This allows clients to budget more effectively and can provide a higher profit margin for the firm.
- Commission Fees : For certain types of work, such as sales, I may earn a commission on the results achieved. This can be a win-win for both the client and the firm, as the client only pays for results achieved and the firm is incentivized to achieve those results.
- Product Sales : I will develop proprietary online courses to share my expertise in fintech consulting and grow advisory services with those who are not yet ready or unable to afford my consulting services. These will provide an additional revenue stream and can also be used as a freebie given to select clients to share with their staff.
- Referral Fees : By referring clients to other businesses or consultants, I may earn a referral fee. This not only provides an additional source of revenue, but can also help to build relationships and expand my firm’s network.
By diversifying revenue streams, my consulting firm can create a more stable and profitable business model. Our expected revenues for the first three years are as follows:
Year 1 Consulting Firm Financial Projections:
- Billable hours: 1,000 hours x $300/hour = $300,000
- Retainer clients: 3 clients x 10 hours/month x $300/hour x 12 months = $108,000
- Product sales: 5 sales x $197 = $985
- Commissions/referral fees: $10,000
- Total revenue: $419,985
Year 2 Consulting Firm Financial Projections:
- Billable hours: 1,400 hours x $300/hour = $420,000
- Retainer clients: 3 clients x 10 hours/month x $350/hour x 12 months = $126,000
- Product sales: 7 sales x $197 = $1,379
- Commissions/referral fees: $15,000
- Total revenue: $562,379
Year 3 Consulting Firm Financial Projections:
- Billable hours: 1,800 hours x $300/hour = $540,000
- Retainer clients: 3 clients x 10 hours/month x $400/hour x 12 months = $144,000
- Product sales: 10 sales x $197 = $1,970
- Commissions/referral fees: $20,000
- Total revenue: $705,970
6. Consultant Business Plan Conclusion
The conclusion section of a consulting business plan should summarize the key points of the plan and reiterate the main goals and objectives as you start your consulting firm. It is similar to your executive summary and should reinforce the value that your consulting firm brings to clients and how it will address their needs and solve their problems.
Your goal is to leave a positive and lasting impression on the reader, highlighting your consulting firm’s strengths and capabilities and conveying a sense of confidence in your ability to build a successful consulting business. Again, as in previous sections, I’ve written the example below for an individual consultant, which you can easily modify as you need.
Consulting Business Plan Conclusion Example
My consulting firm is well-positioned to provide exceptional services to our clients in the fintech industry. I have a highly experienced team through partnerships with individuals who have a track record of success in this fintech consulting, and we are committed to helping our clients achieve their business goals through innovative and effective solutions. I believe that by leveraging our expertise in operations management and technology, we can help our clients optimize their operations, increase efficiency, and ultimately, drive growth and profitability.
Through strategic partnerships, I’m able to offer a comprehensive suite of services to meet our clients’ needs, from project management and process improvement to software implementation and data analytics. My goal is to establish long-term relationships with our clients and become a trusted partner in their success.
I understand the challenges facing the fintech industry and are constantly adapting and evolving to stay ahead of the curve. I am committed to staying up-to-date with the latest trends, technologies, and best practices in my field, and we are excited to bring this knowledge to clients.
Overall, I am confident in my ability to deliver exceptional value to our clients and achieve the business goals outlined in this plan. I am excited to embark on this journey and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.
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Key Areas to Focus on in a Business Consulting Business Plan
1. Value Proposition
2. target market, 3. marketing, 4. employees.
- If you have employees, what is the best way to deploy them, given the reality of project work?
- Do you plan to pay them hourly, by confirmed project, or salaried?
- Do you pay a salary and risk a lull in projects?
- Do you pay employees on a project basis, only when they work, risking their availability when you get a new contract?
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Contents of a Business Consulting Business Plan
- Keys to Success
- Company Summary
- Market Analysis Summary
- Strategy and Implementation Summary
- Management Summary
- Financial Plan
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How to Make a Business Consulting Business Plan
1. determine the scope of your services, 2. devise points of differentiation, 3. create your business model, 4. formulate a marketing plan, 5. prepare a financial forecast, blank business consulting business plan template example.
