A Touch of Business

Beginner’s Guide: Starting an Image Consulting Firm

Main Sections In This Post Steps To Starting An Image Consulting Business Points to Consider Knowledge Is Power Featured Video

In this post, you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to start an image consulting business.

In addition, we will give you an overview of what you can expect from operating an image consulting business and help you make better, more informed decisions.

You can access the latest resources in our “Knowledge Is Power” section, which can be used during the startup phase and once your image consulting business is fully operational.

There is an abundance of information available to explore. If you like this post, consider sharing it with others and bookmarking it for future reference.

Let’s get started with the steps.

The Steps to Take To Start Your Image Consulting Business

Below are the steps to starting an image consulting business.

Each step is linked to a specific section, allowing you to jump to your desired section or scroll to follow the steps in order.

  • An Overview of What You’re Getting Into
  • Image Consulting Business Overview
  • Researching Your Image Consulting Business
  • Looking at Financials
  • Creating Your Mission Statement
  • Creating A Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Choose an Image Consulting Business Name
  • Register Your Company
  • Create Your Corporate Identity
  • Writing a Business Plan
  • Banking Considerations
  • Getting the Funds for Your Operation
  • Software Setup
  • Business Insurance Considerations
  • Supplier and Service Provider Considerations
  • Setting Your Prices
  • Physical Setup
  • Creating a Website
  • Create an External Support Team
  • Hiring Employees
  • Getting Customers Through the Door

1. An Overview of What You’re Getting Into

a. ) Owning and Operating Your Own Business

Running your own business is different from having a job. It carries greater accountability and a shift away from the conventional nine-to-five routine.

As a business owner, you’re no longer bound by fixed hours; instead, you might work extended shifts to address unforeseen challenges inherent to entrepreneurship.

Before embarking on your journey as an image consultant, it’s imperative to introspect and determine if the entrepreneurial path aligns with your aspirations. Unlike a job, business ownership necessitates a heightened sense of responsibility and adaptability.

Assess your willingness to embrace these aspects and accept the unpredictable nature of entrepreneurship. Your capacity to thrive in this venture hinges on your ability to navigate through the uncharted waters of running your own business.

See Considerations Before You Start Your Business to identify points for a new business owner.

b.) Pros and Cons of Owning a Business

Every business venture has its advantages and disadvantages. While the appeal of owning and operating a business is undeniable, it’s imperative not to overlook the potential challenges.

It’s vital to thoroughly evaluate these aspects to understand the potential hurdles that may arise. By being aware of the problems you might encounter, you can reduce the element of surprise and prepare accordingly.

Many budding entrepreneurs become overly focused on the rewards, neglecting to consider the potential pitfalls. However, a balanced perspective that considers benefits and drawbacks is essential for making informed decisions and increasing your chances of success in the business world.

For more, see Pros and Cons of Starting a Small Business.

c.) Passion a Key Ingredient For Success

Passion plays a pivotal role in image consulting. It is the driving force behind one’s journey to success.

When you possess a genuine passion for your business, you approach challenges as opportunities for innovation and growth. Conversely, lacking passion can lead to seeking ways out when faced with difficulties.

The level of passion you invest in owning and operating an image consulting business significantly shapes your prospects.

Let’s explore a hypothetical scenario: imagine having boundless wealth, all desired possessions, and absolute freedom.

Would you willingly dedicate your time to running an image consulting business without financial gain in such a scenario?

If your answer is a resounding “yes,” it reflects a profound passion for image consulting and a precise alignment with your aspirations.

However, if your answer is “no,” it prompts introspection. What alternative pursuit would you prefer? This question encourages you to explore whether image consulting genuinely resonates with your passions.

In summary, success in image consulting is closely tied to personal passion. It’s not just a profession; it’s a vocation.

To maximize your chances of success, wholeheartedly embrace the world of image consulting.

View challenges as opportunities for growth and transformation, guided by your unwavering passion, which will illuminate your path toward excellence.

For More, See How Passion Affects Your Business .

2. Gaining an Overview of Owning an Image Consulting Business

Next, let’s spend some time on key issues to give you an overview of what to expect from owning and running an image consulting business.

Note:  This section contains an abundance of information that you will want to review. It will give you an overview of what to expect, and it’s worth reading this section.

a.) A Quick Overview of Owning an Image Consulting Business

An image consulting business is a niche profession dedicated to helping individuals, often clients from various walks of life, enhance their personal and professional image.

Image consultants work closely with their clients to develop and refine their visual, verbal, and non-verbal communication skills, ultimately boosting their confidence and self-presentation.

Day-to-Day Operations

  • Client Assessment : Image consultants begin by conducting comprehensive assessments of their clients. This involves understanding the client’s personal and professional goals, assessing their current image, and identifying areas that require improvement.
  • Wardrobe Analysis : One of the core tasks involves evaluating a client’s wardrobe. Image consultants help clients choose clothing that aligns with their body type, personal style, and professional objectives.
  • Personal Shopping : Image consultants often accompany clients on shopping trips or recommend suitable clothing and accessories. They guide clients in making informed fashion choices.
  • Style and Grooming Advice : Providing advice on grooming, hairstyle, and makeup is a routine aspect of the job. Image consultants offer suggestions to enhance a client’s overall appearance.
  • Communication Skills : Image consultants work on verbal and nonverbal communication skills, including improving posture, body language, and speech patterns.
  • Presentation Skills : Preparing clients for public speaking engagements or interviews is another critical duty. Consultants offer guidance on content development and delivery.
  • Ongoing Support : Consultants maintain continuing relationships with clients to ensure sustained progress. Regular follow-ups and adjustments to image strategies are standard.
  • Networking and Marketing : Building a client base is vital. Image consultants engage in marketing and networking activities to attract new clients and maintain existing relationships.
  • Continual Learning : Staying updated with fashion trends, communication techniques, and industry developments is crucial. Image consultants invest time in ongoing education to provide the best guidance to their clients.
  • Administration : Managing administrative tasks such as appointment scheduling, billing, and record-keeping is essential to running the business efficiently.

In conclusion, an image consulting business enhances clients’ image and confidence.

Day-to-day operations involve diverse tasks, from wardrobe analysis to communication skills development.

This profession demands a blend of fashion expertise, interpersonal skills, and business knowledge to succeed.

b.) Image Consulting Business Models

  • Independent Consultant : An individual image consultant runs their practice independently. They offer personalized services, charging clients for consultations, assessments, and advice. This model provides full autonomy but requires self-reliance in marketing and operations.
  • Agency or Firm : Image consulting agencies or firms employ multiple consultants who specialize in different areas, such as fashion, corporate image, or personal branding. They collaborate to serve a diverse clientele, generating revenue from client fees and service commissions.
  • Online Coaching and Training : Image consultants can leverage online platforms to offer a global audience virtual coaching, webinars, and courses. Income is derived from course fees and the sale of digital products, providing scalability and flexibility.
  • Franchise Image Consulting : Operating as a franchise , this model allows individuals to buy into an established image consulting brand and business framework. Franchisees receive support and training from the parent company while paying franchise fees and royalties.
  • Corporate Image Consulting : Specializing in corporate clients, image consultants work with businesses to improve their employees’ professional appearance and branding. Revenue comes from corporate contracts and employee training programs .
  • Celebrity and VIP Image Consulting : These consultants enhance their public image by serving high-profile clients like celebrities and politicians. Income is generated through exclusive contracts, often with stringent confidentiality agreements.
  • Academic and Training Institution : Some image consultants establish training institutions or academies that offer certification programs for aspiring consultants. Revenue is generated from tuition fees and the sale of educational materials.

Choosing the suitable business model at the outset is paramount, as switching models later presents challenges.

Focusing on a niche allows you to tailor your services to a specific audience, positioning yourself as a specialist rather than a one-size-fits-all provider.

Identifying a business model that aligns with your image consulting business is essential for a smoother and well-planned startup phase, setting the stage for success.

c.) Challenges You Could Face When Starting and Operating an Image Consulting Business

Challenges in the Startup Phase

Starting an image consulting business can be a rewarding endeavor, but it comes with its share of challenges:

  • Market Entry Barriers : Gaining visibility and credibility in a competitive market can be tough. Building a client base from scratch requires effective marketing strategies and networking.
  • Financial Constraints : Limited initial funds for marketing, office space, and resources can hinder operations. Entrepreneurs often need to manage expenses and seek cost-effective solutions carefully.
  • Client Acquisition : Attracting the first clients can be challenging. Convincing potential clients of the value of image consulting services may take time and effort.
  • Industry Knowledge : A thorough understanding of fashion trends, personal branding, and communication skills is essential. Staying updated with industry developments is crucial.
  • Building a Brand : Establishing a recognizable brand identity takes time and consistent effort. Creating a strong brand image is vital for long-term success.
  • Client Retention : Maintaining client relationships and ensuring their satisfaction can be demanding. Providing ongoing value and support is necessary to retain clients.
  • Administrative Tasks : Managing administrative responsibilities, such as appointment scheduling and record-keeping, can be time-consuming and divert focus from client work.
  • Self-Promotion : Image consultants must market themselves effectively. Building a personal brand and online presence is essential for attracting clients.
  • Competition : The image consulting industry is competitive. It is crucial to identify a unique selling proposition and differentiate one’s business from competitors.

Challenges When Your Business is Up and Running

  • Client Diversity : Clients come from various backgrounds with unique needs and expectations. Balancing individualized services with scalability can be complex.
  • Market Trends : Staying updated with ever-evolving fashion trends and industry developments is essential to provide relevant guidance to clients.
  • Time Management : Balancing client appointments, administrative tasks, and personal development can be challenging. Effective time management is crucial.
  • Client Feedback : Dealing with client feedback, both positive and negative, requires skill and professionalism. Addressing concerns promptly is vital.
  • Business Growth : Scaling the business while maintaining service quality is a delicate balance. Expanding to meet demand can lead to operational challenges.
  • Technology Adoption : Embracing technology for online consultations and digital marketing is necessary to stay competitive in the digital age.
  • Legal and Compliance : It is crucial to adhere to industry regulations and ensure legal compliance, especially regarding client confidentiality.
  • Burnout Prevention : The nature of the image consulting business can be demanding. Implementing self-care practices and avoiding burnout is essential.

Navigating these challenges requires resilience, adaptability, and a commitment to continuous learning and improvement.

Overcoming these obstacles can lead to a successful and thriving image consulting business.

d.) Questions You Need to Consider for Your Image Consulting Business

  • What Image Consulting Business Model Fits Best for You? The first step is determining whether you’ll operate as an independent consultant, an agency, or another model. Your choice will impact your business structure and approach.
  • Do You Possess the Necessary Skills for Business Management? : Assess your proficiency in managing and operating an image consulting business. Identifying skill gaps will help you prepare for success.
  • Solo or Team Effort? : Decide whether you will handle all aspects alone or hire employees. Balancing autonomy with delegation can affect your business’s efficiency and growth.
  • Management or Manager? : Clarify your role in business management. Will you take the helm or appoint a manager to oversee operations? This decision shapes your leadership style.
  • Customer Acquisition Strategy : How will you attract your initial clients? Establishing effective customer acquisition strategies is crucial for a successful start.
  • Understanding the Competition : Who are your competitors in the image consulting landscape? Analyzing your competition enables you to differentiate yourself and identify market gaps.
  • Client Retention Planning : To foster client loyalty, develop strategies to keep customers returning for more. This is essential for long-term success.
  • Exploring Partnerships or Investors : Consider whether you intend to collaborate with partners or seek investors. This choice can influence your business’s financial structure and growth potential.
  • Financing Your Startup : Determine how you’ll fund your initial startup costs. A clear financial plan is essential, whether through personal savings, loans, or investments.
  • Profitability Timeline : Have you estimated the time it will take to become profitable? Realistic expectations regarding the profitability timeline are vital for financial planning .
  • Financial Support in the Early Stages : How will you support yourself given the potential economic challenges in the early stages? Planning for personal financial stability is crucial.
  • Product and Service Offering : Define the products and services you’ll provide. Ensure they align with market demand and client needs.
  • Validating Market Demand : How do you know there’s a demand for your services? Market research and validation are critical to addressing a genuine need.
  • Setting Yourself Apart : Determine what unique value you’ll provide to set yourself apart from competitors. Your unique selling proposition is central to attracting clients.
  • Positioning Your Business : Decide whether your image consulting business will target a high-end, average, or discount market. This positioning shapes your branding and clientele.

By diligently considering these questions, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the challenges and opportunities that come your way as you embark on your journey in the world of image consulting.

3. Research

A.) inside information image consulting business research.

Before taking any further steps, conducting comprehensive research is a fundamental requirement for launching your image consulting venture.

Quality information provides invaluable insights into the industry landscape and potential challenges. It ensures you are fully aware of what lies ahead.

Seek Wisdom from Experts

Engage with experienced individuals who have successfully run image consulting businesses.

Their expertise is a reliable source of information. Spending time with them can yield priceless insights into their years of experience.

Connecting with the Right People

Discovering the right individuals to converse with extends beyond this post.

An article has been prepared to guide you on identifying and approaching relevant experts.

