Get the best tips for your career, job search and your life. Subscribe today (we send one email every 2 weeks)

Βest Business Development Tips for Small Consulting Firms

business development Dec 15, 2023

The consulting services industry has shown no signs of slowing down. In particular, the market size of the management consulting services sector has surged by around 250 billion U.S. dollars in recent years.

Are you part of this rapidly growing industry? If you own a consulting firm and want it to succeed, you need to strategize and make plans so you will be at the top of your game.

Whether you’re an accounting, financial service, or digital marketing consulting firm, you need a strategic playbook tailored to your unique challenges and opportunities.

A solid business development plan is crucial for steering your firm toward growth and profitability. It aids in drawing in potential clients, fostering relationships, and converting them into loyal customers.

Yet, success only partially relies on implementing these strategies; it also depends on continuously adapting your approach to match the dynamic industry landscape.

In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best business development tips for small consulting firms that can help bring your business to new heights.

? FREE TRIAL: Get Started with LoopCV & Send Out 100s of Highly-Targeted Job Applications in <10 Minutes

Define Your Goals

Source: Pixabay

Before you can implement strategies for your business development plan, you first need to lay the groundwork for success. You need to meticulously define and write SMART goals; whether short-term or long-term, they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

What makes this important is the clarity and guidance it can provide in your development efforts. It helps you move with purpose and precision.

For example, if you’re a small consulting firm aiming to expand your client base, you could have a goal to increase client acquisition by 15% within the next quarter. With such a specific goal, you can have a focused approach that aligns with it.

Make Action a Priority

Even if you have set SMART goals, if you keep on saying “I’ll do it later,” your plan of action will make no sense. Successfully navigating business development requires more than just devising a plan.

It also needs dedicated action or execution. You must act fast and dedicate time and resources to it.

In the example above, if your goal is to expand your client base, then your next steps should reflect it or be related to it.  

For instance, you can consider identifying your ideal clients and understanding their needs, so you can provide services that better suit their needs and preferences.

You can also start networking by attending industry events and building relationships with your potential clients. Or, you can leverage digital marketing for targeted campaigns that can help you broaden your reach.

Invest in Technology

There’s no doubt that as technology continues to evolve, it is becoming more integral in today’s business processes. Technology has become a backbone that keeps business operations smooth and efficient.

One reason that makes investing in technology helpful in growing a consulting business is the improved operational productivity it offers.

From tools to manage projects and client relationships to those that enhance communication and networking, technology gives you access to the best tools to use in growing a consulting firm. These tools help improve workflow productivity and achieve a competitive edge.

For example, a chatbot, a communication software or program, can ensure faster communication and response to queries as it interacts with your potential clients. In accounting, digital solutions can help you track finances more easily than manually.

Other tools you can use based on categories are as follows:

  • Project management:, Trello, Asana
  • Branding and marketing: Hootsuite, Mailchimp, Canva
  • Customer relationship management: HubSpot, Zoho CRM, Salesforce
  • Accounting and invoicing: Xero, QuickBooks, Zoho Invoice
  • Communication and networking: LinkedIn, Eventbrite, Microsoft Teams

Develop Your Online Presence

Source: Pexels

Once you’re done establishing better administrative flow for your firm than when you started, it’s time to draw potential clients. In this digital age, it starts with making your presence known online using a professional website.

As an example, consider a startup that could be on the hunt for guidance and, maybe, in need of startup consultants who can help them with financial modeling or project management. They head online, and search for a firm like yours.

They’ll look for a website that will showcase expertise and be easy to understand. If your website has these features, it will become their initial point of contact.

A website that’s easy to navigate and clearly shows your visitors who you are is fundamental. It’s the first impression of your firm and the starting point of your brand.

If a potential client decides to research your credentials, your website will be the first place they will look into.

Whatever quality they will see on it will surely reflect the quality of your work. That’s why you should take your consultant website design seriously.

Did you know that the impact of first impressions is largely tied to design - 94% of it? If your website delivers a poor experience, 88% of online consumers are unlikely to return.

Additionally, judgments on website credibility heavily rely on its overall design, constituting 75% of the evaluation.

Therefore, make sure your website is well-designed, well-written, updated, user-friendly, readily accessible, and optimized for mobile.

If you want to establish yourself as a thought leader, you can consider publishing relevant content that’s specific to your industry.

Also, create your profiles on different social media platforms, optimize your site for search engines, and consider well-targeted digital marketing. These are among the effective ways to find clients for your consulting business and engage with them.

Empower Your Employees

Source: Pexels

It’s no secret that the success of any business relies on its employees. That is why, as a consulting firm, you must consider motivating those people working with you and create an environment that will help them grow.

Aside from providing them with tools that can make their work efficient, you can also boost their morale using rewards, incentives, and team-building activities.

Furthermore, you must empower them to make choices that align with the firm's best interests. Help them develop other skills that are beneficial for your business development goals.

Encourage them to enhance their relevant skills and knowledge in the field and industry you are serving, such as in project management and proposal development.

Grow Your Network

This is still a fundamental business development strategy: grow your network. It’s how relationships develop and deepen, which can result in client loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals.

Most of the time, your potential client's purchasing choices are influenced by the relationships you've cultivated. Although in-person networking remains effective, modern digital techniques can save you time and costs.

LinkedIn, which is specifically designed for the business community, is one way you can maintain a professional profile online. This platform allows you to research other professionals and businesses, keep in contact with other clients, and join groups where your target audience hangs out. With a LinkedIn outreach, you can discover and engage with the ideal clients you want to work with.


Building a thriving consulting business demands time, dedication, and hard work. We hope that the tips we’ve provided will help you set your business on the path to success.

However, while these tips are proven and tested to work, consider staying updated on industry trends, so you can effectively serve your potential clients. Be flexible in your strategies and adapt to keep up with the competition.

Success in the consulting world often hinges on embracing change and proactively responding to emerging trends.


Zoi Kotsou

Copywriter - Content writer - Content Strategist

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.