Debbie Sharvit
Aug 8th, 2018

How to start an HR consultant business

Today, a slew of people professionals are branching out on their own with HR consulting services. With eyes wide and goals in mind, they venture out into the field knowing they can convert their office skills into solo success. For some, their dreams do become reality. However, for too many, their mistakes trip them up.

Starting a consulting service takes time and deliberate steps. Each is crucial to your success, and demands that you understand how to address it. With that said, let’s examines just what it takes to start an HR consulting business.

Is Now the Right Time?

In business, timing is everything. Even the most well laid plans can fail if launched at the wrong time. When launching your HR consultant business, the time encompasses several elements.

First, you must analyze your time. When assessing your time, consider your experience and sweat equity. Do you have the credentials in the business to market yourself as a viable Consultant? If you are considering launching your business early in your career, you better have the credentials to back it up. The same can be said for a longtime worker in the field. Have you amassed the accolades needed to show you are the wise industry veteran you want to bill yourself as?

If you answered ‘yes’ to the following set of questions, the next step is to assess your sweat equity. How much time can you sink into your developing project? If it is anything short of almost all your time, you may not be ready to launch. Understand the demands of your entire life from work to family. Then, decide if the time is right to launch. You may need to make some adjustments to your life before you can.

From there, look at your contacts. Do you have the network that can draw and refer business to you? If not, you may want to consider starting as a side hustle. Then, start setting goals for when you would like to scale the operation into a full blown consulting venture.

If you don’t have the accolades just yet, don’t worry! There is plenty of rooming for growing talent in the field. For example, I helped develop my credentials as a 19-year-old by screening CVs and resumes. The same can be said about your network. In fact, you very well could merge your offered skills with network building by delivering dynamic work for the client.

When considering time, analyze the pros and cons of the small picture. If the outlook is in anyway hazy, you should reassess your strategy.

Photo by tanialee gonzalez on Unsplash

Photo by tanialee gonzalez on Unsplash

What Are You Going to Offer?

You’re an HR Consultant, that’s all that needs to be said, right?


Too often, Consultants don’t delve into what they can actually provide a customer. Sometimes, they end up going too high level for the moment, when they really needed to show the potential customer what their ROI would be.

In addition to timing, you must have a concrete understanding of the products and/or services you offer. Too often, skilled professionals find their endeavors tanking due to overlooking your actual offerings. In the broad sense, your services mirror the skills you’ve excelled at to this point.

To clearly lay out your business while addressing the needs of unique clients, understand what it is you offer them. Know what you can bring to their business, how you can alleviate their pain points and how you source your leads. You can further your connections through networking events while learning the needs of potential clients. You could discover new services to offer that you hadn’t come across previously.

Once you understand what you bring to the table, the next step is communicating. If you can't put it into a clear elevator pitch, keep revising until you are able to do so. This is a vital step in letting the market know what you bring to their business. If your message is unclear, so too will be your business’s prospects for success.

The last step to building your brand is to get it out into the public. Choose the best platforms to market your services. The Peoplzz Marketplace is an excellent destination to call your people business. Then, build out to include ancillary options like social media, Google AdWords and networking events.

By taking calculated, informed steps, your HR consulting business should begin to scale sooner than later.

Know Your Starting Expectations

When launching their ventures, some entrepreneurs have bigger eyes than they can stomach. Meaning, that they get caught up in the growth of a business and bite off more than they can chew. While the urge to scale strong and fast is alluring, it often comes with consequences that could derail all your work.

In the beginning of your business, focus on the product offering you previously laid out. If anything, consider narrowing down to a specialized area of the field that is underserved. Furthermore, do your best to stay gainfully employed for at least the first six months of work. Sure, that may seem obvious but you'd be surprised at how many talented solopreneurs have fallen victim to a hiring slump.

Securing your projects and clients as plays into managing your expectations. While it is possible to become an overnight success, the reality is more likely to be rough and trying in the beginning. Just as much as having your eyes match your stomach is important, so too is understanding what will be on your plate in the early days of your business.

By keeping a pragmatic, planned outlook in your mind your business should be in the best position to thrive. While anything and everything can throw your plans for a loop, the best method to weathering difficult situations is to understand the market a plan accordingly.

Is That All?

Absolutely not!

Starting and operating a startup HR consulting firm is an intricate endeavor. Even the most skilled in the bunch could use some guidance along the way. To give you that bit of help, we are excited to announce that Peoplzz will soon be releasing its guide to HR consulting success. We’ll take a deep dive into the needs of today’s market and how you can be the go-to resolution in the market.

So, be on the lookout. It’s coming soon!