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How to Start a Consulting Business in 2023

Written by on February 13, 2023

Starting a consulting business in 2023 can be a lucrative opportunity, especially if you’re an expert in some specific field with the desire to help others in a similar industry. However, despite your expertise in the field, starting a consulting business can be daunting if you don’t know where to start. 

In this article, we’re going to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to start a successful consulting business in 2023, from choosing your niche to the logistics to prepare before kicking off your consulting business. 

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So, how profitable a consulting business in 2023 can be? Do you have what it takes to build a successful business as a consultant this year? Let’s find out! 

What You Need to Know Before Starting a Consulting Business in 2023

The potential for profitability in a consulting business in 2023 can vary greatly depending on several factors, from niche, competition, and market demand, to the quality of services you offer as a consultant. 

Starting a consulting business is a competitive field that may require significant investment in marketing and networking efforts to establish a client base if you start from scratch. 

Ideally, you should already establish authority within your field as an expert to leverage it by providing services for your market. Even if you don’t, starting a consulting business can be the first step to building your personal brand as a consultant and eventually growing and scaling your business. 

consulting business

Before you start, there are a few essential questions to ask yourself so you can emphasize your vision for your consulting business. These include: 

  • What is your expertise? 
  • Do you have any specific specialty to offer your service to your potential clients? 
  • Is it required to take some additional training before starting your consulting business? 
  • How much should you charge for your consulting work? 
  • How are you going to structure your service? 

Once you have the answer to each question, it’s time to follow the step-by-step guide on how to start a consulting business! 

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Step-by-Step Guide to Start a Consulting Business in 2023

After understanding the basic things you need to start a consulting business, it’s time to take action and start planning to establish your business. Here are some essential steps you need to start a consulting business this year! 

1. Identify your consulting niche

Niching down to a specific industry can be a lucrative way to start your consulting business. When you pick a specific niche for your consulting business, chances are it will also be easier to identify your potential client and create brand messaging to target them. 

By picking a consulting niche, you will not only streamline your marketing and networking strategy but also get a chance to build your reputation as an expert and a specialist in your field. 

When you succeed in building your personal brand as an expert in a specific niche, growing your business and establishing yourself in the market field will also help you gain a good reputation that enables you to start offering premium packages for your consulting services. 

In general, there are some profitable consulting niches in the market that you may want to consider before starting your business, including: 

  • Business consulting. As a business consultant, you will work closely with business owners and their entities to improve their operations so they can meet their company’s goals. 
  • Career consulting. As a career consultant, you will work closely with individuals to give them guidance in their career choice, from employment options and career progression to career transition. 
  • Executive consulting. An executive consultant usually works closely with company executives and C-levels to help improve their business by providing help with some initiatives. E.g. business acquisition or rebranding process of the company. 
  • Tech consulting. A tech consultant will bring their specific expertise in tech-related fields, from providing designs, instructions, or operational solutions to improving the technology the business uses for its operations. The tech consulting niche can be quite broad, as it may include various types of tech consulting, from risk assessment to cybersecurity. 
  • Lifestyle consulting. A lifestyle consultant works closely with their clients to improve various aspects of their life, from their relationships, fashion styles, to their travel plans. 

2. Conduct market research

Conducting market research before starting your business is essential if you want to succeed in what you do. By doing so, you will have a better understanding of your target audience, the demand for your consulting services, and the competitive landscape so you can stand out among your competitors. 

Before starting a consulting business, there are some simple steps you can take to conduct market research for your business. These include: 

  • Define your target market to understand their industries and problems so you can tailor your services and marketing efforts to highlight their pain points and how you can solve their problems. 
  • Analyze your competitors to understand their business strategy and how you can stand out and bring unique selling points to your consulting business. 
  • Talk to your potential clients so you can understand their problems and how you can come up with a solution and improve your consulting structure to make it easier for you to work together. 
  • Online research is also the easiest way to understand your potential market. Get involved in online communities like Facebook groups or Twitter to know your potential clients and how you can fulfill their needs through your consulting services. 
business plan

3. Develop your business plan

business plan is essential to build a successful business as it will help you articulate your vision of how your consulting business will operate and what steps you need to take in order to achieve your business goals. 

Based on a study conducted by the Journal of Management Studies, businesses that start with a clear business plan grow 30% faster than those without a business plan. Having a business plan can help you clarify what you need and how you run your business to achieve your goals. 

Developing a business plan is like creating a roadmap for your business. It should outline your goals, strategies, and expected outcomes from day one. So, here are some things you need to incorporate into your business plan before starting a consulting business in 2023!

  • Executive summary of your business, including your consulting services, potential target market, and business goals. 
  • Market analysis which covers the market demand for your offerings, your competitors, and the rising trends in your field. 
  • The unique selling point of your consulting services and how it differs from your competitors. 
  • Marketing strategy to outline the best way to reach your potential clients, including organic strategies such as content marketing or networking and paid advertisements like social media ads or paying for billboards. 
  • Financial projections to showcase the budget and how you will allocate it for each business department. E.g. marketing, operational, etc. 
  • The management team and their qualifications, including their job descriptions and the workflow across the team to achieve your business goals. 
  • The outline of your business system, including your onboarding system, CRM system to maintain your prospects and clients, invoicing tools like InvoiceBerry to automate payment reminders for your clients, etc. 
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4. Register your business and obtain the necessary permits for your consulting business

Once you have your business plan in place, it’s time to choose your business name so you can register your business to make it official. You can use a platform like Namechk to check your business name along with the username available across online platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and even a domain for your business website

If you register your business as an LLC in the USA but want to use your brand that’s different from your registered business name, you can also file a DBA for your LLC to avoid any confusion and implications in your business name. 

