Making money online is not so hard if you do it in the right way. several online businesses can give you a decent and regular income. In Smart Income Sutra, I always write about them. One of those is the online consulting business.
In this article, I will you will learn how to start an online consulting business from scratch.
Well, do you know why I recommend all to start an online business or transform your existing brick and mortar business into an online business?
Because the Internet is the present and future of this world. Everyone is now involved in online activities whether it’s playing games on mobile or editing a document on Google Docs or shopping from Amazon.
Let me show you some stats of internet users in India.
After Jio 4G, more than half of India’s population is now on the internet which makes our country the second largest internet user country in the world.
Now let’s have some stats about the office and business users.
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After lockdown, work from home culture started in India and all over the world, and today over 73% work of major IT companies all over the world is done from home.
That’s how starting an online consulting business is so lucrative.
What Is Consulting Business?
SO, what is consulting?
Well, let’s have the definition then we will discuss it in detail.
According to Oxford Dictionary, “A person who provides expert advice professionally is a consultant.”
He can be a doctor, a plumber, or anyone who holds expert knowledge in a field.
Now let’s discuss online consulting which is the subject of this article.
Online Consulting Business
“A business in which we provide expert advice professionally through the internet is online consulting.” Anyone who is an expert in any field can start an online consulting business. The success, all depends on his skills, knowledge, marketing, and a bit of technical knowledge.
Well, why should you start online consulting? Is online consulting is more lucrative than offline consulting?
Here is the answer…
Online Consulting Profitability
As we know the internet is available all over the world, the first most advantage of online consulting is we can serve other countries.
Some of them are high-earning countries where payments are much higher than tier 2 countries.
If we target countries like the USA, UK, UAE, Australia, etc then we can charge a higher fee. That means you will earn much more than what you have been earning offline serving locals.
However, you are charging premium fees to them still that’s lower than the local consultants charge them. So they willing to pay you happily.
You should do some research about the local consultation fees before, and then put your fees under the range. You will see how happy your foreign clients will pay you.
Internet opens your door to expand your business worldwide hence online consulting is much more lucrative than offline consultation.
Certifications and special licensing Needed
Well, above you’ve learned what is an online consulting business and how much profitable it is for you?
BUT, do you need any certificate or license to do online consulting? This is one of the crucial questions as we know obtaining certifications in a field requires a proper education process that takes time and money.
Well, it all depends on the field in which you are giving your consultation.
If you are a doctor then you need an M.B.B.S degree to advise the patients whether online or offline. On the other hand for a plumber, there is no need to obtain any certification to give online advice.
If you are an accountant, lawyer, doctor, or any professional then you must need certification an license to run your business. No matter it’s online or offline.
But, if you are a digital marketer, counselor, PR, or writer then the only thing you need is a good portfolio with past work experience.
Types of Online Consulting Businesses
There are hundreds of online consulting business ideas available there. You can choose one as per your expertise and skills and start online consulting around that.
Let me show you some of them
Accounting and auditing
If you are an accountant and already serve local customers then you can expand your business online. Bookkeeping and auditing is an essential thing for any business so you can get a lot of business opportunities online.
Websites like Fiverr, Freelancer, Elancer, etc play the middleman’s role between the consultant and customer.
Some of my friends are making $100-$500/Day as online accountants and bookkeepers
Digital marketing is in a boom. Even I do digital marketing for my foreign clients. The beauty of digital marketing is you don’t need much more clients to make money.
Even one good client can make you thousands of dollars on monthly basis.
Another best thing about digital marketing is once you get a client they will stay with you for a long time. So, you don’t need to search for new clients daily
Every online and offline business needs business scripts to publish on their websites, brochures, etc. If your English is good and you can write in the business language then you should start an online business writing consultancy.
Businesses pay well for business writing. You can find these types of jobs on all freelance websites
Millions of people lost their job during the COVID pandemic. Now when we are recovering from this, getting a job is one of the most important things for all.
You can be an online career counselor and help people to get their dream job or business.
Computer programmers are the guys who don’t get out of work anytime. Even during the pandemic, they were one of the most worked professionals working from their homes.
If you are a programmer then you can serve online customers and charge a fee for your work. Programming jobs are always in demand so you will never go out of work.
If you are good in a language then you can start editorial services online consultation business. In this, you can serve editorial services to freelance writers, online magazines, blogs, and website owners.
You can charge a premium fee if you are serving in the countries like UK, USA, UAE, etc.
HR counselor is another great online consultation business idea. Companies need remote Human Resource consultation for their employees.
If you can manage to get 2-3 foreign companies as clients then you can make thousands of dollars on monthly basis from these companies.
Insurance has always been a lucrative indie business. History is witnessed that many insurance brokers made millions of dollars by selling insurance to their customers.
