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Consulting Business Plan: 5-Step Plan For A Successful Firm

If you want to start a consulting business , then you need to write your consulting business plan.

I’ve watched countless starry-eyed entrepreneurs “start” their business with a 50-100 page business plan.

They spend weeks — or even months — toiling away at their desk after their 9-5 detailing everything about their future business.

After they’ve written it, they beam with pride.

“This plan is the key to my success in consulting! With this plan, I can’t fail.”

Then, they take their plan out to the real world.

The real world isn’t as perfect and pretty when starting your business.

And that golden business plan? Well, it almost always doesn’t work the way they’d hoped.

All of the projections they made? Naw, not even close.

So they scurry back to their desk to revise the plan — and the cycle continues.

Here’s the truth about consulting business plans…

You don’t need a long, complex business plan.

If your business plan is more than 5 pages, every extra page you write is almost certainly wasting your time.

All you need is a 1-3 page document to cover the foundations of your business.

By the end of this post, you’ll write your 5-part entrepreneurial consulting business plan — and have everything you need to start a successful consulting business.

Let’s begin with the first part: your consulting business model.

1. Consulting Business Model

  • “What kind of consulting business do you want to build?”

That’s the first question you want to answer for your consulting business plan.

Understand what type of business you want to build first before you start building it.

Six-Figure Blueprint

That way, you’re building a business to support your lifestyle and not the other way around.

At Consulting Success®, we believe that your business shouldn’t consume your life .

Your consulting business should enrich your life and create a fulfilling lifestyle for you and your family.

For your consulting business model, you have 4 options:

1. Solo Model : The classic independent consultant . Your business is just you (and maybe a few contractors). From delivering projects to marketing and sales, you are responsible for every part of the business.

(To see the pros and cons of each model, see our post on The 3 PROVEN Consulting Business Models .)

2. Firm Model : The typical large consulting firm. Your firm consists of consultants, associations, junior and senior people. Your role starts off as doing a bit of everything — but eventually, your role becomes hiring, training, and managing your team.

3. Productized Model : This model comes out of one of the above models. You identify a particular problem your clients have, and you build your business around solving that problem with a focus on efficiency. This model is all about systems, efficiency, and scale.

4. Hybrid Model : The hybrid model is a mix of the models above. For example, you might offer a productized consulting offer — but also do some solo custom consulting. Once you’ve mastered one of these models, the hybrid model helps you add new products and services to create more revenue.

Pick one of the models above. If you’re unsure about which one to use, start with the solo model. You can always change it in the future. Chances are, your business will evolve in the future anyways.

With your consulting business model selected, let’s move to the next part of your consulting business plan — clarity around your ideal client.

For every hour you spend on planning, you should spend 4 hours on putting your plan into action.

2. Ideal Client Clarity

  • “Who is the ideal client my consulting business will serve?”

That’s the second question you’ll answer with your consulting business plan.

This is all about how you’re going to specialize .

As an entrepreneurial consultant, specialization is crucial.

You can’t offer everything to anybody.

You’ll have to begin by choosing a specific type of client to serve — your niche.

A niche is a certain subset of people whom you might potentially serve — SaaS companies, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, etc.

To find your ideal client, you’ll have to test out different niches.

This is why we teach the Niche Scoring Method in our Clarity Coaching Program .

October 27, 2021 12:11:43 pm - Screenshot

Using this scorecard, you score each potential niche from 1 to 5 based on the following factors:

  • EXPERIENCE . How would you rate your experience with this niche?
  • EXPERTISE . How would you rate your status as an expert within this niche?
  • RESULTS . How would you rate your confidence that you can deliver results for this niche?
  • POTENTIAL . How would you rate this niche’s growth and how willing they are to hire consultants?
  • INTEREST . How would you rate your interest in this niche?
  • ACCESS . How would you rate your ability to speak with ideal clients in this niche?

In the Clarity Coaching Program for Consultants , we also teach you about the different layers of specialization, how to find and validate your ideal client’s potential, how to do outreach to potential clients, and more.

By going through these exercises, you’ll figure out which niche is best for you to start with.

Picking a niche and defining your ideal client is the foundation on which you’ll build your business — and get clients.

You shouldn’t move on with your consulting business plan until you’ve defined your ideal client.

Once you’ve done that, you can move on to the next part: Magnetic Messaging.

3. Magnetic Messaging

  • “What message will get my ideal client’s attention?”

That’s the third question you’ll answer on your consulting business plan.

You’ve picked your business model.

You’ve defined your ideal client.

Now, you’ll write a message designed to get your ideal client’s attention.

We’ve created a formula to make writing this message as simple as possible: Magnetic Messaging.

Here’s the formula:

I help [WHO] to [solve WHAT problem] so they can [see WHAT results]. My [WHY choose me]…

Let’s break each part of the formula down.

  • WHO : Who you serve.
  • WHAT (Problem): What problem you solve for them.
  • WHAT (Result): What result you create for them.
  • WHY : Why they should choose you.

Why does this message grab your ideal client’s attention?

  • It speaks to who they are.
  • It mentions what problem they have.
  • It showcases what result they can get.
  • It differentiates you from others who might provide a similar service.

When your message contains these 4 elements, it will draw interest from your ideal clients. They’ll want to learn more.

They’ll browse your marketing materials, read your articles, sign up for your email list, and reach out to you for conversations.

Effective messaging is the foundation of your marketing: what you communicate to the marketplace to get your ideal client’s attention.

You won’t write the perfect message on your first try.

But you do need to write a first draft — and actually put it to work in the marketplace.

Once you’ve written down your first magnetic message, it’s time to start planning your strategic offer.

4. Strategic Offers

  • “What can I offer my ideal client — and at what price point?”

That’s the 4th question you’ll answer on your consulting business plan.

With clarity around your ideal client and a message that grabs their attention…

…you must create an offer — a service — that solves their problems and gets them the result that they want.

The classic custom consulting service is the “full engagement.”

After you engage in a meaningful sales conversation with your prospective client, you’ll send them a consulting proposal .

In your proposal, instead of including one option, you’ll include three:

Option 1 – $

  • Basic offer
  • Minimum effort required
  • Provides value
  • Lowest investment

Option 2 – $$

  • Help them reach results quicker than option 1
  • Provides more value than option 1 (ideally, without having to spend more time)
  • Higher investment

Option 3 – $$$

  • If money isn’t an issue
  • Best results
  • Shortest time to result
  • Highest investment

Map out the different options you’ll offer your prospects.

Take a look at the marketing consulting example below for an idea of how the 3 different options might look:

October 27, 2021 12:13:03 pm - Screenshot

However, we recommend you start with a discovery offer .

A discovery offer is a smaller service (priced at $1.5K to $15K). You design it to get your client a quick, low-risk win.

Your discovery offer helps get your “foot in the door” with the client. Once you get them that quick, low-risk win, they’ll trust your expertise. This will open the door for larger projects with the same client.

Discovery offers are easier to sell, create, and deliver.

Here’s our discovery offer checklist:

  • Align with what the buyer wants
  • Is a logical first step
  • Leads to the next steps
  • Ranges between $1.5K to $15K
  • Provides tangible benefits (growth, clarity, etc)

Of course, you’ll also have to set your consulting fees .

You can use the hourly method, the fixed-rate method, the value-based method , or the retainer method.

Pricing is an incredibly complex and deep topic. But you’ll have to pick a price to start with and adjust it based on the feedback you get.

Never sell yourself short. Remember: pricing is marketing. If you can deliver your clients results, then charge what you’d feel good about.

Once you’ve mapped out your 3 engagement options and a discovery offer, you’re ready to take your offers to the marketplace — and start winning consulting business.

5. Marketing Engine/Sales Pipeline

  • “How am I going to create conversations with my ideal client?”

This is the final question you’ll answer on your consulting business plan.

And it’s where you start to see real results: winning clients, delivering projects, and earning revenue.

However, according to our How To Become A Consultant Study , marketing and sales are where consultants struggle the most.

Your Marketing Engine is what you’re doing every day to get in front of your ideal clients.

Your Sales Pipeline organizes all of the leads who come into contact with you.

Let’s start with your pipeline.

October 27, 2021 12:14:26 pm - Screenshot

Your pipeline is organized into 6 columns:

  • LEAD . You’ve identified the prospective client and have begun reaching out to them to set-up a conversation.
  • CONVERSATION . You’ve had a sales conversation with the prospective client.
  • PROPOSAL . You’ve sent a proposal to the prospective client.
  • WIN . The prospective client has accepted your proposal and you won the business.
  • LOSS . The prospective client has declined your proposal and you lost the business.
  • NURTURE . Most people you reach out to won’t be ready to buy or make a decision right away. In fact, even people who say ‘No’ to a proposal now, may buy from you later as long as you stay top of mind through your nurture process.

All of your prospective clients fit into one of these 6 categories.

Using a CRM to create and organize this pipeline will help you organize your marketing and sales efforts.

Marketing is what fills up your “lead” column.

Without marketing, you won’t have any leads. And without leads, you won’t have the chance to win new business.

We organize marketing for consultants in 3 different categories:

  • Outreach: Reaching out to your ideal clients to initiate conversations.
  • Follow-Ups: Following up with your ideal clients to initiative conversations.
  • Authority Building : Creating content for your ideal clients that demonstrates your expertise and adds value — and helps create conversations.

A basic Marketing Engine will have you doing a mix of these different methods every day.

Every day, you want to be reaching out to new clients, following up with your leads, and creating content that demonstrates your expertise and adds value.

October 27, 2021 12:13:41 pm - Screenshot

The type of marketing you focus on also depends on the stage of your business .

If you’re a newer consultant, you’ll rely more on outreach. You don’t have as much of an audience for authority content to work yet.

But if you’re a later-stage consultant, you’ll rely more on content. Your content and consulting website has a farther reach, and can generate leads at scale.

For your business plan, focus on setting up a pipeline that is easy to track, and creating the right marketing habits to fill up your leads column.

At this stage, your plan is done.

It’s time to start taking action.

Imperfect Action: Write Your Entrepreneurial Consultant Business Plan

By answering these 5 questions…

…you’ll write a consulting business plan that enables you to take action.

We’ve included dozens of articles, case studies , and guides on how to answer these 5 questions.

However, in consulting, execution is more important than your plan.

So, use our resources to help answer these 5 questions — and go build your consulting business.

Ready to Take Your Consulting Business to the Next Level?

Apply to join our Clarity Coaching Program , the place where dedicated consultants go to get a personalized plan, strategy, coaching and support to grow a successful consulting business.

If you’re committed and serious about growing your consulting business, then this customized coaching program is for you.

We’ll work hands on with you to develop a strategic plan and then dive deep and work through your ideal client clarity, strategic messaging, consulting offers, fees, and pricing, business model optimization, and help you to set up your marketing engine and lead generation system to consistently attract ideal clients.

Schedule a FREE growth session today to apply for our limited-capacity Clarity Coaching Program by clicking here .

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Consulting Firm Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Business Plan Outline

  • Consulting Firm Business Plan Home
  • 1. Executive Summary
  • 2. Company Overview
  • 3. Industry Analysis
  • 4. Customer Analysis
  • 5. Competitive Analysis
  • 6. Marketing Plan
  • 7. Operations Plan
  • 8. Management Team
  • 9. Financial Plan

Start Your Consulting Firm Plan Here

Consulting Business Plan

If you need a business plan for your consulting business, you’ve come to the right place. Our consulting business plan template below has been used by countless entrepreneurs and business owners to create business plans to start or grow their consulting businesses.

