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Start and Run a successful consulting business

The ultimate guide how to build and run consulting firm
Instructor:
Asen Gyczew
4,099 students enrolled
English
Find an idea that you can turn into consulting business
How to get your first customers
Calculate in Excel whether the business makes sense or not
Sell in a scalable manner consulting projects
Manage consulting firm
Expand your consulting business into new area and scale it
You will get ready-made templates of presentations from top consulting firms
Scale the business and transform it into established firm

What is the aim of this course?

No matter what you do at some point you will be fed up with your boss, your work and the corporate life. Most likely you will start thinking about having your own business – something that you can put your effort into and make it great as well as profitable. Maybe, a small restaurant? Maybe, a startup?  If you are working in professional services one of the options you should seriously consider is to start and run consulting firm. It can be very profitable business and help you build other businesses on top of that, especially technological startups.

In this course I will show you how to start and run consulting company fast and efficiently. The course is based on my 12 years of experience as a consultant in top consulting companies and owner of small consulting company (the last 7 years). I have been also CEO, Board Member responsible for strategy, improvement and turn-arounds in biggest companies from FMCG, SMG, and B2B in Poland so I know the subject from all sides including the customer of consulting firms.

I do not like to overcomplicate things so in every lecture I will be quite straightforward. Most lectures will have also a lot of additional resources: templates, examples, procedures, list of tools. The idea is that you have everything that you need to start and run consulting business in one place. If you don’t find something that you need let me know – I will try to prepare something and I will added to the course

 

Why I decided to create this course?

For our teams we have created courses that help us improve the consultant on-boarding and the teaching process. We have started to use them extensively also with customers that we work with and their teams. Since we made them available to a wider public we got many request, especially on Quora, on how to run consulting business. We try to minimize repetitive work so we decided to make this course in order to cut down on the questions we are getting.

This course is based on our extensive experience in working and running consulting companies. In many cases we use also a lot of clever solutions from other service companies that we helped set up and improve.

 

In what way will you benefit from this course?

The course is a practical, step by step guide loaded with tones of, tricks, hints, examples that will significantly speed up your process of starting the company and afterwards scaling to sensible size. There is little theory – mainly examples, a lot of tips from my own experience as well as other notable examples worth mentioning. Our intention is that thanks to the course you will know:

  1. Where to find ideas for consulting business, consulting firm?
  2. How to analyze in Excel whether the business makes sense or not?
  3. How to get first customers?
  4. What to concentrate on if you are 1-man show, a freelancer?
  5. What kind of tools you should have?
  6. How and in what way you can set-up pricing for your services?
  7. How to prepare for scaling, expanding?
  8. What kind of business you can build on the basis of consulting firm?   

You can also ask me any question either through the discussion mode or by messaging me directly.

I will produce the necessary content and

 

How the course is organized?

The course is divided currently in 5 sections and will be adding new section to address other important issues. Currently you will find the following sections:

  • Introduction. We begin with little intro into the course  and consulting
  • Where you can get idea for your consulting businesses. In the second section we show where you can find ideas on which you can build consulting business.
  • Business model of a service company. In the third section I will show you how to calculate whether your consulting business will make money. We start with a general service company and show how to put in in Excel, how to draw conclusions out of this.
  • 1-man show. Next section will show you what you should concentrate on if you are running  1-man show, you are forced to be a jack of all trades. This is also very good for freelancer and coaches.
  • Getting first customers. In fifth section you will learn how to sell your services, where you can get first customers for your consulting services. For the time being we show 8 ways but we will constantly update with new ideas
  • Tools you need in a consulting company. To be successful in consulting you need a lot of tools create in a proper manner. We will show you what you should use and in what way to be successful in your business
  • Pricing. One of the most important things in consulting business is pricing. I will show you how you can set your price, what should be your pricing positioning and how you calculate the price and margins of a specific project. We will talk also about dynamic pricing and how to get sell cheap projects to your customers with high margin for you
  • Managing consulting company. We have a separate section on the organization of the consulting company. We talk here about the structure of the company and the role of specific positions.
  • Preparation for scaling of consulting company. In this section we talk about things that have to be properly set-up before scaling it to significant sizes. If you have already functioning consulting business this section is for you.
  • How you can expand. In the last section we talk about ways in which you can expand and build on the bases of consulting new business.

 

We will be adding new sections in the coming months and expanding existing ones

You will be able also to download many additional resources

  1. Examples in Excel, Word, Power Point
  2. Presentation of slides show in the course
  3. Links to additional presentations and movies
  4. Links to books worth reading

 

So enjoy the course and if you have any questions let me know

Introduction

1
Introduction

Here I will say what this course will be about and what you can learn on building the consuting firm

2
What is the value of consulting?

In this lecture I will show you why firms decide to hire overpaid consultants and what is the value of consulting? This will help you later build your value proposition and the sales strategy

3
Around what you can build consulting?

To build a consulting firm you need some pillar around which you can build. There are 2 viable options and I will show you which is the best choice for you.