Business Management Consulting Business Plan Example
Tips in Making a Business Consulting Business Plan
- Write the draft first. Do not worry about grammar, structure, or neatness. You have to focus on getting your point across, whether through paper or screen, in this stage.
- Do your research. You have to get to know all the details with the market that you are working on in order to accurately find the right strategies or methods that you can implement.
- Identify your unique selling proposition. What is your unique selling point? Why should businesses hire you instead of someone else? Think about what you are good at and use it as a basis to market your business.
- Get feedback. Feedback is essential when you want to know what others think about your plan. It can help you improve your plan. Show your peers, friends, previous business associates, and potential customers your plan and listen to their feedback.
- Keep it simple. Do not complicate things, it can lead to confusion on your readers part. Keep your business plan simple but full of important and relevant details.
- Update your business plan regularly. As your business grows, your business plan should grow and develop along with it. As you go along you will eventually find out that what you have written before were misguided, inaccurate, or wrong. You have to update your business plan in order to improve your services and tailor it to the needs of your clients.
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Sample Business Plan for Consulting Firm
Executive Summary Of Sample Business Plan for Consulting Firm
Sample Plan 5 is an innovative management consulting firm business plan offering a variety of business solutions to clients across a broad cross-section of industries. From financial services to operations optimization to managing organization growth, Sample Plan 5 is adept at effectively managing a variety of client projects.
Founded by The Owner, the organization is in the midst of an aggressive expansion phase with client acquisition and profit growth being two of the primary objectives.
As the economy continues to rebound from what analysts agree was the deepest economic condition in nearly a century , organizations of all sizes will be in need of the types of services that are offered through Sample Plan 5.
The organization has already developed a strong reputation in the industry for the delivery of quality services that positively impact the client.
Moving forward, The Owner plans to leverage these experiences along with her vast professional network amassed over the course of her career to strengthen the client portfolio and improve the year-to-year profit standing of the firm.
Useful Resource: How to write an executive summary for a business plan
The following table and graphs illustrate the financial goals of Shade Station during the next five years. The financials are explained in detail throughout the duration of the plan.
To see the complete financial plan of consulting business plan click here .
Pro Tips: Learn how to create a financial plan for business plan by pros.
Industry at a Glance
The industry is composed of companies that provide advice and assistance to organizations on issues ranging from strategic and organizational planning to financial budget planning.
Although sample business plan for consulting firm is a relatively new industry, major consulting firms are among the most respected businesses in the world, and their advice is routinely sought by the corporate and governmental sectors.
In the five years that have led up to 2011, IBISworld .com estimates that industry revenue increased at an average annual rate of 0.7% to $165.5 billion.
Compared with the industry’s overall growth during the past 10 years. this rate is somewhat sluggish. reflecting the extent of the recent economic downturn.
The recession’s effect on the industry caused sales to plummet by 3.6%. LH in addition to decreasing revenue. firms laid-off employees. causing industry employment to fall by 7.0% over the course of the last two years.
Click here to read more about the industry at a glance and sample business plan for consulting firm.
Projected Industry Growth
The Consulting Industry is currently in the mature stage of its life cycle. Over the five years leading up to 2016, research gathered via IBISworld .co m shows that the industry’s contribution to the overall economy is projected to grow at 2.5% annually. This is roughly in line with GDP growth over the same period.
Like many industries, the Consulting industry’s growth has been slowed by the recent recession. Furthermore, more corporations are keeping consulting services in-house and hiring fewer consultants.
As a result, the industry’s growth is expected to remain below the levels experienced in the past. The benefits of consultants on human resources and management strategy are becoming increasingly accepted by the business community.
Some businesses view outside consultants as a necessity when providing impartial advice. Although consultants have been increasingly taken 1n house, businesses are still hiring outside consultants to improve their bottom lines.
To read more about the projected growth of the industry click here .
Key External Drivers
For more information about external drivers , click here .
What follows is a listing of key objectives for Sample Plan 5.
1. Client portfolio expansion
The Owner has set client portfolio expansion as one of the primary objectives for this phase of business growth and development. The founder will aggressively pursue this objective, projecting to add no less than x clients during the course of the next calendar year.
