Tips for Starting Your Own Consulting Business

So, you want to start your own consulting business? You may have a hundred questions, and hopefully, after reading this article, you will have a better idea of how to get started. Tips like these are highly beneficial because the key to starting your business is just doing it! Execute. Too many people who want to start their own business struggle with the beginning steps and, therefore, hesitate. Procrastination can be your worst enemy when getting started.

Just do it!

Here are some tips to help move you along.

If, like many, you are planning on doing this on your own, you must sit down and identify what you are passionate about and discover where your strengths lie. You may be asking yourself, “Isn’t consulting just telling a business owner how they can make more money?” Well…while that may be a great thought, it’s not the complete story.

Consultants work as part of the business to identify its strengths and weaknesses and help guide their clients to not only monetary success but also to further their enjoyment of running their business.

You may find that you like the analytical side, or you may find that you enjoy the marketing side of consulting. Working with large businesses versus small start-ups is a huge contrast. These are some things you need to consider before setting out on your first venture. So slow down and really put some thought into which sector of consulting you’d like to aim for.

Just like any other business, a consultant also needs to start out looking professional. And that doesn’t mean simply showing up nicely dressed. Business cards, a logo, an appealing website, and a professional LinkedIn account highlighting your strengths. These are just some of the things you need to consider before launching into the consulting world.

Most importantly, no matter what the size of your client’s business, you want to deliver outstanding service. You want to be amiable, considerate, and professional and work with your clients to achieve the very success they hired you to deliver. These few first clients will not only represent your business moving forward, but also contribute to repeat customers and referrals. After a while, you will notice your client list start to take off, and those organic leads can be a real difference maker.

Then, there is the financial management side of your consulting business to consider. Make sure you keep track of everything from the beginning. Use accounting software instead of spreadsheets or notes. Too many startups try to get away with minimizing efforts for tracking expenses and end up getting overwhelmed later. Budgeting and tax season will thank you. A good software package will also create professional-looking invoices and provide reports that can give you a snapshot of your profitability. 

You need client management software (“CRM”) as well. There are some great CRMs out there that will not only help you manage your sales pipelines but also give you automation tools and other great functionality for keeping in touch with your clients. A CRM is a powerful tool for your business.

Lastly, choose a legal structure for your business, but get advice from your CPA and an attorney on the legal structure. We are not attorneys, but having an LLC offers you better protection rather than operating as a sole proprietor. You will then need to register your business with the appropriate government authorities and obtain any permits or licenses necessary for your business.

This may sound like a daunting list. Use your motivation to get going.

Motivation can be a tricky thing to pin down because it often varies from person to person. However, here are some strategies that might help:

1. Set Clear Goals: Establish specific, achievable goals. When you have a clear target in mind, it can be easier to muster the motivation to work towards it.

2. Break Tasks into Smaller Steps: Large tasks can feel overwhelming and demotivating. Breaking them down into smaller, manageable steps can make them seem more achievable and less daunting.

3. Find Meaning and Purpose: Connect your tasks to a larger purpose or meaning. Understanding why you are doing something can provide a significant motivational boost. Especially if your purpose aligns with helping others. There’s just something about helping others that makes you feel fulfilled.

4. Visualize Success: Visualize yourself succeeding. Seriously! Visualization can be a powerful tool for boosting confidence and motivation. This really works, so give it a try!

5. Celebrate Progress: Celebrate even small victories along the way. Recognizing progress can help maintain motivation over the long term.

6. Create a Supportive Environment: Surrounding yourself with supportive people who encourage and uplift you can make a big difference in staying motivated.

7. Stay Positive: Focus on the positive aspects of your journey rather than dwelling on setbacks or challenges. There will be many, but you can’t let that stuff get you down. Instead, use those challenges as motivation to be an overcomer. Get up and start again!

8. Take Breaks and Rest: Sometimes, lack of motivation can stem from exhaustion or burnout. Remember to take breaks and prioritize self-care. Join a gym, walk, meditate, eat healthy, and rest. This really makes a big difference!

9. Seek Inspiration: Find inspiring stories, quotes, or role models who have overcome similar challenges. Inspiration can reignite motivation. Get a mentor or coach.

10. Reflect on Progress: Regularly reflecting on your progress can help you stay motivated by showing you how far you’ve come and identifying areas for improvement. Even if you don’t like what you see, don’t give up. Reflecting on your progress is a necessary part of staying the course. If you don’t like the progress you’ve made, learn from it. Use that information to modify what you’re doing for the better.

Ultimately, finding motivation is often about trial and error, and different strategies work for different people. Most of the time, keeping your vision and goals aligned will help you find the motivation you need.

I hope this article helps.

If you want to advance your skills as a consultant, consider becoming a Certified Efficiency Expert (CEE). Many of our CEE-certified students have consulting businesses and use the certification to stand out. 

Visit Our Course Page To Learn More.


Authored By: April Aulick