However, insurance is the game of trust, in which brokers have to convince the buyers about the reliability and profitability of the insurance hence needs one-to-one interaction, yet today online insurance selling is in trend.
Insurance brokers are now selling insurance online with the help of social media networks, websites, and blogs. The game is yet the same. They have to gain buyer’s trust and then sell them.
If you are an existing insurance broker then this is the time to expand your business online. The Internet expands your reach to unlimited buyers hence you’ll get unlimited earning opportunities by selling insurance online.
PR or public relations is another lucrative career option online. Companies and individuals need PR executives for advertising and other PR operations. If you can become a PR executive then you can get better opportunities online.
And if you manage to get international clients then you will start earning in 5-6 figures. Later, in this article, I’ll show you how you can start your online business as an online PR executive. Keep reading.
Publishing is a must-do thing online. Every online business needs to publish its content online. After all, content is king. They need better quality content to improve SEO, gain the audience’s trust, and so on.
So, content publishing has emerged as one of the best online business options these days. You can write articles and create videos and publish them on behalf of the companies and individuals who hire you over social media, Youtube, blogs, etc.
Again, it’s a lucrative business option and people are making millions by doing online publishing consultation for others.
Every company or individual need tax consultant to submit ITR, monthly and yearly audit, etc. If you are an existing tax consultant then you can expand your business online to get some international clients and make huge money by assisting them as a tax consultant.
You can approach these companies and individuals over their social media channels, emails, and websites and ask them for the requirement. Companies from tier 1 countries always look for cheaper rates because they don’t get that cheap rate in their countries hence find tax consultant in tier 2 countries.
If you live in India, Pakistan, Srilanka, etc then you can become a tax consultant for these companies and earn in dollars.
Along with these 11 online consulting options, there are many other online consulting business exists. The only thing is to find those opportunities and prepare yourself to serve better consultation.
Now let us discuss how you can execute your online consulting business idea? Do you need employees? Or you can start individually? What are the first steps to start an online consulting business? How you can scale your online business?
In the next sections, we’ll find answers to all these questions.
Can you start Online consulting without employees?
Yes, you can start an online consulting business without any manpower. You just need a proper business plan and self expertise in the field to get started.
However, later on, when you scale your online consulting business, you need employees to handle the work but at least at first, you don’t need employees.
You can do any consulting business individually if you hold the expertise that is needed to execute the work.
Suppose, you are a Lawyer and want to expand your law consultation online. At first, you just need a medium to find and interact with your customers and the expertise in Law of the country you are serving.
The medium can be anything from social media channels to blogs and websites. After finding the customers online you can reach out to them and quote them.
After getting clients you can offer consultation over Zoom call or Google meet.
Here, you don’t need an employee to start your business.
BUT, what if you have clients more than your work power? You can’t serve them after a limit. After all, you have only 24 hours in your day.
Here, you need employees to tackle the different types of works. Like, for talking with the clients you need a tele-caller, for scheduling the meetings you need an assistant, etc.
So, the requirement of employees all depends on the amount of work.
BUT, getting started in online consultation doesn’t need any employees at first.
4 Steps to Start an Online Consulting Business From India?
In this section, I’ll show you the 4 step process to getting started in the online consultation business.
The very first one is,
Step 1: Find Your Niche
Finding your niche. This is the most important process. For any career, you need a niche where you can serve your work. The niche can be anything from income tax to digital marketing. You have to find your expertise and then decide what niche you should go to.
If you are a tax specialist you should go with tax consultation, if you are a doctor then you should go with online medical consultation.
But, what if you don’t hold a professional degree?
Don’t worry. Not all niches need a professional degree. Like, a digital marketing consultant doesn’t need any professional degree. In digital marketing, your profile is much more important than a degree.
There are a lot of niches there that don’t require any professional degree. The only thing is to find them and become an expert in that field.
Step 2: Start a Consulting Website
After finding your niche, you have to start a website. Just like your physical business address, a website is a virtual address to your business. So, starting your consulting website where you interact with your clients is a must.
If you are worried about how to create your website, then let me tell you, it’s very easy.
You just need web hosting and a domain name to start your consulting website. BUT, don’t go with cheap web hosting services otherwise your website will be in trouble.
I had created my first website with a cheap Indian web hosting service. But, after 2 months, their server had been down and I have lost my website.
SO, choosing a reliable web host for your website is very important. I always recommend my readers two web hosting services that are global companies, cheap in rate, and reliable.
Now, when you have your web hosting and domain name ready, it’s time to launch your website. You can start your website with WordPress. Read these articles to create your website with WordPress.
- How To Install WordPress Theme [The Simplest Guide]
- How To Create Website with WordPress in 2021 [Step-By-Step Tutorial]
- Getting Started With WordPress [9-Step WordPress Installation Guide]
Don’t worry, creating a website with WordPress doesn’t need any technical knowledge. After reading the above articles, you can easily create your website within 24 hours.