Important note: If you are looking for a business plan consultant , specifically, a consultant to help you write your business plan, we recommend Growthink who offers a business plan consultation service here.

Sample Consultant Business Plan & Template

Below are links to each section of your consulting business plan template:

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Overview
  • Industry Analysis
  • Customer Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Marketing Plan
  • Operations Plan
  • Management Team
  • Financial Plan

Next Section: Executive Summary >

Consulting Business Plan FAQs

What is a consulting business plan.

A consulting business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your consulting firm. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan, and details your financial projections.

You can  easily complete your consulting firm business plan using our Consulting Firm Business Plan Template here .

What Are the Main Types of Consulting Firms?

There are many types of consulting firms. Most consultant companies are in business concentrations such as Management, Strategy, Operations, IT, Human Resources, Financial Advisory, and Marketing/Sales. There are also firms that are singularly focused such as those that offer business plan consulting.

What Are the Main Sources of Revenue and Expenses for a Consulting Business?

The primary source of revenue for consulting firms are fees paid by the client. The client will either sign a contract or agreement of the services it will choose and the pricing for those services beforehand.

The key expenses for a consulting business are the cost of leasing the office, employee cost, marketing/advertising costs, and any office technology or software.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Consulting Business?

Consulting businesses are most likely to receive funding from banks. Typically you will find a local bank and present your consulting business plan to them. Angel investors and other types of capital-raising such as crowdfunding are other common funding sources.

What are the Steps To Start a Consulting Business?

Starting a consulting business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.

1. Develop A Consulting Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed consulting business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.  

2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your consulting business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your consulting business is in compliance with local laws.

3. Register Your Consulting Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your consulting business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws. 

4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your consulting business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms. 

5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations. 

6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events. 

7. Acquire Necessary Consulting Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your consulting business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation. 

8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your consulting business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising. 

Learn more about how to start a successful consulting business:

  • How to Start a Consulting Business

Where Can I Get a Consulting Business Plan PDF?

You can download our free consulting business plan template PDF here . This is a sample consulting business plan template you can use in PDF format.

BUSINESS STRATEGIES

How to create a consultant business plan

  • Nirit Braun
  • Oct 30, 2023
  • 12 min read

How to create a consultant business plan

When launching your consulting business, one of the essential first steps is crafting a well-structured and detailed business plan. Your consulting business plan is like a strategic playbook that lays out your goals, tactics and financial projections. It not only steers you toward success but also equips you to adapt and thrive in the dynamic world of consulting.

Keep reading for tips on how to build a strong business plan for your business. Use the template provided at the end to get started on your own plan.

Looking to kick off your consultancy business? Create a business website today with Wix.

Why create a consultant business plan? Top benefits to consider

A business plan forces entrepreneurs to thoroughly evaluate their business idea, target audience and competitive landscape. This process clarifies their vision and mission, ensuring that they have a clear understanding of how their consultancy will provide value to clients. A business plan helps you in the following ways:

Create a business blueprint : With a business plan in place, entrepreneurs looking to start a business can make informed decisions based on a solid foundation of research and analysis. They can choose the most effective strategies for marketing, pricing and service delivery, enhancing their chances of success. Your business plan can also be used to explain what type of business you'll start - whether that's an LLC, Corporation or something else. Learn more about how to start an LLC .

Secure funding : The cost to start a consultancy business can range from around $60 to several thousand dollars . For those seeking external funding, a well-developed business plan demonstrates credibility and professionalism. Investors and lenders are more likely to support a venture with a thought-out plan that showcases its potential for growth and profitability.

Set measurable goals : A business plan sets measurable goals and performance metrics, which is vital with this type of business . This allows entrepreneurs to track their progress, adapt strategies as needed and celebrate milestones along the way.

Want to remind yourself of the basics? Learn more about how to start a service business .

How to create a successful consultant business plan in 6 steps

In this section, we'll break down the key components involved in crafting a successful consultant business plan in six steps.

Executive summary

Business and domain names

Market analysis and research

Operations plan

Marketing and advertising plan

Financial plan

01. Executive summary

An executive summary serves as a concise overview of the consultant's business plan, providing a snapshot of the key components and the business' essence. It's usually the first section investors, lenders and stakeholders read, so it must encapsulate the business' value proposition, objectives, strategies and projected growth. To write a clear executive summary for a consultant business make sure to keep it succinct yet informative. Clearly state the purpose of the business, the services offered, the target market and the unique value proposition. Avoid technical jargon that may confuse readers.

Then you can mention the business' strengths, such as the expertise of the consultants, unique methodologies or specialized services. Emphasize factors that set your consultancy apart from competitors.

Briefly discuss the market need for your services and how your consultancy plans to fulfill it. It’s worth noting that strategy and management consulting, as well as technology consulting, financial consulting and HR consulting are in high demand . Highlight any trends or changes in the industry that your business can capitalize on.

Remember to include a snapshot of your financial projections, indicating expected revenue, costs and profitability. This provides a glimpse into the business' potential financial success.

Example of an executive summary for a consultant business

"XYZ Consulting is a boutique consultancy firm specializing in digital transformation for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). With a team of seasoned professionals, we offer tailored solutions to help businesses harness the power of technology for growth. Our unique approach blends strategic consulting with hands-on implementation, ensuring tangible results. In a rapidly evolving tech landscape, XYZ Consulting is poised to be the partner SMEs need to thrive. Our financial projections forecast a steady growth trajectory, with a focus on achieving profitability within the first two years. With a proven track record and a finger on the pulse of industry trends, XYZ Consulting is well-equipped to guide businesses toward digital success."

02. Business and domain names

Knowing how to name a business is crucial for a consultancy venture and a key step before you register your business . It's the foundation of your brand and influences how clients perceive your services. With Wix , you can use a free business name generator or consulting company name generator as helpful tools for brainstorming unique and memorable names. Ensure the name reflects your expertise and the services you offer.

Similarly, the domain name for your business website is vital. It should be easy to remember, relevant to your services and ideally, match your company name. Check the domain's availability using domain registration platforms. Ensure the domain name aligns with your consultancy's focus and services. Generally, this means keeping it short and easy to spell and pronounce.

Learn more: How to make a consulting website

03. Market analysis and research

Incorporating a thorough market analysis within your consultant business plan is essential. Understand the competitive landscape, target audience and market trends. Research your competitors' strengths and weaknesses, pricing strategies and client base. This information will shape your business strategies and help you identify gaps in the market that your consultancy can fill.

04. Operations plan

The operations plan outlines the logistical aspects of your consultancy. It covers location, premises, equipment and staffing requirements. Determine whether your consultancy will be home-based, have a physical office or operate virtually. Define the equipment and software needed to deliver services effectively. Outline your staffing needs, including the roles and expertise required.

05. Marketing and advertising plan

Your marketing and advertising plan outlines how you will promote your consultant business. Identify the most effective strategies to reach your target audience. Consider content marketing, social media campaigns, networking events and speaking engagements to showcase your expertise. Emphasize how your marketing efforts will build brand awareness and attract clients.

You’ll need to develop a suite of brand assets to use in your marketing as well, starting with a company logo. You can use a free logo maker to get a professional logo in minutes.

06. Financial plan

The financial plan is a critical component of any business plan. It outlines how you will raise money for your business initially and provides a timeline for reaching profitability. Detail your startup costs, including equipment, marketing expenses and personnel. Present your revenue projections, taking into account different pricing models and growth scenarios. Highlight your break-even point and the strategies you'll employ to achieve profitability.

By addressing each part of their plan, entrepreneurs can create a robust business plan that guides them toward achieving their business goals and building a reputable consulting brand.

steps to developing a business plan

Consultant business plan examples

These templates illustrate two hypothetical consultant business plans, each tailored to a specific niche. These are just templates and should be adapted to your specific business goals and industry dynamics.

Consultant business plan template 1: XYZ Digital Consultants

XYZ Digital Consultants is a pioneering consultancy firm focused on digital transformation for businesses seeking to thrive in the digital age. Our team of experienced professionals offers strategic guidance and hands-on implementation to drive growth through technology adoption. With projected profitability within two years and a commitment to excellence, XYZ Digital Consultants is poised to lead businesses into a successful digital future.

Company and domain name

Company name: XYZ Digital Consultants

Domain name: xyzdigitalconsultants.com

Market opportunity: The rapid shift toward digital operations has created a substantial demand for expert guidance. Our analysis reveals a gap in the market for holistic digital transformation solutions tailored to the needs of SMEs.

Competitor research: We've identified key competitors and their strengths, which informs our strategy to emphasize personalized service and comprehensive implementation.

Location: Primarily virtual, with occasional in-person consultations as needed.

Premises: Home-based setup with access to modern communication tools.

Equipment: High-speed internet, latest software tools and virtual meeting platforms.

Staffing: Founder and lead consultant, supported by contract specialists as projects demand.

Content marketing: Regular blog posts on digital transformation trends, case studies and client success stories.

Social media campaigns: Active presence on LinkedIn and X to engage with potential clients and share valuable insights.

Networking events: Participation in industry webinars, seminars and local business events to showcase expertise.

Speaking engagements: Leveraging speaking opportunities at conferences and workshops to establish authority in the field.

Startup costs (equipment, website development, marketing materials): $15,000

Revenue projections (year one): $150,000

Revenue projections (year two) : $300,000

Break-even point: Achieved by the end of year one

Funding: Initial investment and savings from the founder

Consultant business plan template 2: LeadersEdge Consultants

LeadersEdge Consultants is a dynamic consultancy dedicated to leadership development and organizational excellence. Our experienced team offers customized programs that empower leaders to drive positive change. With a projected growth trajectory and a commitment to fostering impactful leadership, LeadersEdge Consultants is poised to transform organizations and elevate their success.

Company name: LeadersEdge Consultants

Domain name: leadersedgeconsultants.com

Market opportunity: Our analysis reveals a growing need for leadership development programs in diverse industries.

Competitor research: We've identified competitors' offerings and recognized an opportunity to provide a unique blend of coaching, training and strategy implementation.

Location: Virtual consultations, with the option for on-site workshops

Premises: Virtual office setup with video conferencing capabilities

Equipment: High-quality audiovisual tools, assessment software and learning platforms

Staffing : Founder will serve as the lead consultant, supported by certified leadership coaches

Customized workshops: Designing tailored leadership development programs for individual organizations.

Webinars: Hosting webinars on leadership best practices to showcase expertise and engage potential clients.

Thought leadership content: Publishing whitepapers, eBooks and video content on leadership topics.

Collaborations: Partnering with HR and talent development professionals to expand reach.

Startup costs ( making a website , training materials) : $10,000

Revenue projections (year one): $120,000

Revenue projections (year two): $250,000

Break-even point: Achieved within the first six months

Funding: Initial investment from the founder.

How much should you be charging as a consultant?

The amount you charge as a consultant will depend on a number of factors, including:

Your experience and expertise

The type of consulting services you offer

The value you provide to your clients

The market rate for consulting services in your field

In general, consultants charge between $100 and $500 per hour. However, some experienced and highly specialized consultants can charge upwards of $1,000 per hour.

To determine your consulting rate, you can use the following formula:

Consulting rate = Hourly rate * Value multiplier

Your hourly rate should reflect your experience and expertise, as well as the type of consulting services you offer. For example, if you have 10 years of experience and you offer specialized consulting services, you can charge a higher hourly rate than a consultant with less experience and who offers more general consulting services.

