Amid the COVID-19 crisis, working from home has become the new normal for many. While the pandemic has given rise to many challenges, there is a silver lining somewhere. There is a window of opportunity for those who want to take control of their life by combining the benefits of self-employment and working from home. A home-based consulting business is a great way to switch to being your own supervisor while capitalizing on any skills that you have acquired during your career path.
Times are changing and so is the whole paradigm of job structures! With the continuously evolving digital landscape, the 9 to 5 job is no longer the only option for a successful career.
Even though the job market is witnessing a shift towards flexible timings and work-from-home options to keep the employees motivated, there is an increasing inclination towards self-employment. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10% of American population considers self-employment to be their choice of career.
Self-employment means that you are your own boss and are answerable only to yourself. It gives you a sense of freedom where you get to choose your office timings and the workload.
There has been noticeable proclivity towards home-based businesses and entrepreneurial enterprises recently. More and more people are realizing the importance of family life and how opting for home-based work, lets you maintain important relationships in your life
Even if you don’t have any hardcore technical education you can still start a consulting business based upon anything you are good at, like design or digital literacy.
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary “consulting” means “providing professional or expert advice”. Anybody can become a consultant, if they can provide professional advice in a domain they have knowledge or experience in!
This means that in order to start a consulting business, you need to:
- Have an area of expertise you are passionate about and
- A strong drive to convert advice about it into a resource that other people will be willing to pay for.
All you have to do is to think about a specific problem that you can help people solve. It could be anything from parenting challenges to striving for a peaceful mental state to dealing with health dilemmas. As long as your target audience is motivated to overcome that problem, you can expect to have a substantial demand for your services.
Turning Your Expertise into a Business
You may feel stifled or creatively held back while working nine to five. There might have been times that you wanted to take a break, go for that party, attend your child’s school recital or his parent-teacher conference, and couldn’t do that due to a deadline at work. Working independently from home gives you the freedom to do all that while maintaining a steady income flow.
If you have been working for an organization, there are chances that you have developed authority and expertise in the capacity you have been working in. That knowledge can be transformed into a profitable business opportunity, should you decide to take up consulting.
For example, if you were working as a marketing manager in any organization, you probably know your way around the concepts of brand building activities, promotional budgets, distribution chains etc. You can start a consulting business where you can help new businesses build their brand image and set advertising campaigns.
You don’t need to start with fancy stuff.If you have a laptop and a phone, you can embark on your home-based venture just about any time. It’s all about building upon your expertise and polishing your interpersonal communication skills so that you can listen to the needs of your clients and deliver accordingly.
It’s imperative to understand your target audiences to cater to their demand. Once you decide upon your area of interest, you don’t need a large scale investment. You can start right away with it and earn steadily with a high-profit margin.
Why Do Businesses and Individuals Need Consultancy Services?
Businesses and individuals all over the world are looking for ways to grow and prosper. There is an ocean of knowledge and a variety of skills that one may require and thus hire external assistance for it.
Individuals often require help in matters they do not have enough command over. They may utilize the services of a financial advisor to do their taxes or a mental health consultant to resolve their emotional issues and become a better version of themselves.
Businesses usually hire consultancy services when they require expert advice of a specific manner that their internal management may be unable to handle.
1. An Objective Perspective
An advantage that businesses gain from hiring consultancy services is the ability to attain an objective perspective of the business. An organization’s management dedicates a great deal of their time and efforts constructing their administration which at times prevents them from criticising their operations. A consultant can offer constructive criticism from an outsider’s point of view to help the business improve their functions.
2. Cutting Expenses
A business can save their financial resources by hiring consultancy services.For example, instead of having an entire legal team on their payroll, a business might find it more economical to use an external consultant service whenever it finds itself in a legal complication.
Consultants can act as outsourced aid to assist internal management in a situation of overloaded projects. A small event management enterprise might have taken on more events than it has the capacity to handle. To help ease this excessive volume of work, it may collaborate with an event managing consultant.
Continuous training and learning the latest skills is important for all organizations in today’s business environment. To ensure that their employees are caught up with the current approaches, businesses get consultants to conduct training workshops and enlighten their employees about modern techniques. For instance; a workshop held by a consulting accountant about using state-of-the-art software to become more efficient in maintaining financial statements.