I strongly recommend reading “An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start” to comprehensively understand the image consulting industry and the insights needed to make informed decisions.

See An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start for all the details.

b.) Demand, the Competition and Your Location

To ensure a successful start for your image consulting business, you must analyze critical factors, including supply and demand dynamics, market saturation, competition, and your chosen location.

These considerations provide a comprehensive overview of the market conditions in your specific area.

Understanding Demand:

Determining the demand for your image consulting products and services is paramount. High quality and reasonable prices alone won’t suffice.

Ensuring substantial demand is essential to justify launching your business. Insufficient demand can lead to early closure and significant debt.

Assessing Market Saturation:

Beyond demand, consider market saturation. Is the market already flooded with similar services?

Gaining market share in a saturated market can be challenging unless you offer unique value that competitors don’t.

Furthermore, assess whether your competitors could easily replicate your idea, potentially eroding your market share.

Analyzing Competition:

A thorough understanding of your competition is vital. Avoid direct competition with dominant market players.

Instead, identify what sets you apart from competitors and whether your unique service aligns with your potential customers’ desires and willingness to pay.

Selecting Your Location:

Choosing the right location is a delicate balance between demand, competition, and affordability.

A densely populated area offers exposure but ensures that increased expenses won’t outweigh profits.

Conversely, cheaper rent may seem appealing, but assess if the location has enough of your target market to support your business.

Online Business Setup:

For online setups, location flexibility exists, but competition and demand remain pivotal.

In a highly competitive market, relying on search engine traffic can be challenging.

Conversely, if your keywords have minimal online demand, traffic will remain limited. International shipping can also be expensive and subject to customs delays.

Exploring distributor options in other countries may alleviate this concern.

Home-Based Business Setup:

Some models can thrive as home-based businesses, especially for online ventures with minimal customer interaction.

Beginning from home offers viability, with future expansion to a commercial location as your business grows.

In summary, selecting the right location while considering supply and demand dynamics is integral to your business’s success.

In-depth research and analysis of potential locations are essential to make informed decisions that align with your image consulting business goals.

For more, see the Demand for Your Products and Services and Choosing The Best Location for Your Business.

c.) Target Audience

The Value of Knowing Your Target Audience

Understanding your target audience empowers you to tailor your products and services precisely to their needs and preferences.

Rather than offering a broad range, you can provide what genuinely interests your customers, ensuring a more effective and customer-centric approach.

Target Market Ideas:

  • Young professionals seeking to enhance their career image.
  • Individuals undergoing personal transformations.
  • Corporate employees aiming to improve their professional image.
  • Recent graduates entering the workforce.
  • Aspiring public figures and celebrities.
  • Business professionals seeking to strengthen their personal brand.
  • Individuals preparing for significant life events (weddings, interviews, etc.).
  • Entrepreneurs and startup founders seeking a professional image.
  • People re-entering the job market or changing careers.
  • International clients looking for image guidance in a new culture.

For more, see How To Understand Your Target Market.

4. Looking at Financials:

Understanding the numbers and making good decisions is a crucial factor in succeeding.

You will struggle to manage a successful operation without putting in the time and effort to understand and monitor the financials of your image consulting business.

This section has a lot to cover, and these are critical steps in starting and operating your business.

The section is broken up into the following:

Start-up Cost: In this step, we will look at the importance of getting an accurate estimate and a simple startup cost to help you get your setup ideas.

Monthly Expenses: Expenses must be monitored, or the operation could be jeopardized. A sample list of monthly expenses is provided, which can be used to generate ideas for the setup.

Profits: To keep your doors open, you must generate profits and enough to pay your bills, grow your business and support your income. There are a few points you will want to consider in this section.

Bests Practices: In addition to the above, we will examine a few best practices regarding your business’s financial aspects.

Let’s get started!

Start-Up Costs:

Understanding Startup Costs

Accurate estimation of startup costs is pivotal from the planning stage to the eventual opening of your image consulting business. A misjudgment can lead to financial hurdles.

Balancing Act: Underestimation vs. Overestimation

Underestimating costs may lead to a shortage of funds, hindering your business’s launch. Conversely, overestimating can make your operation seem excessively high-risk.

Determining Cost Factors

Startup costs hinge on various factors:

  • Business Size : The scale of your operation influences costs.
  • Location : Urban areas may entail higher expenses than suburban or rural locations.
  • Staffing : Deciding whether to hire employees affects costs.
  • Equipment : Choosing between new and used equipment impacts your budget.
  • Space : Expenses vary based on whether you rent, lease, or operate from home.
  • Online vs. Brick-and-Mortar : Online setups tend to be more cost-effective.

Effective Estimation

Create a comprehensive list of needs and obtain price quotes. Research may unveil additional expenses.

However, it’s crucial to recognize that no one can offer an exact figure for your unique image consulting business setup.

Define Your Business Model

The first step in practical estimation is defining your business model.

Online ventures generally incur fewer costs compared to brick-and-mortar or home-based setups.

Variable Complexity

Numerous variables come into play, making research and accurate estimates essential. It’s the most reliable way to determine the feasibility of starting your image consulting business.

In conclusion, understanding and meticulously estimating startup costs are critical steps.

By researching, obtaining accurate estimates, and aligning costs with your business model, you can make informed decisions about the viability of your image consulting venture.

Sample Startup Cost For an Image Consulting Business 

The purpose of the list below is to focus on the items in the list more than the numbers because these are general samples, and your figures will be different. Estimated Startup Costs for a Mid-Sized Image Consulting Business in the USA:

Business Registration and Legal Fees :

  • Lower Value: $500
  • Upper Value: $1,500

Office Space Rent/Lease :

  • Lower Value: $1,500 per month
  • Upper Value: $3,500 per month

Furniture and Office Equipment :

  • Lower Value: $2,000
  • Upper Value: $5,000

Technology and Software :

  • Lower Value: $1,000
  • Upper Value: $2,500

Marketing and Advertising :

  • Lower Value: $1,500
  • Upper Value: $3,500

Initial Inventory (Style Guides, Color Swatches, etc.) :

  • Upper Value: $1,000

Professional Insurance :

  • Lower Value: $800 annually
  • Upper Value: $1,500 annually

Professional Association Memberships and Certifications :

Website Development and Maintenance :

Office Supplies :

  • Lower Value: $300
  • Upper Value: $800

Utilities (Electricity, Internet, Phone) :

  • Lower Value: $150 per month
  • Upper Value: $350 per month

Legal Consultation and Contracts :

Initial Marketing Collateral (Business Cards, Brochures) :

  • Upper Value: $700

Travel and Transportation (Client Meetings) :

  • Upper Value: $1,200

Miscellaneous Expenses (Contingency):

  • Upper Value: $2,000

Total Estimated Startup Costs (Lower Value): $12,700

Total Estimated Startup Costs (Upper Value): $29,300

For more, refer to my article on Estimating Startup Costs.

Monthly Operating Costs:

Managing Monthly Expenses

Your monthly expenses mirror the earlier startup costs, but numerous factors influence them.

Independence vs. Staffing :

Running your image consulting business independently or with a full staff significantly impacts monthly expenses.

Location Matters :

Choosing a high-traffic area increases costs compared to a location with fewer potential clients.

Loan Payments, Marketing, and More :

Consider high loan payments, marketing campaigns, repairs, and potential expenses. Maintaining optimal operations while managing fluctuations in revenue requires keeping costs low without compromising quality, service, or productivity.

Sample list of estimated monthly expenses for a MID-sized image consulting business

Again, the purpose of the list below is to focus on the items rather than the numbers. The numbers are a general idea, and your numbers and list will differ. 

Staff Salaries and Benefits :

  • Lower Value: $4,000 per month
  • Upper Value: $7,000 per month
  • Lower Value: $75 per month
  • Upper Value: $150 per month

Website Maintenance and Hosting :

  • Lower Value: $100 per month
  • Upper Value: $250 per month

Loan Payments :

  • Lower Value: $800 per month
  • Upper Value: $1,500 per month

Travel and Transportation :

  • Lower Value: $250 per month
  • Upper Value: $500 per month

Office Supplies and Miscellaneous :

  • Lower Value: $200 per month

Total Estimated Monthly Expenses (Lower Value): $8,475

Total Estimated Monthly Expenses (Upper Value): $16,250

These approximate estimates vary based on location, staffing, marketing strategies, and specific business needs.

Careful financial planning and budgeting are essential to ensure the sustainability and profitability of your image consulting business.

Considerations for Profits

Profit Considerations for Your Image Consulting Business

Understanding the dynamics of profit is pivotal to your business’s success:

Overhead Impact :

High overhead can significantly reduce your profit margins, even with substantial sales. Estimating your image consulting business’s profit is complex due to the numerous variables.

Your Profit Estimation :

You can best estimate your potential profit based on your chosen business setup. Positioning your business as high-end or discount will affect your profit margins.

The Big Picture :

Focus on the broader perspective of profit. Avoid fixating on individual sales; instead, consider the volume of sales.

A high profit per sale may not cover overhead costs if sales volume is insufficient.

Conversely, emphasizing high sales volumes with lower profit margins necessitates ensuring each sale covers expenses and leaves room for a healthy profit.

Startup Phase vs. Operational Phase :

During startup, estimates are essential. Once operational, solid numbers emerge from acquired data.

Calculating Net Profit :

To calculate net profit, subtract your total costs from your total revenue. This straightforward equation yields your net profit.

Analyzing Profit per Sale :

Complex calculations can determine net profit per sale, helping you focus on profitable products and services.

Understanding profit intricacies is vital to optimizing your image consulting business’s financial health and long-term viability.

For More, See Estimating Profitability and Revenue.

Final Thoughts on Financials 

Financial management is a cornerstone of running an image consulting business. Beyond tracking and recording transactions for tax and legal compliance, closely monitoring profits and expenses and generating reports is crucial.

Proactive Insights :

Regular financial analysis provides insights. For instance, a sudden sales drop prompts an investigation. Was it market shifts, product/service issues, new competitors, or other factors?

Timely Action :

Monitoring finances allows for proactive responses to critical issues. Without it, these issues may go unnoticed until it’s too late to take corrective measures.

Stay vigilant to ensure the financial health of your image consulting business.

5. Create Your Mission Statement

Defining Purpose with a Mission Statement

A mission statement serves as the compass guiding your image consulting business.

It crystallizes your purpose, ensuring you focus on delivering critical benefits to your clients and community.

Examples of Mission Statements for an Image Consulting Business:

  • “Empowering individuals to radiate confidence and authenticity through personalized image transformation.”
  • “Elevating professional success by enhancing personal style and communication for clients and their communities.”
  • “Dedicated to cultivating self-esteem and positive self-expression through tailored image solutions.”
  • “Enabling clients to project their best selves, both professionally and personally, for lasting impact.”
  • “Committed to building self-assured individuals and fostering inclusive communities through the art of image enhancement.”

Each mission statement reflects a unique aspect of an image consulting business’s purpose, emphasizing its commitment to clients and the broader community.

For more, see How To Create a Mission Statement.

6. Creating A Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Crafting Uniqueness with a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is the key to distinguishing your image consulting business.

It aids in identifying and creating distinctive elements that set you apart from competitors.

Whether it’s a unique approach, specialized service, or exclusive expertise, your USP defines your uniqueness.

Examples of USPs for an Image Consulting Business:

  • Personalized Style DNA Analysis: Offering clients in-depth assessments to unlock their unique style essence, tailored to their personality and lifestyle.
  • Sustainable Image Transformation: Focusing on eco-friendly fashion choices and sustainable styling practices, aligning image enhancement with environmental values.
  • Multicultural Image Mastery: Specializing in catering to diverse cultural backgrounds and understanding the nuances of global fashion and image expression.
  • Executive Presence Enhancement: Targeting professionals seeking to elevate their executive presence through a holistic image and communication approach.
  • Total Image Transformation Programs: Providing comprehensive packages encompassing style, grooming, and communication to deliver a complete image makeover.

These USPs emphasize specific strengths, cater to distinct client needs, and uniquely position the image consulting business in the market.

7. Choose a Business Name

Selecting an Impactful Business Name

Choosing the right name for your image consulting business is a critical decision. Here are key considerations:

Catchy and Relevant :

Opt for a name that’s catchy and industry-appropriate. It should be easy to pronounce and memorable.

Long-Term Perspective :

Business names tend to endure, so choose wisely. Take your time to decide.

Online Presence :

Ensure the availability of a matching domain name for your online presence.

Avoid Conflicts :

Check for existing registrations to avoid legal conflicts.

Here Is a List of Sample Image Consulting Business Names:

  • StyleCraft Pro
  • ImageWise Mastery
  • Elegance Evolve
  • Aura Edge Advisors
  • ChicSense Consultants
  • Polished Persona
  • Identity Elevation
  • GlamourGrid Guides
  • Signature Stylecraft
  • Image IQ Innovators
  • Iconic Attire Artistry
  • Refined Presence Partners
  • Graceful Image Gurus
  • TrendTact Specialists
  • EvokeStyle Consultants
  • ModeMasters Alliance
  • Radiance Revamp Experts
  • Exquisite Aura Architects
  • Aesthetic Influence
  • ImageAlchemy Pros
  • PoshPersona Pioneers
  • VerveStyle Visionaries
  • ChicEssentia Masters
  • Identity Enhance Group
  • ElegantEcho Consultants
  • StyleFinesse Artisans
  • GlamGuidance Gurus
  • RefineRise Advisors
  • ModaMatrix Masters
  • OpulentAura Architects

This list can serve as inspiration for crafting a unique and meaningful name that resonates with your image consulting business.