Your value multiplier should reflect the value you provide to your clients. For example, if you can help your clients to achieve significant results, you can charge a higher value multiplier.

Here is an example of how to use the formula:

Consultant: Experienced consultant with 10 years of experience offering specialized consulting services

Hourly rate: $200 per hour

Value multiplier: 2

Consulting rate: $200 per hour * 2 = $400 per hour

Can a consulting business be profitable?

Yes, a consulting business can be profitable. In fact, consulting is one of the most profitable industries in the world. According to a report by IBISWorld, the average profit margin for consulting businesses is 20%. This means that for every $100 in revenue, consulting businesses generate $20 in profit.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the profitability of consulting businesses. First, consultants are able to charge high fees for their services. Second, consulting businesses have relatively low overhead costs. Third, the demand for consulting services is high, and it's only expected to grow in the coming years.

Of course, not all consulting businesses are successful. Some consultants struggle to find clients or to charge high enough fees. Others may not be able to deliver the results that their clients expect. However, for consultants who are able to overcome these challenges, the potential rewards are great.

Here are some tips for increasing your chances of success as a consultant:

Specialize in a high-demand area of consulting. This will allow you to charge higher fees and attract more clients.

Build a strong reputation and network of clients. This will help you to generate word-of-mouth referrals and land new clients.

Market your services effectively. Make sure that potential clients know about your services and how you can help them.

Deliver high-quality results. This is the most important thing you can do to ensure that your clients are satisfied and that they continue to use your services in the future.

How much does it cost to start a consulting business?

The cost to start a consulting business can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the type of consulting services you offer, the size of your business and your location. However, in general, you can expect to spend between $10,000 and $50,000 to start a consulting business.

Here is a breakdown of some of the typical start-up costs for a consulting business:

Business formation: $100 to $1,000

Website and domain name: $100 to $2,500

Marketing and advertising: $500 to $5,000

Office equipment and supplies: $500 to $5,000

Professional liability insurance: $500 to $1,000

Other miscellaneous expenses: $500 to $5,000

Total start-up costs: $10,000 to $50,000

You can reduce your start-up costs by working from home, using free or low-cost marketing tools and purchasing used equipment. You can also start your consulting business part-time while you continue to work your full-time job. This will give you a chance to generate revenue and build a client base before you leave your full-time job.

If you need financial assistance to start your consulting business, you may be able to qualify for a loan from a bank or credit union. You may also be able to find investors who are willing to invest in your business.

Which clients to avoid and which to take on?

Here are some tips on which clients to avoid and which to take on in a consulting business:

Clients to avoid

Clients who aren't willing to pay your rates. If a client isn't willing to pay your rates, it's a sign that they don't value your services.

Clients who are unrealistic about their expectations. If a client has unrealistic expectations about what you can achieve, you're likely to set yourself up for failure.

Clients who are difficult to work with. If a client is demanding, rude or disrespectful, it's best to avoid them.

Clients who aren't a good fit for your business. If a client isn't in your target market or if their business isn't aligned with your values, it's best to decline working with them.

Clients to take on

Clients who are willing to pay your rates. This shows that they value your services and are committed to working with you.

Clients who have realistic expectations. This makes it more likely that you will be able to meet their needs and exceed their expectations.

Clients who are easy to work with. This will make the consulting process more enjoyable and productive for both of you.

Clients who are a good fit for your business. This means that they're in your target market and that their business is aligned with your values.

In addition to the above, here are some other factors to consider when deciding which clients to take on:

Your own skills and experience. Make sure that you have the skills and experience to help the client achieve their goals.

The client's budget. Make sure that the client has a budget that's sufficient to cover your fees.

The client's timeline. Make sure that you have the time and resources to meet the client's timeline.

Your gut feeling. If you have a bad feeling about a client, it's best to trust your gut and decline working with them.

It's important to be selective about the clients you take on. By avoiding difficult clients and focusing on good-fit clients, you can set yourself up for success in your consulting business.

Consultant business plan FAQ

What qualifies you as a consultant.

To qualify as a consultant, you need to have the expertise and experience in the area that you're consulting in. You also need to be able to communicate your ideas effectively and build relationships with clients.

How do you start off as a consultant?

How to make 6 figures as a consultant, how do you pay yourself as a consultant, do consultants pay their own taxes, want to create another business plan.

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How to Write a Consulting Business Plan + Free Template

consulting services business plan

Are you someone people usually come to to get valuable business advice? Or do you really like sharing valuable business insights to help businesses grow? Well, starting a consultancy business can be one efficient move to monetize your expert skills.

Now, you wouldn’t start a business without solid planning, would you? Well, how about you take the first step and write an actionable management consulting business plan for your business idea?

Writing a business plan can be tough. But we are here to make it easier for you.

This step-by-step guide is here to help you write a forward-thinking, realistic plan in easy actionable ways and offers a free management consulting business plan template to kickstart your writing process. .

So let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Craft a remarkable executive summary summarizing the concept, strategies, objectives, financial projections, and mission values of your consulting business plan.
  • Conduct in-depth industry analysis and market research identifying emerging trends and shifts that are likely to influence your consultancy business.
  • Introduce the services of your consultancy firm along with its pricing plan to give readers a thorough idea of your service offerings.
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis of your key competitors and determine your competitive edge over them to strengthen your competitive analysis.
  • Lay down a clear organizational chart highlighting the key skills, salaries, and experience of people working in your consulting firm. .
  • Create realistic financial projections for sales, revenue, costs, expenses, and cash flow for your consultancy after making room for contingencies and emergencies.
  • Draft a detailed operations plan highlighting the processes and procedures for everyday activities at your consultancy.
  • Devise a diversified marketing and sales plan to promote your business effectively to your target audience.

Key Elements of a Management Consulting Business Plan

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Overview
  • Competitor and Market Analysis
  • Service Offerings
  • Marketing Plan
  • Management Consulting Team
  • Operational Plan
  • Financial Outlook

Since we are talking about a consulting business plan, let us walk you through this step-by-step outline to help you write a stellar plan covering all the essential facets.

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary is the first and foremost section of your consulting business plan that will engage your readers and persuade them to dive further into details.

Begin by offering a brief overview of your business idea highlighting what it does. Take reference from the below example written using Upmetrics AI assistant .

Further, paint a picture, briefly highlighting your consulting services, market scenario, competition, USP, marketing and sales strategies, and financial objectives.

Ensure that you adopt a storytelling approach while crafting your executive summary. Ideally, this section of your business plan should concisely summarize your entire business plan in a page or two.

So ensure that you strategically place the information within this section to keep the readers hooked.

Now be smart and revisit this section after you are done writing for every other section of your plan. A thorough understanding of your business plan at that time will enable you to craft a compelling summary easily.

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2. Company Overview

This section of a business plan helps the reader get a thorough understanding of your consulting firm.

The company overview offers a detailed description highlighting what type of consultancy you would run, its physical location, legal structure, mission objectives, history, and all such related information.

Begin by clearly stating the concept and niche of your consulting firm. Further, highlight whether you would be running a sole proprietorship or partnership, and if it’s the latter discuss the profit-sharing ratio.

Don’t forget to mention your business structure and whether or not will you run a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

This section is your chance to introduce your business objectives, core value proposition, and mission objectives. Highlight any milestones you plan to achieve or have already achieved and make this section insightful.

Refer to this example describing the short-term objectives of a consulting firm from an Upmetrics plan.

Consulting Business Plan company overview example

3. Competitor and Market Analysis

An in-depth analysis of the consulting industry, market, and competitors is essential to build a successful consulting business. This is the most crucial part of your consultancy business plan helping you identify your target market, emerging trends, competitors, and your advantage over them.

Market analysis

The market analysis section of your consultant business plan will help you evaluate the market condition, target market, and business growth opportunities for your consultancy business.

Begin by researching and analyzing the consultancy market size and the serviceable obtainable market of your specific consultancy.

Further, determine your target audience by creating a buyer’s persona of your ideal customer. In this customer analysis section, determine their demographic and psychographic details to get a clear understanding of who your customer would be.

Refer to this buyer’s persona written using Upmetrics AI assistant:

Lastly, identify the emerging market trends within your industry, potential risks, and the shifts in consumer behavior likely to influence your business.

Competitors analysis

In the competitive analysis section of your plan, identify the consulting firms and other businesses that offer direct or indirect competition to your business.

Your direct competitors are other consultants in your local market, while your indirect competitors are in-house experts, software solutions, and an industry-specific business community extending resourceful help.

Conduct a SWOT analysis of your key competitors and analyze them based on their service offerings, target demographics, pricing, and other relevant factors.

Highlight your competitive advantage over these firms, suggesting that there are ample opportunities for you to succeed despite the competition.

competitive advantage example for consulting business

Here’s an example of a competitive advantage for a consultancy business using Upmetrics.

4. Service Offerings

Consulting businesses offer a variety of consulting services. In this section of your consulting business plan, you will create a clear list of all the services you will be offering.

The list can include various business consulting services such as:

  • Strategy consulting
  • Operation consulting
  • Human resources consulting
  • IT Consulting
  • Risk and compliance consulting

Now, elaborate on these services to help your readers understand what it truly entails. Refer to this example of legal and compliance services brief description:

As part of our risk and compliance service, the company will offer:

  • Draft, negotiate, and conclude ‘Joint Venture Agreements’, and ‘Memoranda of cases for one of our key clients. 
  • Legal Advice & Consultation
  • Case Litigation & Pleading
  • Legal Translation
  • Business Start-up Advice
  • Management Consultancy
  • Representation and Attorney Services
  • Legal Compliance

Determine the pricing of these services and place it alongside your service list. Ideally, you should create differential and tiered pricing plans for your services to cater to different target audiences.

All in all, make this section an informative read for your readers helping them understand your unique business offerings.

5. Marketing Plan

A well-defined marketing plan is among the most important components of your consulting firm’s business plan. Well, It’s time to design your marketing strategies using your market research about the target customers and the potential clients.

Multifarious marketing efforts are essential to make your new business visibly famous in the market. Well, here are a few strategies that a successful consultant follows religiously:

Social media marketing

Choose different social media platforms to build your consultancy brand online. LinkedIn can be a good choice for a consultancy business followed by FaceBook and Instagram. Create your marketing plans for different platforms and be consistent with your posting there.

Informative website

Build an informative website for your consulting business and enhance its ranking on search engines by creating a dedicated content marketing program.

Email marketing

A well-defined email marketing program to attract new clients, newsletters for subscribed customers, and promotional services offer to convert a potential customer base.

Targeted advertising

Running a paid ads program to reach targeted small businesses and potential clients.

Refer to this example of marketing and promotion programs for your consultancy from Upmetrics.

example of marketing and promotion programs for consultancy

In this section of your consulting business plan, also highlight your marketing budget and its allocation to different marketing activities.

6. Management Consulting Team

Introduce your managerial team in this section of your consultant business plan by showing how you have the right people to run a successful consultancy.

Begin by introducing the people at top managerial positions and offer a brief description depicting their skills, expertise, and experience in offering specific consulting services.

Refer to this example introducing the managing director of a consulting agency.