4
How to deal with Blurry image

Here I will show you what to do if a blurry image appears

5
How to reach additional resources

Here I will show you how to find additional resources attached to the coruse like Excel files, presentations, links etc.

6
How to find information and ask questions

Where you can get ideas for your consulting businesses?

1
Satisfy your own need

Many businesses are built in order to solve your own problems, to respond to your own needs. I will show you when you can use this approach and what conditions have to be met for this method to give you interesting, valuable ideas that you can work with

2
Carving out

You can create your consulting business by carving out a department, team, function and to create around it independent business. I will show you when you can use this approach and what conditions have to be met for this method to give you interesting, valuable ideas that you can work with.

3
Cloning

Sometimes you don’t have to create a business from a scratch. You can take a business that works on another market and copy it successfully to another market.. Obviously it requires a lot of changes but can bring nice results. I will show you when you can use this approach and what conditions have to be met for this method to give you interesting, valuable ideas that you can work with.

4
Walk away and become independent

If you work already in a professional service company, consulting firm you do not have to come up with new ones. It’s enough to walk away with people and become independent player or join another company. I will show you when you can use this approach and what conditions have to be met for this method to give you interesting, valuable ideas that you can work with.

5
Transform a product or a service into consulting

You can create a consulting on the basis of existing product or service. It requires a difficult, often changing product but is done quite often. I will show you when you can use this approach and what conditions have to be met for this method to give you interesting, valuable ideas that you can work with.

Business model of a service company

1
Introduction to service company

Here we will talk abou the model of service company and consulting firm. It is an introduction to modelling it in Excel

2
Mechanics of business model for a consulting firm

Before I show you the model in Excel I want to present you in this lecture the overall logic

3
The business model of a consulting firm in Excel - Capacity and revenues

I show you in the lecture the model of the consulting firm in Excel. After modifying it you can use it for your purposes (we attach the Excel files to the lecture). This model will let you check whether your business idea makes sense.

4
The business model of a consulting firm in Excel - costs and profit & loss

I show you in the lecture the model of the consulting firm in Excel. After modifying it you can use it for your purposes (we attach the Excel files to the lecture). This model will let you check whether your business idea makes sense.

Getting first customers

1
Steal customers

The easiest way to acquire a customer is to steal it from somebody else. I will show you when you can use this approach and what conditions have to be met for this method to give you interesting, valuable ideas that you can work with.

2
Take over director / partner from a competitive company

You can try to establish a consulting company by convincing a senior personal with a good relation with customers to join you. This method gives you fast growth of revenues. I will show you when you can use this approach and what conditions have to be met for this method to give you interesting, valuable ideas that you can work with.

3
Use marketplaces

For some consulting services you can start with marketplaces. I will show you when you can use this approach and what conditions have to be met for this method to give you interesting, valuable ideas that you can work with.

4
Content Marketing

For some consulting services you can get customers by proper content marketing. I will show you when you can use this approach and what conditions have to be met for this method to give you interesting, valuable ideas that you can work with.

5
How do we do content marketing?

In this lecture we show how we use content marketing for one of our service. You will see also what results we generate.

6
Event Marketing

For more stubborn clients you have to go for events marketing. I will show you when you can use this approach and what conditions have to be met for this method to give you interesting, valuable ideas that you can work with.

7
Trainings Marketing

Similar yet more subtle to event marketing is trainings marketing. Here you acquire customers via trainings (paid and free). I will show you when you can use this approach and what conditions have to be met for this method to give you interesting, valuable results that you can work with.

8
Cold Calling

At some point you will have to try cold calling. I will show you when you can use this approach and what conditions have to be met for this method to give you interesting, valuable results that you can work with.

1-man show, freelancers, jack-of-all-trades

1
1-man show introduction

We start this section with an introduction to the main issues that a lonely cowboy consultant faces and how he can increase his profits.

2
1-man show improving the ulitization of your time

We show here how to get more out of the time you have as freelancer to have bigger revenues without scaling up the operations

3
1-man show - how to increase the average price

AS a freelancer, 1-man show you can play with pricing. It may drastically improve you profitability. I will show you the ways in which you can boos average price of a project.

4
1-man show - additional revenue streams

There are plenty of ways to get additional revenue streams without selling your hours. Here we will have an overview of what you can consider doing.

Tools you need in a consulting company

1
Using the right tools

Here I will talk about tools that you may find very useful in your practice

2
Standardize everything

A lot of things are repetitive. Therefore, it makes sense to standardize everything. In this lecture we will show to do it in practice. 

3
Create templates

Next step after you created standards is to create templates. In this lecture I will explain how to do it in practice

4
Example of standards and templates for Excel analysis

Here I show you templates of excel analysis

5
Power point templates

Power Pointe presentation is the second most important tools to be used by Business Analyst in his work. After all it is not only important to analyse data and draw conclusions but also to show them in a nice manner to decision makers. Here you will learn basic rules on how to build your Power Point deck in fast and easy manner. You will see also some examples of good and bad slides. There are many advanced tools for presentation (i.e.) Prezi. Still Power Point is the most often used and widely accepted

6
Create modules

For some things standards cannot be applied straightforward. You need to introduce modules to move forward. I will show you in this lecture how to implement it in practice

7
Create universal structure of folders

Standard folder structure is important  tool to save time and introduce order. I will show you the principles of using it as well as a practical exampl

Examples of tools (with dowloadable templates)

1
Example of a proposal for a consulting project

In this lecture we show how you can build your proposal and what kind of elements you should have there. You can also download the example we are showing as a Power Point version

2
How to describe your experience for your proposal

In order to provide social proof and show that you are the right firm to get the contract you have to provide some sort of summary of your experience along with results and success you have generated for your clients. Here we show how you can build the section on your experience. It can be a separate document or a section in the proposal. 

