How to Start Online Consulting Business?

By Hyperlocal Cloud

May 04, 2023

How to Start Online Consulting Business?

Modern Society is developing at a remarkably rapid and unpredictable rate. Any Film, person, or idea appreciated and respected today might be canceled tomorrow by contemporary society. However, the sole constant over time is the presence of individuals seeking assistance from bona fide professionals. Regardless of one's level of education or experience, there are always areas where seeking consultation before taking action is advisable.

Consulting businesses were operated traditionally offline; however, with the rapid pace of digitization, every industry is unaffected by its effects, and no one can afford to ignore its impact. The consulting industry must now embark on a journey toward digital transformation. With the evolution of our world, the consulting industry has also evolved.

Establishing an online consulting business is a good proposition for prospective business owners. This innovative business idea centers on creating a platform that connects individuals seeking consultation services with professional consultants. We analyzed this business inside out and created a guide for entrepreneurs wishing to participate in this revolution.

Projected Market Statistics for the Consulting Industry in 2023

  • Global Online Doctor Consultation Market will experience an increase in value from USD 9,453.45 Million to USD 13,141.88 Million by the conclusion of 2025.
  • Over the last five years, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of management consulting revenue has been 1.1%, resulting in a total revenue of $329.9 billion. In the year 2022, there was a 0.1% increase in revenue. The profit margin for this industry has reached 10.3% of revenue.
  • The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of IT Consulting revenue has been 2.0% over the last five years, resulting in a total revenue of $665.9 billion. It is projected to be a 4.0% increase in revenue in 2023, with an expected profit margin of 6.4%.
  • As per Forrester's research, a majority of 63% of customers express satisfaction with receiving online consulting services through a chatbot, subject to the condition that they can seamlessly switch to human interaction when required.

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How To Start A Consulting Business

Define Your Specialization

Knowing your exact niche is crucial to consider when launching an online consulting enterprise. As a healthcare practitioner, it is imperative to indicate your area of specialization. This may include but is not limited to general medicine, dermatology, dietetics, and other relevant fields. Defining your niche enables you to effectively narrow your target audience to a specific segment, simplifying the outreach process.

Define Your Target Audience

Defining your target audience is essential to identify the characteristics of the people who will receive your service. You can tailor your message to meet their specific needs and preferences by doing so. Therefore, it is crucial to conduct thorough research and analysis to gain a clear understanding of your target audience's demographics, psychographics, and behavior patterns.

Consider the various inquiries, issues, and areas of discomfort that may arise within your designated field of proficiency. Ensuring the selection of a target market that requires your specialized knowledge.

Set Up Your Platform

As per a report by Mintel, 33% of consumers in the United States agree that they prefer online interaction with individuals over in-person communication. Many consultants maintain an online presence in response to the increased demand for virtual consultation services.

The advent of digitalization has resulted in a surge in online consulting enterprises, as professionals can now expand their reach globally. Establishing an online presence for your consulting enterprise can enhance your current business operations and enable you to cultivate a digital brand identity, thereby bolstering your credibility and attracting a larger customer base.

Set Your Pricing Structure

Choosing the right consultation fees for your services can be hard, but you can try different options. The consultation duration can range from 15 to 60 minutes or be tailored to meet specific requirements. Duration-based pricing allows clients to select the time that best fits their needs.

Charging based on the consultation duration offers a simplified explanation regarding the correlation between additional or modified work and the corresponding increase in required hours.

Business Models for the Consulting Sector

There are three primary options for building a consultation marketplace.

  • Corporate Website
  • Marketplace
  • SaaS platform

Depending on your chosen business model, your platform will need different features

Corporate Website

A corporate website serves as a business model for consultants and consulting firms. Most consulting firms across various industries possess a website, as it is a crucial tool for engaging with current and prospective clientele. Numerous websites function solely as a passive connection medium by furnishing details about services and presenting physical addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses to enable clients to contact the company.


It is important to note that a consulting firm may not necessarily own a consulting marketplace. A marketplace is a digital platform that connects independent consultants and clients seeking their services. The development of an online consultation marketplace will require distinct features for consultants and clients and an administrative panel for the marketplace proprietor to oversee and regulate platform operations.

Saas Platform

SaaS product proprietors offer their software to businesses seeking the provided functionality without the inclination or resources to construct their online consultation platform. The software provider owns the original code of a white-label SaaS product.

However, the purchasers of the product are granted the ability to customize it with their branding to reflect their business.

A Software as a Service (SaaS) solution is distinguishable from a marketplace in that it typically offers a degree of customization. Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are utilized by organizations and independent professionals seeking to establish their brand identity.