For more, see the following articles:

  • How To Register a Business Name
  • Registering a Domain Name For Your Business

8. Register Your Company

Legal Compliance for Your Image Consulting Business

Ensuring the legality of your image consulting business is paramount for smooth operations. Here’s how to navigate legalities:

Consultation with a Professional:

Engage a professional like an attorney or accountant to ensure your business structure aligns with tax benefits and liability protection.

Standard Registrations for Image Consulting Business:

  • Business Structure Registration: Choose a legal structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation) and register accordingly.
  • Business Name Registration: Register your business name with the appropriate local or state authority.
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN): Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN) for tax purposes.

Permits and Licenses (In-Point Form):

  • Business License: Obtain a general business license from your local government.
  • Professional Certification: If required in your state, secure certifications for image consulting.
  • Sales Tax Permit: If applicable, register for sales tax collection and remittance.
  • Home Occupation Permit: Check if a permit is needed if operating from home.
  • Zoning Compliance: Ensure your location complies with zoning regulations.
  • Health Department Permit: If offering makeup or skincare services, adhere to health regulations.
  • Online Business Compliance: Comply with e-commerce and data protection laws for online services.
  • Music Licensing: If using music in your business, ensure proper licensing.

Navigating the legal landscape for your image consulting business is vital.

Consulting professionals and obtaining necessary registrations, permits, and licenses will help you operate within the bounds of the law while maximizing benefits and minimizing risks.

Registration:

  • How to Register Your Business
  • How To Register a DBA
  • How to Register a Trademark
  • How to Get a Business License

Business Structures:

  • How to Choose a Business Structure
  • Pros & Cons of a Sole Proprietorship
  • How To Form an LLC
  • How To Register a Business Partnership
  • How To Form a Corporation
  • How To Choose a Business Registration Service

9. Create Your Corporate Identity

Crafting a Cohesive Corporate Identity

Your Corporate Identity (ID) is a visual representation of your business.

It encompasses essential elements like logos, business cards , websites, signs, stationery, and promotional materials.

Maintaining a consistent, professional design across these components is crucial for leaving a lasting impression on new and existing customers.

A cohesive Corporate ID enhances brand recognition and trust in your image consulting business.

Visit our pages for an overview of your logo , business cards, website, and business sign, or read A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages.

10. Writing a Business Plan

The Crucial Role of a Business Plan

A business plan serves as the backbone of your image consulting venture. It’s not just a document; it’s a roadmap for success with several key aspects to consider.

A Vital Tool for Financing and Investors :

A well-structured business plan becomes your persuasive tool when seeking financing or investors. It communicates your vision effectively.

Time and Effort Investment :

Crafting an effective business plan demands time and effort. It’s a process of envisioning your fully operational business, requiring careful planning and attention to detail.

Clarity for Startup and Operation :

Once completed, your business plan clarifies the startup and operational phases.

It outlines what’s needed to begin and how to navigate the business landscape.

Diverse Creation Options :

Creating a business plan offers flexibility. You can start from scratch, enlist professional help, use templates, or employ business plan software.

Regardless of the approach, active participation is vital to convey your business’s nature and management effectively.

Adaptability and Optimization :

Expect that your business plan and operations might evolve. Regularly reviewing and adapting the document as you gain experience or respond to market changes is wise.

Flexibility ensures your business remains aligned with your goals.

A well-crafted business plan is your strategic tool, guiding you through the complexities of the image consulting industry. It’s not static but dynamic, evolving with your business.

Business Plan Template for an Image Consulting Business

Note: This template provides a comprehensive Image Consulting Business Plan structure.

Tailor the content to suit your specific goals, objectives, and market.

1. Executive Summary:

  • Business Name, Location, and Owners.
  • Business Mission Statement.
  • Brief Overview of Services and Target Market.
  • Summary of Financial Projections.

2. Business Description:

  • Detailed Description of Your Image Consulting Business.
  • Business Objectives and Goals.
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and Competitive Advantage.

3. Market Analysis:

  • Market Research Findings.
  • Industry Trends and Outlook.
  • Target Market Profile and Segmentation.
  • Competitor Analysis.
  • SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).

4. Services and Pricing:

  • List of Services Offered.
  • Service Descriptions.
  • Pricing Structure.
  • Revenue Projections.

5. Marketing and Sales Strategy:

  • Marketing Plan (Online and Offline).
  • Sales Strategy and Approach.
  • Customer Acquisition and Retention Strategies.
  • Branding and Positioning.

6. Operations and Management:

  • Business Location and Facilities.
  • Equipment and Technology Requirements.
  • Team Structure and Roles.
  • Training and Certification Plans.
  • Workflow and Process Management.

7. Financial Projections:

  • Startup Costs and Funding Requirements.
  • Sales Forecasts.
  • Expense Projections.
  • Cash Flow Statement.
  • Break-Even Analysis.
  • Profit and Loss Statement.

8. Legal and Compliance:

  • Business Structure (LLC, Sole Proprietorship, etc.).
  • Licensing and Permits.
  • Contracts and Legal Agreements.
  • Insurance Coverage.

9. Marketing and Sales Strategy:

10. Risk Analysis and Mitigation:

  • Identification of Potential Risks.
  • Risk Assessment and Impact Analysis.
  • Strategies for Risk Mitigation.

11. Appendix:

  • Supporting Documents (Resumes, Certifications, Market Research Data).
  • Any Additional Information Relevant to Your Plan.

12. Conclusion:

  • Summarize Key Points.
  • Emphasize Your Commitment to Success.

This business plan template offers a comprehensive framework for your image consulting business.

Customize each section with detailed information and data relevant to your business goals and strategies.

Regularly update your business plan as your business evolves and grows.

See How to Write a Business Plan for information on creating your business plan.

11. Banking Considerations

Selecting the Right Bank for Your Business

When choosing a bank for your image consulting business, opt for a nearby institution that focuses on small businesses and has a reputable presence in the financial sector.

Building a professional relationship with your banker is crucial. They provide valuable advice, streamline applications, and offer support during prosperous and challenging times.

A dedicated business account allows you to segregate personal and business transactions, simplifying expense tracking, report generation, and tax filing.

Additionally, consider obtaining a merchant account or online payment service to accept credit and debit cards, enhancing sales convenience for your customers.

For more, see How to Open a Business Bank Account. You may also want to look at What Is a Merchant Account and How to Get One.

12. Getting the Funds for Your Operation

Securing Financing for Your Image Consulting Business

If you require financial assistance to initiate your image consulting business, consider the following tips:

Explore Funding Options: Investigate traditional lenders, private loans, potential investors, or selling assets you own.

Government Grants: Check for government grants that can provide startup capital for your image consulting business.

Preparing for the Loan Application Meeting:

When meeting with a loan officer, consider these factors:

  • Business Plan: Present a well-structured business plan outlining your business concept, strategies, and financial projections.
  • Credit History: Ensure your personal and business credit histories are in good standing.
  • Collateral: Be prepared to discuss potential collateral to secure the loan.
  • Financial Statements: Provide comprehensive financial statements, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow projections.
  • Legal Documents: Prepare legal documents such as business licenses, permits, and registration certificates.
  • Personal Identification: Bring personal identification documents, such as a driver’s license or passport.
  • Business Structure: Clearly define your business structure, whether a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation.
  • Repayment Plan: Outline a feasible plan for loan repayment.
  • References: Offer personal and professional references to vouch for your credibility.

Sample List of Documents for New Business Loan Application:

  • Business Plan
  • Credit Report
  • Collateral Details
  • Financial Statements (Income, Balance, Cash Flow)
  • Legal Business Documents
  • Personal Identification
  • Business Structure Information
  • Loan Repayment Plan

Organizing these documents and addressing these considerations will enhance your prospects when meeting with a loan officer and applying for financing to launch your image consulting business.

For more, see the following:

  • Getting a Small Business Loan
  • SBA Small Business Grants
  • Search: Image Consulting Business Start-up Loans
  • Search: Grants For an Image Consulting Business

13. Software Setup

Efficient software is essential for your image consulting business. Consider these factors:

1. Compatibility and Ease of Transition: Opt for software that suits your needs from the start to avoid data migration hassles.

2. Established Providers: Choose companies with a track record, ensuring dependable future support.

3. Demos and Trials: Utilize available demos to assess software suitability before committing.

4. Reviews and Forums: Investigate user reviews and forums for insights from others’ experiences.

5. Financial Management Software: Research tools for expense tracking and financial document preparation, crucial for tax filing.

Consulting with your bookkeeper or accountant aids in selecting the right accounting software for your needs.

Types of Software for Image Consulting Business:

  • Client Management: CRM software for client relationship management.
  • Appointment Scheduling: Tools for scheduling client consultations and appointments.
  • Inventory Management: Software to track clothing and accessory inventory.
  • Financial Management: Accounting software for expense tracking and financial reporting.
  • Image Analysis: Specialized software for style and image analysis.
  • Website and Social Media Management: Tools for online presence and management.
  • Marketing and Email Campaigns: Software for marketing strategies and email campaigns.
  • Project Management: Tools for organizing and managing client projects.
  • Customer Feedback and Surveys: Platforms for collecting feedback and conducting surveys.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Software for monitoring business performance and generating reports.

Carefully selecting and integrating these software types streamlines image consulting business management and operations.

Check out Google’s latest search results for software packages for an image consulting business.

14. Get The Right Business Insurance

In image consulting, safeguarding your business through insurance is paramount. Here’s what you need to consider:

1. Comprehensive Protection: Prioritize insurance coverage to shield your clients, employees, yourself, anyone on your premises, and your assets. Comprehensive protection minimizes risks associated with unforeseen incidents.

2. Professional Liability Insurance: Protect yourself from legal challenges with professional liability insurance. It offers a safety net in case of lawsuits or disputes.

3. Business Interruption Insurance: This can be a lifesaver in case of an unforeseen incident that forces your business to shut down involuntarily. It provides financial support during these challenging times, helping you stay afloat.

4. Home-Based Business Consideration: If you operate your business from home, communicate with your home insurance agent. Failure to do so could inadvertently void your existing home insurance policy.

5. Seek Professional Guidance: To ensure adequate coverage, collaborate with a proficient insurance broker. Their expertise will help you navigate the complexities of insurance and provide peace of mind, knowing you’re protected in various scenarios.

Prioritizing insurance for your image consulting business is a strategic move to mitigate risks and protect your venture from unexpected challenges.

For more, see What to Know About Business Insurance . You can also browse the latest Google search results for image consulting business insurance .

15. Suppliers and Service Providers

Creating and maintaining positive relationships with your suppliers and service providers is a pivotal aspect of your image consulting business. Here’s what you need to consider:

1. Reliability and Trustworthiness: Depend on suppliers and service providers who are reliable and trustworthy. Their consistency is crucial for your success.

2. Competitive Pricing: Collaborate with suppliers who offer competitive prices, enabling you to provide cost-effective services to your clients while bolstering your profit margins.

3. Adequate Supplies: Ensure your suppliers can guarantee a steady flow of necessary supplies to keep your business running seamlessly.

4. Mutual Benefits: Foster a mutually beneficial relationship by respecting your suppliers and service providers and ensuring they derive financial advantages from the partnership. This approach strengthens your working ties.

Items and Services from Suppliers and Service Providers:

  • Clothing and Accessories: Reliable sources for clothing, accessories, and styling products.
  • Tailoring and Alterations: Services for custom fittings and alterations.
  • Printing and Marketing Materials: Suppliers for business cards, brochures, and promotional materials.
  • Software and Technology: Providers of image analysis software, scheduling tools, and marketing software.
  • Photography Services: Photographers for portfolio shots and client image documentation.
  • Marketing and Advertising: Agencies or freelancers for marketing campaigns and brand promotion.

Selecting suitable suppliers and service providers empowers your image consulting business with essential resources and expertise, contributing to your overall success.

For More, See How To Choose a Supplier.

16. Setting Prices

Effective pricing is a critical aspect of your image consulting business. Here are key considerations:

1. Research for Success: Thorough pricing research is essential at the outset of your image consulting venture.

2. Avoid Overpricing: Too high prices can deter potential clients, leading to lost sales.

3. Steer Clear of Underpricing: Extremely low prices may attract more clients but can jeopardize your ability to cover expenses and generate profits.

4. Strike a Balance: Find a pricing sweet spot that aligns with your target market’s expectations while emphasizing the value you provide. This balance will ensure that you remain competitive and profitable.

By carefully researching and determining optimal pricing, you maximize your chances of success and sustainable growth in the image consulting industry.

See the following for more:

  • Setting the Price of Your Products and Services
  • Search Results for Pricing Strategies for an Image Consulting Business.