Mr. Ashton will serve as the Managing Director of CCI. A highly motivated and dynamic individual, Thomas boasts vast experience in the field of aesthetics having spent a career spanning 14 years essaying various white-collar roles for aesthetic companies across America. His ability to multi-task and expertly weave through operational pitfalls equips him with exceptional management and administrative skills. The US operations include sourcing, interacting, and building client relations across the industry value chain involving professional salons and end-user clientele. Mr. Ashton’s expert management and industry-specific skills will play an instrumental role in achieving the parent company’s goal of establishing a sustainable and reliable aesthetic brand in the US.

Don’t limit this section to the introduction of owners and managers. Instead, introduce every person who’s an asset to your business and can contribute significantly to your business goals.

In this section, you will also highlight the organizational design to offer a clear understanding of the hierarchy in your consulting firm. And lastly, don’t forget to add the salaries and wages of these people alongside their roles while creating your management plan.

7. Operational Plan

The operations plan shows that you don’t only have the means but also the knack to operate the consulting business efficiently.

This section of your business plan highlights the processes and procedures essential to run the everyday operations of your consulting business and the milestones you wish to achieve.

Confused what should you include in your operations plan? Let’s check this out:

Hiring plan

Mention the number of project managers, analysts, BD, administrative, and support workers needed for your business. Briefly describe the qualifications, skill sets, and experience for these roles and lay your hiring plan to hire employees.

Refer to this example of a hiring plan for a consultancy by Upmetrics.

hiring plan example for a consultancy business

Operational processes

Briefly explain the different processes and procedures of your business in the consulting industry. This includes processes for client acquisition, service delivery, project management process, quality assessment, and client retention.

Tools and equipment

Mention all the equipment you will require to deliver quality consulting services to the clients. Also, include the pricing of these equipment and how you plan to source them from the market.

Overall, think of smaller nuances and make this section as brief and detailed as possible. Consider it as a guidebook that will answer all the operational queries that arise while running the business.

8. Financial Outlook

A comprehensive financial plan is the most crucial component of your business plan and sometimes it is the only section investors or readers might be interested in.

So work on putting together a well-detailed financial plan with realistic financial forecasts to increase the weight of your consulting plan.

The projections in a financial plan are important because they help the readers gauge the financial viability of your business idea. They offer a clear picture of the profitability, growth potential, and cash-generating capacity of your consulting business.

To create a befitting plan, begin by offering a detailed insight into your startup costs, revenue streams, profit margins, operational costs, and cash flow projections. Gather these projections to work on your key reports.

Refer to different business plans to see what more could you add to your financial section apart from these key essentials:

  • Balance sheet
  • Profit and loss statement/ Income statement
  • Cash flow statement
  • Break-even analysis
  • Investment plan

While making a financial plan, ensure that you figure out the calculations for the next 3-5 years. And yes, we agree that calculating all these financial projections from scratch can get overwhelming. However, with this financial forecasting tool from Upmetrics , the entire task of creating a detailed plan will get much easier and more effective.

Simply enter the details in the tab and let the tool undertake all the manual calculations and create engaging visual reports to add to your plan.

Get Your Free Management Consulting Business Plan

Need help writing the contents of your management consulting business plan? Well, here you go. Download our management consulting business plan pdf and start writing.

Our intuitive and modern consulting business plan template offers a step-by-step guide with relevant examples to speed up your process of writing an effective business plan. It will get your actionable plan ready while ensuring that you add all the crucial details to it.

The Quickest Way to turn a Business Idea into a Business Plan

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And here we are. Now that you are aware of how to write an effective business plan using our consulting business plan template, you are one step closer to starting your business with a bang.

But that’s not it. What if we tell you that your business planning process can be made easier and more efficient with a few cutting-edge tools? Well, the Upmetrics business planning app is here at your service.

With an AI assistant to speed up your writing process, financial forecasting tools to help you with projections, and thousands of free educational guides to help you set up the business- we think you get it all with Upmetrics.

Get started now.

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Frequently asked questions, what are the key components of a management consulting business plan.

While there are no fixed rules regarding what to include in your consulting business plan, you can ensure that you don’t miss adding these key components to your plan:

  • Executive summary
  • Company overview
  • Market and competitor analysis
  • Service offerings
  • Management team
  • Operations plan
  • Financial plan

What financial projections should be included in the business plan?

While making your consulting business plan, ensure that you add the financial forecasts for startup costs, expenses, revenue, cash flow, sales, and expected profitability to your plan.

How often should I update my Management Consulting Business Plan?

Ideally, you should update your business plan at least once a year since you operate in a highly dynamic industry. However, if you feel that the yearly updates are insufficient, you can also review and update your plan every quarter.

How should I approach the funding section of my business plan?

Begin by calculating your startup costs and the actual monetary situation to evaluate the funding needs for your business. Thereafter check the potential funding sources and their application procedure to avail required funding.

As a consulting business, you can choose one of these funding sources:

  • Private loan
  • SBA approved loans
  • Angel Investors
  • Venture Capitalist firms
  • Crowdfunding

Can the business plan help in securing funding or investments?

Absolutely it does. Investors, credit lenders, and banks will look after your business plan before accepting the funding request for your business. This is because a business plan offers a clear understanding of your business idea while simultaneously vouching for the financial feasibility of your plan.

What legal considerations should I include in my business plan?

Here are a few of the legal considerations you should make while writing your business plan:

  • Business licenses and permits
  • Health safety compliance
  • Insurance coverage
  • Legal business structure
  • Employment laws

About the Author

consulting services business plan

Vinay Kevadiya

Vinay Kevadiya is the founder and CEO of Upmetrics, the #1 business planning software. His ultimate goal with Upmetrics is to revolutionize how entrepreneurs create, manage, and execute their business plans. He enjoys sharing his insights on business planning and other relevant topics through his articles and blog posts. Read more

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Consulting Firm Business Plan Guide

Starting your own business, or scaling up is intimidating. we’re here to break it down piece by piece so you can create your very own plan., in this free , you will learn:.

  • Why Create a Consulting Firm Business Plan?
  • The Key Components of a Business Plan
  • How to Use a Business Model Canvas
  • How to Bake Productization Into Your Business Plan

consulting services business plan

You’re in the right place if…

○ You have an idea for a consulting firm, and you’re ready to take the next step ○ You’ve started a business, and you need focus and direction

○ Your consulting company needs to bring in partners or funding

Starting a consulting business is no small task, so setting a clear action plan is essential. This comprehensive guide will give you a step-by-step breakdown of how to create a consulting business plan, why you need one, and how a business model canvas can help you along the way.

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How to write a consulting business plan

If you want to work as a consultant, you'll need a plan. Here's how to create one just for you.

A consulting business plan written up in a notebook

Consultants do things differently

If you’re a self-employed consultant your work isn't like other forms of business. Unlike retailers or manufacturers, you're not making and/or selling tangible products. And unlike service companies, you're not employing a team of people to provide solutions.

Remember you’re not not just selling your time. As a consultant, you will be paid for the skills, knowledge and abilities you've developed over your career.

We have some useful background reading about the benefits of becoming a consultant or contractor , which will help explain how such businesses work. But having decided to become a consultant, what's the next step?

Like all new small businesses, you'll need a plan. That plan will have to cover funding, growth, pay rates, expenses, marketing, equipment costs, training and qualifications. It will also have to cover your goals, and the strategy you'll use to reach them.

Consulting business plans are a little different to other business plans. Here's what you need to know to get your consulting career off the ground.

Who are you writing the plan for?

This is an important question to ask yourself before you start. For most conventional businesses the answer will be "For the bank and investors." That's because small businesses usually need startup funding to get off the ground.

But consultants setting up their own business might not need much funding – if any. It's still important to have a business plan though – not only to clarify the details in your own mind, but also to help you understand the potential risks and rewards.

A good business plan will combine elements of both finance and strategy, but the contents will vary depending on the target audience. We'll take a look at the options next.

A business plan for banks and investors

You may not need funding for capital equipment expenses or office rent. But you might need a loan to tide you over for the first few months, until you have a regular cash flow. The initial period for any new business can be a tough time – money worries will just make it tougher.

You may also decide that you want to make more of an impression by hiring office space, perhaps in a shared office environment. Or you might want funds to spend on marketing and advertising, particularly if you're offering consulting services in a competitive market.

For all of this, you'll need money. You could apply for a bank loan, look for grants, or try other forms of capital-raising such as crowdfunding. Whichever method you choose, any potential investors will want to see the important numbers. That means you'll need to cover the following points in your business plan:

  • target market and sector analysis
  • business objectives and USP (unique selling proposition)
  • startup expenses and assets, including equipment
  • overheads and fixed costs
  • marketing strategy and budget
  • funding requirements, loan collateral and cost of interest
  • pay rates, revenue and cash flow projections
  • sales forecasts in monthly intervals
  • ongoing expenses
  • growth projections and strategy

Some of this information will be difficult for you to estimate. It might be even harder for you to present clearly. Use your accounting software to help with figures and to produce professional tables and charts. Then, an accountant can help you include the right information in your plan.

A business plan for you

Of course, you might not need any funding. Perhaps you have enough savings to keep you going for a few months and clients already lined up. Or you may be starting your consulting career after an inheritance or unexpected windfall.

If money isn't an immediate concern, you can afford to be less formal when drafting your plan. That means making sensible predictions and setting goals for yourself, not just financial targets – though you should include those too.

This isn't an exercise in creative writing. The purpose of creating a plan is to help you concentrate on what you want to achieve. Some points to consider include:

Reasons for being a consultant

Why are you doing this? It's important to answer honestly. If the answer is “to make more money” or “because I'm good at what I do” then write that down. Write down all the reasons you can think of, then read them back. Do they sound convincing? Make sure you know your true motivation, as it will help you focus on your goals.

Consulting can mean you have an irregular income. Sometimes you might be busy, other times less so. It makes sense to keep some money in savings accounts, especially if you'll be paying tax at the end of the year instead of while you're earning.

Relationship risks

Think about the impact of consulting on your family or friends. Consultants often work irregular hours, sometimes from home, and they might be working at weekends. That can put a strain on relationships. Be realistic about this and set boundaries around when and where you will work.

Which clients to avoid and which to take on

You will already have an idea of the types of client you don't want to work for, because you know the industry you work in. For example, known late-payers can damage your cash flow so it's sensible to avoid them where possible. Look for clients who are reliable, as they’ll help make your business a success. Know that you can let go of clients who are more trouble than they're worth.

Training and certification

In many industries, especially IT, it's important to keep your skills up to date. But your clients are unlikely to pay for you to go on training courses – that's an expense you'll have to cover yourself. How will you stay up to date? Think about industry magazines, websites, forums, news feeds, conferences, courses, distance learning, peer groups and self-teaching strategies.

Personal goals

Perhaps you're planning to be a consultant for the rest of your working life. Maybe you want to do it for a couple of years and then move back in-house as an employee. Or you might want to start employing other consultants at some stage and build up an agency – maybe even sell it. It doesn't matter what your personal goals are, as long as you have some. Write them down and bear them in mind when making big decisions.

What to do with your profits

This is a good opportunity to think about how much money you want to make . Consider how much you will charge and what you will do with your commission. For example you may decide to use 50% to cover costs, pay yourself with 30% and put 20% back into your business.

Some of this information would be inappropriate to include in a financial business plan for banks or investors. But it can be very helpful in guiding you through the early part of your consulting career.