5. To Facilitate Change
While change is a sign of life; it is not always welcomed in a corporate environment. There is always resistance from employees as a response to administering change. Hiring consultants to manage a drastic change in the functions of a business eases the burdens of the managers. Whether it entails shifting to an automated production process, introducing complex technology or laying off a proportion of employees, consulting firms can help the business adapt to the changing environment. Consultants devise effective strategies to overcome the fear of change as well as plan a motivational course of action to keep employee morale high.
6. Employing Experience
Small scale businesses often have insufficient information and resources to perform specific tasks. Their lack of experience and expertise hinders their plans to expand or launch new products. A consultant can provide such businesses with productive advice on formulating their corporate plans in a way that accommodates their growth objectives without compromising on their liquidity.
Working From Home
Home-based businesses are the trend of the future. More and more professionals are now opting to work from the comfort of their homes. This is because there are several different advantages of working from home. Some of which are discussed as follows
Without a shadow of doubt, working from home provides a professional with the liberty to set his/her own goals based on his/her personal space and ambitions. Being your own boss gives you the freedom to shape your routine.
- Cutting Back On Finances
We can not deny that commuting back and forth to an office, and spending on the right work attire can be expensive. While working from home all you need to do is set up a good home office while reaping benefits of all the other facilities available at your home already.
- Stress-Free Environment
Office environments can often be stressful. Working from home allows you to work at a peaceful pace without having to worry about competitiveness, promotions and office politics.
Working from home allows you to explore new horizons. You are no longer limited to the tasks assigned to you. It’s up to you to learn new skills and expand the types of services that you provide. It also allows you to learn several different aspects of your business.
- Increased Productivity
Oftentimes we see that professionals who work from home report that they find a dynamic improvement in productivity. This may be because they find themselves more at ease.
While, there are countless benefits of working from home, there may be some drawbacks as well which need to be considered while deciding to startup a home-based venture.
Working from home can often be lonely. There are no colleagues to discuss potential projects with, you may miss the coffee breaks with friends and/or the office parties. It’s, therefore, essential here to take a proactive approach and maintain a healthy social life to maintain a work life balance.
One of the most difficult drawbacks include different distractions that are present at a home office. If you have children, working from home may turn out to be a bit too challenging. It’s essential to make sure that you have the required help at home to cater to the needs of young children while you focus on work.
Oftentimes while building a home based startup, professionals tend to overcommit. This is because they wish to achieve much in very little time. Turning down potential clients or opportunities does not seem like an option. The need here is to prioritize and understand that not every job or task is tailored or suitable for them.
For a successful business, it is important to have proper timing. Those who work from home will agree that it’s essential to have a routine but to maintain one is particularly challenging. Ideally a home based entrepreneur needs to set up a daily work schedule and maintain a proper to-do list in order to ensure productivity and timely deliveries of services/works.
22 Niches to Consider for Your Home-Based Consultation Business
In order to run a feasible and profitable consultancy, you need to understand your target audience along with your niche. The following industries and niches offer bankable opportunities for consultants:
A home-based healthcare consultation business can be a very lucrative venture and an excellent manner to utilise your extensive professional education, training and experience. Establishing such a consultation business entails providing effective advice and devising productive strategies to healthcare organizations including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and dental offices. You can either concentrate your resources and expertise on a specific speciality such as exclusive Human Resource Management services to chain hospitals or diversify over a range of services like providing multiple services (financial resource planning, marketing strategies, HR management, etc…) However, before you start up a healthcare consultation, it is imperative that you have a deep understanding of not only the services you will be providing, but also of how healthcare organizations function.
- Career Consultancy
Career Consultation has become a promising concept in the recent years due to a large number of different and unconventional career options available. When people are given a wide variety of choices, it becomes difficult to just choose one area of specialization and spend your life dedicated to it. You can set up an online career consultation service for students who are wondering what to study to get closer to a successful career path, people who are undecided about their professional life or already employed individuals unhappy with their current occupations and looking to make a change. Make effective use of your time and help shape young minds. All you need is an efficiently designed home office!
