Starting a Consultant Business

By Charles Hopkins Published 10/23/2007 | Entrepreneur
If you are tired of working for someone else, why not start a consulting business and get paid more for the same skills your boss pays you for now. Starting a business is definitely not for everyone, but if you have the courage, the rewards are great.

Before you take the leap into full time consulting it is best to straddle between your full time job and your new part-time consulting business until you feel you are able to stand on your own. It is almost always best to ease into your new business rather than starting from a standing start. Unfortunately, some people due to an abrupt job loss dont have a choice. It will usually take at least 6 months to start seeing any decent volume of business.

One thing you should do before you start your new consulting business is to be sure you have at least 6 months of savings to cover your living expenses. There is nothing worse when starting a new business than having this months bills hanging over your head already.

The decision on whether to work from home or to get an office is another decision most new consultants struggle with. Most people feel they need to have an office out of the house to feel more productive. Also, working from home can lead to many distractions, and might make you feel less than professional.

One big advantage of working from home, is that you don't have to pay any overhead when you are first starting out which can be a big savings for early struggling businesses. Don't let your ego get in the way of this decision. Some people stereotype working from home as lazy, but some people have managed to run million dollar consultant businesses from the comfort of their homes.

Another advantage of working from home is that all space and equipment used for business can be tax deductible.

Once you make the firm commitment to start your business you must make sure it is legally structured. You can do this online or find an attorney. By consulting an attorney you can find what type of business structure will work best for you (LLC, C corporation, etc.)

Another great reason to ease into consulting is that most of your business will come by word of mouth and networking. While still working full time start to identify and become familiar with people you think can lead you to many contacts to help get your business started.

By easing into your new consulting business you can set yourself up for success. Give yourself time and lots of confidence and you will succeed.