CTS 199: Starting Up A Consultancy Business

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Starting a business can feel quite overwhelming. In this episode, Rowell and I share how we got started, what we have learn from going through the process and give you guys some tips on what needs to be done when starting up a consultancy business.

What to do to start

Here is a list of things you can do before registering the business:

  • Perform a market study to help you study the competition and see if there is a place for your on the market you are targeting
  • Choose a name and make sure that there is an available relevant domain name
  • Have an idea of how you are going to be making money
  • Work on a basic business plan. It can be basic at first and it will evolve in time.

Registration Process

Here is a list of things to do to register the business:

  • The process varies depending on where you live
  • In Ontario, Canada, you can do it online via third party companies. They take care of doing the paperwork and it costs about $400 CAD. I registered my business as a corporation. (Inc.)
  • In California, dba is needed to start as a sole proprietor. You can expand further to an LLC. Registration process can vary per state.
    • LLC in California costs $800/year
    • Filing fee is $20
    • Then there are additional permits

What to do once the business is registered

Here is a list of things you will have to do once the business is registered:

  • Banking
    • Open a bank account
    • Separate your personal and business finances
    • Apply for a business credit card. They will ask you for your personal credit score.
    • Don’t take on a loan if you don’t absolutely need it. If you start a consultancy business, you will probably not need it.
  • Insurances
    • Insure your equipment
    • Insure your business (Liability insurance & Errors and Omissions) (about $60mo)
    • Health insurance (Optional)
      • Leverage your spouse’s health insurance
  • Accountant
    • Learn how to do the books at first
    • CPA is a must when you start earning more income
  • Lawyer
    • I use a company called Legalshield. I pay monthly and have access to a lawyer whenever I need. Additional charges may apply for some advanced services.
    • Rowell: Used a company called Incfile
  • Finance Software
    • Keep track of invoices
    • Keep track of taxes
    • We use Quickbooks
  • In the US, take advantage of SBA and SCORE
    • SBA: Small Business Administration offers free small business consulting and other free resources
    • SCORE: offers free small business mentors and education

Work on the branding

Here is a list of things you can do work on the branding of your new company:

  • Define your business values: Find 3 core values you want your business to be known for
    • Stick to these values in everything you do! 
  • Business Branding
    • Work on your company website
    • Work on a logo
    • Work on a graphical color chart
    • Work on a document template (Word, PPT)
    • Doing charity work or volunteer work
  • Social Media
    • Create your pages on relevant social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)
    • Try to publish regularly (leverage tools such as buffer to automate it)
  • Personal Branding (in case of a consultancy business)
    • Training
    • Certifications
    • Blog
    • Social Media


Here are some books we have read along the way and had helped us in different form along our journey of being a business owner. The links below may be affiliate links. If you’d like to support the Podcast, a portion of the sales, if purchased through our link, will come back to the Podcast.

Finally, here is the presentation I gave a couple years ago at WLPC talking about working as an independent consultant:

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About the Author
Wireless Network Engineer and Owner at SemFio Networks. CWNE #180. Living in London ON Canada, born and raised in Dijon, France.

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