Are you about starting a consulting business online? If YES, here is a complete sample consulting firm business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a consulting firm. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample consulting company marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for consulting businesses. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Table of Content
- Executive Summary
- Market Analysis
- SWOT Analysis
- Financial Projection
- Marketing Plan
- Marketing ideas & Strategies
Look around you and you will find experts in diverse fields. These people are solely responsible for guiding their clients through. In most cases these clients are folks who may not know much in the field in which they are vast in. These professionals as the case may be have gone ahead to build businesses around the knowledge and expertise which they possess.
Why Start a Consulting Business?
One of the reasons why the consulting business wouldn’t be too saturated no matter how much people delve into it is the fact that the sky is too large for two birds to collide. This means that there are a myriad of people who want to venture into businesses and other unknown fields, and will require the services of a consultant.
What Does It Take to Start a Consulting Business Successfully?
If you are looking to start a consulting business, it is very expedient that you master the areas in which you would want to be known as a veteran. There are several fields which one can look to start out from. From the sports angle, to events management, and to other areas. It is however no doubt that you will need to first of all have a rich knowledge of the area that you are looking to commence business from.
After that has been done, then you have got to make it mandatory to draw up a business plan that you will follow. One of the importance of a business plan is the fact that it helps one to have a clear cut direction about where the business is being driven to. This is why you have to horn your skills in this regard if you do not know how to go about it.
You can also make the dream of writing your business plan come through by using an already made template. Here below is a sample consulting business plan template.
A Sample Consulting Firm Business Plan Template
- Consulting Industry Overview
When we talk about consulting services, we are perhaps talking about getting practical advice from expects. The consulting industry is indeed a broad industry that covers a wide range of services such as management consulting, strategy consulting technological consulting, marketing consulting, human resource consulting, training consulting, tax consulting, and any other business activities that involves giving advice et al.
In essence, consulting firms are hired to proffer solutions to the challenges that organizations faces. Organizations don’t just hire consultants for the sake of hiring consultants, but they do so simply because they expect them to help tackle their business challenges and deliver solutions as required.
As a consulting firm, if you are good at developing coaching skills, process analysis, technology implementation, strategy development, or operational improvement services, then with little push, you will have more jobs than you can handle.
From a recently released statistics, the United States market for management consulting grew 8.5% last year; it translates to about $39.3 billion. Management consulting is growing at a steady rate and the growth rate of the industry far exceeds previous years’ growth.
Although the consulting industry struggled during the 2001–2003 period, but of course it is evident that the industry grew steadily after then except for the period (2009) when we experienced economic downturn. Of course the industry is stable and enjoying steady growth. The United States companies are spending much less on strategy consulting but the sector is expected to grow just 3.7 percent in the coming year.
The consulting industry is a high-paying industry especially if you have been able to cut your teeth in a particular area of specialization. It gives you the opportunity to work with high and low profile clients and if you are able to proffer solutions to business challenges you will be greatly rewarded. In most cases, if you are lucky to be among the few experts in the industry, you will have the privilege of choosing who to work for and the amount you want to charge.
Generally, consultants are skilled at conducting research and of course analyzing the results they got from the research. Consultants go as far as gathering any related data that will help them come up with workable solutions for the organization they are working for; they ensure that they identify behavioral patterns, production bottle – necks, the market trends and of course customers preference. With that and other factors, they will be able to create standard operating processes that can help the organization achieve its goals and objectives.
As a consulting firm, your core responsibility is to improve your client’s business by effecting changes in response to your analysis; you should be able to change the fortune of the business within an agreed time – line. Corporations are willing to pay expensive fees as long as they are going to get results.
No business person will be willing to pay you for a consulting service if you don’t have a track record that shows that you know what you are doing. It is one thing to convince a client to patronize your consulting services and it another thing for you to deliver solutions as agreed.
Lastly, one good thing about the consulting industry is that there are readily available markets for their services simply because organizations naturally would want to improve their performance annually; corporations always seem to want more success. So, if you are well positioned and you know how to deliver results, you will always smile to the bank.
Consulting Firm Business Plan – MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
Quite a number of distinct trends have emerged in recent times in the consulting industry which is why consulting firms are positioning their organizations to survive the peaks and troughs of an ailing economy. As a matter of fact, most of these trends aid consulting firms and organizations to become more creative, competitive, efficient, and productive in a global market. Some other trends in the consulting industry could be attributed to changing demographics, attitudes and work styles.
No doubt, as the cost of consulting services continues to increase and as corporate spending falls, new consulting delivery methods will continue to emerge and gain momentum going forward. In addition, the market for consulting services has shifted from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market. A market where consultants provide software solutions that will make it easier for their clients to run their businesses.
Lastly, it is now becoming trendy in the consulting industry for smaller consulting firms to merge with bigger consulting firms and for bigger consulting firms to acquire smaller consulting firms; mergers and acquisitions. Many consulting firms all over the United States are coming to the conclusion that the bigger the better for them.
- Our Target Market
Although Denzel and McPherson Consulting, LLP will initially serve small to medium sized business, from new ventures to well established businesses, but that does not in any way stop us from growing to be able to compete with the leading consulting firms in the United States. We hope to someday merge or acquire other smaller consulting firms and expand our consulting services beyond the shores of the United States of America.
As a full service business consulting firm, Denzel and McPherson Consulting, LLP have a variety of practice areas to help startups grow. While we works with a variety of organizations and industries, Denzel and McPherson Consulting, LLP will also specialize in working with startups, real estate investors, and contractors, manufacturers and distributors, banks, lending and financial institutions.