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Consulting Specialities Where Digitalization Is Now the Norm

Healthcare Consulting

As per the Global Market Estimates report findings, the healthcare consultation market is projected to expand at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26.6% throughout the forecast period, ultimately obtaining a valuation of USD 16.0 billion by 2026.

The E-health platform Practo Technologies has reported a 600% increase in online medical consultations since the commencement of the lockdown. According to the platform's data analysis, it was determined that 70% of the users were utilizing telemedicine services for the first time.

Additionally, 45% of the users were located in smaller cities. The online healthcare service, Mfine, has experienced a growth rate of 3-4 times in recent months.

The platform boasts a network of 500+ hospitals and 3000+ doctors, with approximately 250 hospitals added from April to June 2020. The numerical value presented is a favorable prospect for healthcare professionals to pursue online consultation services.

Fitness Consulting

According to a report from Global Market Estimates, the worldwide online/virtual fitness market was valued at $6.04 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $59.23 billion by 2027, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.1% from 2020 to 2027.

The global online/virtual fitness market has experienced growth due to the increased demand for AR & VR-based fitness consultation.

Diet Consultation

As per the findings of the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness market has witnessed a growth of 6.4% since the year 2017, thereby increasing its value from $3.7 trillion to $4.2 trillion. The rate of growth has been twice that of the global economy.

Dietitians are increasingly transitioning their business to the online platform and generating substantial profits.

Career and Job Counselling

Certain individuals possess a notable aptitude for finding a suitable career and are willing to leverage their expertise to assist others. Career consultants cater to a diverse clientele, including individuals still in self-discovery and mature adults who have opted to pursue a career change.

A career consultant's daily responsibilities involve evaluating their client's requirements, providing guidance on resumes, cover letters, and other relevant documents, coaching on interview techniques, aiding in job searches, suggesting training opportunities, and performing additional duties as necessary.

The market for global career counseling has experienced substantial growth rates in recent years and is expected to continue this trend throughout the forecasted period of 2020 to 2028.

Mental Health Counselling

As per the report released by Allied Market Research, the Mental Health Market worldwide produced $383.31 million in 2020. It is projected to amass $537.97 million by 2030, experiencing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.5% from 2021 to 2030.

The figures provided are solely estimations of the industry's growth rate. It is imperative to keep up with the pace of growth and scale your business accordingly.

Legal Consultation

Technological advancements revolutionize the business landscape; it is imperative that legal services and consultants also keep pace with the changing times.

The legal services market attained a value of approximately $713.7 billion in 2020, exhibiting a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.4% from 2015.

It is projected that the market will experience growth from $713.7 billion in 2020 to $908.26 billion in 2025, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9%.

According to market projections, the legal services industry is anticipated to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8% beginning in 2025, ultimately resulting in a market value of $1,145.9 billion by 2030.

Given the increasing demand and market growth, this indicates a significant opportunity for lawyers to provide online consultations. This document offers a comprehensive guide to creating an online platform for lawyer consultations.

Online Tutoring

The e-learning industry is experiencing growth due to the rising need for online tutoring. The educational landscape has undergone a significant transformation after the pandemic. The surge in e-learning demand is anticipated to propel the expansion of the online tutoring industry.

Upon examination of the data, it can be observed that the worldwide online tutoring industry was projected to increase from $1.44 billion in 2020 to $1.63 billion in 2021, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2%. The increase in growth can be attributed primarily to the resumption of operations by companies and their adjustment to the new normal as they recover from the impact of COVID-19.

IT Consulting

IT consultants are responsible for implementing and managing new technologies, including but not limited to systems integration, software development and management, and enterprise architecture.

The consulting division above is a highly specialized and profitable sector, with a value nearly twice that of the management consulting industry, amounting to $666 billion.

In the capacity of an IT consultant, it is common to guide businesses in software selection and utilization to achieve their objectives.

The Consultation Marketplace Offers Distinct Advantages

Higher conversions: Higher conversion rates are possible through real-time chat between service providers and buyers, allowing quicker deal closures.

Multiple conversation methods: Using video and audio calls and chat messages fosters a stronger relationship between the service provider and the customer through various communication channels.

Rate-setting flexibility: The feature allows service providers to establish their desired rates for each service, promoting transparency.

Immediate payment collection: Using multiple payment gateways effectively eliminates the possibility of payment delays and subsequent follow-up actions.

Social platform integration: The integration of social platforms enables the user to efficiently manage orders across Facebook and Instagram through a singular account and platform.

