The Best Way to Start a Management Consulting Business

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There are numerous types of consulting businesses, and one of the most lucrative ones include offering consulting services for managers who wish to do their jobs better. If you start a management consulting business, you’ll never be short on clients, but you can’t just put up a shingle and start working with clients immediately afterwards.

In fact, there are steps you need to take even before you open your doors, and this article should help you do just that. Before you do anything else, read the following tips carefully to increase your chances of being successful.

How to Start a Consulting Business?

Whether you have a college degree or not, you’ll have to spend some time doing research and a few other things before you open the doors to your consulting business. Managers are busy and intelligent people, and they look for consultants who can help them become better managers and also be there in case you’re needed. Below are some steps to opening a great management consulting business:

  1. Do Your Research

The bottom line is, you need to know what you’re getting into when a consulting business is what you desire. You’ll have to first decide on the type of business you wish to set up; e.g., LLC, sole proprietorship, or another type. Then, you should check with both the IRS and your own state’s regulatory agencies to make sure you’re doing all of the things you need to do.

  1. Write a Detailed Business Plan

The thought of writing a business plan can be scary, but there are some great samples you can find for free on the internet. Keep in mind that the plan needs to be as detailed as possible, which should include who your target market is, financial projections, and more. You can check with a bank or financial institution for additional information.

  1. Get Yourself Certified

Becoming certified through one of the certification organizations out there is smart for many reasons. Not only does it help you do your job better, but it also gives you a lot more credibility when you open your doors. Check out the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes to get started.

  1. Protect Your Business

Insurance is a must for businesses, and at the very least, you’ll need general liability, professional liability, and even workers’ compensation. You might also need commercial auto insurance if you have a company car owned by the business.

  1. Market Your Business

Marketing and promotion should be a continuous task in order to grow your business. Build a professional website, take out ads, network with other professionals in town, and attend trade shows and other industry events.

Trends Transforming Management Consulting in 2023

Like most other business, management consulting experiences changes, and the ones that many experts believe will affect the industry in 2023 include:

  • Consulting that is even more technology-driven in order to appear more professional and up-to-date.
  • Using outside third-party sources to help you manage certain parts of your business, especially for areas such as research and development, and even some of your marketing.
  • Preparing for even more growth. The industry as a whole is expected to grow worldwide on a yearly basis at least until 2025, with projected earnings around $340+ billion.
  • Remote consulting is likely here to stay. Even though COVID-19 is dwindling down and isn’t as much of a danger as it once was, virtual consulting will remain for at least a few more years.
  • More specialized services will be offered so that clients receive services that are personalized to meet their needs.

One thing is certain – the management consulting business is here to stay, but if you’re going to be successful at it, you have to learn as much as you can about the industry as a whole so that you’re always innovative in your approach both to meet the needs of your current clients and to gain new ones on a continual basis.

What Are the Dark Sides of Management Consulting?

Every business has its pros and cons, and while management consulting is a good way to make a lot of money and is considered an important service, there are still downsides just as there are to a lot of other businesses. Some of the disadvantages of being in this business include:

  • The competition can be fierce. With management consulting, you always have two main competitors: new firms that keep popping up regularly and firms that are larger than yours and therefore may have better resources.
  • The use of AI and automation. Of course, management consulting is not the only business to have concerns about automation and artificial intelligence. In fact, most experts feel these are issues that a lot of industries will have to deal with eventually.
  • The many different ways that clients can purchase your services. Marketing isn’t always done face-to-face these days. Your clients may choose you based on referrals, the way your digital marketing programs are executed, and a few other non-traditional challenges. You’ll have to be prepared for all of these channels and know just what to do with them, which can be a challenge.
  • Keeping your staff up-to-date with their skill set. Because this business changes a lot, you and your staff will likely have to learn new skills on a regular basis. It shouldn’t be as difficult as it sounds, but it is still something you’ll have to keep in the back of your mind at all times.

None of these challenges is all that difficult, but it is still good to be aware of them before you start your business.


A management consulting business can be very lucrative, but it’s also a lot of hard work. This is especially true because marketing and promotion have to be a regular part of your life. You can’t just put out a sign and start working with clients. Instead, you have to research and properly set up everything so that you’ll be ready on Day One.

There are also pros and cons to having this type of business. Make sure you are aware of all of them before you decide for sure that this business is right for you.


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