This consulting business plan is a comprehensive copy/paste example that includes an operating and marketing plan for any kind of consulting business. You can download it and make edits to create a plan for your business, whether you’re a startup consultant business or an existing consulting firm that wants to grow faster.
(Estimated reading time: 19 minutes)
Table of Contents
Consulting Business Plan Template
This plan for consultants contains in-depth information to build your own version. Simply modify the examples in this consulting plan to fit your specific line of work and you can quickly create a plan for industries such as (but of course not limited to):
- management consulting business plan
- advertising and marketing agency business plan
- healthcare consulting business plan
- IT consulting business plan
- fintech consultant business plan
- environmental consulting business plan
- security consulting business plan
- software consultant business plan
This business plan for consultants covers the following topics that go into a plan: your service list and descriptions, target market, marketing strategies for consultants, competition, and financial projections. You can download this example plan as a Google Doc for easy editing in Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, or save it as a PDF:
How to Use This Consultant Business Plan to Attract Clients
I’ve built several companies, including a successful consulting business that I sold, and have always felt that providing both a template and examples for a new plan works best. That’s how I’ve structured this sample consulting business plan. Each section is divided into two parts:
- Consulting Business Plan Template – This section provides guidance on what to include in each part of your business plan.
- Sample Consulting Business Plan Text – This part includes actual text from a real consulting business plan example that you can use as-is or modify to fit your specific needs.
Since many consulting businesses are established by solo practitioners, this consulting business plan example will focus on one-person firms. However, if you have partners or are part of a larger company, you can easily adapt this plan by replacing singular pronouns (I) with plural forms (we).
To help you chart a revenue course to starting your consulting business, this business plan example also includes a brief overview of a marketing plan. I recommend taking a look at (even downloading) my detailed marketing plan example as a model for yours.
Sample Consulting Business Plan
Let’s begin with the sections that make up your consulting business plan. I include sample text below the description of what to focus on within each section.
The first section of your business plan introduction is critical for framing your consulting practice.
1. Consulting Business Plan Executive Summary
The Executive Summary in a business plan for consultants is a critical section of any consulting business plan, as it provides a brief but comprehensive overview of your consulting services, target market, and key differentiators. Quite often, you’ll write your executive summary after you have finished writing your full business plan since you will have done all of your research to summarize the essence of your plan. You can learn more in our business plan introduction example.
Here are the key topics to focus on in this section of your consultant business plan:
- An introduction to your consulting business and the services you offer
- A summary of your target market and their needs
- Your key differentiators and what sets your consulting business apart from competitors
- Your approach to delivering high-quality consulting services and achieving measurable results
- A summary of your marketing strategy and how you plan to reach your target market
Consultant Business Plan Executive Summary Example
As a consultant, I am excited to offer my services to businesses in need of expert guidance and support. My consulting business plan is focused on delivering innovative solutions and measurable results for my clients.
I specialize in strategic planning, market research, and growth strategies for small and medium-sized technology businesses that cater to the financial sector (i.e., fintech). Additionally, I offer consulting resources such as training programs, workshops, and customized solutions tailored to each client’s unique needs.
My consulting business is built on the belief that every business has the potential for growth and success. To achieve this, I work closely with my clients to understand their goals and challenges, and develop customized solutions that help them achieve their objectives.
My target market consists of small and medium-sized businesses in the financial technology industry, a.k.a. fintech, who are looking to make their operations more efficient based on data and methodical research. My management consulting services are tailored to meet their unique needs, and my approach is focused on delivering measurable results that align with their business objectives.
What sets my consulting business apart from competitors is my focus on collaboration and transparency. I believe in working closely with my clients to develop solutions that are customized to their specific needs, and I keep them involved in the process every step of the way.
To reach my target market, I will establish a strong online presence through content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO for consultants). I will leverage social media platforms to engage with potential clients and showcase my expertise in the fintech industry as a top consultant.
My consulting business is committed to helping businesses solve challenging business management problems that require rigorous analysis and careful calculations. With a focus on delivering innovative solutions and building strong relationships with my clients, I am confident in my ability to help businesses succeed and thrive in today’s competitive market.
