A consulting firm is not a typical business. Consultants don’t sell anything, nor do they provide a tangible service. Instead, a consultant uses their extensive professional knowledge in a particular field or industry and offers personalized recommendations and advice to clients.
No matter the industry, even consulting firms, need to devise a business plan.
What is a business plan?
A business plan is a reliable, detailed, written out document that establishes all the goals, steps, and resources needed to start a business. Their primary purpose is to inform and convince potential investors for funding. Moreover, it capitulates the main goals, value-based and financial, of the company.
Why is a business plan important for a consulting firm?
When starting, a consulting firm may or may not need capital. If so, its business plan is necessary to garner the loans, investments, or support required.
In other cases, a freelance consultant might not need funding if they are investing their savings into it. While not required, a business plan can still be essential to cover the marketing strategy since the main priority is to generate clients. Other benefits a business plan can bring include funds for office space.
Even for freelancers, a business plan helps with focus – it fleshes out objectives, time requirements, pay, costs, and revenue projections.
How to create a business plan for your consulting firm
In a business plan, several sections are obligatory to include. For example, the executive summary, the firm’s vision, the mission statement, details on the type of business, the service plan and rates, marketing plan, management, and financial forecasts.
While discussing the process of creating a business plan can become incredibly detailed, here are some important things to remember.
- Highlight the consulting firm’s USP – Unique Value Proposition. What makes your consulting firm stand out from other firms in your industry?
- Be safer in your revenue estimations. Use the assistance of an accountant to focus on the critical data, and include charts, graphs, and any other diagrams.
- Do intense market research on your target clients. Know what is most needed in the market or industry, and create a strategy to address it through your services. What are other consulting firms not offering? What problems remain neglected? The target client will also guide the all-important marketing plan.
- Consider how you will use the profits. How will you invest back into the consulting firm?
- Remember, a business plan will be continually updated. The first draft will never be perfect, so cover the necessary information and edit as you go along. Professional feedback is always helpful.