Types Of Small Business Consultants and How To Become One

A small business consultant provides expert advice and guidance so others can achieve their dreams of business success. But where does a consultant turn to when they need career advice of their own? Right here! 

Small business consulting takes many forms, including strategy consulting, marketing consulting, financial consulting, legal consulting, project management consulting, IT consulting, and human resources consulting. 

Here’s your complete rundown on the types of small business consulting jobs available, as well as how to get started in the field. 

small business consultant

Marketing Consultant

Marketing consultants form an integral part of the small business ecosystem. They help businesses construct a unique brand style and voice that resonates with their targeted audiences.

Typical duties range from defining distinctive marketing strategies to conducting comprehensive market research.

The role can potentially expand to include digital marketing consultancy or even SEO consultants depending upon client requirements. They also guide businesses in advertising, sales, public relations, and content marketing.

This broad field of expertise proves beneficial when providing recommendations on varied marketing approaches tailored specifically for each business.!

Financial Consultant

Financial consultants play a pivotal role in steering small businesses towards financial success. With specialized knowledge, they provide valuable advice on all financial aspects of the business, ensuring business owners stay financially secure both today and into the future.

They also integrate small business tax strategies into their plans to maximize profit while minimizing liabilities. More than just advisors, financial consultants take a hands-on approach to debt management by analyzing company-specific data and making informed decisions about buying or selling stocks.

Specializing within industries allows them to understand market trends and position their clients for growth accordingly.

Human Resources Consultant

Human resources consultants provide valuable support and advice to small businesses in managing their HR processes and strategies. They specialize in areas such as recruitment, employee relations, training and development, compensation and benefits, and HR compliance.

The role involves conducting extensive business research, analyzing data, planning initiatives, and offering management counseling. With specialized knowledge and experience, HR consultants help businesses overcome obstacles and improve their HR practices.

Working independently allows them to deliver tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of each client. Small businesses that partner with a consultant receive expert guidance to enhance their overall HR function.

Legal Consultant

Legal consultants are experts in business law and provide valuable advice and guidance to small business owners. They have extensive knowledge in various legal areas such as compliance, contracts, dispute resolution, and regulations.

Small business owners often seek the assistance of legal consultants to navigate complex legal matters and ensure they are operating within the boundaries of the law. With their expertise in legal principles and ability to analyze laws and regulations, legal consultants help businesses draft contracts, resolve disputes, and understand intricate legal requirements.

To become a legal consultant, one must possess a deep understanding of legal principles along with strong analytical skills.

Strategy Consultant

As part of small business consulting, strategy consultants play a crucial role. Utilizing their industry knowledge and analytical skills, they develop long-term plans to drive businesses forward.

They look at existing operations and map out new ways to achieve goals more effectively and efficiently. Additionally, they identify potential threats or challenges that could hinder progress, thus preparing the business for future success.

Their power lies in their ability to transform complex issues into actionable strategies for small businesses. In essence, they make tough decisions easier by providing clear paths toward growth and profitability.

Project Management Consultant

A project management consultant plays a crucial role in small business management. Their main responsibility is to oversee projects and ensure their successful completion. With a bachelor’s degree in business management, finance, or accounting, project management consultants serve as planners, advisors, and team leaders in conceptualizing and implementing projects.

They provide expert advice and guidance to businesses in managing their projects effectively. Whether it’s project planning, advising on best practices, or leading the project team, these consultants bring their expertise to ensure smooth project implementation for small businesses.

IT Consultant

IT consultants are experts in the field of information technology who provide valuable advice and support to small businesses. These professionals assist companies in overcoming various IT challenges and issues that they may face.

Whether it’s implementing new software, securing data, or improving network infrastructure, IT consultants have the knowledge and experience to help small businesses navigate their way through the complexities of technology.

With their expertise, these consultants play a vital role in ensuring that small businesses can leverage technology effectively to achieve their goals. In addition to offering high salaries and numerous job opportunities, small business consulting services in IT are readily available for those seeking guidance on how to overcome IT obstacles and optimize their operations for success.

How to Become a Small Business Consultant

Small business consultancy generally requires the following steps: gaining experience in your field, obtaining relevant certifications and licenses, considering advanced education or degrees, building a professional network, and transitioning to a consulting role.

small business consulting

Gain Experience in Your Field

Gaining experience in your field is a crucial step towards becoming a small business consultant. By immersing yourself in the industry, you will develop expertise, industry knowledge, and specialized skills that are essential for providing valuable consulting services.

Through professional experience, you can hone your problem-solving abilities and analytical thinking, allowing you to better assist clients with strategic planning and decision-making.

With a solid foundation of business acumen and entrepreneurship, combined with hands-on experience in your field, you will be well-positioned to embark on a rewarding career as a small business consultant.

Obtain Relevant Certifications and Licenses

Obtaining relevant certifications and licenses is an essential step if you want to become a small business consultant. These credentials not only enhance your credibility but also attract clients who are looking for qualified professionals.

Depending on the state you live in and the industry you want to consult in, there may be specific licensing requirements that you need to fulfill. Additionally, consider obtaining industry-specific certifications like Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) to further boost your qualifications as a business consultant.

While certification is not always required, it can greatly benefit your career and set you apart from other consultants in the field.

Consider Advanced Education or Degrees

Obtaining advanced education or degrees is a crucial step for those aspiring to become small business consultants. Higher education, such as graduate degrees, provides the opportunity to gain expertise and specialization in a specific field of study.

It equips individuals with industry knowledge and skills that are essential for consulting roles. Additionally, pursuing professional qualifications or industry-specific certifications can further enhance one’s credibility and marketability as a consultant.

Continuous learning is also important to stay updated with the latest trends and developments in the business world. By investing in advanced education and continuous skill development, aspiring consultants can position themselves for success in this competitive field.

Build a Professional Network

Building a professional network is an essential step for anyone looking to become a small business consultant. Networking provides the opportunity to connect with potential clients and other professionals in your industry.

By attending industry events, joining professional organizations, and utilizing online platforms like LinkedIn, you can expand your network of contacts and build strong relationships.

A robust professional network can open doors to referral opportunities, collaborative partnerships, and continuous education in the field of small business consulting. Additionally, developing excellent communication and interpersonal skills will enable you to work closely with clients to understand their objectives and deliver effective solutions.

Transition to a Consulting Role

Transitioning to a consulting role is the final step. Armed with experience and professional credentials, you’re ready to leverage your network of industry connections to begin your career as a consultant. 

Building a personal brand is important to establishing your burgeoning business. You’ll want to develop a robust and engaging online presence with a professional website, social media pages, client testimonials, a regularly updated blog, and more.

Beyond the digital realm, attending industry conferences, workshops, and local business events can be invaluable. Not only do these events provide opportunities for learning, but they also allow for face-to-face interactions, fostering trust and laying the groundwork for potential client relationships. Remember, the more you’re seen as an active participant in your industry, the more credibility and authority you’ll build as a consultant.


There’s no one way to succeed as a small business consultant. Many potential roles exist, including strategy, marketing, financial, legal, project management, IT, and human resources consultants. 

Each plays a pivotal role in enhancing the operational efficiency of a small business, turning potential hurdles into opportunities for advancement and success. The profession promises not just personal growth but also the satisfaction of making a meaningful contribution to the world of business.