Do you have technical knowledge or skills but you don’t know what business to start? If YES, here are 50 lucrative online consulting business ideas for 2018.
Managers and professionals from various industries look for profitable consulting business ideas to do something different, enjoy more job flexibility and make more money. Consulting is not a new phenomenon. It has been around for years. The consulting trend has continued to build as companies are staying as lean as possible in tough economic times.
Generally, consultants work best for those organizations or individuals who know what they are seeking and have clearly defined projects or objectives. To provide a professional service and solution to a specific challenge, which does not exist in the organization, or that is needed for a specified period of time; consultants are needed.
Consulting is not just everyone’s cup of tea. Definitely it is an exciting and profitable venture to start as home based also. However risk propositions are always there. In developing consulting business the ability of listening your customer is must. It also requires the ability to explain to your customer. Consulting is all about communication and networking. Good communicators do well in consulting.
Starting a Consulting Business – Industry Overview
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.
- Interesting Statistics About the Consulting Industry
The consulting industry will continue to blossom because more and more organizations are beginning to realize that somehow they would need the services of consulting firms to help them grow their business, it could be training their employees, creating standing operating process, and it could be designing a new product or re – branding the organization et al.
From all available statistics, it is safer to say the consulting industry is growing steadily despite the competitive nature of the industry. One thing is certain if you are good in your area of specialization as consultant; you can be called upon from any part of the world to come proffer solutions for a corporation.
For instance; if your consulting firm is based in the United States of America and you are able to design a solution for a lingering problem in a particular industry, you can travel round the globe helping organizations solve the particular challenges.
In the United States, a large chunk of MBA students surveyed prefer to work for a consulting firm; it is easier to grow through the corporate ladder and become one of the respected people in your industry, if you work in the consulting industry and perhaps with a reputable international consulting firm.
These are some of the reasons why people try as much as lies within their powers to build a career in the consulting industry. If you want a business that resolves around consulting, then here are some ideas to look into.
50 Best Online Consulting Business ideas for 2018
- Advertising Consulting
The world is known to love the power of adverts. This is why different brands cannot do without advertising their business to the general populace. To achieve success in advertising consulting business a person must have branding expertise, a creative mind and effective interpersonal skills. Person from marketing field possess certain advantages in starting this business. These professionals are supposed to guide businesses in developing an effective advertising strategy to promote goods or services.
- Air Quality Consultant
Key responsibility of air quality consultant is to ensure emissions and other airborne pollutants do not violate provincial or federal air pollution laws. They check to it that pollutants, for example those generated through chemical reactions and combustion, are not released into the air at harmful levels according to emission-impact assessments and without first being treated with proper contaminant-removal technologies.
- Agricultural Consulting
All over the world, agriculture will always be referred to as a viable business. A lot of people are being fed as a result of the hard work which farmers put in place. As with other consulting services, agriculture consulting requirement is surely expected to grow with coming days.
People with experience and knowledge on a specified field of farming activity can consider offering consulting services to organisations and farmers. Agriculture Consultants are supposed to provide right advice regarding seed, technology, fertilizer, and pesticide and post-harvest management.
If you are a business inclined person, then starting a business management business is your best option. Business management consultants provide strategic, unbiased and objective advisory services which assist organisations in improving productivity and overall performance.
A typical project will involve meeting with clients and researching and analysing data, after which you will present recommendations to the clients and set a schedule for implementing improvements. Too exciting a career with revenue earnings.
- Business Plan Consultant
The Business Planning Consultant is responsible for implementation and management of the business planning process for the Distribution Operations, Engineering & Transmission (DOET) of organization. They also provide services to the start-ups to craft a detailed business plan for operational benefits and to easier the process of arranging finance.
- Business Start-up Consultant
Business start-up consultants generally provide services specifically to the start up companies. They help in selecting right business idea, creating business plans, start up plans, financial projections, investor pitch decks, pricing, product specs/definitions/plans, marketing strategies and plans, sales strategies and plans, and company & product launching plans. If you have that skill, just sky is the limit.