You can also download the example we are showing as a Power Point versio

3
Kick-off meeting presentation

The kick-off meeting is the first meeting you will have at the project. The purpose of it is to show what you will do, how and who will be involved. The main target of this presentation are the employees of your customer that will actively participate in the project. You can also download the example we are showing as a Power Point versio

4
Alternative slides for the proposal

In your proposal you can use more sophisticated slides. Here we show some that you can find useful. 

You can also download the example we are showing as a Power Point versio

Pricing

1
How you can price consulting projects?

There are many ways in which you can set the price for a consulting project. I will show you different methods in which you can set your price, what are the implications of each and one of them and when they can be used.  I will also discuss the advantages and disadvantage of each and one of them.

2
Calculating the price and profitability of a consulting project

Here I show you how to calculate the price and the profitability of a consulting project using fixed fee and times and material formula. You will get also template in Excel shown in the lecture as an attachment in additional resources

3
Price Positioning

Here I show how to position your consulting business

4
Discounting consulting project - Introduction

In this lecture I will talk in general how you can not be forced to give discounts on the consulting project you are trying to sell to the customer

5
Discount policy - alternatives

Here I will show you using case of a due diligence project what you should do instead of discounting. The methods I will show you on one hand will keep the customer happy and your margin safe

6
Dynamic pricing in consulting

In consulting you have low seasons with little or no work. Therefore, makes sense to use dynamic pricing. You identify the low seasons and try to sell them at lower price or at higher price.

How to sell at lower price and higher margin - case study of one project

1
How to sell at lower and keep high margins? Introduction

I will show you example of a project sold at very high margins yet at lower cost for customer thanks to proper structuring of the project scope

2
RFP that I received - details

In this lecture we will analyze in details the RFP I got from the customer and see what are the implication of it for the whole project, the offer and the real underlying problem

3
My first proposal - introduction

Here I will show you the first proposal I have created for the project. I will explain you the logic behind it and why certain things are presented in such a way

4
My first proposal - details

Here I will show you the first proposal I have created for the project. I will explain you the logic behind it and why certain things are presented in such a way

5
What happened during the negotiations?

The meeting totally changed the approach to the project and I learned a lot. I will show you what I have learned during the meeting, how it influenced the whole project. I will show you also the result of the negotiations

6
Second offer - how I redesigned the project

During the negotiations I learned enough information to adjust the offer for the customer. The aim was to creating more appealing (for both sides) offer that would reflect what we have agreed on during the negotiations

Managing consulting company

1
Organizational structure and responsibilities

Consulting companies operate using pretty flat structure. I will show you some examples how you can organize it and what are the roles of specific positions

2
Roles and responsibilities

In this lecture I describe the roles and responsibilities for each and every role

3
Typical structure of a project

I show you the team structure and duration of typical projects done in management consulting

4
How to avoid mutiny?
5
Rotation

Rotation is one of the nightmares of a consulting business. It will differ on every position. Here we show what values you should expect in your consulting firm

Preparation for scaling of consulting company

1
Scaling of consulting business - Introduction

Scallin of a business can be very challenging. In this section I will show you what are the steps to scale your business

2
Valley of death

There are plenty of small consulting business and only a few big ones (above 100). Most get killed in the valley of death - the space between 10 and 100 consultants were the fixed costs are dragging you down and lack of flow in the pipeline eats away your cash

3
Recruitment

In the beginning you will be competing for the best candidates from the best universities. In this lecture I will show you how to overcome this problem and get a hold of the best people on the market

4
Training

In order to fill in the gaps done by the rotation and provide . To create proper training you have to take care of number of issues. I will show you what is important and how to achieve it

5
Scalable selling machine in consulting

To scale the business you have to have scalable sales. Here we start the topic

6
Analyzing the profitability of sales channels - introduction

Here I show you how to analyze the profitability of sales channels in Consulting

7
Analyzing the profitability of sales channels -example of audit services

Here we show to analyze the profitability of sales channels

8
Analyzing the profitability of sales channels -example of selling small services

Here we analyze the situation for cases when you are selling smaller services i.e.per hour consultation on SEO tactics

Conclusions

1
Bonus Lecture: Get full access to all my courses
You can view and review the lecture materials indefinitely, like an on-demand channel.
Definitely! If you have an internet connection, courses on Udemy are available on any device at any time. If you don't have an internet connection, some instructors also let their students download course lectures. That's up to the instructor though, so make sure you get on their good side!
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