2. Consulting Business Plan Service Description
Every consulting business description is slightly different. I’ve provided two variations in this section so that you can identify which one resonates best with your goals. Each version provides similar information, but is structured differently. I have also included consulting service description examples for each version.
Version 1: Service Description
The Service Description section of your consulting business plan should provide a detailed overview of the services you offer, including the types of problems you solve for your clients, the methods you use to solve them, and the benefits your clients can expect to receive.
Focus on these elements for this section of your business plan:
- The types of consulting services you offer and their value proposition
- A description of the types of clients you serve and the problems you solve for them
- A summary of your consulting methodologies and tools
- An explanation of the benefits your clients can expect to receive from your services
If you are an independent consultant or small group, even in serving in a consulting capacity at a different firm, you can introduce the fact that your years of experience enable you to offer the same caliber of services that larger more expensive firms provide at significantly higher rates.
Sample Consulting Service Description
As a management consultant, I specialize in solving complex business problems for small and medium-sized fintech enterprises. My boutique consulting services are designed to help businesses achieve their goals and overcome challenges including:
- Achieving product-market fit
- Improving operational efficiency
- Enhancing strategic planning and decision-making processes
- Implementing change management initiatives
- Developing growth strategies and market expansion plans
- Optimizing financial performance and risk management
My consulting methodologies are based on a data-driven approach that combines qualitative and quantitative analysis to identify and solve business problems. I use a variety of tools and techniques, including process mapping, benchmarking, and SWOT analysis to develop customized solutions for each client.
Working closely with my clients, I help them develop actionable plans and implement them efficiently to achieve measurable results. By leveraging my expertise and experience, my clients can expect to:
- Improve profitability and reduce costs
- Increase efficiency and productivity
- Enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Expand into new markets and drive growth
- Stay ahead of the competition and achieve sustainable success
I will share examples of past projects that provide a detailed framework along with results to show clients what they can achieve by hiring my consulting business.
With my 15 years of niche industry experience and wealth of successfully completed projects, I am able to offer exceptional high caliber service at lower overall rates than larger firms. My management consulting services are designed to help businesses achieve their full potential and thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.
Version2: List of Business Consulting Services
As a consultant, the services you offer are the backbone of your business. The Services section of your consulting business plan is where you will list the specific services you provide to clients, how you deliver them, and the value that you bring to your clients.
Before you start writing this section, ask yourself the following questions to help define and refine your consulting services. For this consultant business plan example, I’ve included the following prompts to focus on what a management consultant would focus on. Tweak these as needed for your line of consulting.
- Types of consulting services: Describe the different types of management consulting services you offer, such as strategy consulting, organizational design, change management, or project management.
- Delivery methods: Explain how you deliver your consulting services, such as through workshops, one-on-one consultations, or online platforms.
- Benefits: Highlight the benefits of your consulting services for clients, such as increased efficiency, optimized performance, improved profitability, or streamlined operations.
- Unique value proposition: Describe how your consulting services are unique and different from those of competitors. This could include your methodology, tools, experience, or industry knowledge.
- Website URL: Include the URL of your website where clients can learn more about your consulting services and contact you for more information.
By addressing these prompts, you’ll be able to develop a clear and comprehensive picture of your management consulting services description and communicate their value to potential clients.
Below is my example of a management consulting services write up, including descriptions of each service, the benefits they provide, and your unique approach to delivering them. You can modify this section of your consultant business plan to fit your exact services offered.
This version is a little shorter than the one above and also includes a case study example link, since content like that will help clients understand the value you bring to the table. You can add a link like this in version 1 above as well.
Example: Management Consulting Services Offered
We offer a range of management consulting services to help businesses achieve their goals and overcome challenges. Our services include:
- Strategy consulting: We work with businesses to develop effective strategic plans that align with their mission and vision and drive business growth.
- Organizational design and development: We help businesses optimize their organizational structure and processes to improve performance and efficiency.
- Change management: We assist businesses in managing organizational change effectively to minimize disruption and achieve desired outcomes.
- Project management: We provide project management services to help businesses plan, execute, and deliver projects on time and within budget.
- Performance management: We help businesses implement performance management frameworks that align employee goals with business objectives and drive results.