Five top tips for writing a good consulting business plan

Business plans can be difficult documents to write. If you've never done it before, thinking clearly and logically about your business strategy may not be easy. Here are some tips to help you succeed:

1. Write the first draft

Don't worry about grammar, structure or neatness. Just get the thoughts out of your head and onto the paper or screen. Some people find this easier to do in an informal setting, such as a library or café.

2. Do your research

Understand the market you're going to be working in. Get to know all the details, as it'll help you write a more effective consulting business plan.

3. Identify your USP

That's your unique selling proposition. Why should companies hire you and not one of your competitors? Think carefully about what you're particularly good at, then use that as a basis for marketing yourself.

4. Get feedback

Talk to your peers, friends, previous business associates and potential customers. Show them your plan and listen to their feedback.

5. Keep it simple

Don't write dozens of pages. You'll bore the investors and your plan will end up on a pile where nobody will ever look at it again – including you. Stick to the important points.

Update your business plan regularly

A business plan isn't a static document. It should change and evolve over time as your business grows. You will learn a great deal in your first few months working as a consultant, and that knowledge should be applied to your business plan. It's a good idea to review your plan every month.

You may find that some of what you initially wrote turns out to have been misguided, inaccurate or just plain wrong. That's normal. Nobody can predict every step a business will take. The important thing is to learn as you go along – and make use of that knowledge to improve your plan.

Plan for consulting success

A consulting business plan is written as much for you, the consultant, as for anyone else. The point of writing it is to concentrate on what's important. That clarity is what will help you succeed.

So don't look at a business plan as just another box to be ticked. It's a fundamental process when starting any business, particularly a consulting business where you will need initiative and drive to succeed.

Take the time to write a proper business plan, and keep it regularly updated as your business grows. You can use our free business plan template . You'll find it an invaluable guide to becoming a successful consultant.

Xero does not provide accounting, tax, business or legal advice. This guide has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the content provided.

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IT Consulting Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

it consulting business plan

IT Consulting Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 500 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their IT consulting firms. 

If you’re unfamiliar with creating an IT consulting business plan, you may think creating one will be a time-consuming and frustrating process. For most entrepreneurs it is, but for you, it won’t be since we’re here to help. We have the experience, resources, and knowledge to help you create a great business plan.

In this article, you will learn some background information on why business planning is important. Then, you will learn how to write a IT consulting business plan step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What is an IT Consulting Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your IT consulting business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategies for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan for an IT Consulting Firm

If you’re looking to start an IT consulting business or grow your existing IT consulting company, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your IT consulting business to improve your chances of success. Your IT consulting business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for an IT Consulting Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for an IT consulting business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. When it comes to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to ensure that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for IT consulting companies.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

How to write a business plan for an it consulting business.

If you want to start an IT consulting business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. The guide below details the necessary information for how to write each essential component of your IT consulting business plan.

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your executive summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the kind of IT consulting business you are running and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have an IT consulting business that you would like to grow, or are you operating an established IT consulting business that you would like to sell?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. 

  • Give a brief overv iew of the IT consulting industry. 
  • Discuss the type of IT consulting business you are operating. 
  • Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. 
  • Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy. Identify the key members of your team. 
  • Offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Overview

In your company overview, you will detail the type of IT consulting business you are operating.

For example, you might specialize in one of the following types of IT consulting businesses:

  • Strategic planning : offers IT consulting services to help clients assess their IT needs and formulate plans for system implementation.
  • Architecture planning: offers IT consulting services to create a system and supporting infrastructure.
  • Operational assessment: offers IT consulting services to assess the IT operating efficiency. 
  • Implementation planning: offers IT consulting services to help clients rollout and test new IT solutions.

In addition to explaining the type of IT consulting business you will operate, the company overview needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to questions such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of clients served, the number of consultations with positive outcomes, reaching $X amount of revenue. 
  • Your legal business structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry or market analysis, you need to provide an overview of the IT consulting industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the IT consulting industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating. 

Secondly, market research can improve your marketing strategy, particularly if your analysis identifies market trends.

The third reason is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your IT consulting business plan:

  • How big is the IT consulting industry (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential target market for your IT consulting business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your IT consulting business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: individuals, schools, families, and corporations.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of IT consulting business you operate. Clearly, individuals would respond to different marketing promotions than corporations, for example.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, including a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the potential customers you seek to serve.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can recognize and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are othe r IT consulting businesses. 

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t directly competing with your product or service. This includes other types of IT specialists, business consultants, and internal IT staff. You need to mention such competition as well.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their business and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What type of IT consulting business are they?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you make it easier for new customers to obtain your services?
  • Will you offer products or services that your competition doesn’t?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.  

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a IT consulting business plan, your marketing strategy should include the following:

Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type o f IT consulting company that you documented in your company overview. Then, detail the specific products or services you will be offering. For example, will you provide consulting services for cloud applications, cybersecurity and compliance, IT solutions management, or network operations?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of yo ur plan, yo u are presenting the services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the site of your IT consulting company. Document where your company is situated and mention how the site will impact your success. For example, is your IT consulting business located in a busy retail district, a business district, a standalone office, or purely online? Discuss how your site might be the ideal location for your customers.

Promotions : The final part of your IT consulting marketing plan is where you will document how you will drive potential customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Advertise in local papers, radio stations and/or magazines
  • Reach out to websites 
  • Distribute flyers
  • Engage in email marketing
  • Advertise on social media platforms
  • Improve the SEO (search engine optimization) on your website for targeted keywords

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your IT consulting business, including answering calls, scheduling meetings with clients, billing and collecting payments, etc. 

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to acquire your Xth client, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your IT consulting business to a new city.  

Management Team

To demonstrate your IT consulting business’ potential to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company. 

Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing IT consulting businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing an IT consulting business.  

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance s heet, and cash flow statements.

Income Statement

An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenue and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you meet with 5 clients per day, and offer discounts for referrals ? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets

Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your IT consulting business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a lender writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement

Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and ensure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. 

When creating your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a IT consulting business:

  • Cost of equipment and office supplies
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Other start-up expenses (if you’re a new business) like legal expenses, permits, computer software, and equipment

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office location lease or a diagram of an IT system you’ve implemented. 

Writing a business plan for your IT consulting business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will understand the IT consulting industry, your competition, and your customers. You will develop a marketing strategy and will understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful IT consulting business.  

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How Do You Start an IT Consulting Business?

Starting an IT consulting business is easy with these 14 steps:

  • Choose the Name for Your IT Consulting Business
  • Create Your IT Consulting Business Plan
  • Choose the Legal Structure for Your IT Consulting Business
  • Secure Startup Funding for Your IT Consulting Business (If Needed)
  • Secure a Location for Your Business
  • Register Your IT Consulting Business with the IRS
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get a Business Credit Card
  • Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
  • Get Business Insurance for Your IT Consulting Business
  • Buy or Lease the Right IT Consulting Business Equipment
  • Develop Your IT Consulting Business Marketing Materials
  • Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your IT Consulting Business
  • Open for Business

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How to write an it consulting business plan in 8 steps.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly transformed the world of IT consulting. Economic uncertainty, paired with an increased amount of freelance and small specialized consultancies, has resulted in a highly competitive environment. The good news for IT consultants is that their specific services are still in high demand. However, in an increasingly competitive landscape, it’s essential that IT consultants consolidate an in-depth business plan before launching. A well-structured plan must include growth, pay rates, expenses, marketing, equipment costs, training and qualifications, and technology. Like all businesses, you need to get started on the right foot. Here’s how!

Automation Benefits for Consultants

How to Write an IT Consulting Business Plan

Typically, business plans need to be written with banks and investors at top-of-mind, and small businesses generally need start-up funding to get up and running. When writing a business plan for your consultancy, you want to land on something in the middle.

Although consultants setting up their own business might not need much funding, it’s still essential to include in-depth financial components in your business plan – not only to clarify your business’s finances but also to help you understand your business’s potential risks and rewards.

A good business plan will combine elements of both finance and strategy. You may not necessarily need funding for capital equipment expenses or office rent, but you might need a loan to tide you over for the first few months until you have a regular cash flow. You may also decide that you want to make more of an impression by hiring office space, perhaps in a shared office environment. Or you might require funds to spend on marketing and advertising – which is particularly important in the highly competitive IT space. Whether you intend to apply for a bank loan, look for grants, or crowdfunding, it’s important your chosen method includes a solid estimation of what you need to grow strategically.

1. Identify the target market and sector analysis for your consulting businsess

A target market is the pool of customers to whom you want to sell your services, and it’s only made up of the people who are a good fit for your business. Basically, you want to figure out which fish in the ocean you will focus on catching. Establishing a target market will help you realize that you can’t market to everyone, and you shouldn’t waste your time, money, or resources trying to do so. There’s a famous marketing quote by Seth Godin, “When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one”. Make sure you are speaking to the right people.

​​Take time to assess your new target market analysis while deciding on your consultancy pricing ranges. You could use the market data to adjust your consultancy price points to suit your potential customers better. You will also need to distinguish who your customers are and where to find them – in the form of target market segmentation. Once you’ve gathered all the relevant information you can about your customers, you can then make a plan to market to them.

2. Define your consulting business objectives and USP (unique selling proposition)

A USP (unique selling proposition) summarizes what makes your business unique and valuable to your target market. It answers the question: How do your business services benefit your clients better than anyone else can? A USP can provide a great deal of clarity to your business plan, defining your most important business goals in one powerful sentence. Also, be sure to outline your business objectives – specific steps you need to take to fulfill your goals.

3. Estimate and plan startup expenses and assets, including equipment

Like your business plan, estimating your startup costs is part of building a roadmap for your business . Having even a rough estimate can help you avoid unnecessary risks and stay on track during more volatile months. Consider your start-up expenses and assets. Depending on whether you are setting up a remote or in-person consulting business, you will need to take into account the expense.

Expense considerations when starting a Consulting Business

  • FF & E (Furniture Fixtures and Equipment)
  • Leasehold Improvements
  • Initial Marketing Plan/launch
  • Legal / Consulting
  • Miscellaneous

4. Forecast overheads and fixed costs

Fixed costs are fairly predictable and fixed overhead costs are necessary to keep a company operating smoothly. Profit margins should reflect the costs of fixed overhead, which can include:

  • Office rental
  • Licenses for software and technology

5. Develop a marketing strategy and budget

Establishing a cohesive marketing strategy is an important component of launching your consulting business. This includes establishing your brand, determining your target audience, creating a professional website, investing in social media marketing, search marketing, and developing a strong professional network. Many businesses make basic mistakes when budgeting for marketing that lead to wasted money and missed opportunities, so it’s important to strategically determine your marketing spend , funding requirements, loan collateral and cost of interest.

Lenders want to understand the roadmap you have in place for your business. You’ll need to be ready to answer questions about your business model, sources of revenue, growth forecasts, and initial startup costs. They need to see that your business is viable and that you’ve thoroughly explored what it will take to start, operate and grow.

Having realistic startup costs laid out is a necessity in this case. And being able to show how you believe expenses will change or remain similar over time will give them a better idea of how you intend to manage your business.

6. Include pay rates, revenue and cash flow projections

Ignoring the books makes you susceptible to cash deficits. To prevent this from occurring, pay attention to your balance sheet , which lets you know how much you own and what you owe. On the assets side are your short-term or “current” assets  plus long-term or “fixed” assets. Also be sure to pay attention to your shareholders’ equity which represents the amount of money shareholders have invested into the business through investments and the cumulative profits you have reinvested in your business via retained earnings. Cash flow projections are another important area of finances that you will need to pay attention to. They are a great way of predicting future cash flows (and cash stagnations). With projections, you can plan ahead to avoid any future stunts in cash flow, and help you time your spending decisions.