- Computer Consultant
Computer consulting is hugely a diversified job with so many responsibilities. Such as assisting users in the use of computer hardware, software and networks; troubleshooting and resolving end user questions and problems; maintaining software and documentation libraries and the list goes on and on. If you have the right skill and ability to work under tight schedule this opportunity is perfect for you.
- Construction Management Consultant
The need to erect houses for people to live in will always surface. This is one of the reasons why you may consider starting a consulting management business. Before you start this business, be sure that you have all the information that you needed to run a standard and well recognised consulting business is construction management. Construction management consulting is one of the most profitable consulting business ideas provided you have right resources and knowledge. Industry analysis is critical for contextualizing your start-up within an industry setting.
- Direct Mail Service Consulting
Even though the mailing system has continued to change, but there are still ways to make good money from this. Generally, community businesses prefer to have direct mail services. Those who are targeting mass markets like restaurants, auto service shops electronics or gadgets shops and general interest retail stores will be your clients. The direct mail is a way of advertising where results can be measured quickly and easily. In starting this business, you will only need to have computer with internet and phone. You can initiate this venture from your home location.
- Diversity Consultant
People with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds (or people that generally differ from the ‘norm’) can unfortunately still be subjected to discrimination and unfair treatment by peers or superiors in their places of work. It is for this reason that now is a fantastic time to start a diversity consulting business. In this business you will need to have worked on and continue to work on your own biases and assumptions.
- Environmental Consultant
If you have a passion for the environment, are creative and eager to learn new ways to conserve and recycle, and enjoy teaching others about the environment, a small business as an environmental consultant may be a great option for you. This business has enormous potential in domestic and as well as in industrial field.
Event management agency business demands superior organizational and planning skills. Graduating from college in events management or a related major is a plus, but it’s not required necessity. In event management consulting business, your major customers are large corporations, educational institutes, married couples, religious organizations, political candidates NGO’s and many others.
- Failure Analysis / Evaluation
Failure analysis consultants provide services in evaluating electrical, thermal and mechanical characteristics of integrated circuits, components, sub-components and systems to determine the root cause of failure. They also analyse failure reports and recommend corrective action to prevent re-occurrence of problems.
People are becoming more and more aware of the need to stay fit and healthy at times. This is one of the reasons why you can begin a fitness consulting business. However, you will need to be trained and versed in some areas that have to do with exercise and aerobics. Having expertise in aerobics and yoga any individual can initiate home based business as fitness consultant. With very low start up capital and a planned marketing strategy, this business can be initiated.
- Franchise Consultant
Franchise consultants generally provide their services to both. Small business owners those who want to become franchisor and those aspiring entrepreneurs who want to purchase a franchise business. A franchise consultant is someone who acts sort of as a guidance counsellor for a potential franchisee by helping to guide them through the process of finding and purchasing a franchise and understanding the franchise industry.
Franchise consultants also help successful small business owners to take their existing business and turn it into a franchise; franchise consultants can help with everything from writing up the original franchise agreements, operating manual and marketing materials to helping the franchisee. Once it’s take off the ground, they help to grow the business through providing training and support.
Freelancers all over the world are known for their ability to juggle a lot together. This point to the fact that you can do other things, alongside being a freelance bookkeeper. This is a great business to start. Every small or big company need business accounting services like bank reconciliation, e-filing, service tax, sales tax, pay roll, etc. One can start this home based business by giving this services freelance to the businesses who can’t afford to have a permanent accountant.
Human resource consulting business is now a growing field. Businesses of every size need HR professionals to help them with tasks like recruitment, training, compliance, administration and payroll. While large corporate may choose to outsource to the big HR consulting firms, small and medium sized businesses are looking for a more personalized human resource consulting services to fulfil their needs.
