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101+ types of consulting service businesses (real examples)

Dec 27, 2023
  • 13 min read
  • Omid G

    Over two years ago, I quit my 9-5 job to start my marketing consulting business. Today, I have a thriving business and haven’t looked back.

    But it wasn’t a smooth ride to get here — far from it.

    It took me a long time to figure out my niche and position myself in the market.

    Now, I have a lot of friends that ask me how they can start a consulting business. But the first thing I tell them is to not think about starting a “business” per say. But rather, figure out what skill you’re really good at.

    Because, at the end of the day, consulting is about providing business (or individuals) with expert knowledge that you’ve gain through firsthand experience.

    In this article, I’ll go over 100 differenent consulting service examples — grouped into five different categories. Hopefully by the end of this article, you’ll gain some insight and inspiration on how you should navigate starting a consulting business. Alright, let’s get started.

    What is considered a consulting service?

    A consulting service typically involves a consultant or consulting firm that provides expertise, advice, training, or additional capability in a specific subject matter or domain. They offer an outside, objective perspective to a client such as a business, organization, or individual that is seeking to solve a problem, improve or enhance a process, navigate change or complexity, or further develop skills and competencies.

    Consulting engagements leverage the consultant's prior knowledge, methodologies, tools, and experience gained from working with other clients to diagnose issues, analyze root causes, and recommend solutions, customizing recommendations and strategic guidance based on the client’s unique goals, circumstances, strengths, constraints, and challenges.

    An essential part of the service also involves collaborating with the client's leaders and teams to educate, share knowledge, help build critical capabilities, and partner on executing suggested solutions and change initiatives.

    The end goal of a consulting engagement is to have an independent specialist help the client achieve measurable improvements and progress towards their most critical business objectives. It is a professional services relationship focused on strategic advice and subject matter expertise.

    What are the most profitable consulting services?

    Although profitability can vary significantly depending on factors like clientele, business model, and specialty, some consulting verticals tend to offer higher earning potential than others.

    Many of the most lucrative consulting services center around advising large enterprises and corporations on high-stakes strategic decisions, major change initiatives, and critical capability building. Services that commonly land at the top of profitability include:

    • Business and management consulting: Helping leadership navigate risks, optimize operations, and spearhead transformation.
    • IT and technology consulting: Guiding complex digital upgrades, solution implementation, and capability building.
    • Human Resources consulting: Optimizing talent strategy and culture during turbulent times.
    • Financial consulting: Providing specialized guidance on investments, transactions, and compliance issues.

    These premium services require advanced expertise and customization, lend themselves to large, ongoing engagements, and influence substantial corporate spending. The combination enables some firms to charge premium rates while realizing healthy profit margins.

    However, independent consultants and niche players can also build worthwhile earnings by focusing on high-value specialties, ideal clientele, and service packages with recurring revenue built in. The specific business model and target market make a big impact. But generally, commanding specialized expertise around evolving issues that affect enterprise success or failure boosts profit potential.

    101+ consulting services examples and ideas for 2024

    There are a lot of different fields within consulting you can go in. There are so many different fields that I sourced over 100 of them and grouped them into five distinct categories. Here are the five most popular categories of consulting:

    1. Financial consulting
    2. Marketing and sales consulting
    3. Business and management consulting
    4. IT and technology consulting
    5. Human resources consulting

    Okay, let’s go over all the different types of consulting service examples and ideas within each category.

    Financial consulting

    Money management has always been complicated. But the options seem to multiply every year! As a financial consultant nowadays, your goal is to equip all sorts of clients to meet their financial goals – even with the landscape shifting constantly.