17. Physical Setup

Optimizing Your Online Image Consulting Business Setup

Creating a conducive work environment for your online image consulting business is crucial. Here’s how to achieve it:

Layout and Setup Overview:

In the virtual realm, your workspace is digital, but organization remains vital. Ensure your digital workspace is structured for maximum efficiency.

Keep files and resources well-organized, making accessing client data and consultation materials easy.

Effective Signage:

Although you operate online, professional signage is essential. Your website’s main business sign should be appealing and informative, guiding visitors to your services.

Additionally, consider utilizing signs in relevant digital locations, such as social media profiles, email signatures, and professional networking sites.

These signs enhance your online presence and credibility.

Efficient Office Setup:

Managing an online image consulting business can be time-consuming, so an organized office setup is key to productivity. Equip your digital office with the necessary tools, software, and resources.

Invest in a reliable computer, high-speed internet connection, and communication tools to seamlessly interact with clients. Organize your digital files and documents systematically, ensuring easy retrieval when needed.

Creating a well-structured online workspace, maintaining professional signage, and organizing your virtual office are integral steps to streamline your image consulting business’s operations in the digital realm.

Here are Considerations for The Setup of Your Office for tips and ideas to make your office work for you. Also, have a look at our article About Company Signs.

18. Creating a Website

Essential Online Presence: Your Image Consulting Website

In the digital age, a website is indispensable for your image consulting business. Here’s why:

1. Central Hub: Your website serves as potential clients’ primary point of contact. It offers a centralized platform to showcase your services and expertise.

2. Ownership and Control: Unlike social media accounts, your website is owned and controlled when you host and register a domain name. This autonomy ensures your online presence remains secure and adaptable.

3. Marketing Power: Utilize your website as a powerful marketing tool. Engage your audience through informative blogs that share industry insights and valuable tips. By doing so, you build trust and establish yourself as an expert in the eyes of your potential clients.

A well-designed and informative website is the cornerstone of your image consulting business, allowing you to effectively communicate your services and establish credibility in the online landscape.

For more, see How to Build a Website for Your Business .

19. Create an External Support Team

Building an External Support Team: A Valuable Asset

Establishing an external support team of professionals for your image consulting business is essential. Here’s why it’s beneficial:

1. Dependable Advisors:

Your support team consists of individuals you can rely on for advice and services, offering expertise in their respective fields.

2. Non-Payroll Arrangement:

Importantly, these professionals are not on your payroll . You engage their services as needed, whether for specific project tasks, on a contractual basis, hourly, or via a retainer arrangement.

3. Ongoing Relationship Building:

While you may already collaborate with some individuals, recognizing them as part of your team emphasizes their significance. Continuously expanding and nurturing these professional relationships enhances your network.

4. Diverse Expertise:

Your external support team may include experts in various domains such as accounting, law, finance, marketing, technical aspects, and consultancy. This diverse skill set ensures you have access to specialized guidance when required.

Building a robust external support team takes time, but it’s a valuable asset for your image consulting business. These professionals offer valuable insights and services, aiding your business’s growth and success.

For more, see Building a Team of Professional Advisors for Your Business.

20. Hiring Employees

Running your image consulting business alone during the initial stages is cost-effective. However, as your business expands, you may need to hire employees. Here’s why and what positions to consider:

Cost Management:

Initially, solo operation helps control costs, as payroll is a significant expense.

Growth Challenges:

Managing day-to-day operations alone becomes overwhelming as your business grows, making employee hires necessary.

Hiring Wisely:

When hiring employees, prioritize qualifications and work ethics to ensure the right fit for each role.

Job Positions or Outsourced Services to Consider as Your Business Grows:

  • Assistant Image Consultants: To handle client consultations and support.
  • Administrative Staff: For office management, appointment scheduling, and record-keeping.
  • Marketing Specialist: To develop and execute marketing strategies.
  • Technical Support: For website maintenance and technical aspects.
  • Accountant/Financial Advisor: To manage finances and ensure financial stability.
  • Legal Counsel: For contractual and legal matters.
  • Virtual Assistants: For various administrative tasks, including email management and social media.
  • Event Coordinator: If you plan to organize workshops or events.

Expanding your team strategically ensures smoother operations and allows your image consulting business to flourish.

For more, see How and When to Hire a New Employee.

21. Getting Customers Through the Door

When you have reached this step, your business is set up and ready to go, with one more final step, which is important: getting customers through the door.

There are numerous ways to do this, like advertising, having a grand opening , word of mouth, etc.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the following sections.

a.) Marketing Considerations

Attracting Customers to Your Image Consulting Business

Your image consulting business’s success hinges on attracting the right customers. Here’s why and some simple methods to get the word out about your services:

Customer-Centric Success:

Without customers, your business lacks purpose. Focusing on the right clientele is crucial.

Initial Challenges:

Attracting customers can be challenging initially, especially when your business is new and relatively unknown.

Building Reputation:

As you establish a good reputation and gain marketing experience, customer acquisition becomes more manageable.

Simple Marketing Methods:

  • Social Media: Create engaging profiles on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn to showcase your expertise and connect with potential clients.
  • Networking: Attend industry events, seminars, and workshops to build professional relationships and gain referrals.
  • Content Marketing: Share informative blogs, videos, and infographics on your website and social media to demonstrate your expertise and provide value.
  • Word of Mouth: Encourage satisfied clients to refer others to your services.
  • Email Marketing: Build an email list and send subscribers regular updates, tips, and promotions.
  • Collaborations: Partner with related businesses or influencers to expand your reach.

Simplify your marketing approach by raising awareness about your image consulting business.

Practical strategies help attract and retain customers, ensuring your business’s growth and success.

See How To Get Customers Through the Door and our marketing section for ideas on promoting your business.

b.) The Market Can Guide You:

Listening to Your Customers: A Path to Success

Years of business experience have taught me a valuable lesson: pay attention to your customers’ needs and desires.

While you may have a specific vision for your image consulting business, remaining receptive to market demand is essential.

The market may sometimes indicate a demand for variations of your products or services that differ from your initial plan.

While staying committed to your original vision is natural, ignoring market signals can mean missing out on lucrative opportunities.

Remember, it’s your business, and the final decisions lie with you.

However, consistent market indicators should prompt you to reconsider your approach.

Adaptability and responsiveness to customer preferences can be the key to building a thriving image consulting business.

c.) Sample Ad Ideas:

1. Elevate Your Style with Expert Guidance!

  • Unlock Your Full Potential with Image Consulting. Get Started Today!

2. Transform Your Image, Transform Your Life!

  • Discover a New You with Our Professional Image Consultation.

3. Confidence Redefined – Discover Your Best Self!

  • Expert Image Consulting Services for a Fresh and Confident You.

4. Elevate Your Presence – Unleash Your Inner Confidence!

  • Personalized Image Consulting for a More Stylish, Confident You.

5. Stand Out from the Crowd – Ignite Your Style!

  • Achieve Your Style Goals with Our Expert Image Consultation.

d.) B2B Ideas

Collaborating with other businesses can strategically expand your client base and create a mutually beneficial relationship.

Here are some businesses you could approach for potential partnerships:

  • Fashion Boutiques and Retail Stores: Fashion retailers often have customers seeking style advice. Partnering with them can lead to referrals in exchange for promoting their products to your clients.
  • Hair and Beauty Salons: Clients getting haircuts or makeovers might want to enhance their overall image. You can offer referrals to salons, and they can recommend your image consulting services.
  • Photographers and Studios: People often seek professional photography services for special occasions or professional headshots. Collaborating with photographers can lead to referrals, and you can recommend them for photography needs.
  • Event Planners: Event planners often work with clients who want to make a great impression at special events. They can refer clients to you for image consulting services, and you can recommend their event planning services.
  • Personal Trainers and Fitness Centers: People investing in fitness may also want to revamp their style. Collaborating with personal trainers or fitness centers can result in cross-referrals.
  • Wedding Planners: Brides and grooms want to look their best on their big day. Wedding planners can refer clients to you for image consulting, and you can recommend their wedding planning services.
  • Career Coaches and Resume Writers: Clients looking to advance their careers may need a polished image. Partnering with career coaches and resume writers can lead to referrals from clients seeking a professional image.
  • Real Estate Agents: Homebuyers and sellers often want to make a good impression during real estate transactions. Real estate agents can refer clients to you for image consulting, and you can recommend their real estate services.
  • Corporate HR Departments: Large corporations may seek image consulting services for their employees. Partnering with HR departments can lead to corporate contracts and referrals.
  • Wedding Dress Shops: Bridal shops can refer brides-to-be for image consulting to ensure they look their best in their chosen wedding attire.

When approaching these businesses, consider offering referral fees, reciprocal referrals, or joint promotions to incentivize collaboration.

Building strong relationships with complementary businesses can be a win-win.

They can help you expand your client base and provide added value to your clients.

Points To Consider

Next, let’s review essential points for more tips, insights, and considerations before starting your image consulting business.

We will cover sections, including skills to consider, points to focus on, and equipment. Then you’ll reach the “Knowledge Is Power,” section, where you will want to use the resources for valuable information.

Key Points for Success in the Setup Phase of an Image Consulting Business:

  • Market Research: Conduct thorough market research to understand your target audience, competition, and service demand.
  • Business Plan: Create a comprehensive business plan outlining your goals, strategies, and financial projections.
  • Legal Requirements: Ensure your business is legally compliant, including business registration, permits, and licenses.
  • Financial Planning: Estimate startup costs accurately and secures necessary funding. Consider working with a financial advisor.
  • Branding and Positioning: To differentiate your business, develop a strong brand identity and define your unique selling proposition (USP).
  • Professional Network: Build relationships with professionals like accountants, lawyers, and mentors who can provide guidance.
  • Online Presence: Establish a professional website and social media presence to reach potential clients.
  • Services: Determine your service packages, pricing strategy, and payment methods.
  • Marketing Strategy: Create a marketing plan, including digital and offline marketing efforts to attract clients.
  • Training and Certification: Invest in relevant training and certifications to enhance your skills and credibility.

Points for Success in the Operational Phase of an Image Consulting Business:

  • Client Relationships: Nurture strong client relationships by providing exceptional service and communication.
  • Continual Learning: Stay updated with industry trends and continue your professional development.
  • Efficient Operations: Streamline business operations for maximum efficiency, including scheduling and record-keeping.
  • Feedback: Collect and act on client feedback to improve your services continually.
  • Networking: Attend industry events and network with other professionals for potential collaborations.
  • Marketing Efforts: Keep marketing efforts consistent to maintain a steady flow of clients.
  • Financial Management: Maintain financial discipline by tracking expenses, managing cash flow, and tax planning.
  • Diversification: Consider expanding your services or targeting different niches to diversify your client base.
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Stay updated on legal requirements and ensure ongoing compliance.
  • Adaptability: Be adaptable to changing market conditions and client needs, and be willing to pivot your strategies when necessary.

Succeeding in your image consulting business’s setup and operational phases requires careful planning, continuous learning, client-centric approaches, and a commitment to excellence.

Ideas to Make an Image Consulting Business Stand Out:

  • Specialize in Niche Markets: Instead of targeting a broad audience, specialize in niche markets like executive image consulting, bridal image consulting, or fashion-specific consulting. This specialization can make you the go-to expert in that area.
  • Personal Branding Workshops: Offer workshops and training sessions on personal branding, helping clients build a unique and memorable image both online and offline.
  • Virtual Consultations: Provide virtual image consulting services for clients worldwide, expanding your reach and accessibility.
  • Sustainable Fashion Focus: Emphasize sustainable and eco-friendly fashion choices in your consultations, catering to clients with environmentally conscious values.
  • Body Positivity: Promote body positivity and inclusive styling by celebrating diversity in body types, genders, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Wardrobe Audits: Offer wardrobe audits to help clients declutter and organize their closets, optimizing their existing clothing collections.
  • Corporate Image Training: Partner with businesses to provide corporate image training for employees, enhancing their professional appearance and brand representation.
  • Online Courses: Create and sell online courses on image consulting, allowing clients to learn independently.
  • Image Analysis Software: Invest in image analysis software that provides personalized recommendations based on clients’ body shape, skin tone, and style preferences.
  • Collaborations: Collaborate with fashion brands and designers, offering clients exclusive discounts and access to curated collections.
  • Image Makeovers: Showcase dramatic image makeovers through before-and-after photos and success stories from satisfied clients.
  • Social Media Presence: Maintain a solid social media presence with engaging content, fashion tips, and style inspiration to attract a broader audience.
  • Charitable Initiatives: Establish partnerships with nonprofit organizations or contribute a percentage of your profits to social causes, demonstrating your commitment to making a positive impact.
  • Inclusivity Training: Offer training on diversity and inclusion in the fashion and image consulting industry, ensuring sensitivity to various cultural backgrounds and preferences.
  • Personalized Style Profiles: Develop personalized style profiles for clients, making it easier for them to make fashion choices aligned with their image goals.