Our management consulting services are delivered through a combination of workshops, one-on-one consultations, and online platforms. We use a data-driven approach that combines qualitative and quantitative analysis to identify and solve business problems. Our unique value proposition is based on our extensive experience working with businesses in diverse industries, combined with our personalized approach and commitment to delivering results.
Clients can expect to achieve a range of benefits, including improved organizational performance, increased profitability, enhanced employee engagement, and optimized project outcomes. See our go-to-market strategy case study example for details on the types of results clients can expect from our team.
3. Consultancy Business Plan Target Market and Buyer Persona
The Target Market section of your management consulting business plan should provide an overview of the clients you want to work with as a consultant. This can include information on the demographics of your target market, such as their industry, size, location, or revenue. You should also include information on the needs of your target market and how your consulting services can help them.
It is important to focus on a niche rather than offering generic services.
Consulting as an industry is highly competitive, so prospects may not be able to determine who is the best consultant for them. When you focus, your marketing efforts can be customized to the niche you specialize in.
Think of it this way: if you were to implement Salesforce or Hubspot in your business, would you hire a general IT consultant or a specialist in the product? A general IT consultant may have experience with different systems but may not be as familiar with the intricacies of how to set up Salesforce or Hubspot in a way that makes the most sense for your company. A specialist, however, will have in-depth knowledge and experience and most all will use best practices for your business.
You would pick the Salesforce or Hubspot specialist without question. In my prior companies, I went through this exact exercise and hired specialists for each of these products.
Similarly, your management consulting business plan should focus on a specific target group so that you become known as a specialist for your niche.
Additionally, create a buyer persona – or a few – to get a clear picture of who you plan to target.
What Goes Into a Buyer Persona for a Consultancy
A buyer persona for consultants includes the following data points:
- Sample Name, Job Title and Role: I always like to give each persona a name to make it more real. Then, include the specific job title and role of the individual who is most likely to hire a management consultant, such as a CEO, CFO, or HR Director.
- Industry and Company Size: Add the industry and size of the company that the individual works in, as the challenges and needs of a small startup may be different from those of a large corporation.
- Goals and Objectives: Be sure to list the most common goals and objectives that the individual is trying to achieve, such as improving operational efficiency, increasing revenue, or expanding into new markets. These should tie into your product or service offering.
- Pain Points and Challenges: Know the pain points and challenges that the individual is facing, such as difficulty retaining top talent, ineffective decision-making processes, or lack of innovation.
- Decision-Making Criteria: Identify the factors that the individual considers when making a decision to hire a management consultant, such as experience, reputation, price, or industry expertise. This can include the influences – or rather, influencers, that the buyer relies on to make final purchasing decisions.
- Communication Preferences: Add what you believe to be the preferred communication channels and styles of the individual, such as email, phone, text or in-person meetings.
- Personal Characteristics: You can include the personal characteristics of the buyer, such as their values, beliefs, and personality traits, which may impact their decision-making process.
I’ve created several samples that you can download and have also provided one for this consulting business plan below.
Sample Management Consulting Target Market
Given my strong background in financial technology (fintech), I specialize in working with fintech startups and small to mid-sized financial institutions.
My clients are typically looking for help in implementing new technology solutions, improving their operational efficiency, or expanding into new markets. As a fintech consultant, I help them identify market expansion opportunities where they could increase their total addressable market (TAM) and clarify the marketing plan to penetrate deeper into existing accounts, also known as the land-and-expand strategy.
My consulting services are tailored to each client’s specific needs and can include everything from strategic planning to project management. By working with me, my clients gain access to my expertise in fintech, as well as my extensive network of contacts in the industry.
4. Marketing for Consulting Firms
As a consultant starting a new business or growing an existing one, it is crucial to have a well-planned marketing strategy to acquire clients. In the Marketing Strategy section of your consulting business plan, you should outline how you will promote your consulting firm and services to potential clients. This section should also include information on your consulting branding strategy and how you position yourself in the consulting market.
Here are ten marketing ideas to consider when developing your consulting marketing plan, written as tactics that you can copy/paste into a consulting business plan template or PDF. You can even use ChatGPT, Bard, or other AI-writing tools to create a starter outline, but be sure to include your own original content.