A marketing strategy is an important factor contributing greatly to the success of any business. Marketing consultants acquire data from businesses to analyse their demand, supply and target audience. You can become a home-based marketing advisor for small start-ups or even large corporations from the comfort of your own home. Provide them with constructive marketing plans, set marketing objectives, instruct about the types of advertisement best suited to their business model and illuminate them about productive ad campaigns. Successful marketing consultation can help businesses grow their sales, increase their market share and fruitfully communicate with potential customers. As a marketing consulting business, you will have to cooperate with other divisions of the business to devise effective strategies and fulfil corporate objectives.
- Digital Consultancy:
Digital consultancy is one of the most trending and feasible business ideas for a venture based at home. The digital niche in the world of today encompasses a plethora of different ideas and services. A home-based venture offering digital services may include digital marketing, SEO, blogging, web development, dropshipping, and much more. Of all the ideas, social media marketing and consultation can turn out to be the most beneficial. Many business owners require a strong social media presence for their businesses. But they have little or no time and experience to handle their own social media platforms. This is the reason why they outsource and hire companies to make sure that they remain relevant and active on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter et cetera.This has now become an essential part of a company’s marketing strategy.
- HR/recruitment consultancy:
An HR company provides several onsite and offsite services to businesses which include payroll services, HR consulting solutions et cetera. Smaller companies who do not have their in house HR department outsource these services. A home-based startup can be developed with ease to target such businesses and provide HR services and consultancy. The world today is enlightened and employees now well aware of their rights. Small and medium-sized enterprises do not have the time or the expertise to deal with the legalities and technicalities of related issues. Therefore, virtual HR services are much in demand. As a home-based HR business you can do it all including developing an employees handbook, leading recruitment programs, handling pay rolls, introducing benefits and much more. The best part is that not much is required for this home based venture, apart from a computer, printer, and an internet connection; all you need is your expertise in the area.
- Fitness Consultant:
The trend of online and home-based fitness coaches and consultants has recently gained considerable popularity. Starting up a home-based fitness consultation gives you a great opportunity to help people become physically robust and healthy while making a satisfying profit. The ability to pay one-on-one attention to each of your clients without working for a gym or fitness center allows you to be your own boss and set your own hours. Clients are more likely to work and consult in a private environment which enables you to provide constructive advice and help them achieve their fitness goals.
Many parents today are shifting their children away from conventional schooling to homeschooling. However, they are not equipped with all the skills necessary to substitute traditional schooling by themselves. This is where you come in. You create a professional environment to help parents teach their students important lessons. You can provide home course outlines, tests and exams as well as teaching skills parents might be unaware of. Think of yourself as a virtual teacher without the long hours, demanding administration, excessive paperwork and the never-ending grading. Utilize your experience as a teacher or a counsellor and impart your knowledge to establish a rewarding enterprise.
- Financial Consultation:
Initiating a home-based financial consulting firm can be fairly easy. If you have the required expertise and information about setting up such a business, you can utilize your knowledge in the most efficient and remunerative method . Becoming a financial advisor is a straightforward way to provide your services to people and businesses from your home office. Making budgets, suggesting ways to improve financial statements, and controlling expenses are all services that can be conveniently delivered remotely.
- Image Consultancy:
One of the most lucrative lines of home based consultancy that turns people into millionaires and successful business owners is “Image Consultancy”. However, before starting these services it is essential to make sure that you are equipped with the right skills and expertise required to be successful in the field. In the world of social media and digital information, people are always looking for experts who can help them put the right image across. If you have the knack of pulling together the right outfit and outlook for different occasions, this may be right up your alley. People require image consultants for various reasons and pay handsomely to get the right image curated for them.
- Real estate:
Anyone can become a real estate agent or a consultant by taking an exam and acquiring a license. Most real estate consultants work for an estate agency at a salaried position. The real estate agency benefits from the fruit of your labor while you only get a small proportion of profit as commission. However, when you launch your own real estate consulting business, you get a chance to work for yourself without setting up exhausting open houses. You can focus your energy on building strong interpersonal relationships with your customers rather than wasting time on commuting to work everyday.