7. Forecast sales in monthly intervals

Sales forecasts in monthly intervals will help you understand the future needs of your business – and allow you to fine-tune predictions accordingly. Monthly forecasts may come in the form of production forecasts, profit forecasts, balance sheet forecasts or sales forecasts for a 30-day period, in which you predict performance data for your business for the next month, or any future months. Services businesses can be particularly susceptible to revenue swings. The more predictable you can make your revenue the better.

8. Include growth projections and strategy

A concrete growth strategy is crucial to the future success of your consulting business. Without one, you are susceptible to the perils of a constantly changing consumer base and unpredictable market fluctuations. Execute on the following to determine your strategy:

  • Choose your targeted area of growth
  • Invest in, or conduct market and industry research
  • Set growth goals, plan your course of action
  • Determine your growth tools and requirements
  • Execute on your plan

Set your consulting business up for success with a great USP, the right technology and a bulletproof business plan

With the increased acceleration of digital disruption in 2021, your IT consulting business plan should show that you are up-to-date with technological developments and digitalization. With virtually every consulting firm incorporating a digital layer in its offering , it’s essential that you weave your digital offerings into both your objectives and USP. Providing digital offerings will also bolster your chance of receiving adequate funding. Alongside a killer business plan, it’s essential that consultants also include the best digital transformation tools in their arsenal – to ensure future success. Technology like Olive, can be a vital differentiator in an often crowded market. To remain competitive, consultants must develop coping skills to deal with and adapt to the fast-evolving digital and technology market. Today’s business strategy is technology-enabled, consultants need to leverage technology to inform strategy instead of the reverse. When technology is used correctly, it can help consultants achieve their business goals and plan for future success.

For consultants, leveraging the benefits of digital transformation requires creating a strategy, getting the input of stakeholders, and deeply understanding business needs. Consultants with the right tools will deliver more with less effort and will see their clients reap the benefits. Olive aims to help consultants digitize their process and release time to build a successful business.

A tool created to help consultants manage and automate the software selection process, Olive allows IT, consultants, to streamline the technology evaluation process and facilitates agile collaboration with key stakeholders. Olive gives consultants an easy way to collect data and requirements from stakeholders. By offering end-to-end digital transformation services with Olive, you can take on more clients and capitalize on digital transformation trends.

Writing – and successfully executing a consulting business plan – is no easy feat. However, with planning, strategy, and foresight – you will have a clear advantage over less-prepared competitors. Utilizing the right automation technology alongside a strategic business plan offers a guaranteed avenue to success – and a better likelihood of building a business ready for a post-pandemic world.

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Marketing Consulting Business Plan

Start your own marketing consulting business plan

Executive Summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. It describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">

MarketCamp is a Mexico City based start-up business that provides local businesses with world-class qualified traffic generation and lead closures for Internet businesses. MarketCamp will offer a wide range of services including: detailed research, internet targeting, mini-site development, search engine submissions, and statistical reporting.

Mexico City’s business community will be the primary market for our company. The business size that we service can be relatively small because the cost per month is only $1,000, but services can be scaled up to meet the needs of huge clients due to the focus and expertise of the business. Internet connectivity in Mexico, in comparison with the U.S., is currently low, but interest is growing. Though far behind the major industrial countries, Mexico maintains one of the fastest growth rates on the Internet with thousands of users and thousands of WWW sites. Mexican WWW sites have been growing at the rate of 200-300 per month this year. CompuServe Mexico, the largest commercial Internet service provider in Mexico has 30,000 subscribers, while Spin Internet has 28,000 Mexican members.

Competitive Edge

MarketCamp has the competitive edge of experience and market expertise in a complicated field. This is truly an advantage as the founder and principal Paul Berry has spent the last five years in the United States honing his e-business skills. Paul received his MBA from the University of Oregon in 1992 and worked at a local software company for a few years. Wanting to see the East Coast, Paul moved to Boston and worked at Forrester Research, the premier Internet marketing research company. It was Paul’s work at Forrester Research that provided him with the experience and insight that he will leverage for MarketCamp.

MarketCamp has conservatively forecasted sales for year onewith sales more than doubling in year three. Profitability will be reached by year one. MarketCamp’s profit margin will steadily increase from year one to year three.

Marketing consulting business plan, executive summary chart image

1.1 Objectives

The following are the objectives for the company:

  • To be self sufficient within three months.
  • Healthy sales in Year 1, steadily growing in Year 2 and Year 3.

1.2 Mission

MarketCamp will provide full-service Internet marketing campaigns, focusing directly on keyword combination search results, targeted advertising and mini-sites that deliver an offer in a clean, statistically monitored environment.

1.3 Keys to Success

  • Keeping existing clients to develop repeat business.
  • Clients must make money, and know it.
  • Start with easily-demonstratable simple module, and build up from there.

Company Summary company overview ) is an overview of the most important points about your company—your history, management team, location, mission statement and legal structure.">

MarketCamp is a Web marketing business based in Mexico City. The company will start up as a simple consulting business billing directly in the founder’s name.

2.1 Company Ownership

This company is owned 100% by its founder, Paul Berry.

2.2 Start-up Summary

Start-up costs are detailed in the chart and table below.

Marketing consulting business plan, company summary chart image

2.3 Company Locations and Facilities

MarketCamp will begin as a home-office business in the founder’s apartment in Mexico City. After six months of operation it will expand to a formal office space in Mexico City.

  • Detailed Research.
  • Internet Targeting Proposal.
  • Focused Mini-Site Development.
  • Top Search Results on Keywords.
  • Advertising Creative Design.
  • Monthly Statistical Reporting.
  • Campaign Maintenance.

3.1 Service Description

** Details and a description of services have been omitted from this published plan because they were strategic and proprietary.

3.2 Competitive Comparison

Competition isn’t the most important factor at this time, there is plenty of need and potential customers out there.

3.3 Sales Literature

Our website will serve as sales literature.

3.4 Fulfillment

For the present time, until there is real growth, services will be delivered by the founder.

3.5 Technology

**Details have been omitted from this published plan because they were strategic and proprietary.

3.6 Future Services

Market analysis summary how to do a market analysis for your business plan.">.

Mexico City’s business community will be the primary market for our company. We will attempt to work with business models that attract customers and sign contracts. The business size can be relatively small because the cost per month is only $1,000, but services can be scaled up to meet the needs of huge clients due to the focus and expertise of the business.

Internet connectivity in Mexico, in comparison with the U.S., is currently low, but interest is growing. Though far behind the major industrial countries, Mexico maintains one of the fastest growth rates on the Internet with thousands of users and thousands of WWW sites. Mexican WWW sites have been growing at the rate of 200-300 per month this year. CompuServe Mexico, the largest commercial Internet service provider in Mexico has 30,000 subscribers, while Spin Internet has 28,000 Mexican members. Microsoft Mexico, a division of Microsoft’s recently-launched online service named Microsoft Network, will charge $4.95 per month (about one half of CompuServe’s $9.95 per month rate) and will offer local telephone access in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and three other cities. The service will be English-only and U.S.-oriented for at least the first six months, but will eventually include local content.

Many companies in Mexico City currently have Internet access and more are realizing the importance of presence on the Web in order to attract international business. For this reason, our Market Analysis table predicts rapid growth amongst potential small businesses and marketing managers for medium-sized businesses to grow in-line with the growth of Internet usage.

We will try to work with other more established marketing companies, giving up some of the margin in order to get access to more clients more quickly.

We will need to make a decision on pricing, whether to keep rates at an attractive sign-up rate or focus on the more successful clients and raise rates.

Marketing consulting business plan, market analysis summary chart image

Strategy and Implementation Summary

We will obtain our first clients through word-of-mouth from the board of directors and board of advisors as well as the previous connections of Paul Berry’s freelance business. Each mini-site will contain a small “powered by MarketCamp” logo which will lead to information about us. Because of the quality of our work, and the desirability of our expertise, we expect to add a number of clients in the near future.

5.1 Competitive Edge

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5.2 Sales Strategy

The beauty of this business is in the subscription model and the commissions based earnings. Once we sign a client, most will stay for a long period of time, possibly for the lifetime of the business. We feel 30% to 60% growth rates are very modest, therefore we could potentially sign many clients more quickly.

5.3 Sales Forecast

We expect that a 30% to 60% growth rate throughout the first year is very modest. If we find more clients signing up we can scale the team quickly to reach those expectations. The back-end of the business will be built by the founder and a network of top programmers.

Marketing consulting business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

5.4 Milestones

The specific milestones are shown in the following chart and table.

Marketing consulting business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

Management Summary management summary will include information about who's on your team and why they're the right people for the job, as well as your future hiring plans.">

Paul Berry will be president, responsible for decisions on all hires and expenses. Paul will also do the work behind the scenes, structuring a system that will enable other future employees to scale the business as clients are added.

Carlos Silva will be an initial investor, possibly also a co-founder and part of the board of directors.

Gabriela Lopez will be one of the first employees, contracted part-time for her expertise in design and knowledge of the Web.

Raul Garcia will be another of the first employees, contracted part-time for his expertise as a sales person and junior executive in Mexico City.

6.1 Personnel Plan

Paul will be paid somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000 in the initial months, depending on the amount of clients signed, and the nature of those contracts.

Gabriela Lopez will be contracted for $1,000 to $2,000 depending on the load of work and her availability. She will be responsible for the corporate identity and all stationery and brochures.

Raul Garcia will be contracted for $1,000 to $2,000 depending on his involvement with the company and he will also receive a commission structure for additional clients beyond the expected ones.

6.2 Management Team

6.3 management team gaps, financial plan investor-ready personnel plan .">.

MarketCamp will finance growth mainly through cash flow. We recognize that this means we will have to grow more slowly than we might like.

The most important factor to our success is collection days. We can’t push our clients hard on collection days, because they are in larger companies and will normally have marketing authority, not financial authority. Therefore, we need to develop a permanent system of receivables financing, using one of the established financial companies in that business.

We are also assuming start-up capital which will be more than enough to cover salaries, artwork and other expenses while the business begins to produce more cash.

We may take more financing than we originally planned to be able to bring in some very key investors as equity partners, more for their connections to potential clients in Mexico City than for the investment itself.

7.1 Important Assumptions

The Financial Plan depends on important assumptions, most of which are shown in the following table as annual assumptions. The monthly assumptions are included in the appendix. From the beginning, we recognize that collection days are critical, but are not a factor we can influence easily. Interest rates, tax rates, and personnel burden are based on conservative assumptions.

Some of the more important underlying assumptions are:

  • We assume an economy slightly crippled by the George W. Bush administration in the U.S. and by the skepticism caused by the fall of the dot-coms with terrible business models.
  • We assume that we can communicate the service to Mexican business owners.

7.2 Key Financial Indicators

The Benchmarks chart shows our projections on an index basis for key financial indicators.

Marketing consulting business plan, financial plan chart image

7.3 Break-even Analysis

The following chart and table summarize our Break-even Analysis showing fixed costs in U.S. dollars per month at the outset (a bare minimum), and what we need to bill to cover our costs. We don’t really expect to reach break-even until a few months into the business operation.