Sample Marketing Plan for a Consulting Firms
To acquire new customers and expand deeper within existing clients, I will deploy the following marketing ideas for consultants and leverage partners to expand my brand’s reach:
- Developing an educational website: My website will contain information on my services, but more importantly it will include case studies and thought leadership content. The key to success will be my educational content as part of my long-term content marketing strategy. I will add lead capture forms on each high-intent article to convert website visitors into leads that I can nurture through email marketing and social media.
- Creating a social media presence: I will post regularly on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Quora to help me connect with potential clients and share my expertise. My target market primarily looks at LinkedIn regularly so maintaining a regular presence will help engage with new audiences.
- Leveraging SEO: I will identify specific high-intent keywords related to my fintech consulting niche and optimize my website content accordingly. This will help my website rank higher on search engines and attract more potential clients through my educational content. Many of my articles and guides will include videos because research shows that content with videos and images enhances SEO. While many firms rely on paid advertising, using long-tail keywords can be an effective and cost-saving approach. By targeting “low keyword difficulty” and “high search volume” phrases, I can tap into organic search traffic that can continue to generate leads even after the initial investment. Therefore, as a consulting firm, I will prioritize SEO as part of my overall marketing strategy to increase my online visibility and attract potential clients. I will use MoreBusiness.com’s SEO Coaching services to accelerate my footprint online to drive sales from organic traffic.
- Podcasting with thought leadership content: I will share my knowledge and expertise by starting a podcast. This way, I can repurpose the content I create into multiple channels, including writing articles, blog posts, and white papers and using clips to sprinkle throughout my social media channels. I will also produce webinars and slide decks from these podcasts to educate my target market. Having experts as guests on the podcasts will allow me to expand my reach when the guests share posts on their social channels as well.
- Attending industry events: I will attend relevant industry events to network with potential clients and showcase my expertise. I will identify 10 unique events every quarter and inquire about speaking to build my reputation and attract new clients. My goal is to speak at least twice each quarter to new audiences.
- Partnering with complementary businesses: Partnering with complementary businesses can help me reach new clients and expand my services. These businesses would provide services such as IT managed services, accounting, legal and HR, which can lead to referral business.
- Offering free consultations: Offering potential clients a free consultation is an excellent way to build trust and showcase my expertise. My initial consultations will be designed to provide useful educational material to help prospects look at their growth goals and other areas where I can help to identify potential solutions to gain more market share.
- Building a referral network: I will leverage my existing network to generate referrals by first providing opportunities for others to get more business. This approach builds trust first, which can lead to getting referrals from others.
- Advertising on industry-specific platforms: I will advertise on industry-specific platforms such as trade publications, industry associations, and job boards and look at the cost-benefit of Google and LinkedIn advertising.
- Using email marketing: I will send regular email newsletters with business consulting topics to stay in touch with clients and prospects. I will send newsletters with trending topics, case studies, and other relevant content to keep them engaged and informed about the industry as a whole as well as projects related to my services.
5. Consulting Business Plan Financials
The financial projections section of your consulting business plan is where you will estimate your business’s future financial performance based on your goals, market trends, and other factors. This section is important because it will help you understand the financial viability of your business and, if it’s relevant, help you secure funding from investors or lenders.
To calculate your projections, your business model needs to consider several factors such as your revenue streams, cost structure, market size, and growth potential. You’ll also need to look at any historical financial data you have to create realistic projections.
It’s important to keep in mind that financial projections are not a guarantee of your business’s future performance, but rather an estimate based on the information you have available. That’s why it’s essential to make sure the assumptions in your business plan are realistic and backed up by data.
Overall, the financial projections section of your consulting business plan is a critical component that helps you understand the financial feasibility of your business and attract investors or lenders. In the example below, I’ve included an outline of what an individual business plan consultant might put into their business plan. If you are operating with partners as part of a larger entity, modify this example to accommodate for your team’s output and productivity. This consulting plan example also includes various sources of revenue, not just billable time.
Sample Financial Projections for Consulting Business Plan
As a consulting firm, I have several sources of revenue aside from billable hours. These include:
- Retainer Fees: Some clients prefer to pay a fixed monthly fee in exchange for a set number of hours or a specific scope of work. This can provide a predictable revenue stream for the firm.
