Consulting Business Models (3 Potential Paths)

January 19, 2022

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Consulting business models can make or break the success of firms.

Before you decide on a business model for your consulting firm, consider the following questions:

  • Do you want to scale your consulting firm or act as a solo consultant?
  • How do you feel about managing teams of consultants?
  • Do you know how to implement systems and develop workflows?
  • Have you established clear income targets for yourself and the firm?
  • Can you prioritize scalability over profitability in the short term?
  • How much time can you dedicate to the consulting business?

The right professional services business model will support scalability and profitability. If you're actively considering business consulting models and find yourself at a crossroads, this is the perfect article for you to read.

A consulting firm's business model can determine the trajectory of the organization. Failure to develop a robust business model may result in short-term success and long-term stagnation. With a clear model from the outset, you can hit the ground running and establish a strong foundation for growth.

There is no one-size-fits-all business consulting model that's suitable for every consulting firm. Ideally, your business model should complement your skills and expertise. While developing a consulting business model, you should also consider systems and solutions that could support your workflow.

StartingPoint is the go-to workflow automation platform for ambitious consulting firms. If you're serious about optimizing team productivity and systematizing service delivery, StartingPoint can create a centralized hub for effective project management and communication.

consulting business model

3 Possible Consulting Business Models

There are three tried and true consulting business models to consider adopting:

The Firm Model

This is the standard model for consulting firms. Consultants are employees of the company. They are either full-time or part-time, with benefits and salaries that are commensurate to their years of experience in the industry.

The downside to this model is that these firms often operate on relatively low-profit margins. This means you will need to scale the client base to generate a reasonable profit.

The benefits of the firm model:

The downsides of the firm model:

  • Demands people management skills.
  • Offers a low-profit margin.
  • Requires rigorous systems to keep things operational.
  • Creates considerable obligations, such as employee payroll.

The Solo/Independent Model

The solo/independent model creates a certain degree of freedom and flexibility. You can work at your own pace and set your own fees. You also have the ability to choose which clients you work with and projects you take on.

The downside to this model is that you need to wear several hats, including those of a consultant, marketer, and accountant. This can dilute your time and affect your ability to focus on service delivery.

The benefits of the solo/independent model:

  • Run a lean and profitable operation.
  • Create flexibility, enabling you to pivot quickly.
  • Build your schedule around your lifestyle.

The downsides of the solo/independent model:

  • Unable to sell the business as an asset.
  • When you stop working, the revenue also stops.

The Productized Model

The productized model adds repeatability and predictability to your operation. When service delivery and revenue are consistent, this can give you the confidence to make bolder bets and take bigger risks with your business - in the pursuit of growth.

The benefits of the productized model:

  • Build a high-value and sellable asset.
  • Create high multiple potential with recurring revenue.
  • Unlock the flexibility to scale quickly.
  • Remove yourself from the daily operations.
  • Promote repeatability across all workflow processes.

The downsides of the productized model:

  • Operational skills are needed to develop clear workflow processes.
  • You must hire professionals for service delivery.
  • You will need to conduct training and onboarding sessions.
  • You must outline the best practices for client support.

The Hybrid Model

With the hybrid model, you take the core components from any one of these models to build the perfect consulting business model just for you.

What is the best consulting business model for you?

With so many options to choose from, it's difficult to settle on an ideal business model. That's why the hybrid model exists - a business consulting model that marries the ideas and benefits of multiple models.

Regardless of your consulting model, StartingPoint has you covered. With a range of customizable features at your fingertips, you can adapt this platform to confidently meet your needs in no time at all. As a comprehensive workflow automation solution, StartingPoint can enhance all aspects of your operation through optimization.

StartingPoint can provide a centralized hub for project management and workflow automation. Our intuitive platform supports all consulting models by creating a centralized environment that promotes team productivity and radically streamlines workflows.

If you're committed to investing in solutions that support your business model, exploring the benefits of StartingPoint is a no-brainer. You can take this platform for a test drive with a 14-day trial. This will give you time to unlock and experience the benefits of the workflow automation platform.

StartingPoint Is Critical To A Profitable Business Consulting Model

Once you identify your ideal business model, it's important to remember that the foundation of any operation rests on the systems you use. If you're failing to leverage workflow automation solutions to streamline your consulting business operation, you are running at a disadvantage.

To develop a profitable business consulting model, you must invest in the right solutions to drive your operations. If you're relying on an extensive stack of inefficient platforms to power your workflows, this is a recipe for disaster. When it comes to optimizing your consulting firm around productivity, you must implement a centralized hub for service delivery and client communication.

With everything in one place, team members can complete tasks without having to navigate between multiple platforms. This can often help to dramatically streamline workflows and increase productivity across your workforce. If you're committed to optimizing around service delivery, you should consider investing in StartingPoint.

Are you ready to take StartingPoint for a test drive? Get started for free today.