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How to start an independent consulting practice

Vikrant Duggal
Vikrant Duggal
• 2 min read

I have helped over 50 people become consultants through Consulting Club and a question I'm asked frequently is a version of:

How do I start a consulting business with no experience and little money, what resources do you need?

There are three common themes that are often highlighted:

  1. A feeling of limited to no experience
  2. A feeling of little to no money
  3. Resources required

The perception that you’re not unique

The first thing you have to understand is that the things you have experience with feel like everyone does and should know them. This can make you think they have no/limited experience or don't have something unique to offer.

This is a big fallacy.

My recommendation is that you speak to those you are close to, who know you, or have done something with and ask them questions like:

  • “What’s special about me?”
  • “What’s something that you would ask of me before you went to someone else?”
  • “What’s one thing I do better than most people?”

In these answers are the beginnings of the nugget of what you are great at! Answers can be tactical (like a trade or skill) or broader like energy, enthusiasm, clarity, encouragement. Realize that cute little infant baby that is adored by all has the experience of bringing joy to people’s lives and she doesn’t even know it. I used to be under the impression that everyone knew how to grow a company, or there were others who were better at explaining it until I started consulting 3 years ago.

What you are really seeking is the outcomes you deliver for people. Examples of outcomes: provide peace of mind, look like a million bucks, have the energy to play with their grandchildren.

Little money, but TONS of conviction

It doesn’t take much. I would start with this question: “How can I deliver amazing impact and outcomes with the least amount of effort?”

If you have a phone, computer, and email address you’re set! You will, however, need to manufacture a lot of conviction and a compelling offer.

There are plenty of self-help books on manufacturing conviction. The fastest way I know how to get this kicked off is to be grateful.

You want to start by creating a compelling offering - who can you help? what result do you help achieve? What problems do you know will come up that others don’t? Get clear on this.

Given consulting is equally a mentality game as it is a skill game. I would put your money to work in three areas:

  1. Getting better at the thing you do so well (education)
  2. Get your mind right (education)
  3. Learn to build a lucrative consulting practice (education)

Yes, most of your financial investment should go in to education and personal growth.

Resources

This is where most consultants fail hard and don’t have to.

  1. Ask people you know to hire you (use email and phone)
  2. If you need money to invest in education ask people you know with money to loan you money (trust matters)
  3. Ask people you know to introduce you to people who can hire you
  4. Use your local library and the internet (YouTube and google are great places to start) and learn from successful consultants
  5. Get started, learn from your mistakes, and keep going!
Consulting