- Project-Based Fees: For larger projects with a defined scope, I may charge a fixed fee based on the work required. This allows clients to budget more effectively and can provide a higher profit margin for the firm.
- Commission Fees: For certain types of work, such as sales, I may earn a commission on the results achieved. This can be a win-win for both the client and the firm, as the client only pays for results achieved and the firm is incentivized to achieve those results.
- Product Sales: I will develop proprietary online courses to share my expertise in fintech consulting and grow advisory services with those who are not yet ready or unable to afford my consulting services. These will provide an additional revenue stream and can also be used as a freebie given to select clients to share with their staff.
- Referral Fees: By referring clients to other businesses or consultants, I may earn a referral fee. This not only provides an additional source of revenue, but can also help to build relationships and expand my firm’s network.
By diversifying revenue streams, my consulting firm can create a more stable and profitable business model. Our expected revenues for the first three years are as follows:
Year 1 Consulting Firm Financial Projections:
- Billable hours: 1,000 hours x $300/hour = $300,000
- Retainer clients: 3 clients x 10 hours/month x $300/hour x 12 months = $108,000
- Product sales: 5 sales x $197 = $985
- Commissions/referral fees: $10,000
- Total revenue: $419,985
Year 2 Consulting Firm Financial Projections:
- Billable hours: 1,400 hours x $300/hour = $420,000
- Retainer clients: 3 clients x 10 hours/month x $350/hour x 12 months = $126,000
- Product sales: 7 sales x $197 = $1,379
- Commissions/referral fees: $15,000
- Total revenue: $562,379
Year 3 Consulting Firm Financial Projections:
- Billable hours: 1,800 hours x $300/hour = $540,000
- Retainer clients: 3 clients x 10 hours/month x $400/hour x 12 months = $144,000
- Product sales: 10 sales x $197 = $1,970
- Commissions/referral fees: $20,000
- Total revenue: $705,970
6. Consultant Business Plan Conclusion
The conclusion section of a consulting business plan should summarize the key points of the plan and reiterate the main goals and objectives as you start your consulting firm. It is similar to your executive summary and should reinforce the value that your consulting firm brings to clients and how it will address their needs and solve their problems.
Additionally, the conclusion can discuss the future plans for the consulting firm, such as expanding services, targeting new industries, or exploring new markets. It should also address any potential risks and challenges that the consulting firm may face and how it plans to mitigate them.
Your goal is to leave a positive and lasting impression on the reader, highlighting your consulting firm’s strengths and capabilities and conveying a sense of confidence in your ability to build a successful consulting business. Again, as in previous sections, I’ve written the example below for an individual consultant, which you can easily modify as you need.
Consulting Business Plan Conclusion Example
My consulting firm is well-positioned to provide exceptional services to our clients in the fintech industry. I have a highly experienced team through partnerships with individuals who have a track record of success in this fintech consulting, and we are committed to helping our clients achieve their business goals through innovative and effective solutions. I believe that by leveraging our expertise in operations management and technology, we can help our clients optimize their operations, increase efficiency, and ultimately, drive growth and profitability.
Through strategic partnerships, I’m able to offer a comprehensive suite of services to meet our clients’ needs, from project management and process improvement to software implementation and data analytics. My goal is to establish long-term relationships with our clients and become a trusted partner in their success.
I understand the challenges facing the fintech industry and are constantly adapting and evolving to stay ahead of the curve. I am committed to staying up-to-date with the latest trends, technologies, and best practices in my field, and we are excited to bring this knowledge to clients.
Overall, I am confident in my ability to deliver exceptional value to our clients and achieve the business goals outlined in this plan. I am excited to embark on this journey and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.
Start Your Consulting Business
Ready to get started? Download this consulting business plan template and save it as a PDF or doc file for future reference as you build out your business model and growth path.
Connect with me at MoreBusiness.com to help you grow faster! I’ve built several businesses and can help you fast-track your marketing and sales, especially through a managed podcast and thought leadership.
Author: Raj Khera is an Executive Business Coach, a former 3x CEO, and publisher of MoreBusiness.com