- Business Planning and development:
Business planning and development forms the foundation for any startup. Many consider this field unimportant as they feel that they have complete know-how of the line they are entering. However, business planning and development provides a person skills to “develop” the business. Therefore, it is significant to have a certification or license in business planning and development which includes policy making, managing employees, outsourcing, investment planning and many other related fields. One can provide business planning and developing services from the comfort of home. You can make your own business consultancy agency by just learning a few skills and expertise. In the current scenario, when existing businesses are experiencing a downfall, there are bright chances of new businesses to surface. Thus becoming a consultant in business development and planning can be much fruitful.
- Technology Consultant:
To keep pace with the modern world, it is better to have knowledge of emerging trends. Indeed developments in technology are worth knowing about. However, it would not be wrong to say that learning about new technology is not an easy job. For example, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain concepts, etc., are the concepts today’s world is counting on for a bright future. Therefore, you can become a tech guru through basic courses that can provide you leads to unlimited career opportunities in technology. You can have your home based IT consultancy where you work independently and are able to earn a handsome amount with each new project you do.
- Tax Consultations:
Taxes and the tax law and policies is not an easy skill to learn. However if you have the essential skills, then the scope of having a successful career is pretty much bright. Directly or indirectly all business fields have tax related concerns, as it is mandatory for every citizen of the state to pay taxes. However, very few have effective information about taxation policies.If you have the knowledge and experience to provide professional consultation about taxes,you are in for a treat. You can build upon your expertise to create a consultancy that may reduce tax hassles for individuals and organizations.
- Team building/Management consultant:
The importance of team in any business is undeniable. An effective team provides foundations to achieve important goals and targets in any organization. Thus if you have worked in the corporate world or in a managerial capacity, you can become an excellent management consultant who can work from home with flexible timings. A number of factors are involved in formation of a team. With your outstanding consultancy skills, you can lay the bases to effective team building. At the same moment, you can be a mentor, a coach and an advisor to the employees and structure and plan policies towards successful team building. So, be a home-based management consultant, stay in touch with business organizations and help them achieve their goals and objectives. On top of everything, you can earn a handsome livelihood with your excellence in consultancy.
- Event Management:
Perhaps the best aspect of becoming a home-based event manager is that it does not entail attaining any education or training. This makes it a zero-investment business idea that does not require you to go through years of schooling to become qualified. If you believe that you have an eye for details, the ability to bring excellence to any event and you can learn to create a professional working environment, event management could be your golden ticket to success for a consulting business.
- Mental Health Consultants:
Mental health professionals play an important role in the functioning of an already stressed society. Setting up a home based mental health consultation business can prove to be very successful. Online therapies and sessions have become the new norm, since many people prefer consulting a mental health professional from the ease of their home. You don’t need any professional equipment, just your degree and license and you can start practicing from home. All you need is a good internet connection, and you can start your business. A mental health professional is the need of these challenging times, since so many people are overwhelmed with the pandemic.
- Consultation on Alternative therapies:
Home based life coaching therapies are becoming prevalent, and if you have the expertise in the field, providing online therapy sessions can prove to be very profitable. If you have experience and the expertise, using it to turn into a profitable business is never a bad idea. Life coaching, hypnotherapy etc are alternative approaches to understand yourself and your life goals better. They help a person gain a better understanding of himself and what he wants from his life. Many individuals have the need to resolve issues in their lives, and this needs specialized assistance from an expert. Moreover, therapies like NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) help a person gain self-confidence and enhance communication skills. Home based businesses providing such therapies can be very profitable, if you are able to establish a good reputation in the field.
- Consultation on Personal finances :
If you are a business manager or someone who has experience in dealing with budgeting and finances, you can profit from setting up a home consultation business for personal finances. A personal finance consultant provides his clients with advice and services that help them manage their financial affairs efficiently and effectively. They help their clients develop strategies and budgeting techniques that suit the individual’s needs. Setting up a consultation business for personal finances is easy and hassle-free as well since the concept is pretty straightforward.
- Consultancy on Cybersecurity:
If you are good with IT, a business dealing with cybersecurity can be your thing. The concept of storing records and important data in the form of papers and files is disappearing with every passing day. Virtual storing of data is becoming the new standard and most companies prefer securing their data online. Hence, the need for people who provide cybersecurity has also arisen. Setting up a home based business that helps provide consultation regarding cybersecurity can be extremely viable as well as successful. There is a huge market for such services and the demand for cybersecurity consultants is increasing day by day. Determining the most efficient methods of protecting computers, networks, and information systems against any kind of cyber attack is the sole responsibility of a cyber security consultant. It’s a business that needs little investment which can ensure good profit since the demand is high.