Marketing consulting business plan, financial plan chart image

7.4 Projected Profit and Loss

Projected Profit and Loss is presented in the following table and charts.

Marketing consulting business plan, financial plan chart image

7.5 Projected Cash Flow

Cash flow is going to rely on the time to collect from account receivables. Carlos Silva, Raul Garcia and others who have more experience working with Mexican businesses will be able to help us estimate both the collection and payment times. We are working on an assumption of 30 days to collect. Clients will pay at the beginning of each month except when this is impossible for them.

The present cash flow projection assumes sacrificed salaries taken as equity contribution for the first few months. The inputs for capital input are actually “sweat equity” contributions from the founder.

Marketing consulting business plan, financial plan chart image

7.6 Projected Balance Sheet

The Balance Sheet in the following table shows managed but sufficient growth of net worth, and a sufficiently healthy financial position. The monthly estimates are included in the appendix.

7.7 Business Ratios

Business Ratios for the years of this plan are shown below. Industry profile ratios based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code 8742, Management Consulting Services, are shown for comparison.

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You’ll work with a professional plan writer who will build a custom business plan for your unique industry

consulting services business plan

The #1 planning tool

Get free access to LivePlan software, which makes it easier to share and update your plan

consulting services business plan

A winning format

Our unique business plan format has helped over 1 million businesses

Expert business plan writers for any type of business

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Business plans for startups

  • Establish milestones to achieve success.
  • Outline accurate startup costs.
  • Fully establish the vision for your business.

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Pitching to investors

  • Plans are formatted to meet lenders' expectations.
  • Ensures your projected financials are realistic.
  • Be prepared with a strong plan to back up your pitch.

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Retail, eCommerce, restaurants and other popular industries

  • Plan writers with experience and expertise in your industry.
  • Insights into what details are vital to succeed in your industry.
  • Develop a strong value proposition to stand out from the competition.

What makes our business plan writing services different?

Our business plan format has helped companies raise millions.

Our writers use a business plan structure that has been tested and refined over the past 20 years. So when you hire a LivePlan business plan writer, you'll be maximizing your chances of securing a loan or investment.

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Business plan writers trusted by top business schools across the U.S.

Since 1988, Palo Alto Software—the creator of LivePlan—has helped over a million entrepreneurs achieve success. Our business plan structure is even taught at top universities, such as Princeton and Rice.

Get matched with a business plan writer who knows your industry

Our writers are experienced professionals who have written hundreds of business plans. That means there will most likely be someone on our team who has experience in your specific industry.

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The best decision I could have made to launch my business in the right direction. I definitely recommend these services to entrepreneurs and future small business owners.

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Melinda Holden

Elite Liason Consulting

Maximize your chances of securing funding

Hire a LivePlan business plan writer today

How the process works:

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Research and discovery

We first gain an in-depth understanding of your business. Then, we begin market research and examine your growth drivers.

Plan Writing

Once our research is complete, we'll write the body of your business plan and provide you with a draft to review.

Financial modeling

We'll turn your financial assumptions into forecasts that include everything lenders and investors need to see.

Design and review

You'll get a polished business plan with a design that matches your brand. You can then print the plan or share it online with a unique and private link.

Ready to get started?

Fill out the form below to connect with a liveplan team member, your request has been received..

A LivePlan business plan writing expert will email your quote shortly.

Get a head start today:

My plan writer was responsive, and understood my vision from our first communication. I now have a living document that I can use and manipulate as needed going forward.

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Marcus Flowers

TimeOut Sports Bar & Grill

Frequently Asked Questions

Business plan writing help and services for hire, will you review my plan and make changes.

Our review-only service just includes feedback, but if you decide you'd like to engage in our full plan writing service after participating in a review, we'll give you a discount.

What if I already started writing my plan?

If you have a partially completed plan, we can work with that. In fact, it helps the plan writing process go faster because we'll have to ask fewer questions, but you'll want to choose the full business plan writing service.

Do you do market research? What does that include?

Yes, we do market research. We have access to industry reports for most industries and we will use them to lend more credibility to your plan and validate the assumptions we are making in your financials.

What is included with the full plan writing service?

When it's all said and done, you'll have a full, lender or investor ready business plan, a one page pitch, and a free year of LivePlan so you can make changes to your plan as well as use our cash flow and business management tools to stay on track.

Can you guarantee that my business will get funded?

There are a lot of factors that go into the decision making process for lending that are beyond our control, like your personal credit. What we can say is that it is very difficult to get funding without a solid business plan and we make solid business plans.

Will you share my information?

We take your privacy very seriously and will not share your information.

How long will it take to finish my plan? / Do you offer an expedited service?

The average business plan completes in 3-6 weeks, depending on your responsiveness to your writer and our work load. We offer expedited services if you are in a rush.

Yes, we can deliver an expedited plan in as little as two weeks for an additional $1,000.

Does my business plan include financials?

What formats do you deliver in.

We deliver in PDF format, Word and we also give you access to edit your plan in a free LivePlan account.

How many pages is the average business plan?

We subscribe to the lean business planning method so we try to keep your plan short and to the point. Depending on the complexity of your business, your finished plan can end up being anywhere from 25-50 pages.

Pricing and Options

How much does this service cost.

The full plan writing service cost can vary depending on your needs. Book a call with us to request a quote. We also offer a lower cost business plan review service and a forecasting service.

Do you offer a la carte services?

We offer a review service (feedback only, no edits), forecast only service or full business plan writing service. If you have a partially completed plan, we can work with that, but you'll want to choose the full business plan writing service.

Do you offer a review service?

Yes. One of our business planning experts can review your plan and financials line by line and give you critical and constructive feedback to help improve your plan and increase your confidence when it comes time to deliver.

Do you offer an expedited service?

What if i don't like my plan.

You'll have the opportunity to review and leave feedback after each draft. We recommend taking the time to be thorough and thoughtful in your feedback as that is your chance to help mold your plan into something that really resonates with you.

Expert Plan Writers and Consultants

Who writes my business plan.

You will be paired with one dedicated individual from our small team of highly trained and experienced business planning professionals. Each one is a uniquely qualified business planning expert who can translate your ideas into a business plan that will appeal to your audience.

Is my plan writer an expert in my industry?

Our business plan writers are experts specifically in business plan writing. We've worked with every industry imaginable so the likelihood that they have some familiarity with your industry is high, but if you are looking for a business consultant this may not be a good fit.

What kind of background will my writer have? Are they outsourced from other countries? Have they been writing business plans for very long?

We are a small team of well educated business planning experts. Each writer's background varies but they all have financial or business education as well as years, small business management or consulting and business plan writing experience. They are all well vetted and really good at what they do, which is write plans that help you get funded.

Small Business Definitions

What is a business plan.

In its simplest form, a business plan is a guide—a roadmap for your business that outlines goals and details how you plan to achieve those goals. At its heart, a business plan is just a plan for how your business is going to work, and how you're going to make it succeed. Read our full article on "What is a business plan" here.

What is in a business plan?

The executive summary is an overview of your business and your plans. It comes first in your plan and is ideally only one to two pages. Most people write it last, though.

The opportunity section answers these questions: What are you actually selling and how are you solving a problem (or "need") for your market? Who is your target market and competition?

In the execution chapter of your business plan, you'll answer the question: how are you going to take your opportunity and turn it into a business? This section will cover your marketing and sales plan, operations, and your milestones and metrics for success.

Investors look for great teams in addition to great ideas. Use the company and management chapter to describe your current team and who you need to hire. You will also provide a quick overview of your legal structure, location, and history if you're already up and running.

Your business plan isn't complete without a financial forecast . We'll tell you what to include in your financial plan, but you'll definitely want to start with a sales forecast, cash flow statement, income statement (also called profit and loss), and your balance sheet.

If you need more space for product images or additional information, use the appendix for those details.

Read our full article "How to Write a Business Plan — the Comprehensive Guide" for more information, here.

Why is a business plan important?

There are many reasons why it is important to have a business plan. A business plan is essential if you're seeking a loan or investment, can help you make big spending decisions with confidence and is a solid foundation for ongoing strategic planning and prioritization. Read our full article on "8 Reasons Having a Business Plan is Important" here.

What is a business plan writer/consultant?

A business plan writer/consultant is a business and financial expert who can help guide you through the process of creating a business plan and do much of the labor involved in creating it. They will work with you to understand your business model, do market research, create financial projections and offer guidance as all of those pieces are brought together in a full business plan document.

How to pick a business plan writer/consultant?

Picking a business plan writer or business plan consultant is an important decision — you'll want to find someone dedicated to your success, with experience in your industry or field and that is in it for the long haul. Read our full article on "Things to Look for When Hiring a Business Plan Writer" here.

Why should you pay someone to write your business plan?

You don't have time. Starting a business is time consuming. Oftentimes people have to juggle a regular 9-5 job while working on starting their business. That doesn't leave a lot of time for a big writing project. Hiring a professional to write your business plan can help you give you time to focus on the tasks that are critical to getting your business off the ground.

You want to make sure it is done right, the first time. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Hiring a professional to write your plan for you can give you the peace of mind that your plan is the best it can be when you present it to potential lenders or investors.

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SAP Sapphire is the flagship customer event, bringing together senior executives and decision-makers. Through a thoughtfully-crafted agenda, we'll explore the latest innovations, emerging trends and disruptive technologies shaping our global landscape.  

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Business agility demands finance processes that allow you to respond to rapid market changes. Hear how Boston Consulting Group (BCG) modernized and automated finance processes with SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition to increase efficiency and reduce risk. Learn how the group manages stakeholder expectations, mitigates risk and prepares for the go-live.

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IBM streamlined its massive SAP S/4HANA migration while maintaining business velocity using the Automated Dual Maintenance solution from smartShift Technologies, an SAP partner. Hear how IBM’s collaboration with smartShift provided the insight to reduce TCO and remediate five million lines of code in a compressed timeline.

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Asset management, / report, ai and the next wave of transformation, global asset management report 2024.

By  Dean Frankle ,  Alex Belyakov ,  Johannes Burkhardt ,  Joe Carrubba ,  Peter Czerepak ,  Lorraine Felix ,  Paul Hutchinson ,  Bingbing Liu ,  Maitreyee Malpekar ,  Michele Millosevich ,  Kedra Newsom Reeves ,  Edoardo Palmisani ,  Ian Pancham ,  Neil Pardasani ,  Ella Rabener ,  George Rudolph ,  Lior Valitsky ,  Andrea Walbaum , and  Ivana Zupa

The global asset management industry’s assets rose to nearly $120 trillion in 2023, reverting from a decline the year before. However, asset managers are facing a variety of challenges to their growth. Investors are gravitating to passively managed funds and other products that have lower fees even as asset managers’ costs increase. Their efforts to create new products that would differentiate them from competitors have largely fallen short, with investors sticking mostly to established products with reliable track records. Historically, the industry has been able to weather these pressures thanks to revenue growth that has been largely driven by market appreciation. In the years ahead, however, market appreciation is expected to slow, creating further challenges to the industry.

In the face of these pressures, asset managers will need to rethink the way they operate in order to maintain the growth and profitability of past years. The most viable way forward is by using an approach that we call the three Ps: productivity, personalization, and private markets. Asset managers should increase productivity, personalize customer engagement, and expand into private markets.