- Image Consultant
This is a peculiar line of consulting that makes people silent millionaires. It is important that you get trained yourself and learn a lot before you start this business. If you love pulling together the perfect outfit, you may want to consider becoming a fashion or image consultant. While it may not be obvious at first, the reasons that people may need an image consultant are quite varied.
- Internet Marketing Consultant
In today’s world, every small and big businesses need to have their own website. But having only a website does not ensure getting potential customers. Lot of technical and branding issues are needed to turn a website to an effective marketing tool. Here, you can work successfully as an internet marketing consultant. This is one of the most profitable advertising business ideas.
- IT Consultant
IT consultants provide analysis, advice and solutions for organizations that need to develop or improve their communication, data or software systems. They can also provide training for current employees. Job duties of IT business consultants vary by industry and specialty, but generally include performance assessments of a business’ existing systems, strategic planning and implementation of the new system or process. The market is huge and demand is increasing.
- Labour Relations Consultant
A labour relation consultant is actually human resource specialist. They provide services in many diversified field. Such as developing and implementing recruiting strategies to meet current or anticipated staffing needs, addressing employee relations issues, such as harassment allegations, work complaints, or other employee concerns, interpreting and explaining human resources policies, procedures, laws, standards, or regulations etc. You can start this business from your home location with small start up capital investment.
- Marketing Consultant
To be a successful marketing consultant, you must have an analytical mind, exceptional report writing skill, communication skill and an effective negotiation skill. Marketing consultants are considered as an industry expert. You must have an ample awareness of business and commercial changes in their industry.
- Office Protocol Consulting
Office protocol consultants provide the right advice to clients regarding in-house employee disputes and also provide employee training. The key focus area for an office protocol consultant is providing training on how to avoid and react to any potentially unfavourable situation that may arise within the office working environment. The demand for this type of consulting service is huge.
- Outdoor Advertising Consulting
Outdoor advertising consulting business is all about to advise your client about advertising the product or services publicized outdoor. Outdoor advertising actually offers visual marketing with their attractive and original means of communication. Outdoor advertising is a very rich and diverse medium that allows a unique spectrum of creativity for designer to work with.
- Paving Consulting
If you want to be mega rich, then you can look into becoming a paving consultant. Paving consulting business opportunity demands adequate knowledge in mechanical and civil construction sector. The business is all about providing advice, design and creating pavements within your client’s budget and scheduled time.
- Product Development Consulting
Product development consulting is a very interesting and profitable home based opportunity, provided you have the right skill and ability. Mostly, they work with clients to understand and analyze the requirements. Selecting the right product, packaging, designing, demonstration and product training are the key focus area to work as product development consultant.
- Proposal Consultant (government contracts)
Proposal consultants especially for government contracts generally provide exclusive services in the process of getting government contracts. Getting Government contracts is not an easy task for any businesses. Proposal consultants assist in registering a small business as a contractor, help it write the proposal, and most of all, assist with the accounting processes.
- Proposal Consultant (grants & subsidy)
Proposal consultants for grant and subsidy use their skills to secure funding for their clients. Government policies and online submission processes change frequently. The availability of funding also fluctuates, so grant proposal consultants must develop a diversified network of funding organizations. Though challenging, this business can also be personally and professionally rewarding.
- Public Relation Agency
In starting public relation agency business, you will need to work both print and electronic media. The main area where public relation professionals work that is to get their client’s story in the media. A degree or certificate in public relations is a plus but not an absolute necessity.
- Quality Management Consultant
Quality consulting has mostly been associated with the quality management systems of ISO 9001, its fore runners BS5750 and derivatives such as PS 9100 and TS 16949. Quality management consultants provide the services in implementing a quality management system changing the quality culture; implementing new methods such as failure mode effects analysis (FMEA); production part approval process (PPAP) or statistical process control (SPC); implementing quality improvement models such as six sigma, kaizen, lean manufacturing or total productive maintenance (TPM) etc.
