Our firm gets 4-5 calls/month from people wanting to know how to start or grow a consulting practice. Obviously, there’s no standardized procedure for that. It depends on the nature of the service you’d offer as a consultant. If you’re selling services to develop job descriptions for rural electric co-ops in Kansas, well your service and market are very specific — and limited. If you doing web design, you could work for anyone who can pay.
But there are some general considerations to address and in a certain order if you want to carefully and systematically start or grow a business. A list of the detailed considerations would comprise numerous blog posts — and there’s already many books about how to start a consulting business.
The following links are to free, online resources with guidelines to address the considerations and in the right order. They assume that you already have some expertise that you could provide to clients in exchange for a fee and that you also have a good understanding of a consulting process, and that you also are thinking about starting a business to be a professional consultant. (To learn more about consulting processes, see the topic Consultants in the Free Management Library.)
Are You Really an Entrepreneur?
Starting a New Organization?
- Should You Start a For-Profit or a Nonprofit?
- Starting a For-Profit Organization
- Starting a Nonprofit Organization
Planning Your New Organization
Deciding the Legal Structure of Your New Organization
Or Expanding a Current Organization?
Or Starting a New Product or Service?
Marketing Your Organization, Product or Service
Getting and Keeping Clients
Dealing With Clients
- Types of Clients (to answer critical question: “who is current client?”)
- How to Fire a Client (Without Killing Your Business)
- Defining Success Between Consultants and Clients
When to Bail from a Project
- When Should Consultants Buy Liability Insurance?
- Minimize Consulting Liabilities and Risk
- Risk Management
Staying Centered as a Consultant
Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD – Authenticity Consulting, LLC – 800-971-2250
Read my weekly blogs: Boards, Consulting and OD, Nonprofits and Strategic Planning.