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Starting Up on Your Own as a Business Consultant: What You Need to Consider



Working as a consultant comes with many different benefits. This type of work allows you more flexibility, the ability to decide the jobs you want to work on, and the chance to determine the rates you charge for your time. Setting up a consulting business can often be something you can do with minimal overheads, and it can be a type of work that is easy to scale either up or down to accommodate your financial situation and/or lifestyle. 

However, despite all the advantages of consulting as a career, there are some crucial factors to think about before you get started to be in with the best chance of success. Here are some of the main factors to consider. 

Your Specialty

To be a trusted and reputable consultant, you will usually be expected to be an expert in your field. You can become a successful consultant in any industry or niche you have proven and demonstrable experience and knowledge in. If you’ve worked in a certain career successfully for a long time, you’re likely to be trusted as a consultant in this area. Before you start as a consultant, it’s important to consider how your experience in the field will appear to your future clients. Consider how your experience sets you apart from the competition and what your strongest selling points are. You should aim to find a niche inside your consultancy market. Find an audience that can get a unique and valuable perspective from your experience and knowledge. 

Getting Registrations, Licenses, and Insurance

Depending on the goals you have for your business and the extent to which you want to grow it, you can run the business under your personal name as a consultant or under a business name. If you choose to run your business under your own name, you will likely begin as a sole proprietor. Choosing this business structure means there is no requirement with either state or federal governments, and it is the easiest option for establishing your business. However, you must file all income, losses and expenses on your personal tax return. On the other hand, you can establish yourself as a Limited Liability Company, where your business will be taxed as a separate entity with no risk to your personal assets. You may also need to get a license to practice as a consultant for your state, and you will need to find insurance coverage for consulting business

Getting Training

Starting a successful consultancy business may require additional skills, even if you are an expert in your field. As a consultant, some of the main tasks you might take on could involve training other people, public speaking, identifying and finding solutions to problems, analyzing and presenting data, and providing feedback. You may also benefit from additional training regarding the various business considerations for running your own consultancy, such as handling financials, writing a business plan, and structuring and scaling your operations. 

Charging for Consulting

As a consultant, the amount you charge for your services is likely to be one of the main things to consider when attracting and maintaining clients. Too high rates are likely to turn potential clients off, while on the other hand, very low rates are likely to lead to potential clients questioning if you are legitimate. When deciding how to price your services, it is wise to check out what your competitors are doing to get a better idea of the services they’re offering and for how much. It’s recommended that you keep your price points similar to or slightly lower than your main competitors and devise a way to set yourself apart. 

Which Industries Work with Consultants?

Consultants can be hired in any industry, but some industries that will most commonly hire consultants include technology, marketing, business management, human resources and finance. However, regardless of your area of expertise, consulting is an ideal business to start if you can identify how companies or professionals can benefit from what you offer. 

If you’re an expert in a certain topic, starting up as a consultant can be an ideal business venture to consider. A consultancy can be started with low investment and high returns with the right strategies. 


Scarlet Logan is a marketing professional who loves writing. She graduated with a double major in journalism and economics.