- Retail Consultant
All over the world, retailing is becoming the order of the day and it is becoming really profitable too. Retail consultants generally provide their services in determining a retail strategy for stores or other types of retail businesses. Usually, the goal is to increase sales by driving more people to the store and attracting them to products once there. Someone in this position may deal with promotions, merchandising, store design, location and even some personnel decisions.
- Risk Management Consulting
Risk management consultants generally advise organisations on any potential risks to the profitability or existence of the company. They identify and assess threats, put plans in place just in case things go wrong and decide how to avoid, reduce or transfer risks. Having right skill and expertise, this is a wonderful self rewarding business to start with small capital investment.
- Safety Consultant
Before you start this business, you can consider reading up a whole lot about this line of career, so that you can learn a whole lot. Being a Safety consultant generally means that you will create workplace safety manuals and provide training to employees in a variety of safety concerns. Moreover maintaining the workplace safety is the key focus of a safety consultant. It will be really necessary for you to undertake a huge research as you look to start this business.
- Sales Consultant
Sales consultants generally promote products and services and build long-term commercial relationships on behalf of the clients. Key responsibilities include identifying and meeting customer needs within their allotted sales territory, maintaining good after-sales relationships, keeping records of customer appointments and completed sales, and providing detailed information on the products they are selling.
- Security Consultant
Security consultants generally provide services in determining the most effective way to protect computers, networks, software, data and information systems against any possible attacks. In today’s digital world, security consulting is one of the most trending and profitable consulting business ideas to start with moderate capital investment.
- SEO Consulting
SEO consultant serves the industry as internet marketing expert. When people search for specifics in search engines; web sites that appear and come on the first few pages, are the sites that usually attract maximum traffic. Search engine optimization is a process to get the website ranking higher in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Every day there are thousands of websites, that are created and most of them fail to survive because of the lack of knowledge about internet marketing. SEO consulting is one of the profitable business ideas for women entrepreneurs.
- Skincare Consultant
Women are usually the most people who seek attention when it comes to problematic skin issues. Skin care consultants advice clients about colours and types of makeup, and instruct them in makeup application techniques. They also determine which products or colours will improve clients’ skin quality and appearance. Having right skill and knowledge this business can be initiated from home also. Market potential is huge in this sector.
- Social Media Consultant
The social media more than ever before is doing really well and more and people are turning to it for information and fun. Almost everybody uses facebook, tweeter, LinkedIn, pinterest these days and many companies are ready to pay people to get the service of their social media accounts management. Social Media Consulting is another profitable internet-based business idea for women entrepreneurs.
- Training consultant
For you to start this business, you will need to get trained yourself. You have to look for an area to specialize in. Training consultants identify staff training and development needs of the organization and plan accordingly. Conducting job evaluation surveys liaising with managers and interviewing employees at all levels to identify and assess training and development needs are the major focus are.
Every now and then, people organise weddings; so this is one area you can capitalize on to make good money. Wedding consulting business may come natural to someone who is organized and focuses on details. In the last decade, the need for professional wedding consultants has grown exponentially.
Today, people are often too busy juggling the demands of their professional and personal lives to oversee the details necessary to create the wedding of their dreams. That has actually created enormous opportunity for a start up entrepreneur considering going into the wedding consulting business.
- E-Commerce Consultant
Doing business online and achieving any kind of e-profitable success is probably more difficult than it is in the bricks-and-mortar world. For that reason many online entrepreneurs are turning to enlisting the services of an e-commerce specialist to help build, market, and maintain their e-commerce businesses. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, there is an incredible opportunity to build a super profitable e-commerce consulting business for entrepreneurs with web development, online marketing, e-commerce, and e-communications skills and experience.
- EBay Consultant
With more than 100 million registered users, eBay generate billions in annual sales. This in turn has created a fantastic opportunity to start an eBay consulting business to train small business owners to use the online marketplace giant to sell their goods and services and cash in big.
Marketing your consulting services requires nothing more than setting appointments with businesses that are not currently using eBay, and explaining the incredible opportunity they are missing out on, along with the beneficial features of your service, and why they should hire you as their eBay consultant.