A website is the main place to interact with your clients and showcase your work to them. You can share your contact, showcase your experiences, chat with your clients, and much more by starting your website.
Step 3: Give a compelling offer that provides value
A good offer can make you money. If your offer is not attractive, useful and under competitive price then nobody will ask you for your services.
So, in the 3rd step, you should brainstorm about the offer you are going to give your clients.
Your offer can be anything from a discount to free service. You have to think about this. You can research on the internet what other consultancies are offering and then plan your offering.
But, whatever you give your clients, it should be beneficial to them.
Always be competitive in the market otherwise you can’t compete with others. You should know there are thousands of other consultants available on the internet to grab your client.
Step 4: Build a repeatable system for attracting clients
Now the last step which is very important if you want to earn money frequently is to build a repeatable system for attracting clients.
Capture email address
In this, the first one you should consider is to capture your website visitor’s email. This is very important if you want to make a long-lasting relationship with your client.
Once you have the email ID of the website visitor, you can contact them through email about your services. I always capture my website visitor’s email ID. I offer a free eBook related to my niche to them in exchange for their email address.
After capturing their emails, I used to send them regular email campaigns and email sequences to make them aware of my product and services.
I use the Get Response email marketing service to do this. They have many features that help in capturing emails seamlessly on your website.
The other thing I do is to create social media accounts and start posting useful posts there. I connect my website address with all my social media accounts and mention my website and services in my social posts. You should also do this. To increase your followers you can start paid social media advertising.
If you are wondering how to do social media advertising then read my article “Social Media Marketing For Businesses and Startups”.
The 3rd and very useful thing is to start your blog. Blog posts are very useful to gain traffic and authority on your website.
If you start blogging on your website, your website starts coming on Google search for the related keyword terms. Now, whenever, your potential clients search for those terms on Google, your website will come in front of them.
So, blogging is a must to create a repeatable system.
The last one but not the least is creating your account on Fiverr, Freelancer, and other freelance websites. There you can get your first online clients easily by showcasing your past works. Your website, blog, and social media account also help you to build your authority on these freelance websites.
How to scale your Online consulting Business?
Now you have a website, blog, and your social media accounts, and also some clients in your hand. Now, what if the workload is more than your capacity?
It’s time to scale your consulting business.
In this section, we’ll discuss how to scale your online consulting business?
The first option every business use to scale up is hiring employees for a different type of works.
You can do the same.
You can hire employees for different works such as for blogging you can hire writers, for social media posts you can hire a social media manager and for contacting clients and scheduling your meeting with them you can hire a personal assistant.
BUT, before hiring employees you should always check your earnings if you can pay them or not. If your earnings are more than their payment then you can go ahead otherwise you should wait for earning increment.
To hire employees you can head over to freelance websites, social media groups, and forums. There you can find out eligible and trained employees for your online consulting business.
Build a remote team
A remote team is where the employees work from anywhere in the world. They don’t need office space and 9-5 job timing to do their work. The remote team does their work through the internet so they can work from anywhere the internet is available.
Building a remote team is much more affordable than traditional hiring. Building a team by setting up your office needs money to manage office space and other office-related expenses.
On the other hand, a remote team doesn’t need many resources.
you don’t have to provide the office space and other office-related resources. You just hire them, they work for you and you pay them. This is the cycle.
So, to scale up your online business is very important to build your remote team.
Provide services to abroad clients
Concerning the earnings, we can divide the countries into 3 types.
- Tier-1 countries such as the USA, UK, Canada, UAE, etc.
- Tier-2 countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, and southeast Asia.
- Tier-3 countries such as African countries.
Companies situated in tier-1 countries pay much more than tier-2 and tier-3 countries. SO, you should always try to acquire abroad clients from tier-1 countries.
I have many clients from the USA and Canada for my digital marketing business and believe me they pay me thousands of dollars for their projects.
I always place tier-1 countries on the top because I get paid much more in tier-1 countries than other ones for the same work I do.
Conclusion: Online consulting business in India
Now, you are aware of the process to start an online consulting business in India. You have learned what is an online consulting business, the types of online consulting businesses, and how to start your own.
Now it’s time to implement these things and start your online consulting website and business.
However, it takes time to get your first few clients but once you get your first clients you will be getting more.
Establishing an online consulting business takes 6 months to 2 years if you do all the things mentioned in this article. But, once established you never look back. If you manage to establish a decent traffic online consulting website and target tier-1 countries then you can earn millions.
Let me know in the comments about your plan and if you have any questions about it. I will answer all your questions. And, don’t forget to share this article on your social media accounts. Sharing encourages me to write more about online business and digital marketing.
All the best…
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