A consulting business is a professional service firm that provides expertise and specialized labour for a fee, through the use of consultants. In this post, you will learn how to start a consulting business in Nigeria.
A consulting business in Nigeria can have one or more employees, depending on its size.
Consultants can consult in a wide range of industries, such as management, engineering, digital marketing, information technology, law, and many more.
What is the fastest way to start a consulting business? Here’s how to start a consulting business in Nigeria in just 7 steps.
How to start a consultation business in Nigeria
Follow these steps to start a consultation business in Nigeria:
1. Select an area of specialization
An area of specialization is a division in your field on which you want to focus your business on. If you don’t know how to select a specific area to specialize in, you should make your decision based on the following factors.
- Your experience
- Professional skills
Before starting a consulting business in Nigeria, you should be an expert in at least one field, while also having some knowledge and experience in a few related fields.
This is a major reason why most consulting businesses in Nigeria were established by retirees and professionals who lose their job.
If you don’t know much about a field, or you only watched some YouTube videos and read a few blog posts, it’s advisable that you don’t start a consulting business in Nigeria.
You won’t solve your clients’ problems in the long run, you will be giving wrong/poor advice that could destroy businesses, and most especially, you could get sued and have to appear in court.
2. Register your consulting business and comply with all rules
The next step is to begin your branding and get your business registered. Now you will want to pay attention.
A consulting business is a very risky one. Any of your clients whose business fails can wake up one day and decide to take you to court.
In that case, you should protect your business at the very beginning by NOT REGISTERING AS A SOLE PROPRIETOR!
Instead, you should register as a Limited Liability Partnership (if more than one owner is involved) or a Limited Liability Company.
That way, you will be protecting your personal assets, should your consulting business face an unbearable loss or debt.
Aside from registering your business, you should also comply with specific rules that apply to your area of specialization.
For instance, starting a consulting business in the banking and medical sector will have some strict requirements that you must adhere to.
Be sure to research them all before you start your consulting business in Nigeria.
3. Draft a business plan
Writing a business plan is as important as getting a compass for your ship voyage. Whenever you’re starting a consulting business in Nigeria, you should outline all you need.
Also, set goals for your business and highlight your aims and objectives. Some potential clients and investors do ask for a business plan before working with certain consulting businesses.
Finally, be realistic. Don’t set goals that are far beyond your reach or what you can achieve at that size and stage of your business.
Having ambitious yet realistic goals would make you see the possibility of your business, even during periods when everything is starting to not make any sense.
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4. Get a web presence!
Gone are the days when in-person meetings were the only possible way of working with other businesses. Today, the internet and digital marketing have made it easier for B2B businesses to thrive.
By having a presence on search engines (and also on a few social platforms), you will be increasing your chances of getting more clients.
You can also reach potential clients at their point of need by using digital marketing services. The internet marketing services you will need in this case are:
- Website development
- PPC advertising (Google Ads)
- Social media marketing
You may need other ones, but the 4 above (especially web development) are very important ones to start with.
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5. Get a physical office
The next step is to get an office. This is a very important step to take whenever you’re starting a consulting business in Nigeria. Remember, you’re working with other businesses (and not end consumers).
As a result, you must look professional to your clients and show that you meet (or exceed) their standards. One of the ways to do that (aside from having quality consultancy) is to have a well-furnished office.
Also, your office should be in a strategic location. By strategic, we mean a location where your potential clients (business owners, entrepreneurs and high-ranking executives of big companies) pass through almost every day.
If you have a tight budget and you want to start from scratch, you can convert one of the rooms in your house to simulate a working space.
From that room, you can work from home and run a virtual consulting business through the internet.
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6. Set your fees
Unless you’re a casual worker who just collects any tip he/she can get hands-on and be satisfied with it, you should set pricing for your consulting business services.
Note that your fees don’t have to be too high or low. Heck, it shouldn’t even be a specific amount.
It should vary based on your level of expertise, the reputation attached to your consulting brand, your location, and also the size of the business you’re consulting.
For instance, you can’t charge Access Bank PLC the same fee that you would charge a local business in your town, even though the tasks may have the same difficulty.
7. Get the word out!
Get the whole world to see your consulting business for what it is. Reach out to potential clients. To do that, you should consider the suggestions below.
- Create a Google business profile
- Create a LinkedIn company page
- List your business on multiple business listing sites
- Create a social media account on multiple platforms
- Visit local TV and radio stations in your locality and run an advertisement
Any professional with the required amount of knowledge, skills, and experience can start a consulting business in Nigeria.
Although your certifications and experience matter, they are only there to add respect to your brand and help you familiarize yourself with many clients’ challenges.
Your success as a business consultant will still rely on how much you’re able to drive results.
Also, it’s never a wise thing to guarantee clients some type of results. Remember, anything can go wrong with a business, including factors beyond your reach.
Get a web presence, furnish your office, set a flexible price and advertise your services. That is how to start a consulting business in Nigeria.