    What are some prime ways I advise and guide in 2024? Well, here are some ideas for financial consulting:

    • Financial planning and advisory: Crafting long-term money plans so folks can save, invest, and build financial legacies that align with their dreams.
    • Investment consulting: Recommending investment opportunities across the board - stocks, bonds, real estate funds...you name it! I help build strong portfolios tailored to each investor.
    • Wealth management consulting: For high-wealth individuals, taking a big picture approach to manage the money puzzle holistically — taxes, estates, investments, charitable aims — the works.
    • Risk management consulting: Pinpointing financial risks unique to each person and organization. And strategizing to safeguard assets for the long haul.
    • Tax advisory and planning: Optimizing tax planning so clients keep more of what they earn (legally, of course!). This is great if navigating tax codes is your specialty.
    • Retirement planning: Advising on retirement planning — income streams, healthcare, lifestyle costs, and more — so people can retire securely.
    • Insurance consulting: Suggesting insurance policies that genuinely respond to the health issues, property values, liability contexts, and life stages at play.
    • Debt management and restructuring: Helping people restructure debt or build money management skills — positioning them to boost financial health.
    • Financial modeling and analysis: Forecasting scenarios using financial models to illuminate outcomes — fueling smarter moves today.
    • Corporate finance and capital structure: Guiding companies to optimize financing strategies and structures to power growth.
    • Personal finance consulting: Tailored to individuals, this service covers budgeting, saving, debt management, and other aspects of personal financial management.
    • Mergers and acquisitions financial advisory: Specialists guide M&A transactions, helping clients with valuation, due diligence, and negotiation.
    • Real estate financial consulting: This focuses on the financial aspects of real estate investments, including market analysis, investment strategy, and portfolio management.
    • Budgeting and forecasting: Consultants help businesses and individuals create effective budgets and financial forecasts to better manage resources and plan for the future.
    • Financial compliance and regulatory consulting: Experts make sure clients adhere to financial regulations and compliance requirements, crucial in an ever-changing regulatory landscape.
    • Banking and fintech consulting: This service blends traditional banking with the latest in financial technology, advising on digital transformation, regulatory challenges, and fintech integration.
    • Cryptocurrency and blockchain consulting: As digital currencies continue to grow, consultants provide insights into cryptocurrency investments, blockchain technology, and related regulatory issues.
    • Financial crisis management: In times of financial distress, consultants offer strategies and solutions to stabilize and recover financial health.
    • Forensic accounting consulting: This involves investigating financial records for accuracy and legality, often in contexts like legal disputes and fraud investigations.
    • IPO and Public Offering consulting: Advisors guide businesses through the complexities of initial public offerings, including regulatory compliance, market analysis, and financial structuring.

    Basically, today's money landscape is extremely complicated. But the good news is financial consultants now have more ways than ever to guide clients. The goal is always to help people and companies accomplish their financial goals and weather any storms ahead in this fast-changing world of finance. Even when new challenges emerge, a trusted advisor can break things down and find opportunities.

    Marketing and sales consulting

    Businesses will always need to find ways to distribute and market their products. For as long as people sell things and there’s demand to buy them, marketing and sales consulting will be a fruitful career path. In 2024, these services have adapted to new technologies, consumer behaviors, and market trends. Here are 20 essential marketing and sales consulting services:

    • Marketing strategy consulting: This service involves developing comprehensive marketing strategies that align with business goals, focusing on market analysis, positioning, and competitive differentiation.
    • Digital marketing and SEO consulting: Specialists in this field help businesses improve their online visibility, search engine rankings, and digital presence through SEO and digital marketing tactics.
    • Brand development and management: Consultants assist in creating and managing brand identities, making sure there’s consistency and relatability with target audiences.
    • Social media marketing consulting: This service focuses on leveraging social media platforms for marketing, including content strategy, content planning, and audience engagement.
    • Content marketing and strategy: Consultants provide expertise in creating and executing content marketing strategies, including blog posts, whitepapers, videos, and other content mediums.
    • Market research and analysis: This involves gathering and analyzing market data to inform business strategies, understand customer needs, and identify market opportunities.
    • Sales strategy and training: Sales consultants offer strategies and training programs to improve sales team performance, sales processes, and customer conversion rates.
    • Customer experience and loyalty programs: Experts in this area develop strategies to enhance customer experiences and create loyalty programs to retain and engage customers.
    • Public Relations and media: This service focuses on managing public relations, media outreach, and corporate communications.
    • Event marketing and management: Consultants plan and execute marketing events, including product launches, trade shows, and promotional events.
    • E-commerce marketing consulting: This service helps businesses optimize their e-commerce strategies, including website design, customer journey mapping, and online sales tactics.
    • Influencer marketing consulting: Specialists assist in developing and managing influencer marketing campaigns, identifying suitable influencers, and measuring campaign effectiveness.
    • Product pricing strategy consulting: Consultants provide insights on pricing strategies to maximize profitability while staying competitive in the market.
    • Advertising and media buying: This service involves planning and buying advertising space, whether in digital, print, or broadcast media, making sure there’s optimal placement and value.
    • Email marketing and automation: Focused on optimizing email marketing campaigns through targeted messaging, automation tools, and performance analysis.
    • Affiliate marketing consulting: Experts offer guidance on setting up and managing affiliate programs to generate additional sales channels.
    • Video marketing consulting: This includes developing strategies for leveraging video content across various platforms for marketing and branding purposes.
    • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) consulting: Consultants work on optimizing websites and landing pages to improve conversion rates from visitor to customer.
    • Retail and omnichannel marketing consulting: Specialists in this area develop strategies for integrating online and offline marketing efforts, enhancing customer experience across multiple channels.
    • B2B marketing consulting: Focused on business-to-business marketing strategies, this service helps in lead generation, account-based marketing, and relationship building in the B2B space.

    Each of these marketing and sales consulting services plays an important role in helping businesses navigate how to brand, market, and sell their products and services. With a blend of traditional techniques and innovative approaches, these services are tailored to help businesses achieve their marketing and sales objectives, adapting to the ever-changing landscape of consumer behavior and technological advancements.

    Business and management consulting

    Organizations today face a ton of operational, strategic, and leadership hurdles. Every business wants to use nifty new tech to their advantage. They aim to navigate changing industry tides, and they aspire to build strong teams and cultures. But balancing it all is easier said than done.

    That's why in 2024, business and management consulting services have never been more useful. Consultants partner with organizations to assess challenges and turn obstacles into opportunities for sustainable success—no matter how the environment shifts. Their guidance provides the missing puzzle piece that unlocks thriving in turbulent times. Here are 20 consulting service ideas in this space:

    • Business strategy development: Consultants help organizations define and refine their business strategies, aligning them with market trends and long-term goals.
    • Organizational change management: This service focuses on guiding companies through significant changes, ensuring smooth transitions with minimal disruption.
    • Leadership coaching and development: Specialized in developing leadership skills, these consultants work with individuals and teams to enhance their leadership capabilities.
    • Operational efficiency consulting: Experts analyze and optimize business operations, streamlining processes for improved efficiency and productivity.
    • Business process reengineering: This involves a radical redesign of core business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in productivity, efficiency, and quality.
    • Project management consulting: Consultants assist in planning, executing, and finalizing projects, ensuring they are completed on time, within budget, and to the desired standards.
    • Crisis management consulting: These experts provide strategies and support for navigating through business crises, protecting reputation, and minimizing damage.
    • Corporate governance advisory: Focused on improving board governance and compliance, this service ensures that organizations meet regulatory standards and best practices.
    • Business model transformation: Consultants help businesses adapt and evolve their business models to stay relevant and competitive in changing markets.
    • Mergers and acquisitions consulting: Specialized in M&A, these consultants offer expertise in due diligence, integration strategies, and valuation.
    • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) consulting: This service helps businesses optimize their customer relationship strategies, leveraging CRM systems for better customer engagement and retention.
    • Corporate training and development: Consultants design and implement training programs to enhance employee skills and organizational performance.
    • Succession planning consulting: Focused on preparing for leadership transitions, ensuring continuity and stability in key positions.
    • Franchise consulting: Experts provide advice on franchise development, management, and expansion strategies.
    • Innovation and new product development: This service assists in developing innovative products and services, guiding through the process from ideation to market launch.
    • Corporate culture consulting: Aimed at cultivating a positive and productive organizational culture, aligning it with the company's values and goals.
    • Business ethics and compliance: Consultants make sure that businesses operate ethically and comply with regulations and laws.
    • Public relations and communication: This service focuses on managing external communications, public relations strategies, and corporate messaging.
    • Business analytics consulting: Experts in data analytics provide insights for business decision-making, utilizing data to drive strategy and improve performance.
    • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) consulting: Specialists help companies develop and implement CSR strategies that align with their business objectives and societal expectations.

