Going Solo: The Foundations of Solo Consulting

The 5 keys that form the foundation of a successful consultant business.

So you want to know how to start as a solo consultant? 
Here I will cover the 5 keys that form the foundation of a successful consultant business.

In a constantly evolving digital age, where innovation and technology are driving forces, the professional landscape has seen dramatic changes. 

Traditional career paths are being questioned and new modes of work are emerging. Among these new pathways, solo consulting is the focus here. 

This article is designed to guide you, a technical professional, through the exciting, yet complex world of solo consulting, providing a roadmap that can lead to professional freedom and significant career satisfaction.

Why solo consulting? And why particularly for technical professionals? The answer is multi-faceted. 

technical professional includes scientists, technologists, engineers, mathematicians, architects, economists, or planners, who usually have tertiary qualifications and significant industry experience.

With a surge in the demand for specialised knowledge and the flexibility that employers are seeking, solo consulting offers an attractive alternative to traditional employment. 

It provides you with the freedom to choose your projects, the ability to work with diverse clients across sectors, the excitement of navigating through unique challenges, and the satisfaction of leveraging your technical skills to create significant value. Moreover, it opens up the potential to increase your income while also taking greater control over your work-life balance. 

However, the journey to becoming a solo consultant is not without its challenges. It requires careful planning, strategic decision-making, resilience, and constant learning. 

As a solo consultant, you are the CEO, marketing manager, financial officer, and more – an all in one. These multi-faceted roles could be daunting but can also lead to immense personal and professional growth.

By understanding the key principles and building blocks, you will be equipped with the knowledge and mindset needed to succeed. 


Let’s dive in and explore the essential elements that form the foundations of your solo consulting practice.

1. Define Your Niche

To thrive as a solo consultant in technical fields, it is crucial to define your niche or speciality. Carefully consider your unique blend of skills, expertise, experience and passions. By narrowing your focus to a specific area, you are positioned as an expert and that differentiate you in the market. In a later article, I will guide you through the process of identifying your niche and refining it to align with the needs of your target clients.

2. Establish Your Value Proposition

Understanding your value proposition is essential for attracting clients and securing engagements. Explore how to articulate the unique value you bring to the table. By identifying the specific problem/s you solve and the benefits you offer, you can effectively communicate your value to potential clients. In a later article, I will provide techniques for crafting a compelling value proposition that resonates with your target audience.

3. Build Your Brand

A strong personal brand is a cornerstone of success in solo consulting. Explore strategies for building a consistent and authentic brand that showcases your expertise, credibility, and unique approach. In a later article, I will delve into the importance of branding and how it can influence your reputation and attract clients. You will learn how to leverage various platforms and channels to amplify your brand presence in the industry.

4. Cultivate a Growth Mindset

Solo consulting requires continuous learning and adaptability. Having or developing a growth mindset is crucial for navigating challenges, embracing change, and seizing opportunities. By adopting a growth mindset, you will be more open to learning, innovation, and resilience in the face of obstacles. In a later article, I will explore the concept of a growth mindset and discuss strategies for cultivating this mindset in your consulting practice. 

5. Essential Business Foundations

Running a successful solo consulting practice requires a solid foundation in key business principles. This covers critical aspects such as business planning, financial management, legal considerations, and risk management. In a later article you will learn the importance of setting clear goals, developing a business plan, establishing appropriate pricing strategies, and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations.

You now have a strategic understanding of what is involved in building the foundations of solo consulting in technical fields. 

By defining your niche, establishing your value proposition, building your brand, cultivating a growth mindset, and laying the essential business foundations, you will set the stage for your solo consulting journey. 

In the articles that follow, I will dive deeper into each aspect, providing practical tools, strategies, and insights to help you thrive as a solo consultant in the evolving landscape of technical professions.

Remember, building a successful solo consulting practice takes time, effort, and continuous growth and move forward on your path to solo consulting success.

Action: Take some time this week to consider each of the 5 foundational elements, what you would know and what you don’t know. This will be a useful primer for the later articles.