Centre for Continuing Education

Starting a Consulting Business Course

Small Business. Big ideas for small business.

The consulting market is, and always will be, a contested marketplace, and so it should be. Otherwise, how would we move economies, our clients and ourselves as consultants forward? So it’s vitally important to be right on top of your game with a distinctive, sustainable and profitable consulting enterprise.

But do you have the aptitude to actually make the transition from an employed corporate life to an uncertain consulting career? Would you be competent enough? Could you run a small business, as a sole practitioner, or in a small boutique firm with a few like-minded people? Do you know what you need to do to rapidly generate revenue? Can you market and sell and do? This course will answer these questions plus all of yours, and won’t finish until they are answered. You will also leave the course with your rapid start-up marketing plan in outline. Topic content will be flexed according to your background and needs. ‘Tips & tricks’ (of the trade) will be sprinkled throughout.


If you are actively considering a consulting career by starting-up your own consulting business, you need to know and evaluate:

  • the attributes of a consultant
  • the likely prospects for their services and the sectors to be served
  • their options – sole practitioner, small boutique
  • what is required to rapidly start-up their business and generate revenue
  • how to market those services
  • an effective approach for selling
  • how to make a difference in delivery
  • how to start-up and kick-off the business.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • determine your proficiency for consulting
  • appraise your consulting marketplace (competition and target clients) in Australia
  • determine whether they will operate as a sole practitioner or as a boutique consultant
  • define and group your offers, develop supporting intellectual assets (case study, reference story, point-of-view), define key definitions (elevator speech, distinctive selling proposition, value proposition positioning statement) and assess 60 marketing techniques in order to develop a marketing plan
  • develop and price proposals using an appropriate pricing strategy, and manage the resulting sales pipeline
  • present your ideas, craft messages, deliver presentations and write reports in an impressive way
  • work through a checklist of things to set your business up – name, appropriate insurances, legal considerations and a business plan.


Consulting as a career

  • Defining consultancy
  • Assessing skills, knowledge, experience
  • Determining focus – expertise or functional

Business outlook

  • Where do we consult?
  • What sectors and industries buy
  • The competition

Consultancy organisation

  • Consultant or contractor
  • Firm – Sole practitioner or boutique consultant
  • Type – Vendor, specialist or game changer

Rapid start-up action plan

  • Proficiency analysis and service areas
  • Key intellectual assets – Case study, reference story, point of view
  • Service offers and/or expertise offers
  • Definitions – Elevator speech, distinctive selling proposition, value proposition positioning statement
  • Targets – Sectors, industries, organisations
  • Collaborations & co-operations with other consultants/advisors
  • Website
  • Marketing techniques
  • Marketing plan

Selling fundamentals

  • Consultative problem-solving selling
  • Proposal formats
  • Pricing strategies and structures
  • Setting fees
  • Sales pipeline management

Delivery fundamentals

  • Project management
  • Practical operating tips
  • Presenting ideas & reporting
  • Research
  • Professional principles


  • Structuring and naming the business
  • Set-up essentials
  • Business planning
  • Selecting business and professional advisors
  • Legal considerations
  • Insurances

Intended audience

Designed for professionals who want to know what it entails to be a consultant and how to rapidly start-up a consulting business, as a sole practitioner, or in a small boutique.

Delivery style

Delivered as a presentation with facilitated discussion, activities and exercises. You will complete a rapid start-up action plan as the main course exercise. This plan includes the initial marketing plan. Each session will have its own activities. Optionally, you may further develop your personal self-assessment survey (refer to ‘Before the course’) during the course.

Before the course

A self-assessment survey will be available for completion prior to class.


There is no assessment during the course, though you are expected to implement the rapid start-up action plan.

Recommended reading

A booklist to support ongoing business activities will be provided.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Free, expert advice
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

What others say.

  • Excellent course led by a very experienced facilitator. I couldn’t be happier with the practical learning outcomes – exactly what I was wanting.

  • The tutor has an in depth knowledge in running a consulting business in the real world, which is different from lots other tutors who only talk in the academic field.

  • The tutor shared a wealth of experience over the two days of the course which alone made the course value for money. The tutor taught with passion and was able to engage students in a rewarding way. The content of the course and the professional presentation of the printed material made understanding the points contained easy and straight forward. I would be able recommend with confidence – the course, venue and tutor without hesitation.

  • This tutor is clearly an expert in the area, and the insight and knowledge imparted set the foundation for the course. I now have a clear plan for moving forward, and tools to help me do so.

  • Knowledgeable and personable trainer with a wealth of experience and a genuine desire to see us fledglings soar – couldn’t ask for more!

  • I thought the course content was very thorough and gave me everything I need to steer me in the right direction. The facilitator was knowledgeable and personable and straight away made us all feel part of the team.

  • This course provided everything that I could have hoped for in a two-day event. The presenter is very experienced, and although appeared to be getting used to the material after a hiatus from delivering this course, was engaging and worked with the small group well.

  • The presenter was very informative and shared experiences which were valuable to me. The course allowed me to better understand my consultancy business and benchmark the services I provide with others in the industry.

What others say.

  • Excellent course and content. Highly recommend this course to anyone flying solo in business.
  • I enjoyed this course. The tutor was outstanding at delivering the content and the small class size allowed for good interactions.