Our target market cuts across people of different class and people from all walks of life, local and international organizations as well. We are coming into the industry with a business concept that will enable us work with the highly placed people and companies in the country and at the same with the lowly placed people and smaller businesses.
In other words, our target market is the whole of the United States of America and subsequently other parts of the world. Below is a list of the people and organizations that we have specifically design our products and services for;
- Banks, Insurance Companies and other related Financial Institutions
- Businesses and Entrepreneurs
- Blue Chips Companies
- Corporate Organizations
- Manufacturers and Distributors
- Real Estate Owners, Developers, and Contractors
- Research and Development Companies
- The Government (Public Sector)
- Schools (High Schools, Colleges and Universities)
- Sport Organizations
- Entrepreneurs and Start – Ups
Our Competitive Advantage
A close study of the business consulting and advisory industry reveals that the market has become much more intensely competitive over the last decade. As a matter of fact, the supply of business consultancy and advisory services has significantly exceeded demand. In other to position to take on the market, most consulting firms have begun to diversify their services as against restricting their services to just a niche in the industry
Denzel and McPherson Consulting, LLP might be a new entrant into the business consulting industry in the United States of America, but the management staffs and board members are considered gurus. They are people who are core professionals and licensed and highly qualified consultants in the United States. These are part of what will count as a competitive advantage for us.
Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category (startups consulting firm) in the industry meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our aims and objectives.
Consulting Firm Business Plan – SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
We mindful of the fact that there are stiffer competition amongst consulting firms in the United States of America, hence we have been able to hire some of the best business developer to handle our sales and marketing.
Our sales and marketing team will be recruited base on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall goal of the organization. We will also ensure that our excellent job deliveries speak for us in the market place; we want to build a standard consulting business that will leverage on word of mouth advertisement from satisfied clients (both individuals and organizations).
Our goal is to grow our consulting firm to become one of the top 20 consulting firms in the United States of America which is why we have mapped out strategy that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with not only in the U.S but in the world stage as well.
Denzel and McPherson Consulting, LLP is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;
- Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to organizations and key stake holders in New York and other parts of the U.S.
- Promptness in bidding for consulting contracts from the government and other cooperate organizations
- Advertise our business in relevant business magazines, newspapers, TV stations, and radio station.
- List our business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Attend relevant international and local expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
- Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets and still deliver quality consulting services to them
- Leverage on the internet to promote our business
- Engage direct marketing approach
- Encourage word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients
- Our Pricing Strategy
Hourly billing for consulting services is a long – time tradition in the industry. However, for some types of consultancy services, flat fees make more sense because they allow clients to better predict consultancy costs. As a result of this, Denzel and McPherson Consulting, LLP will charge our clients a flat fee for many basic services such as business advisory services and tax consulting et al.
At Denzel and McPherson Consulting, LLP we will keep our fees below the average market rate for all of our clients by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance. In addition, we will also offer special discounted rates to start – ups, nonprofits, cooperatives, and small social enterprises.
We are aware that there are some clients that would need regular access to consultancy and advisory services and assistance, we will offer flat rate for such services that will be tailored to take care of such clients’ needs.
- Payment Options
Denzel and McPherson Consulting, LLP, our payment policy will be all inclusive because we are quite aware that different people prefer different payment options as it suits them. Here are the payment options that we will make available to our clients;
- Payment by via bank transfer
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via bank draft
- Payment with cash
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will help us achieve our plans with little or no itches.
Consulting Firm Business Plan – Publicity and Advertising Strategy
We have been able to work with our in house consultants and other brand and publicity specialist to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. We are set to take the consulting industry by storm which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our consulting firm.
Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise our consulting business;
- Place adverts our consulting firm on both print and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant TV shows and radio programs
- Maximize our firm’s website to promote our business
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook ,Twitter, LinkedIn, Badoo, Google+ and other platforms (real estate online forums) to promote our business.
- Offer Pro Bono services as part of our community social responsibility
- Brand all our official cars
Generating Funding / Startup Capital for Denzel and McPherson Consulting, LLP
Denzel and McPherson Consulting, LLP is going to start as a private business that will be solely owned by Dr. Denzel Sander and family. He will be the sole financial of the firm, but may likely welcome partners later which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of his start – up capital to 3 major sources.
These are the areas we intend generating our start – up capital;
- Generate part of the start – up capital from personal savings
- Source for soft loans from family members and friends
- Apply for loan from my Bank
N.B: We have been able to generate about $50,000 (Personal savings $40,000 and soft loan from family members $10,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $100,000 from our bank. All the papers and document has been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.
CONSULTING BUSINESS GROWTH-: Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
It is easier for businesses to survive when they have steady flow of business deals / customers patronizing their products and services. We are aware of this which is why we have decided to offer a wide range of consulting and advisory services to both big and small clients.
We know that if we continue to deliver excellent consulting and advisory services, there will be steady flow of income for the organization.
Our key sustainability and expansion strategy is to ensure that we only hire competent employees, create a conducive working environment and employee benefits for our staff members. In the nearest future, we will explore the options of either merging with other consulting firms or acquire one or more consulting firms in order for us to increase our market share.
We know that if we implement our business strategies, we will grow our consulting and advisory business beyond New York City, New York to other states in the U.S in record time.
Check List / Milestone
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Incorporation: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts various banks in the United States: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of All form of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating part of the start – up capital from the founder: Completed
- Applications for Loan from our Bankers: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: Completed
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of the Needed furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
- Establishing business relationship with key players in the industry: In Progress