2. Increased revenues
Founder The Owner has set a goal of no less than x worth of revenues being generated over the course of the next calendar year. Through a diverse suite of services and stellar delivery, this goal is easily attainable and will be the catalyst that propels the firm towards future revenues and profits.
3. Diversify client portfolio
The diversity of services gives The Owner the ability to develop a diverse client portfolio which will be another of the primary objectives. By doing this the organization in effect insulates the profit position from the cyclical nature of the economy and protects long-term growth prospects.
For a complete guide for key objectives for sample business plan for consulting firm here .
What follows is a listing of the core strengths and weaknesses of the Alice Cardenas Consulting Company.
Funding: The lone weakness in what has proven to be an otherwise sound business model and approach would be a lack of funding. Founder The Owner is confident that if a suitable funding source is secured, she can position the organization to become one of the industry’s true market leaders.
Click here for complete detail of the SWOT analysis .
To date Sample Plan 5 has relied primarily on word of mouth networking and the Internet to drive the organization’s marketing message.
These two elements will remain the core of the marketing model with enhancements made to each that strengthen the market position and increase the volume of qualified business opportunities.
The organization currently has a website but plans are to totally revamp the current website and develop a more appealing presence using state of the art web development technologies.
In addition to the improved website, the organization will also aggressively integrate social networking into the marketing efforts leveraging both Facebook.com and Twitter.com as well as an interactive online blog, managed by founder The Owner.
Rounding out Sample Plan 5 marketing model will be an improved networking component as the founder is committed to expanding her professional network by becoming actively involved in the local business and social communities.
You can read more about sample business plan’s marketing by downloading it.
The projected balance sheet for Sample Plan 5 is shown in the table below.
To view the full projected balance sheet, click here .
Our free real sample business plan pdf will show you how to write a plan that looks as elegant and professional as this one.
Click here to view an example of consulting business plan for consulting firm. Each business plan is professionally written by our MBA business plan writing consultant and is developed in close collaboration with the customer.
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Sample Plan 5 is an innovative management consulting company business plan that offers a wide range of business solutions to clients in a broad variety of sectors.
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and growing your consulting business after you get it off the ground . The analysis here focuses attention to the ongoing needs of the business — things like continuous learning, effective networking, consistent promotion and marketing of your services, and main-taining adequate cash flow . Consulting Business
Business Plan. Rebecca Champ, Owner. Created on December 29, 2016. Executive Summary. Product. We Can Do It Consulting provides consultation services to small- and medium-sized companies. Our services include office management and business process reengineering to improve efficiency and reduce administrative costs. Customers.
How to Start a Consulting Business Assess your skills and strengths to choose your niche. Analyze your market needs and pain points. Develop your brand, website, and service offerings. Open your business. Market your business to attract new clients. Stay organized and scale.
Download our Consulting Business Plan Template here What Is a Consulting Firm Business Plan? A business plan provides a snapshot of your consulting firm as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them.
Register Your Consulting Business 3. Determine Services and Pricing 4. Build Your Website 5. Market Your Consulting Business Frequently Asked Questions Show more Those with a high degree of...
After getting started with Upmetrics, you can copy this consulting business plan template into your business plan and modify the required information and download your consulting business plan pdf or doc file. It’s the fastest and easiest way to …
an accurate and complete business plan. Use free SBA tools to aid your research. 2. Prepare a draft business plan. Doing it is the only way you will learn. It doesn’t have to be perfect, long or complete. Prepare the parts of the plan that you can. 3. Discuss your draft plan and any questions you have with a business mentor, coach,
Consulting Business Plan: Complete Consultant Template & PDF This consulting business plan contains a detailed operating and marketing plan for starting and growing a successful business as a consultant.
Business Accounting Consulting Business Plan Example virtualpanic.com Details File Format PDF Size: 251 KB Download Language Service Business Consulting Business Plan Example theseus.fi Details File Format PDF Size: 231 KB Download How to Make a Business Consulting Business Plan
Download The Consulting Firm Business Plan PDF Sample Plan 5 is an innovative management consulting company business plan that offers a wide range of business solutions to clients in a broad variety of sectors. Download The …