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A guide to starting a consulting business

Consultancy is one of the hottest service industries nowadays. Nevertheless, starting a consulting business presents unique problems and challenges. For that reason, below is a short guide on how to succeed in the field of business consulting.

What is a consultant?

A consultant is a professional who sells his/her expert services to companies, both large and multinational corporations, and small and medium scale enterprises. Business consultants offer a wide range of services, including bookkeeping and accounting, operations and business management, managerial advisory services, financial statement analysis, and helpful advice on hiring and screening prospective employees. A consultant isn't actually part of a business organisation. A consultant often plays the role of an external adviser, providing valuable insights gathered from within the market, the industry, and the clients among others. On the contrary, a consulting business is a type of business firm that is engaged in the business of providing general consulting services to companies. A typical consulting business usually employs five to ten independent business consultants.

Do you have what it takes to start a consulting business?

Running a consulting business can be very challenging. Needless to say, the ease of starting a consulting business resulted into more and more consulting firms, and even stricter competition. Running your own consulting firm business requires more than merely providing consultancy and advisory services. As a consulting firm owner, you are responsible for attracting and retaining clients, coordinating duties among in-house consultants, and developing profitable pricing strategies. Owners of business consulting firms, in order to succeed, should be multidimensional, and must know a little about everything.

Planning your business

Planning is a critical part of starting a business, regardless of the type or nature of the business. Writing a business plan is essential, especially in starting a consulting business. A business plan serves as a guide in running a business. A typical business plan lays out some of the most important aspects of running a business, such as the company overview, goals and objectives, organisational hierarchy, service offering, pricing schemes, marketing, and financing strategies, and staffing process among others. It is also imperative to study the competition and the types of businesses in your particular area to have a clearer picture of how you can deal with competition, and how you can acquire clients.

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