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Four people shake hands in front of a glass window overlooking a city at sunset, for starting a consulting business.

Starting and Building Your Consulting Business

Develop the critical skills you need to successfully launch and scale a thriving consulting business.

  • Date

    August 26, 2024

  • Time

    8:30 AM – 4:30 PM ET

  • Length

    2 consecutive days

  • Format

    On Campus

  • Cost

    Programs fill quickly — free cancellation up to 14 days prior

  • Registration Deadline

    August 18, 2024

Program Overview

Consulting services are in high demand — and continue to be a rapidly growing industry. In the United States alone, the market is estimated at $250 billion and is expected to grow three times faster than the general labor market through 2030 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

This course will help you leverage your expertise to start your consulting business and establish a niche in this highly competitive market. You will gain the skills necessary to develop your consulting practice and explore the high-potential and in-demand niche(s) into which you can expand. Combining your subject matter expertise with these critical skills will enable you to enjoy the freedom, financial security, and intellectual challenges of a highly successful consultant.

In addition to deep expertise in your field, starting a consulting business requires knowledge of client development, sales and marketing, contracting, billing, and other operational details. The program will cover topics including:

  • Determining your ideal consulting niche
  • Effectively communicating your value to prospective clients
  • Using content and digital marketing strategies to engage with prospects
  • Choosing the appropriate billing model for each client
  • Drafting and reviewing engagement letters and consulting contracts
  • Closing the deal
  • Knowing when and how to add additional consultants
  • Identifying the investments that you should and shouldn’t make

Benefits of the Building Your Consulting Business Program

Starting a consulting business may seem daunting at first, but this course will set you up for success by teaching you how to efficiently identify and effectively communicate with prospective clients. The material will also cover how to create an integrated marketing strategy for a new consulting practice, how to construct accurate sales funnels, methods of predicting demand, and robust referral networks, and will teach you how to draft and review consulting contracts. The robust curriculum will give you the confidence to identify your niche market and the skills necessary to get your consulting business off to a strong start.

All participants earn a Certificate of Participation from the Harvard University Division of Continuing Education.

Who Should Enroll in the Building Your Consulting Business Program

This consulting course is ideal for current and prospective independent consultants starting a consulting business and looking to expand their practice. This course would also prove invaluable for those professionals charged with building or expanding a consulting practice within a pre-existing organization.

Attendees should have a minimum of five years of professional experience.

“I recently completed two courses with the great Shawn O’Connor. I run a consulting company and was able to apply most of the things from the course very quickly. Surveys from our clients have given us better ratings and we have achieved new and more significant contracts.

—Stefan Fijala, Managing Director/Consultant, Wacky Advisors

August Schedule

Day 1

  • Your Ideal Consulting Niche
  • Your Consulting Value Proposition
  • Building Your Sales Funnel

Day 2

  • Billing Models
  • Consultant Contracts
  • When and How to Expand Your Consulting Firm


  • Shawn O'Connor

    Shawn O’Connor

    Shawn has taught graduate business courses in management consulting, strategy, marketing, and business law at various universities, including Harvard where Shawn has won two Dean's Commendations for Distinguished Teaching Performance.


How do I know if the Building Your Consulting Business program is right for me?

Many professionals looking to start their own consulting business come with enthusiasm and the drive to be successful, but don’t know where to begin. If you have deep experience in your field, an entrepreneurial attitude, and the desire to share your knowledge with others, this consulting course is for you!

How will the Building Your Consulting Business Program help me improve my career or company?

From identifying your niche to closing the deal, this program will cover the steps you need to take to start — and grow — your consulting business. Whether you’re looking to establish your expertise in your field or to build connections across your industry, this consulting course will help you invest in yourself and your future success.

Are there any prerequisites for this consulting program?

Participants should have a minimum of five years of professional experience and either be looking to start a consulting business or to expand an existing consulting business within their organization.