    IT and technology consulting

    Technology now powers nearly every business. Getting a business up and running online has become essential, but presents many complex hurdles — choosing tools, upskilling teams, integrating systems, and more. This exponential technology growth is precisely why IT and tech consulting has become such a growing field in consulting.

    Consultants help companies master tech-fueled change and growth through strategic guidance tailored to their needs. With an outside expert perspective, they cut through complexities, spot unseen opportunities, and define pathways toward long-term success. This field of consulting can seriously be fruitful when you find your niche. Here are 20 ideas to get your brain flowing:

    • Information Technology (IT) strategy: This service involves developing and implementing a strategic IT plan that aligns with the business's overall goals, focusing on optimizing technology investments and planning for future technology needs.
    • Cybersecurity consulting: Specialists provide advice on protecting businesses from cyber threats, including risk assessments, security protocols, and incident response strategies.
    • Software development consulting: This service offers guidance on custom software development, including system design, development processes, and technology stack selection.
    • IT infrastructure and network consulting: Consultants advise on the design, implementation, and optimization of IT infrastructure and networking solutions to make sure there are efficient and secure operations.
    • Cloud computing consulting: Experts assist businesses in migrating to cloud services, optimizing cloud infrastructure, and managing cloud-based applications and data storage.
    • Data analytics and business intelligence consulting: This service focuses on leveraging data for business insights, including data warehousing, analysis, and visualization tools.
    • Digital transformation consulting: Consultants guide businesses through digital transformation initiatives, integrating digital technology into all areas of business, fundamentally changing how businesses operate and deliver value to customers.
    • Ecommerce solutions consulting: This service helps businesses optimize their online sales platforms, focusing on user experience, payment systems, and online retail best practices.
    • IT compliance and risk management: Experts ensure that IT systems comply with legal and regulatory requirements and advise on risk management strategies.
    • Mobile technology consulting: This service focuses on mobile application development, mobile marketing strategies, and optimizing business processes for mobile platforms.
    • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning consulting: Consultants provide insights into the implementation and integration of AI and machine learning technologies into business operations.
    • Internet of Things (IoT) consulting: This service offers strategies for incorporating IoT technologies into business models, focusing on connectivity, data collection, and automation.
    • User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design consulting: Specialists help improve the design and usability of digital products, ensuring a positive user experience.
    • IT outsourcing and vendor management: Consultants assist in managing IT outsourcing arrangements, including vendor selection, contract negotiation, and performance monitoring.
    • Telecommunications consulting: This service focuses on optimizing telecommunications systems, including voice, data, and video communication solutions.
    • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) consulting: Experts in this field guide businesses in integrating VR and AR technologies for training, marketing, or product development purposes.
    • Blockchain consulting: Consultants provide advice on blockchain technology applications, including smart contracts, cryptocurrency transactions, and supply chain solutions.
    • Gaming technology consulting: This niche service focuses on the development and marketing of gaming technologies and interactive entertainment.
    • Software licensing and compliance: Experts ensure that businesses comply with software licensing laws and regulations, avoiding legal issues and financial penalties.
    • Data governance and privacy consulting: This service involves advising on data governance policies, data protection strategies, and compliance with privacy regulations like GDPR.