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As the artificial intelligence (AI) technological revolution gathers momentum, asset managers have an opportunity to invest in AI and integrate it into their operations in ways that can enhance a three Ps strategy. AI can boost productivity by enabling improved decision making and operational efficiencies. (See the exhibit.) It can be leveraged to create and manage personalized portfolios at scale and to tailor the customer experience. And AI can enhance the efficiency of deal teams in private markets and boost their ability to drive value creation. In adopting AI to facilitate these key moves, asset managers should view the technological possibilities as transformational tools for their organization.

As part of this year’s report, we surveyed asset managers with collectively more than $15 trillion in assets under management to gather their views on the role of AI in their business. The vast majority of survey respondents expect to see significant or transformative changes in the short term, and two-thirds either have plans to roll out at least one generative AI (GenAI) use case this year or are already scaling one or more use cases.

Waiting is not an option when it comes to investing in AI. The technology is rapidly developing, and asset managers that do not start their journey now risk being left behind.

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UK continuity services firm Databarracks has acquired Scotland’s PlanB Consulting .

PlanB, acquired for an undisclosed sum, will be added to Databarracks’ Operational Resilience and Cyber Continuity consulting practice.

Established in 2007, PlanB Consulting offers business continuity, crisis management, resilience, and cyber incident response services. It is an ISO 22301 certification consultancy, and is also a UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Assured Exercise Provider for cyber incident drills.

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“There is no better independent business continuity consultancy than PlanB. I’ve spent over 30 years in the industry, and over the last few years the market has fundamentally changed,” said Mike Osborne, non-exec chairman of Databarracks.

He said the “old guard” of business continuity specialists had been “absorbed” by generalist IT service providers. “ Sungard Availability Services sadly went into administration in the UK, and throughout the pandemic many of the smaller consulting providers took in-house roles,” said Osborne.

He maintained the operational resilience market had become “fractured” in the UK across cyber, data protection, IT recovery, and business continuity planning, “leaving few, if any” genuine specialists dedicated to end-to-end resilience.

PlanB has offices in Glasgow, London, and Abu Dhabi. Kim Maclean-Bristol, co-founder and director, said: “We’re pleased to find a home with an organization that gives us a broader market reach, and shares our values and vision for changing the way we make organizations resilient.”

In 2003, Databarracks launched one of the world’s first managed data backup services to bring “indestructible resilience to mission-critical data.” The data backup services were located in an underground former UK military bunker.

Last year, Databarracks launched Jump-Start , a cloud-based recovery landing zone. By using infrastructure as code (IaC), resources, networking, security, and governance are activated “within minutes” ready for a complete recovery, Databarracks promises.

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Typical We Energies electric bill would top $150 a month under updated rate hike proposal

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The typical We Energies customer's electric bill would top $150 a month in 2026 under a proposal filed recently with state regulators.

The proposal calls for an 18.5% increase in the cost for residential electric service by 2026 including rate hikes of 9.2% in 2025 and another 8.5% a year later. If the new rates are approved as proposed by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, the typical residential customer would pay about $24 more a month than they currently pay.

In all, We Energies is seeking an additional $418.6 million from its customers over the next two years to cover rising costs associated with building new sources of power generation, grid improvements, inflation and rising labor costs.

The proposed increase amplifies a two-decade trend in which residential electricity costs increases have risen at more than twice the rate of inflation since 2005, according to an analysis by the Wisconsin Citizens Utility Board.

The increase request will fuel a renewed focus by consumer advocates on energy affordability at a time when inflation has strapped household budgets, particularly among low-income households in Milwaukee and other areas where energy costs can eat up as much as 20% of a household budget, according to an analysis by the Sierra Club - Wisconsin Chapter .

"The big question is how much is the utility taking into account people's ability to pay when they're making requests of this magnitude," said Tom Content, CUB's executive director. "That's a big question and its incumbent on everybody,, including the commissioners who regulate them, to really have that top of mind because this is a lot for people to stomach in a short period of time."

New power sources, grid improvements driving We Energies rate hike

As was the case in recent We Energies rate hikes, the utility's investment in renewable energy is the primary driver of its proposed rate hike.

Looking at 2025 alone, 70% of the new revenue the utility is seeking, or $167 million, is to begin payments for newly completed solar power projects a the purchase of a share of the generating capacity of Alliant Energy's West Riverside natural gas plant. Wisconsin utilities can only begin to bill construction costs to customers when the projects are producing power, so new proposals like a natural gas plant the company intends to build in Oak Creek aren't included in this round of increases.

Bills are also coming due on We Energies' efforts to improve the electric grid's reliability and resilience to storm damage. Burying power lines, more aggressive removal of dead and dying trees, and other improvements authorized by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in 2022 account for about $71 million of the new costs the utility is seeking to recover.

In a statement, the company said those expenses reflect a commitment to a reliably meeting energy demand, maintaining a healthy electric grid and the transition to renewable energy to avoid having to spend billions of dollars on new pollution controls if it continued to rely on coal power. The utility plans to stop using coal by 2032.

"Our filing focuses on 3 key priorities: reducing customer outages, building infrastructure needed to support jobs and economic growth in Wisconsin and meeting new EPA environmental rules," We Energies spokesman Brendan Conway said.

More: WEC moves up date to stop burning coal, reaffirms 2024 shutdown for first Oak Creek units

Largest increase falls on residential customers

The burden of filling that revenue gap is not shared equally. Industrial customers next year would pay just 2.3% more for power and would see a 1.7% increase in 2026. Smaller businesses would fall between the industrial and residential classes depending on their size and type of service.

We Energies says it followed the cost allocations approved by the PSC in 2022 to develop its rate proposal for 2025 and 2026. That allocation resulted in   a 14.4% increase in residential rates over two years , while industrial customers paid a little less than 10% more. 

"Our cost of service estimates reflect the PSCW's past practice, the commission will have the final say on how to allocate revenues," Conway said.

The difference between small and large customers reflects the higher cost of providing service to widely distributed residences that use smaller amounts of power and require more resources to serve, compared to the largest customers which can be served more efficiently, company officials said.

The cost allocation may be based on a previous PSC decision, but the models for determining cost of service have become outdated and out of balance, Content said. That model is under review by the PSC, and could result in new formulas for allocating costs, although that work won't be done in time for this year's rate decisions, he said.

More: Electric rates are going up as Milwaukee's least well off continue to struggle to pay their bills

As customers struggle to pay bills, bad debt costs are rising

Part of the outsized increase in residential rates stems from a long-standing policy of keeping costs that are specific to a type of customer within that customer class. As a result, residential customers must pick up the cost of unpaid residential electric bills.

Those costs account for about 20% of the proposed residential price increase, much of it tied to a recently expanded program in which customers who sign up for a payment plan and stick to it can have up to half of their past-due amount forgiven.

The program, known as the Low Income Forgiveness Tool, was introduced on a limited scale in 2021 and expanded by the PSC in 2022 by opening it up to more income-qualified customers and reducing the minimum amount owed for participation. As a result, enrollment grew from just shy of 1,000 customers in December 2021 to more than 36,000 at the end of last year.

The amount of debt forgiven through the LIFT program is expected to top $100 million by December.

We Energies has been carrying those costs in escrow, but is now authorized by the PSC to collect those and future costs from residential customers. Most of that bill will come due in 2026, when the company is proposing to collect $115 million from residential customers.

Content said the utility's numbers may not tell the full story about the costs and benefits of LIFT participants paying at least part of their unpaid bills and avoiding disconnection.

"Clearly it underscores the that there is an affordability challenge for We Energies customers who are struggling to make ends meet," he said. "One of the questions is: from the filing, you can see the costs, but I'm not sure if we have the full picture of the benefits."

That cost-benefit tradeoff, including the likelihood that the program is generating revenue for We Energies that might otherwise be written off, warrants careful scrutiny of We Energies' cost estimates by consumer advocates and PSC staff, he said.

"In every case where there's bad debt the unpaid bills are passed on to all the other customers, and that's been a long standing issue given some of the poverty challenges in the in the community," Content said. "And so, one of the questions PSC staff is asking them is for information about LIFT just make sure that the numbers in the filing, are appropriate."

Coal plants, profit margin eyed as key points for customer savings

Consumer advocates will hone in on two key areas for potential cost reductions: reducing the amount utility customers will pay toward $400 million in debt still owed on pollution controls at Oak Creek Power Plant, where shutdown begins this month and continues through next year, and We Energies' request to return to a 10% profit margin after PSC commissioners cut it to 9.8% in 2022.

Commissioners rejected a proposed settlement in the 2022 rate case that included using a financial tool known as securitization to refinance $100 million of that debt, pushing the issue into this year. Previously, customers reaped about $40 million in savings when a similar amount debt after the Pleasant Prairie Power Plant closed in 2018.

Whether that option will be resurrected is largely up to We Energies and its willingness to reach a rate settlement with intervenors that includes a refinancing package. Commissioners cannot order We Energies to refinance the debt and the company has not proposed doing so in its rate filings.

"Clearly the dead coal plant issue is an opportunity for savings," Content said. "In the utility's, own testimony, they talk about the savings that could be achieved through securitization or through other alternatives, but then they don't offer any savings at all. Their plan is to not only take their current profit rate on that dead powerplant, but actually a higher profit rate of return on it."

When commissioners reduced We Energies' profit margin in 2022 they did it with an eye toward incrementally moving it from 10% to 9%.

We Energies' request to return to a 10% profit rate, or return on equity, on its capital investments reflects the impact inflation has had on those costs and the need to show financial stability to shareholders, We Energies spokesman Brendan Conway said.

"Today, our allowed ROE is at a 40-year low, despite higher interest rates. Our request simply takes into account the current inflationary environment and our need to demonstrate financial stability," Conway said.

Yet even at 9.8%, We Energies is earning some of the highest profits among the nation's utilities even as the number of customers struggling with their bills is increasing, Content said.

"We're in a position where Wisconsin has awarded the fifth highest profit rates in the country even though they're coming down," Content said. "From from a customer's point of view, it's paramount that the trend to bring that down continues and even accelerates."

As cost pressures rise, advocates look to long-term solutions

Pressures on electric customers aren't expected to let up in coming years as We Energies' parent company, WEC Energy Group, pursues a $23.4 billion five-year capital plan that is focused on the transition to renewable energy, building additional generating capacity and improving reliability across its multi-state service territory.

For We Energies, that includes spending $1.4 billion on the new gas plant at Oak Creek and a natural gas storage facility, smaller on-demand natural gas powered generating facilities in various locations, and hundreds of millions of dollars of additional investments in solar energy.

Consumer advocates have raised concerns that regulators, under state law. review projects largely on a case-by-case basis, but are largely prohibited from reviewing how it fits into the bigger picture. They warn that could result in building excess generating capacity, captured costs at gas plants that will be unneeded in the future, and an inability to ensure that long-term decision making is in the best interest of consumers.

A bill was introduced last year in the state Legislature to address the issue but died without coming to a vote.

"There's a lack of justification," said Antonio Butts, executive director of Walnut Way Conservation Corp. in Milwaukee. "Because our state legislators (didn't act), there's no codification for integrated resource planning. So there's no tool in place for us to have a long-term decision making process that's inclusive, that's respectful to vulnerable communities and that emphasizes transparency and accountability so that we have a fair and equitable outcome."

Butts said Walnut Way, a neighborhood development organization that first became active on energy affordability issues during the 2022 rate case, will nonetheless stress that integrated approach as an intervenor in the current case.

"We have to work together in order to make some really solid long-term decisions in partnership with the utility," he said.

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