Ideas for Add-ons for an Image Consulting Business:

  • Clothing Subscription Boxes: Partner with clothing brands to create subscription boxes tailored to your client’s style preferences, delivering new fashion pieces regularly.
  • Hair and Makeup Services: Offer on-site hair and makeup services for clients, ensuring their entire look aligns with their desired image.
  • Personal Shopping Services: You provide personal shopping experiences by accompanying clients to stores or shopping online on their behalf, selecting clothing that suits their image.
  • Color Analysis: Integrate color analysis into your services, helping clients identify their most flattering colors for clothing, makeup, and accessories.
  • Virtual Wardrobe Management: Develop a virtual wardrobe management app that lets clients digitally catalog their clothing, making outfit planning easier.
  • Monthly Styling Subscriptions: Offer monthly styling subscriptions where clients receive personalized style recommendations and tips regularly.
  • Image Maintenance Packages: Create ongoing image maintenance packages, including periodic consultations and updates to adapt to clients’ evolving needs.
  • Personal Branding Photography: Collaborate with professional photographers to offer personal branding photoshoots, ensuring clients have high-quality images for their online presence.
  • Image Retreats: Organize retreats or workshops offering intensive image transformation experiences over several days.
  • Gift Certificates: Provide gift certificates for image consulting services, allowing clients to gift your services to friends and family.
  • Accessories Line: Design and sell branded accessories, such as scarves, jewelry , or handbags, that align with your image consulting recommendations.
  • Mobile App: Develop an app that offers image tips, virtual consultations, and a style community for clients to connect with others.
  • Online Styling Challenges: Host online styling challenges or competitions for clients, encouraging them to experiment with their style.
  • Seminars and Workshops: Organize seminars and workshops on various image-related topics, inviting industry experts to share insights.
  • Image Consultation Packages: Bundle image consulting services with other services like hairstyling, makeup application, or spa treatments for comprehensive image makeovers.

Implementing these ideas can help you differentiate your image consulting business and provide additional value to your clients, helping them achieve their desired image and style goals.

Hours of Operation:

  • Regular Business Hours: Typically, weekdays from 9 AM to 5 PM, accommodating clients’ work schedules.
  • Evening Appointments: Extend service hours into the evening to cater to clients with daytime commitments.
  • Weekend Availability: Offer consultations on Saturdays or Sundays to reach clients with busy weekday schedules.
  • Virtual Consultations: Provide flexibility by scheduling virtual consultations outside traditional office hours.
  • Special Occasion Services: Consider offering extended hours for events like weddings or special occasions.
  • Seasonal Adjustments: Adapt hours to reflect seasonal demands or fashion trends.
  • Appointment-Based: Structure hours around pre-scheduled appointments to maximize efficiency.
  • Emergency Consultations: Offer emergency services for last-minute styling needs.
  • Holiday Availability: Decide whether to operate during holidays or offer holiday-themed services.
  • Customized Scheduling: Be open to customizing hours based on individual client needs when possible.

Equipment and Supplies

A List of Equipment and Supplies to Consider for an Image Consulting Business:

  • Full-Length Mirror: Essential for clients to view their outfits from head to toe.
  • Wardrobe Racks: For organizing and displaying clothing options.
  • Hangers: High-quality hangers to maintain the shape of garments.
  • Steamer or Iron: To ensure clothes are wrinkle-free and presentable.
  • Clothing Tags and Labels: Used for organizing and categorizing clothing items.
  • Measuring Tape: For accurate measurements of clients’ body proportions.
  • Sewing Kit: Basic sewing tools for minor clothing alterations.
  • Fabric Care Products: Stain removers, fabric fresheners, and other cleaning supplies.
  • Style Books and Magazines: References for fashion inspiration.
  • Personal Styling Tools: Such as color swatches, fabric samples, and body shape guides.
  • Digital Camera or Smartphone: For capturing before-and-after photos of clients.
  • Computer and Software: To manage client records, appointments, and marketing materials.
  • Printer and Scanner: For printing style guides and scanning documents.
  • Lighting Equipment: Adequate lighting for accurate color assessment.
  • Styling Accessories: Belts, scarves, jewelry, and other accessories for outfit coordination.
  • Makeup and Hair Supplies: Basic cosmetics and hair products for makeup consultations.
  • Personal Styling Kits: Comprising color analysis tools and style assessment materials.
  • Comfortable Seating: For clients during consultations and fittings.
  • Business Cards and Marketing Materials: To promote your services.
  • Office Supplies: Pens, notepads, folders, and other administrative necessities.
  • Sound System: For playing background music during consultations.
  • Reference Books and Guides: Fashion and style reference materials.
  • Laptop or Tablet: For presenting digital style guides and lookbooks.
  • Wi-Fi and Audiovisual Equipment: To facilitate virtual consultations.
  • Tailor’s Dummy: A dress form for making clothing adjustments.
  • Body Shapers: To help clients visualize the potential impact of shaping garments.
  • Shoe Collection: A variety of footwear options for complete looks.
  • Jewelry Collection: A selection of jewelry to accessorize outfits.
  • Fashion Magazines: For staying up-to-date with current trends.
  • Storage Solutions: Cabinets, shelves, and drawers to keep your workspace organized.

Remember that the specific equipment needed may vary based on your business model and range of services.

Assessing your unique requirements and budget before acquiring these items is essential.

Focusing on your skill set is crucial when considering an image consulting business. Your skills determine the quality of service you provide. If you lack essential skills, you have options: invest in learning them or hire experts.

Crucial skills for an image consulting business owner include fashion expertise, color analysis, body shape assessment, interpersonal skills, marketing, organization, and adaptability to stay updated with industry trends.

Find an Image Consulting Business For Sale

Benefits of Buying an Established Image Consulting Business:

  • Immediate revenue generation upon takeover.
  • Bypassing the challenging startup phase.
  • Assurance that the business model is functional.
  • Access to known financial figures (revenue, profit, expenses).
  • Existing customer base.
  • Established business reputation.

Disadvantages:

  • Higher initial cost due to goodwill and customer base acquisition.
  • Risk of losing customers if operational changes are implemented.
  • Inheriting the negative aspects of the business’s reputation.

Even if there isn’t an exact match for an image consulting business for sale, it’s worth exploring similar opportunities within the industry through the provided link.

The latest search results for an image consulting business for sale and others in the same category.

Knowledge Is Power if You Use It!

Utilize knowledge effectively—access valuable industry information in the provided links for the startup and operational phases.

Trends and Statistics

Analyzing industry trends and statistics is vital for an image consulting business, as it offers insights into adapting and thriving in a dynamic market.

See the latest search results for trends and statistics related to the image consulting industry.

Image Consulting Associations

Trade associations provide members with industry news updates and networking opportunities.

See the search results on image consulting associations and the benefits of Joining the Chamber of Commerce.

The Top Image Consulting Companies

Studying established image consulting businesses can inspire innovation, reveal industry gaps that can be exploited for competitive advantage, and uncover overlooked services provided by competitors.

See the latest search results for the top image consulting companies.

The Future of the Image Consulting

Researching the industry’s future is crucial for aspiring image consultants, offering insight into potential trends and opportunities.

See the search results for the future of image consulting.

Customer Expectations

Examining search results for customer expectations in image consulting offers insights into their perspectives, enabling the fulfillment of their needs and the potential to surpass expectations, uncovering overlooked issues, and thorough preparation.

See the search results related to customer expectations for image consulting.

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Home » Wardrobe » How Do I Start an Image Consulting Business?

How Do I Start an Image Consulting Business?

An image consultant is a person who works with clients to refine or enhance their personal and professional presence and public persona through appearance, behavior, and communication skills. (The ABCs.) A professional consultant can transform a person’s outward appearance and even their lifestyle in the way that a chameleon adapts its skin. It is an educational process, which is designed to incorporate the psychological, physical, and cognitive changes that arise by working on a client’s ABC’s.

Anyone can change the way he or she looks, but an image consultant provides encouragement, structured advice, and feedback to ensure that the process is streamlined and productive. Image consulting can impact people of all ages and walks of life as a learning path to discovering how best to present themselves. Image consulting can also make a difference in people-facing positions, including sales or customer service roles.

What is Image Consulting?

Image consulting is the process by which a professional evaluates and makes recommendations for how to better position oneself. Image consultants often use a combination of public relations techniques, fashion recommendations, and marketing approaches to reshaping a person’s public appearance. A consultant’s background and training could include knowledge and courses in social and business etiquette , presentation, communication techniques, style, clothing, body language, coaching, training, personal branding, and executive presence. Unlike stylists who are primarily clothing and fashion-oriented, consultants work in-depth with clients on lifestyle, goal setting, and professional and personal presence technical skills.

Image consultants work with the general public, politicians, and executives, but they also work with other celebrities and personalities to achieve specific professional agendas or personal advancement opportunities. A consultant can help to change or gradually evolve the way the public or a specific target audience sees virtually any individual.

How to Become an Image Consultant

An image consultant is usually an independent contractor. The person may have experience in specific sales, PR, or executive roles, where appearance is important. While a degree is not required for a consultant, the person needs to have knowledge in some of the following skills: etiquette, style , clothing coordination, and presentation. They need to be versed in the way their clients dress, act and speak in a way that best supports and furthers his or her desired goals.

To pass industry certification with the Association of Image Consultants International, men and women take coursework and earn certification in consulting or related fields like fashion, PR, cosmetology, etc. The consultant needs to understand and articulate professional recommendations for hairstyles, make-up, fashion, and personal presentation to the client. More than that, though, they must consult in a way that will be accepted and understood by the client. It is also important to understand how cultural differences affect a person’s style and overall lifestyle choices.

Very occasionally, consultants new to the field may find a mentorship or apprenticeship situation, where they learn the skills and techniques under an experienced consultant. While a license, insurance, or certification is not necessarily required for a consultant, that does depend on the specific service. If the consultant personally works on the client’s hair, make-up, and other aesthetics, professional certification, and exams are essential.

With more than 30 years of experience, London Image Institute offers the image-consulting training and certification services that are designed to meet the needs of passionate individuals. Whether you are a coach, entrepreneur, corporate trainer, or consultant, these courses and programs are targeted to give you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed.

How to Start an Image Consulting Business

The steps in setting up your consulting business similar to any start-up entrepreneurial business. You should consider training and certification as the best way to establish credibility, with a solid framework for your future consulting. The next step is to develop a business plan, with specific steps that include identifying your customer base. With a solid business plan, as well as the background and experience, you need, you can start working part-time as a consultant.

Depending on the level of service you will be offering, you will need to invest in supplies and equipment, as well as pursue the necessary certifications. You should also develop branding materials, including business cards, stationary/letterhead, brochures, and a website. It is also important to invest in video-capture hardware and virtual-beauty software, so you can offer recommendations for improvement and demonstrate results.

How to Run a Home-based Image Consulting Business

Consulting is not an easy business to break into, whether you are offering consulting or other services. The role of a consultant is particularly challenging because you must stay up to date on current fashion and cultural trends. Since this is an image-focused industry, your good reputation is of the utmost consideration. While you can work out of your home, you may need to bring in other experts or consultants to achieve the desired goals.

You should also research local laws and even consult with a lawyer to make sure that you set up your small business the right way. It takes a lot of legwork, but it is better to know what you are getting into and address any potential setbacks or challenges before you end up in hot water. Even if you do not hire an accountant full time, you should consult with a financial professional to make sure that you are prepared for success in the right way.

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Corporate Image Consulting Business Plan [Sample Template]

By: Author Cynthia Ejike

Home » Business Plans » B2B Sector

Are you about starting a corporate image consulting business? If YES, here is a complete sample corporate image consulting business plan template & FREE feasibility report.

If you are a brand enthusiast or someone who has background in advertising and branding matters, and you intend starting your business, then you should consider starting your own corporate image consulting firm.

There are many corporate organizations, corporate executives, entrepreneurs and even startups that will be more than willing to patronize your services.

Being a corporate image consultant means that you will help your clients handle everything that has to do with the corporate image they want the public to see. Running this type of business requires that you should be trained as a brand and public relations specialist

A Sample Corporate Image Consulting Business Plan Template

1. industry overview.

Corporate image consulting firms are under the Public relations industry and players in this industry manage the communications between an organization and the public to promote favorable relationships and portray a desired image.

This includes communication with the general public, employees, investors, customers, analysts and other stakeholders.

In contrast to advertising, PR campaigns aim for exposure through public interest and news coverage, rather than paid advertisements, to give their message third-party legitimacy.

A close study of the Public Relations Firms industry shows that the industry experienced comfortable growth in recent time. As economic conditions have improved, industry revenue has increased due to businesses increasing their marketing expenditure. No doubt, players in this industry have also benefited from the shift to digital media in recent years.

Going forward, public relations firms will continue to benefit from rising marketing budgets. The expansion of niche and social networking services and the continued development of mobile media are expected to contribute to relatively strong growth.

So also, the biggest players in the industry are expected to remain active in their acquisition of mid-sized niche firms, as global advertising agencies look to diversify their service offerings.

The public relations firm industry is in the mature phase of its life cycle and luckily for the industry, the advent of digital media has provided an opportunity for the industry to explore and experience vibrant growth. Of course, the industry is becoming more concentrated, as seen by a few large global firms dominating the market and gaining huge market share of the available market.