    Human resources consulting

    Managing people is arguably the hardest task when it comes to business. Employees expect great experiences plus opportunities to thrive, regulatory burdens grow, and leaders aim to forge inclusive, high-performing cultures while balancing it all. No wonder human resources consulting has become so instrumental.

    In 2024, human strategists equip organizations to optimize the employee lifecycle. They embrace new trends and technologies while specializing in the nuances that maximize team potential. What are some key services propelling company success today? Let’s get into them.

    • Talent acquisition and recruitment consulting: Specializing in developing effective recruitment strategies, sourcing methods, and hiring processes to attract top talent.
    • Employee training and development: Consultants design and implement training programs to enhance employee skills, productivity, and career growth.
    • Compensation and benefits consulting: Focusing on creating competitive and fair compensation structures, including salary, benefits, and incentive plans.
    • Organizational development consulting: Assisting organizations in managing change, improving organizational culture, and enhancing overall effectiveness.
    • Employee engagement consulting: Developing strategies to boost employee morale, satisfaction, and commitment to the organization.
    • Performance management consulting: Implementing systems to assess and improve employee performance, aligning individual goals with organizational objectives.
    • Workforce planning and analytics: Analyzing workforce data to plan for future staffing needs, talent management, and organizational restructuring.
    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) consulting: Crafting policies and practices to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.
    • Labor relations and union consulting: Advising on union negotiations, labor laws, and maintaining healthy employee-management relations.
    • HR compliance and employment law consulting: Making sure businesses are following labor laws, regulations, and ethical standards in HR practices.
    • HR technology and systems consulting: Implementing and optimizing HR technology solutions for better data management and process efficiency.
    • Outsourcing and shared services consulting: Guiding organizations on HR outsourcing decisions and the management of shared services.
    • Employee health and wellness consulting: Developing programs to promote employee health, well-being, and work-life balance.
    • Career transition and outplacement services: Assisting employees with career transitions, including layoffs, with outplacement and career coaching services.
    • Executive search and headhunting: Specialized services in recruiting high-level executives and niche professionals for senior roles.
    • Psychometric testing and assessment: Utilizing psychological tests and assessments for recruitment, development, and organizational planning.
    • HR policy development and implementation: Creating comprehensive HR policies and procedures to guide organizational practices and employee behavior.
    • Employee handbook and documentation consulting: Developing employee handbooks that clearly communicate company policies and expectations.
    • Conflict resolution and mediation consulting: Providing expertise in resolving workplace conflicts and fostering a harmonious work environment.
    • Remote work and telecommuting consulting: Advising on best practices, policies, and tools for managing remote work arrangements effectively.

    HR consultants enable organizations to find clarity in the ever-changing modern workforce landscape. Their changing roster of specialized expertise allows companies to smoothly onboard talent, upskill managers, adopt policies, foster inclusion, and boost retention and engagement — empowering them to maximize potential even as ground shifts.

    Conclusion

    We've explored how broad the consulting space can be — over 100 specialties catering to every business need imaginable. Whether it's financial maestros steering ships or HR gurus building teams, consultants bring game-changing expertise.

    The key takeaway? No matter your business size or industry, there are consultants who can address your unique puzzles and propel transformative growth.

    The business landscape evolves constantly. But armed with insights on consulting solutions available, you can match the right expertise to emerging challenges. Modern leaders don't need to know everything, but finding trusted advisors you can mind-meld with is a must.

    Copilot for consulting businesses

    The future is uncertain, but the right consulting partners helping inform decisions can guide organizations to exciting places previously unimagined. If you're ready to start your consulting business, be sure to take Copilot for a spin — thousands of modern consultants use it to operate their businesses. From onboarding and billing clients to reporting and sending documents, Copilot can do it all.

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