- Home organization/decluttering:
Everyone has heard of Marie Kondo. She used her passion for cleaning and organization and turned into an immensely successful and profitable business. Her books and Netflix show have attained worldwide recognition. Such a business can quickly turn a profit without requiring any complex software or equipment. You do not have to provide door to door service. All you need to do is guide people to clean their messes and declutter their homes with appropriate techniques and plans, more like a virtual cleaning assistant.
- Legal Consultations:
All those years you spent in law school and all the hard work it took to pass the bar exam can now evolve into a lucrative business. You can open up your own legal advice firm or legal consultation business from your living room and help out people with their legal complications. Once you build a reputation, you will be able to offer affordable and practical consultation services and construct a strong customer base to turn your ardour for the justice system into a profit-making enterprise.
- Architectural Consultations:
If you are an architect by choice and qualification and want to broaden your creative scope, you can start your own consulting setup from home with minimum investment. You may have come across a number of loyal clients during your architecture based job who could stick with you or pass on positive reviews for you. With your understanding of spaces and structures, you could become a successful architectural consultant without leaving your home.
Things to Consider Before Starting a Consulting Business
Even though a consulting business is easy to set up, there are certain prerequisites that you should consider before diving into it knee-deep.
A qualified and well-educated person is considered to be more reliable and dependable when it comes to seeking advice. Anybody can be a consultant but a good consultant knows what he is doing. He knows the ropes of his area of expertise thoroughly. Before you start your home-based venture, introspect and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses along with your qualifications. If you want to go for legal or financial or architectural consultations, you cannot be successful until you have the necessary knowhow via your education. Your knowledge and skill are going to decide how good a consultant you are. You can bank upon your industry experience if you go for HR consultancy.
Whether you like it or not, YOU HAVE TO IDENTIFY YOUR NICHE! You cannot sprawl all over the consulting arena, you have to select one area that is your thing and then build upon it one step at a time.
Consultancy is a serious business. Not every Tom, Dick, and Harry can nail it! People who are dedicated and driven can be extremely successful in it though. However, you can’t just come out one day saying you are an expert in architecture or IT and are ready to give advice to others. You need to complement your claims with solid credentials so that people can trust you. Various niches require different certifications. For example in order to provide healthcare consultations or mental health advice, you need to be a qualified medical practitioner. Various fields like law, finance, technology, etc require special certifications before you can provide consultations. Make sure you do your research and have all the necessary certifications and training before you embark on your home-based venture.
For any business to gather momentum, planning is a very crucial process. If you want to launch your consulting business from home, you have to have a clear set of goals and objectives that you want to achieve. Both short term and long term perspectives need to be considered in planning. You can set measurable targets for yourself so that your time and efforts are put to good use.
Careful and well thought out planning is the key to a smart beginning!
For any home-based venture, there might be bottlenecks in its execution if you don’t practice self-discipline. Since you are the one setting the rules here, you have to make sure that you abide by them. Scheduled working hours, proper sleep routine, and time management can take your business a long way. You need to have systems, procedures, routines, and protocols so that you can deliver your 100%.
Once you have decided upon a niche that matches with your skillset, qualifications and experience, you need to move towards getting leads and converting them into genuine clients. When it comes to consultation services, word of mouth is a very significant factor. A strong network across related professionals can get you solid leads and even loyal customers who may want to come back to you.
Setting up a home-based consulting business requires minimum capital investment. If executed effectively, it has the potential to generate high profit margins.According to Payscale, on average an IT consultant makes $ 78,692 annually while a management consultant makes $87,367 annually on average. Now, working independently from home can often allow more flexible pricing and can result in much better financial returns.
However, it is imperative that you plan and execute it effectively. There are many online resources available to assist and guide you through each and every step.
Don’t just wait. Act upon your instincts and make the most of these challenging times by launching your very own home-based consultancy!
Thanks for reading!
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