The Public Relations Firm Industry is indeed a very large industry and pretty much thriving in all parts of the world especially in developed countries.

Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, there are about 44,164 licensed and registered public relations cum corporate image consulting firms responsible for employing about 92,332 employees and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $14 billion annually with an annual growth rate projected at 2.9 percent.

It is important to state that the establishments with lion share of the available market in this industry are The Omnicom Group Inc. and The Interpublic Group of Companies Inc.

A recent report published by IBISWorld shows that over the five years to 2017, the Public Relations Firms industry has achieved growth through clients’ expanding marketing budgets.

With an evolving digital media landscape, clients have shifted their budgets away from traditional mass media such as TV, print and radio, toward more below-the-line or niche-focused strategies to reach targeted audience.

Consequently, industry operators have focused on social media outlets such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and blogs as areas of growth for public relation (PR) campaigns.

In addition to isolating fragmented consumer segments, these strategies enable clients to measure the reach of campaigns through direct online interaction and analytics, making them a more attractive option.

Over and above, corporate image consulting firms cannot be phased out despite the change in PR approaches and the emergence of new media. It is easier for corporate image consulting firms to leverage on modern technology to reach out to their target market.

As a matter of fact, it is cost effective and far reaching for them to make use of social media platforms to carry out some of their PR campaigns.

2. Executive Summary

Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. is a U.S based corporate image consulting firm that will be located in Lake Street, Petoskey – Michigan. We have been able to secure a standard office facility in a central business district in Lake Street.

We are set to compete in the highly competitive public relations firm industry not only in the United States market, but also in the global market because our clientele base will not be restricted to just businesses in the United States but in the internal market.

Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. will offer robust corporate image consulting services to both corporate organization and individuals. Our core services will revolve around corporate and lobbying services, general/full PR services, media relations, event management, public relations, image promotion and political consulting.

Our business goal is to become one of the leading corporate image consulting firms in the United States of America with high profile corporate and individual clients scattered all around the globe.

Our workers are going to be selected from a pool of talented and highly creative public relations and media experts in and around Petoskey – Michigan and also from any part of the world as the business grows.

We will make sure that we take all the members of our workforce through the required training that will position them to meet the expectation of the company and to compete with leading corporate image consulting cum public relations firms such as The Omnicom Group Inc., and The Interpublic Group of Companies Inc. in the United States and of course throughout the globe.

At Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. our client’s best interest will always come first, and everything we do will be guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s business needs precisely and completely.

Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. is a privately registered family business that is owned by Nelson Pearce and his immediate family members.

Nelson Pearce graduated from University of California, Beckley with BA in Mass Communications and he has hands on experience that revolves around corporate branding and advertising, market researching, public relations and business management et al.

3. Our Products and Services

Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. was established with the aim of maximizing profits in the Public Relations industry.

We want to compete favorably with leading corporate image consulting firms in the United States and of course throughout the globe which is why we have but in place a competent team that will ensure that we meet and even surpass our customers’ expectations.

We will work hard to ensure that Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. do not just work for clients in the United States of America, but also for clients in other parts of the world. Our services offerings are listed below;

  • Public relations
  • Image promotion
  • Political consulting
  • Corporate and lobbying services
  • General/full PR services
  • Media relations
  • Event management
  • Other related corporate image advisory and consulting services

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our vision is to establish a standard corporate image consulting firm whose services and brand will not only be accepted in the United States of America, but also in other parts of the world.
  • Our mission is to provide professional and highly creative result oriented corporate image consulting services and other related public relations advisory and consulting services that will assist businesses, individuals and non-profit organizations in promoting their brands and reaching out to a wide range of potential customers all over the globe.

We want to build a corporate image consulting firm that can favorably compete with other leading brands in the industry.

Our Business Structure

Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. is a consulting firm that intends starting small in Lake Street, Petoskey – Michigan, but hopes to grow big in order to compete with leading corporate image consulting firms in the United States.

We are aware of the importance of building a solid business structure that can support the picture of the kind of world class business we want to own, which is why we are committed to only hiring the best hands within our area of operations.

At Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. we will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, hardworking, and creative, result driven, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all our stake holders.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more as agreed by the board of trustees of the company. In view of the above, Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. has decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Creative Director
  • Corporate Image Consultant / PR Specialist

Human Resources and Admin Manager

  • Sales and Marketing Executive

Client Service Executive

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO:

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives; developing a climate for offering information and opinions; providing educational opportunities.
  • Generates, connects, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization

Creative Director:

  • Serves as project manager of the organization
  • Responsible for designing advertising concepts and winning business proposals for the organization
  • In charge of copy writing and laying out chronological advertisement plans
  • Develops strategic plan by studying technological, and financial opportunities; presenting assumptions; recommending objectives
  • Accomplishes subsidiary objectives by establishing plans, budgets, and results measurements; reviewing progress; making mid-course corrections.
  • Builds company image by collaborating with customers, government, community organizations, and employees; enforcing ethical business practices.
  • Maintains quality service by establishing and enforcing organization standards.
  • Makes certain that operations and marketing department perform efficiently, coordinate employee efforts, and facilitate communications between management and employees
  • Ensures that the organization works in line with international best practices.

Corporate Image Consultant/PR Specialist

  • Responsible for handling media planning and representation
  • Responsible for creating advertising campaigns
  • Responsible for disseminating advertising campaigns through available mediums, such as TV, Radio and periodicals et al
  • Responsible for handling core corporate image consulting services such as public relations, lobbying, image promotion, political consulting, corporate and lobbying services, general/full PR services, media relations and event management
  • Handles other related corporate image advisory and consulting services
  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Enhances department and organization reputation by accepting ownership for accomplishing new and different requests; exploring opportunities to add value to job accomplishments
  • Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carries out induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Oversees the smooth running of the daily office

Sales and Marketing Manager

  • Manages external research and coordinates all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
  • Models demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of development projects.
  • Writes winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with organizations’ policy
  • Responsible for handling business research, market surveys and feasibility studies for clients
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding sales
  • Creates new markets cum businesses for the organization
  • Empowers and motivates the sales team to meet and surpass agreed targets

Accountant/Cashier:

  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects; conducts market research to forecast trends and business conditions
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the organization
  • Serves as internal auditor for the organization.
  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the manager in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the company’s products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries
  • Receives Visitors/clients on behalf of the organization
  • Receives parcels/documents for the company
  • Handles enquiries via e-mail and phone calls for the organization
  • Distribute mails in the organization
  • Handles any other duties as assigned by the line manager

6. SWOT Analysis

Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. engaged the services of a professional in the area of business consulting and structuring to assist our organization in building a well – structured corporate image consulting firm that can favorably compete in the highly competitive public relations firm industry in the United States.

We know that if we get things right before starting our corporate image consulting firm, we will not have to struggle before attract loyal clients and building our clientele base to a level where we can easily breakeven in record time.

We hired the services of Dr. James Meadow, a HR and Business consultant with bias in business structuring to help us conduct SWOT analysis for our company and he did a pretty good job for us. Here is a of the result we got from the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc.;

Our core strength lies in the power of our team. We have a team of creative, result driven and highly proficient corporate image consultants cum PR expert, a team with excellent qualifications and experience in various niche areas in the public relations industry. Aside from the synergy that exists in our carefully selected workforce, our services will be measurable, result driven and guided by best practices in the industry.

As a new corporate image consulting firm in Petoskey – Michigan, it might take some time for our organization to break into the market and gain acceptance especially from top profile clients in the already saturated and highly competitive public relations industry; that is perhaps our major weakness.

Another weakness is that we may not have the required cash to pump into promoting our business especially via main stream media (TV, Radio and Newspapers et al) the way we would want to.

  • Opportunities:

The opportunities available in the public relations industry is massive considering the number of individuals and corporate organizations who want to promote their image and create positive public perception. As a standard and world class corporate image consulting firm, we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that is available in the industry.

Just like any other business, one of the major threats that we are likely going to face is economic downturn. Another threat that may likely confront us is the arrival of a corporate image firm in same location where our target market exists and who may want to adopt same Business model like us.

7. MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

It is becoming obvious that digital media has become a prominent force within the public relations industry and due to the influx of a more specialized workforce. Going forward, downstream clients will invest in PR campaigns to build brand loyalty among consumers.

It is trendier in recent time to note that, loads of traditional corporate image consulting firms have started to specialize in online promotions so as to stay competitive in the industry. As a result of this trend, the revenue generated in the industry has grown tremendously over the years.

Going forward, the public relations firm industry will continue to experience sustained growth, as the proliferation of digital devices such as tablets and smartphones, provide new streams of income. Another common trend in the public relations industry is that majority of corporate image and PR firms no longer rely on tradition media for promoting their image, they now fully embrace new media.

As a result of this trend, they no longer settle for clients within the location where their physical office is located but also from any part of the world. The truth is that with the advent of the internet, it is now easier for a corporate image consulting firm to work for clients in any part of the world.

For instance, a corporate image consulting firm can be located in the United States of America and have their biggest client in United Arab Emirates or in China. Many thanks to the power of the internet which has brought the world closer to us. Lastly, the public relations firm industry will continue to evolve due to the advancement of computer technology and software applications designs et al.

8. Our Target Market

Prior to starting our corporate image consulting firm, we are certain that there is a wide range of both corporate and individual clients who cannot successfully run their businesses without the services and support of a standard corporate image consulting firm; a company that can help them reach out to their target market and effectively promote their corporate brand and image.

In view of that, we have created strategies that will enable us reach out to various corporate organizations and individual who we know can’t afford to do without our services. We have conducted our market research and survey and we will ensure that we meet and surpass the expectations of our clients.

Below is a list of the people and organizations that we will specifically market our services to;

  • Banks, Insurance Companies and other related Financial Institutions
  • Blue Chips Companies
  • Manufacturers and Distributors
  • Real Estate Owners, Developers, and Contractors
  • Research and Development Companies
  • The Government (Public Sector)
  • Schools (High Schools, Colleges and Universities)
  • Celebrities, Politicians, Public Figures and Public Speakers
  • Sport Organizations
  • Religious Organizations
  • Political Parties and Politicians
  • Television Stations
  • Aspiring celebrities
  • Entrepreneurs and Startups

Our Competitive Advantage

Surviving in the business world as a corporate image consulting firm requires more than your expertise, knowing how to conduct your business but also how to network with key people that matters.

We are quite aware that to be highly competitive in the public relations industry means that you are not only expected to deliver consistent and excellent services, but you must be result driven and able to meet set targets. No one would want to continue to hire your services if don’t always meet up with the target of the organization.

Our competitive advantage lies in the power of our team. We have a team of creative, result driven and highly proficient corporate image consultants, a team with excellent qualifications and experience in various niche areas in the public relations industry and other related industry.

Aside from the synergy that exist in our carefully selected corporate image consultants, our services will be measurable, result driven and guided by best practices in the industry.

Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our business aims and objectives.

9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

  • Sources of Income

Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the public relations firm industry and we are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to meet and surpass the expectations of all our clients.

Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. will generate income by offering the following corporate consulting services.

10. Sales Forecast

One thing is certain, there would always be corporate organizations, government agencies, non – profits and individuals (celebrities and public figures) who would need the services of corporate image consulting firms to help them promote their brands and corporate image.

Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. is well positioned to take on the available market in public relations industry and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough profits from the first six months of operation and grow our corporate image consulting firm to enviable heights.

We have been able to critically examine the corporate image consulting marketing space and we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projection is based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to similar startups in Petoskey – Michigan.

Below are the sales projections for Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc., it is based on the location of our business and of course the wide range of the corporate image consulting and PR services we offer and our target market;

  • First Fiscal Year: $200,000
  • Second Fiscal Year: $500,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: $750,000

N.B : This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same corporate image consulting and PR services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

We are mindful of the fact that there are stiff competitions in the public relations industry, hence we have been able to hire some of the best marketing experts to handle our sales and marketing.

Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the public relations industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet the targets and the overall business goal of Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc.

Our corporate goal is to grow our brand to become one of the leading corporate image consulting brands in the United States of America which is why we have mapped out strategies that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with not only in the United States of America but also in other parts of the world.

Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;

  • Introduce our corporate image consulting firm by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to individuals, corporate organizations, government agencies, non-profits, religious organizations and key stake holders
  • Promptness in bidding for corporate image consulting contracts from the government and other cooperate organizations
  • Advertise our business in relevant business magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations
  • List our business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Attend relevant international and local expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
  • Create different packages for different categories of clients in order to work with their budgets and still deliver excellent services
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our business
  • Engage direct marketing approach
  • Encourage word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

We have been able to work with our in – house brand and publicity consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. We are set to become the number one choice for both corporate and individual clients in the whole of the United States and beyond which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our corporate image consulting firm.

Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc.;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community based events/programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote our services
  • Install our billboards in strategic locations all around Lake City Petoskey – Michigan
  • Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Contact corporate organizations, non – profits and government agencies by calling them up and informing them of Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. and the services we offer
  • List Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. in local directories / yellow pages
  • Advertise Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site
  • Ensure that all our staff members wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles are well branded with our company logo et al.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

At Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. we will keep the prices of our services below the average market rate by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance from corporate organizations who would hire our services. In addition, we will also offer special discounted rates to all our customers at regular intervals.