Tracked analytics: It enables monitoring revenues, popular services, and daily income.

Must-Have Features of an Online Consultation Marketplace

Many business owners need help deciding which features to incorporate into their online consultation platform. The following features are highly relevant for enhancing growth and improving client engagement.

Onboarding: It may be challenging for everyone to comprehend how consulting works; therefore, explaining your service to clients is essential. Make your onboarding easy.

Profiles: Consultants and clients require storage space to maintain their data for future correspondence. Consultants must have the capability to upload their credentials to their profiles. Clients will benefit from the ability to promptly access a consultant they have collaborated with via their profile.

Audio/Video Chat: The Audio/Video Chat feature is a valuable asset to the online consultation platform as it allows both parties to be in close contact. Real-time remote communication between consultants and clients is facilitated through a secure network. The quality of consultation is enhanced as the consultant can accurately interpret the client's issue and effectively communicate.

Text Chat: Using text chat enables consultants and clients to engage in immediate consultation from the comfort of their homes, both before, during, or following a session. This feature saves time and facilitates prompt communication between both parties.

Session Scheduling: The scheduling of sessions is a crucial feature for online consultation platforms that experience a high volume of bookings. The platform must possess the capability to plan and schedule appointments effectively. The software helps consultants effectively manage their time and provide timely consultations to their clientele.

File-Sharing: The file-sharing feature enables clients to share their reports and statistics, facilitating consultation effortlessly. It is imperative to ensure the file-sharing feature's security, as users can share confidential reports through the platform.

Advanced Search: The online consultation platform features an Advanced Search function that enables clients to search for consultants based on their specific preferences without the need to browse through all available consultants. The search functionality not only enhances the user experience but also contributes to increasing user engagement time on the platform.

Multiple Payment Gateways: The absence of a user's preferred payment gateway may result in website abandonment and migration to alternative platforms. Therefore, it is recommended to provide multiple payment gateways to cater to a wider range of user preferences. The platform's incorporation of multiple payment gateways simplifies the payment process for users, allowing them to send and receive payments in their preferred currency.

Knowledge base: Organizations typically use it to facilitate sharing of information and expertise among employees, customers, or other stakeholders. The knowledge base may contain articles, tutorials, FAQs, troubleshooting guides, and other types of content designed to help users find answers to their questions or solve problems related to the subject matter. A knowledge base is essential for legal consulting services and any other service involving professional advice.

Accessibility layout: The layout of the website or application should be designed with accessibility in mind. In contemporary web development, accessibility has emerged as a prominent trend. Incorporating accessibility features into a consultation website, particularly one that pertains to medical consultations, would confer significant advantages.

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Cost to Build an Online Consultation Marketplace

The price of constructing a consultation marketplace depends on several variables.

  • What type of platform do you want to develop?
  • What is the feature set?
  • Is it the web platforms or mobile applications?
  • What is the required timeline for completion?
  • Are you interested in integrating advanced technologies and features?

Incorporating advanced features like video calls and high-end security technology into your platform may require additional resources and development time. However, these features are likely to impact your customers' experience significantly.

Our analysis shows that the estimated cost to develop a consultation website would be $60,000. When opting for a mobile application, the estimated cost is $40,000 for each iOS and Android platform.

Final Words

Are you interested in creating a personalized online consulting platform to expand the reach of your consultancy enterprise? Please get in touch with us if you want to grow your current business or start a new one. Hyperlocal Cloud is equipped to assist you in developing, launching, and maintaining a high-quality consulting platform tailored to your specific requirements.


What is the estimated cost of developing online consultation software?

Various parameters influence the development cost. The cost of the app will be primarily influenced by the hourly rate of the selected developers and the level of complexity of the app. The cost of initiating a basic online consultation website can commence at $60,000 and may increase with the level of intricacy involved.

Is online consulting legal?

It is advisable to verify the legal requirements in your specific jurisdiction. However, online consulting is considered a legal practice in most countries worldwide. Consultants frequently handle confidential information. Therefore, your online service's data protection measures must comply with pertinent regulations, such as the GDPR.

Is starting a consulting business profitable?

Yes. The profitability of a consulting business is depended upon the following:

  • Location
  • The precise area of focus
  • the types of consulting companies

The three most lucrative consulting fields are IT consulting, management consulting, and marketing consulting.

Consulting businesses generate revenue primarily by levying clients' fees for their services. The total fee is subject to variation based on the nature of the service provided, the business model employed, the level of expertise and credentials of the consultants, and the customers' specific requirements.

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