5. Build a website for your consulting business

Having a website for your business is a must in this digital era, as it is a gateway to your online presence. As a consultant, having a website will also be beneficial to reach out to more potential clients that need your services through either online advertising or SEO

As a consultant, your potential clients rely on your expertise before deciding to use your consulting services, and that’s one of the many reasons you should incorporate a blog on your business website. 

According to a study by HubSpot Marketing, businesses that use content marketing through their blog get 55% more visitors than those that don’t. On top of that, your blog content also has the potential to increase your credibility as an expert within your field. Luckily, it’s 2023 and you don’t have to be tech-savvy to build a business website from scratch! 

Many web platforms enable you to start a business website without basic coding or web development knowledge. Platforms like Carrd or Wix can be a great option for building a website for your consulting business. And if you have content development in your marketing strategy, you can also incorporate a blog for your business website by using a blogging platform like BlogHandy too! 

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6. Network and market your consulting business

Networking is the key to finding your first consulting client. Whether you do it organically by attending industry events and networking or using online marketing tools such as social media to promote your business, it’s the best time to expand your networking and take off your consulting services to those who need them! 

Building relationships and trust with your potential clients is necessary if you run a consulting business. Without them, you will have difficulty finding clients who can trust you to solve their problems as a consultant. 

Never underestimate the power of networking because even though you may not close the deal with the person you meet at an industry event, there’s always a possibility that you will close another client through word-of-mouth recommendations!

7. Offer an exceptional consulting service

Client experience is important if you run a consulting business, as positive client experience is also one way to stand out from your competitors. 

As a consultant and a service provider, offering an exceptional consulting service can go along the way for your business as it will help you build a good reputation within your consulting niche which may attract more clients through word-of-mouth marketing. 

There are some strategies that you can use to improve your consulting services, including: 

  • Understand your clients, as each client may have different needs and challenges to achieving their goals. 
  • Tailor your consulting services so you can offer a specific solution that meets their needs. 
  • Demonstrate your expertise by sharing your knowledge and showcasing your skills and experiences to deliver value for your clients. 
  • Provide clear communication in terms of the scope of your services, fees, and timelines, along with the commitment you expect from them as your consulting client. 
  • Build trust by being transparent and responsive while simultaneously providing excellent client delivery. 
  • Ask for feedback to continuously improve your offerings to meet their evolving needs. 
business consulting

How to Find the First Clients for Your Consulting Business in 2023

Now that you’ve established your business, it’s time to search for potential clients and close the first deal for your consulting business. Finding the first clients isn’t easy, but it can open more opportunities and even expand your clientele through word-of-mouth marketing, especially if your first client is satisfied with the result they get from working with you. 

So, what can you do to find the first few customers for your consulting business? 

1. Utilize your existing network

The easiest way to get the first client for your consulting business is by taking advantage of the contacts you already have. Reach out to your personal and professional network, and introduce your consulting business and what services you can do to see if they have any potential clients looking for someone with a similar offering. 

Getting a referral from someone who knows you personally can benefit you so that they can give recommendations to potential clients. Not only will it helps you give access to a larger audience, it will also reduce marketing efforts and costs to introduce your business to a wide market. 


2. Attend networking events to connect with potential clients 

Attending networking events is also one of the best ways to connect with your potential clients, as it will give you a chance to introduce your consulting business and services to a fresh new market. On top of that, it also allows you to collaborate with like-minded people. 

Find the local events that are relevant to your business through event finder apps like Eventbrite or MeetUp, and you can have a handful of opportunities for your consulting business. Even if you don’t find the first client for your business, you can introduce your services and partner with complementary businesses that can bring in new clients for your consulting business. 

For instance, instead of competing against other consulting businesses, you can also partner up with them to increase efficiency through your shared resources. Some bigger businesses sometimes need to outsource some of their workloads, and you can offer consulting services to set your foot in the industry. 

3. Take advantage of online platforms

There are many reasons why online platforms can be the best way to network, especially in the past few years when webinars and online communities gained traction since the pandemic. 

Online networking can efficiently market your consulting business, as it costs less, and you don’t have to incur travel or transportation costs to network with potential clients. Other than that, online networking has no limit since you can even connect with international clients that may be interested in your consulting services. 

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There are some online platforms that are great for networking, including: 

  • Facebook groups
  • LinkedIn groups
  • Twitter communities
  • Quora 
  • Reddit
  • Slack
  • Discord


Anyone can start a consulting business if they have the basic knowledge and expertise in a certain field they can offer in the industry. Running a consulting business can be a great way to start, whether you do it part-time or are ready to take a leap of faith and offer your consulting services full-time. 

Depending on the niche you choose for your consulting business, your business can also be considered recession-proof, as the idea of becoming a consultant is to provide value and growth for your clients and it is something that the market needs no matter how bad the economy is. 

So, are you ready to start a consulting business in 2023? 

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