So also, there are some clients that would need regular access to corporate image and PR consultancy and advisory services, we will offer flat rate (commission/percentage) for such services that will be tailored to take care of such clients’ needs.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.

Here are the payment options that Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
  • Payment via bank draft

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our clients make payment for our services without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

It is a known fact that in setting up any business, the amount or cost will depend on the approach and scale you want to undertake. If you intend to go big by renting a place, then you would need a good amount of capital as you would need to ensure that your employees are well taken care of, and that your facility is conducive enough for workers to be creative and productive.

The materials and equipment that will be used are nearly the same cost everywhere, and any difference in prices would be minimal and can be overlooked. As for the detailed cost analysis for starting a standard corporate image; it might differ in other countries due to the value of their money. However, this is what it would cost us to setup Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. in the United of America;

  • Business incorporating fees in the United States of America will cost – $750
  • The budget for Liability insurance, permits and license will cost – $3,500
  • Leasing / renting an office space in a good location in Lake Street Petoskey – Michigan that will accommodate the number of employees for at least 6 months (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive) will cost – $150,000
  • The cost for furnishing and equipping the office (computers, printers, projectors, markers, servers / internet facility, furniture, telephones, filing cabinets, and electronics) will cost – $30,000
  • The amount required to purchase the needed software applications – $3,500
  • Launching an official Website will cost – $500
  • The amount need to pay bills and staff members for at least 2 to 3 months – $70,000
  • Additional Expenditure such as Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions will cost – $5,000
  • Miscellaneous – $5000

Going by the report from the market research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need about two hundred and fifty thousand ( 250,000 ) U.S. dollars to successfully set up a medium scale but standard corporate image consulting firm in the United States of America.

Generating Startup Capital for Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc.

Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. is a private registered business that will be owned, financed and managed by Nelson Pearce and his immediate family members. They are the sole financiers of the business which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the start up capital for the business to just three major sources.

These are the areas we intend generating our startup capital;

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sale of his stocks
  • Generate part of the startup capital from friends and other extended family members
  • Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank (loan facility)

N.B: We have been able to generate about $100,000 ( Personal savings $85,000 and soft loan from family members $15,000 ) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $150,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

It is an established fact that the future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of the employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.

One of our major goals of starting Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc.  is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running.

We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to offer our corporate image consulting and public relations advisory and consulting services a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are well prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.

Nelson Pearce™ Corporate Image Consulting Firm, Inc. will make sure that the right foundation, structures and standard operating processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner of our business strategy.

We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Incorporation: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts various banks in the United States: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Securing a standard office facility in a good location in Lake Street, Petoskey – Michigan: Completed
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating part of the startup capital from the founders: Completed
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
  • Design of Logo for the business: Completed
  • Secure trademark for our products: In Progress
  • Graphic Designs and Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed furniture, office equipment, software applications, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the business: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress

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Business Tips · March 16, 2010

Learn How to Start a Successful Image Consulting Business and Image Consultant Career with the Sterling Style Academy Sales, Marketing, and Business Brand Identity Launch Kit

Are You New to the Image Consulting Industry and Don’t Know Where or How to Start a New Business?

Launching a new image consultant career and image consulting business is one of the biggest time commitments and personal investments an individual will undertake in their life.  New image consultant business owners wear many hats; and while building your business and reputation, it may become easy to unknowingly let certain details slip through the cracks.

When first starting a company it is useful to have a road map to guide you toward building a successful career as an image consultant.  80% of building an image consulting business relies heavily on how you market and promote yourself and only 20% is about execution of consulting services. Therefore in order to set yourself up for success, it’s important for you to understand the fundaments of building an image consultant business and set goals for yourself to accomplish all these tasks with the Sterling Style Academy .

The following are steps to help you start a successful image consulting business:

Step 1 – The Business Brand Identity. When you are first starting an image consulting business, you will need a starter business brand identity.  This includes business cards, brochures, flyers, and website.  I always recommend starting here first because every opportunity you get to meet someone new is an opportunity for you to convert someone into a new client.  If you do not have these standard marketing materials, how will anyone have confidence in your abilities?

Step 2 – The Business Plan. Then I recommend working on your business plan.  It is very important to have a clear vision of your company and who your target audience is.  Writing a business plan from A to Z will help you understand how much money you’d like to make and how to plan accordingly to put the steps into place so that you can make your desired image consultant salary .

Step 3 – The Marketing Plan. A marketing plan will help you define who your target demographic is and what steps you will need to take to reach your target demographic.  It will also help you further define which services you intend to offer and enable you to later define your niche as you grow your business as well as help you define your fee structure.

Step 4 – The Sales Pitch. Once you have a better idea of the products and services you intend to offer, you need to sound like an expert .  Therefore it is essential that you master your sales pitch to turn every social opportunity into a business opportunity.

Step 5 – Further Establishing Your Credibility by Delivering Your Message with Digital Media. Building your credibility starts by developing digital presence.  Media kits include many things such as professional photos, your biography, blog articles, and social media pages.   If you’d like to become a cut above the competition take our Instagram   BLOGGER COURSE for just $397.  Click here for details.

Learn how to set yourself up for success for US$97 in our Introduction to Fashion Consulting and Styling course.

Click here >> to learn more about our 5-week online business of style training for us$497..

Or purchase our Instagram Digital Influencer eBook – Become an Instagram Micro-Influencer for US$9.97 by clicking here.

We are available for image consultant business mentoring for US$97 for 45 minutes to help you get started.  To schedule an appointment for a video Skype consultation no matter where you are in the world, simply make your investment below and once the system notifies us that you’ve made your payment, we will email you to schedule a date and time for your business mentoring consultation.   Click here to see what our graduates are doing now.

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Consultations are conducted and billed through Global Image Group, Inc. and are non-refundable.

If you feel like you need a more structured training program to get your business started, click on the Instructor Led Training button and sign up for Lesson 9 and/or 10.

Does marketing your business sound like you need to spend thousands of dollars on a business consultant, public relations and marketing consultant, or a copy writer in order to develop professional marketing materials?  What if all of your sales, marketing and business brand identity materials were handed to you in a start-up kit that is easy to customize for your specific needs and company?

At the Sterling Style Academy, we understand that you have already invested thousands of dollars in your image consultant training and therefore we have developed an affordable “How To Guide” to get you started. 

Or the Sterling Style Academy Image Consultant Sales, Marketing, Business Brand Identity Launch Kit provides you with all of the tips and tricks you need to know to survive and thrive in this competitive economy.

Our Image Consultant Sales, Marketing, and Business Brand Identity Launch Kit includes the following: 

  • A video tutorial on how to use the Sales, Marketing and Business Brand Identity Launch Kit
  • Multiple image consultant press releases templates
  • Simply input your company information to make it your own
  • Sample image consultant sales pitches
  • This will help you determine the best way to approach your target customer
  • An image consultant business plan outline and worksheet with an earnings income projection model
  • An image consultant marketing plan outline and worksheet– tailored for the image consultant industry and includes today’s top marketing strategies
  • Sample business card, post card and brochure templates
  • Customize each template by inserting your information and organization’s colors and logo
  • Sample text to sell your image consultant business and services
  • Use in your sales collateral, website and direct-to-consumer materials
  • A 40-minute coaching session to discuss your current business growth needs and how to incorporate these materials to build your business (Please email us to schedule this appointment upon receipt of your launch kit.)

Learn how to promote and market yourself to become a successful image consultant using the Sterling Style Academy methodology which has produced  top-notch image consultants like Yuuri Takano, Japan’s leading image consultant of choice . Within the first three years of being in business for herself, Ms. Takano is among the top two percentile of highly paid image consultant and personal shopper salaries worldwide – earning more than US$250,000 per year.

Postage and handling for US or international delivery will be billed in addition to your investment outlined above.  Please allow 1 – 2 weeks for your package to arrive. You will receive electronic access within 24 hours of purchasing the product.

All Sterling Style Academy training programs and consultant resources are non-refundable and are billed through Global Image Group.  The templates from the Sterling Style Academy Sales, Marketing and Business Brand Identity Launch Kit can be translated into your primary language to suit your needs; however the Sales, Marketing and Business Brand Identity Launch Kit workbook can not be translated for reproduction without prior consent of the Sterling Style Academy.

About the Sterling Style Academy

The Sterling Style Academy  trains and certifies prospective and aspiring image consultants, personal stylists, and personal shoppers to pursue the career of their dreams.  With  training programs held on-location  in  Miami ,  New York ,   Los Angeles,  London ,  Hong Kong ,  Dubai ,  Mumbai, Shanghai ,  São Paulo, and Mexico City , as well as  Online Training , Teleclasses , and  Short eCourses , the Sterling Style Academy prepares you to become a top notch pioneer in the image consulting, personal shopping, and personal styling industry.  Master the art of image, fashion and style to become a fashion styling expert.   Contact the Sterling Style Academy today  to learn how we can help you start a career you are passionate about – shopping and styling!   Like us or become our BFF on Facebook.

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How to open an image consulting firm?

how to open an image consulting firm

There's no doubt that starting an image consulting firm requires a lot of work, but with expert planning, you'll be well on your way to creating a profitable business venture.

This guide will give you a low down on all of the major steps involved, from choosing a legal structure to creating a financial forecast and registering your business.

We will also walk you through the process of checking whether or not your idea can be viable given market conditions.

Let's embark on this exciting journey together!

In this guide:

  • Learn how an image consulting firm works

Assemble your image consulting firm's founding team

  • Undertake market research for an image consulting firm

Choose the right concept and position your image consulting firm on the market

Explore the ideal location to start your image consulting firm, decide on a legal form for your image consulting firm.

  • Assess the startup costs for an image consulting firm
  • Create a sales & marketing plan for your image consulting firm
  • Build your image consulting firm's financial forecast

Choose a name and register your image consulting firm

  • Develop your image consulting firm's corporate identity
  • Navigate the legal and regulatory requirements for launching your image consulting firm

Create a business plan for your image consulting firm

  • Raise the financing needed to launch your image consulting firm
  • Track your actuals against your forecast

Key takeaways

Understanding how an image consulting firm works.

The very first step when exploring a business idea such as starting an image consulting firm is to make sure you understand how the business operates and makes money (which is what we call the business model).

This will not only give you an initial idea of how profitable the business can be, but it will also enable you to make sure that this is the right business idea for you, given your skills, start-up capital and family or personal lifestyle, in particular.

The best ways to get to grips with the image consulting firm's business model are to:

Talk to image consulting firm owners with experience

Work a few months in an image consulting firm already in operation, take a training course.

Experienced image consulting firm owners have valuable insights and can provide practical advice based on their firsthand experiences. 

They've likely encountered and overcome challenges that a newcomer might not anticipate. Learning from other’s mistakes can save you both time and money and potentially increase your venture’s chances of succeeding.

Obtaining work experience in the industry can be a crucial factor in confirming whether you truly want to start an image consulting firm, as it provides insight into the day-to-day activities.

For instance, if the working hours are longer than expected or if other business requirements don't align with your personal lifestyle or preferences, you might reconsider your entrepreneurial goals.

Even if you've decided that this business idea is a good fit for you, gaining work experience will still be valuable. It helps you better understand your target market and customer needs, which is likely to be beneficial when launching your own image consulting firm.

Obtaining training within your chosen industry is another way to get a feel for how an image consulting firm works before deciding to pursue a new venture.

Whatever approach you choose to familiarise yourself with the business, before going any further with your plans to open an image consulting firm, make sure you understand:

  • What skills are required to run the business (compare this with your own skills)
  • What a typical week in the business is like (compare this with your personal or family life)
  • What is the potential turnover of an image consulting firm and the long-term growth prospects (compare this with your level of ambition)
  • Your options once you decide to sell the business or retire (it's never too early to consider your exit)

Create your business plan online!

Think your business idea could be profitable? Find out how with a business plan

business plan online

The next step to start your image consulting firm is to think about the ideal founding team, or to go in alone (which is always an option).

Setting up a business with several partners is a way of reducing the (high) risk of launching an image consulting firm since it allows the financial risk of the project to be shared between the co-founders.

This also allows the company to benefit from a greater diversity of profiles in the management team and to spread the burden of decision-making over several shoulders.

But, running a business with multiple co-founders brings its own challenges. Disagreements between co-founders are quite common, and these can pose risks to the business. That's why it's crucial to consider all aspects before starting your business.

To make an informed decision, we suggest asking yourself these questions:

How many co-founders would increase the project's chances of success?

Do you and your potential partners share the same aspirations for the project, what is your plan b in case of failure.

Let's examine each of these questions in detail.

The answer to this question will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Your savings compared with the amount of initial capital needed to launch the image consulting firm
  • The skills you have compared with those needed to make a success of such a project
  • How you want key decisions to be taken in the business (an odd number of partners or a majority partner is generally recommended to avoid deadlock)

Put simply, your partners contribute money and/or skills, and increasing the number of partners is often a good idea when one of these resources is in short supply.