- Energy Management Consultant
Corporations and homeowners combined spend billions of dollars annually on energy to light, heat and air-condition their homes and buildings. Imagine how much healthier the environment would be, as well how much money each of us could save every year, if we could all reduce our energy consumption by a mere 10 percent?
The aforementioned is the focus of this incredible business opportunity. Working as an energy management consultant from a home based office you can teach homeowners and business owners practical and useful energy management tips about reducing consumption and waste.
- Expense Reduction Consultant
Calling all business managers, controllers and operations managers. You can profit from your business and budget management skills and experiences by starting your own expense reduction consulting service. Expense reduction consultants provide clients with services such as controlling long-term product and service costs and developing expense reduction strategies to suit individual client needs.
The objective of the expense reduction consultant is to uncover costs associated with doing business that can be reduced or eliminated while still maintaining the efficiency of the business in terms of operations, customer service and profitability.
- Fundraising Consultant
Acting on behalf of charities as a fundraising consultant can earn you as much as $100,000 per year; provided you have the skills and abilities to raise funds for the charities that your service represents. The first step required for establishing a fundraising service is to build alliances with local or national charities to represent the charities as a fundraising specialist. The next step is to establish a fundraising program for the charity, similar to a business plan.
- Independent Sales Consultant
Some of the highest earning professionals in any industry are independent sales consultants working on a freelance basis for clients. Freelance sales consultants represent companies that sell products and services ranging from manufactured goods to home improvement services, and just about everything in between.
Securing clients to represent is easy, simply because freelance sales consultants generally supply all the tools of the trade such as transportation, communications requirements, and computer equipment that may be needed to acquire customers and conduct business–not to mention the fact that many freelance sales consultants also generate their own sales leads
- Internet Marketing Consultant
Companies large and small are getting used to fact that you need to have a web site. But just having a web site doesn’t guarantee a company an increase in business–if those millions of potential customers don’t happen to stumble on it, you’re spinning your virtual wheels. What’s a company to do? If you’re internet-savvy and marketing-smart, you can be the solution to this dilemma as an internet marketing consultant.
- Office Protocol Consultant
The time has never been better than now to start a business as an office protocol consultant. As disputes between employees or between employees and management based on allegations of sexual harassment, racism and abusive behaviour within the office environment cannot only morally bankrupt a business, but also financially bankrupt a business as a result of litigation.
The business concept is very straightforward. Acting as an office protocol consultant, you can advise clients on issues pertaining to these subjects, as well as create a training program for employees and management on how to avoid and react to any potentially unfavourable situation that may arise within the office working environment.
- Wedding Consultant
It’s hard to plan those dream nuptials these days–both the bride and groom usually work, which leaves them scant time or energy for all the scores of details that go into planning the big event. But you can make dreams come true as a wedding planner (also called a bridal consultant).
You’ll work with the happy couple on an hourly basis, lending advice on a few issues, or you’ll plan and orchestrate the entire event, from deciding how many guests to invite, to helping choose a site and someone to officiate on the big day. Wedding planning is big business these days and getting bigger.
- Virtual Human Resources Consultant
In our enlightened–and lawsuit-mad–world, businesses must tread carefully to make certain they don’t accidentally step on employees’ toes. This causes problems for small and mid-sized companies that don’t have the time, the staff or the expertise to deal with all those complex and constantly changing human resources issues.
If you’re a human resources expert, you can solve these problems by offering your expertise as a virtual human resources service. You’ll do it all, from writing employee handbooks to handling personnel forms to setting up and administering 401(k) programs.
In conclusion, a consultant’s job is to consult. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s that simple. There’s no magic formula or secret that makes one consultant more successful than another one. But what separates a good consultant from a bad consultant is a passion and drive for excellence. And–oh yes–a good consultant should be knowledgeable about the subject he or she is consulting in. That does make a difference.