One of the key questions when selecting your potential partners will be their expectations. Do you want to create a small or large business? What are your ambitions for the next 10 or 15 years?

It's better to agree from the outset on what you want to create to avoid disagreements, and to check that you stay on the same wavelength as the project progresses to avoid frustration.

Of course, we wish you every success, but it's wise to have a plan B when setting up a business.

How you handle the possibility of things not working out can depend a lot on the kind of relationship you have with your co-founders (like being a close friend, spouse, former colleague, etc.) and each person's individual situation.

Take, for instance, launching a business with your spouse. It may seem like a great plan, but if the business doesn't succeed, you could find yourself losing the entire household income at once, and that could be quite a nerve-wracking situation.

Similarly, starting a business partnership with a friend has its challenges. If the business doesn't work out or if tough decisions need to be made, it could strain the friendship.

It's essential to carefully evaluate your options before starting up to ensure you're well-prepared for any potential outcomes.

Conducting market research for an image consulting firm

The next step in launching an image consulting firm is to carry out market research. Let's take a look at what this involves.

The objectives of market research

The objective here is very simple: to assess the level of demand for your business and whether there is an opportunity for it to thrive in your chosen location. 

The first step will be to check that the market is not saturated with competing offers and that there is room for a new player: your image consulting firm.

Your market analysis will also help you identify a concept and market positioning that has every chance of being successful in your target market, thereby helping increase your business's chances of success.

Carrying out market research for your image consulting firm will also enable you to better understand the expectations of your future customers and the most effective ways to communicate with them in your marketing plan.

Analyse key trends in the industry

Your market research should start with an industry analysis in order to gain a good understanding of the main players and current trends in your sector.

Once you've delved into the current state of the market, it will be time to assess what proportion of your target market can be seized by your image consulting firm. To do this, you will need to consider both the demand and supply side of the market.

Assess the demand

After checking out the industry, let's shift our focus to figuring out what your potential customers want and how they like to buy.

A classic mistake made by first-time entrepreneurs is to assess demand on the global or national market instead of concentrating on their target market. Only the market share that can be captured by your company in the short term matters. 

Your demand analysis should seek to find answers to the following questions:

  • Who are your target customers?
  • How many are there?
  • What are their expectations?
  • What are their buying habits?
  • How much budget do they have?
  • What are the different customer segments and their characteristics?
  • What are the main distribution channels and means of communication for reaching each segment?

The aim of the demand analysis is to identify the customer segments that could be targeted by your image consulting firm and what products and services you need to offer to meet their expectations.

Analyse the supply side

You will also have to familiarize yourself with the competing image consulting firm on the market targeted by your future business.

Amongst other things, you’ll need to ask yourself:

  • Who are the main competitors?
  • How many competitors are already present?
  • Where are they located?
  • How many people do they employ?
  • What is their turnover?
  • How do they set their prices?
  • Are they small independent businesses or national players?
  • Do they seem to be in difficulty or are they flourishing? 
  • What is their market positioning?
  • What types of products and services do they offer?
  • What do customers seem to like about them?

The aim of the competitive analysis is to identify who your competitors will be and to gather information that will help you find a differentiating commercial positioning (more on that later in this guide).

Regulations

Conducting market research is also an opportunity to look at the regulations and conditions required to do business.

You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you need to have a specific degree to open an image consulting firm?
  • Do you need specific licences or permits?
  • What are the main regulations applicable to your future business?

Given that your project is at an early stage, your focus should be to clear that there are no roadblocks from a regulatory standpoint before you deep dive into the planning process.

Once your project is more advanced, you will have the opportunity to talk about regulation more in-depth with your lawyer.

Concluding your market research

By the time your market research is completed, you should have either:

  • Pinpointed an untapped business opportunity
  • Or arrived at the realisation that the market is saturated, prompting the search for alternative business ideas or models.

If the conclusion is that there is an opportunity in the market to cater to one or more customer segments currently overlooked by competitors, that's great!

Conversely, if you come to the conclusion that the market is already saturated, don’t panic! The good news is that you won’t spend several years working hard on a project that has little chance of success. There is no shortage of business ideas either - at The Business Plan Shop, we have identified more than 1,300 potential business ideas!

Don't start from scratch!

With dozens of business plan templates available, get a clear idea of what a complete business plan looks like

business plan templates

The next step to start an image consulting firm is to choose the company's market positioning.

Market positioning refers to the place your product and service offering occupies in customers' minds and how it differs from how competitors are perceived. Being perceived as a high-end solution, for example.

To do this, you need to take the following considerations into account:

How can you make your business stand out from your competitors?

Can you consider joining a franchise as a way to lower the risks involved, is it better to start a new image consulting firm or acquire one that is already up and running, how to make sure your concept meets customer needs.

Let's look at each of these in a little more detail.

When you decide to start your own image consulting firm, you're facing an upward challenge because your competitors are already ahead. They have a good reputation, loyal customers, and a strong team, while you're just getting started.

Opening an image consulting firm offering exactly the same thing as your competitors is risky and potentially doomed to fail: why would customers take the risk of choosing a newcomer rather than a company with a proven track record?

This is why it is advisable to avoid direct confrontation by adopting a differentiated market positioning wherever possible: in other words, by offering something different or complementary to what is available on the market.

To find a market positioning that has every chance of success, you need to ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Can you negate direct competition by serving a customer profile that is currently poorly addressed by your competitors?
  • Can your business provide something different or complementary to what is already available on the market?
  • Why will customers choose your image consulting firm over the competition? 
  • How will your competitors react to your entry into their market?
  • Is the market sufficiently large and fragmented (i.e. not dominated by a few large chains) to allow you to set up an independent business, or is it better to consider another avenue (see below)?

A good way of getting a market positioning that is guaranteed to seduce customers is to join a group with a proven concept.

Admittedly, joining a franchise is not necessarily as exciting as opening an image consulting firm with a clean slate, everything to invent and total freedom to do so, but it is a proven way of reducing the risk of entering the market.

By joining a franchise, you will benefit from a concept that is successful with customers, the brand recognition of a large network, and operational support with regard to supplier relations, processes and operating standards, etc.

In return, you will have to pay an entry fee and an annual royalty (on your company's sales).

Joining a franchise is a trade-off where you need additional capital and get less freedom in exchange for a lot less risk. It's not for everyone, and it's not possible everywhere (franchise opportunities vary from region to region), but it is nevertheless an option you should explore.

Another way to benefit from a proven concept and reduce the risk of your project is to take over an image consulting firm. 

Buying an image consulting firm allows you to get a team, a customer base, and above all to preserve the balance on the market by avoiding creating a new player. For these reasons, taking over a business is a lot less risky than creating one from scratch.

Taking over a business also gives you greater freedom than franchising, because you have the freedom to change the positioning and operations of the business as you see fit.

However, as you can imagine, the cost of taking over a business is higher than that of opening an image consulting firm because you will have to finance the purchase.

Once you have decided on your concept and the market positioning of your future image consulting firm, you will need to check that it meets the needs, expectations and desires of your future customers.

To do this, you need to present it to some of your target customers to gather their impressions.

The next stage in our guide on how to start an image consulting firm: choosing where to set up shop.

Setting up your business in the right location will have a direct impact on your chances of success, so it's a good idea to think things through before you launch.

To help you decide where to set up your business, we recommend considering the following factors:

  • Visibility and foot traffic - An image consulting firm relies on attracting clients and showcasing its services, so being in a location with high visibility and foot traffic can lead to more potential clients.
  • Parking space, road and public transport accessibility - Clients may be coming from different locations, so having ample parking space and easy access to public transport can make it more convenient for them to visit the business.
  • Proximity to target customers - An image consulting firm may have a specific target market, such as professionals or high-income individuals. Being located near their workplace or residential areas can make it easier to reach them.
  • Competitor presence - It is important to consider the presence of competitors in the area. Being in a location with a high concentration of similar businesses can lead to more competition and potentially affect the image consulting firm's success.

These criteria will need to be refined according to the specific features of your project.

After weighing the factors mentioned earlier, it's crucial to focus on your startup's budget. Look for a location that suits your business needs while being affordable, especially in the short term.

One of the issues that will also come up is the long-term future of your location, particularly if you opt to rent your premises rather than buy. In this case, you will need to consider the conditions for renewing the lease (duration, rent increases, etc.).

Lease agreements vary widely from country to country, so make sure you check the terms applicable to your situation and have your lawyer review your lease before you sign.

It's now time to think about the legal structure for your image consulting firm.

The legal form of a business simply means the legal structure it operates under. This structure outlines how the business is set up and defines its legal obligations and responsibilities.

What are the most common legal structures?

Naturally, the names and intricacies of business structures differ by country. However, they typically fit into two main categories:

Individual businesses

Individual businesses are usually a good fit for self-employed individuals and freelancers who want limited administrative work. These types of entrepreneurs are commonly referred to as sole traders or sole proprietorships.

As mentioned above, the main benefit of being a sole trader is that minimal paperwork is required to launch and operate the business. Tax calculations are also relatively simple and annual accounts are not always required (and when they are, usually don't need to be audited) which saves a bit of time and money on bookkeeping and accounting fees.

Decision-making is also easy as the final decision is fully dependent on the sole trader (even if employees are hired).

However, being a sole trader also has drawbacks. The main disadvantage is that there is no separation between the individual running day-to-day operations and the business.

This means that if the business were to file for bankruptcy or legal disputes were to arise, the individual would be liable for any debts and their personal assets subsequently at risk. In essence, sole traders have unlimited liability.

This also means that profits earned by the business are usually taxed under the personal income tax category of the sole trader.

Another drawback is that sole traders might find it harder to finance their business. Debt (bank loan for example) is likely to be the only source of external financing given that the business doesn't have a share capital (effectively preventing equity investors from investing in their business).

Companies are more flexible and more robust than individual businesses. They are suitable for projects of all sizes and can be formed by one or more individuals, working on their own or with employees.

Unlike individual businesses, companies are recognised as distinct entities that have their own legal personality. Usually, there is also a limited liability which means that founders and investors cannot lose more than the capital they have invested into the business.

This means that there is a clear legal separation between the company and its owners (co-founders and investors), which protects the latter's personal assets in the event of legal disputes or bankruptcy.

Entrepreneurs using companies also gain the advantage of being able to attract equity investment by selling shares in the business.

As you can see companies offer better protection and more financing options, but this comes at a trade-off in terms of red-tape and complexity.

From a taxation perspective, companies are usually liable for corporation tax on their profits, and the income received by the owners running the business is taxed separately (like normal employees).

Normally, companies also have to produce annual accounts, which might have to be audited, and hold general assemblies, among other formalities.

How should I choose my image consulting firm's legal setup?

Choosing the right legal setup is often simple once you figure out things like how many partners you'll have, if you hire employees, and how much money you expect to make.

Remember, a great business idea can work well no matter which legal structure you pick. Tax laws change often, so you shouldn't rely too much on getting specific tax benefits from a certain structure when getting started.

You could start by looking at the legal structures most commonly utilised by your competitors. As your idea evolves and you're ready to officially register your business, it's a good idea to confirm your choice using inputs from a lawyer and an accountant.

Can I switch my image consulting firm's legal structure if I get it wrong?

Yes, you have the flexibility to change your legal setup later, which might include selling the existing one and adopting a new structure in certain situations. Keep in mind, though, that this restructuring comes with additional expenses, so making the right choice from the start is usually more cost-effective.

How much money do I need to start an image consulting firm?

To answer this key question, we first need to look at the resources you'll need to launch your image consulting firm and keep it running on a daily basis. Let's take a look at what that entails.

Since each venture is distinct, providing an average budget for starting an image consulting firm is impossible.

We strongly advise careful consideration when reading estimates on the web. It’s best to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is my project similar (location, concept, planned size, etc.)?
  • Can I trust where this information is coming from?
  • Is the data fresh or stale?

Your thinking behind the investments and human resources required to launch and operate the business will then enable you to cost each item and include them in your financial forecast (which we'll look at later in this guide).

Once complete, the forecast will give you a precise idea of the initial investment required and profitability potential for your business idea.

Startup costs and investments to start an image consulting firm

Let's start with the investments. To set up an image consulting firm, initial working capital and investments can include the following items:

  • Office Space: You may need to purchase or lease office space to operate your image consulting firm. This could include items such as furniture, office equipment, and decorations.
  • Technology: In today's digital age, having the right technology is essential for any business. This could include computers, software, printers, and other office technology.
  • Wardrobe and Accessories: As an image consulting firm, it's important to have a professional and polished appearance. This may require purchasing a wardrobe for yourself and your employees, as well as accessories such as jewelry, shoes, and handbags.
  • Training and Development: While this may not fall under operating expenses, investing in your own education and development is crucial for the success of your image consulting firm. This could include attending conferences, workshops, or hiring a business coach.
  • Photography and Marketing Materials: As an image consulting firm, you will need to market your services and showcase your work. This could include professional photography, business cards, brochures, and other marketing materials.

Of course, you will need to adapt this list to your company's specific needs.

Staffing requirements to operate an image consulting firm

You'll also need to think about the staff required to run the business on a day-to-day basis.

The human resources required will vary according to the size of your company.

Once again, this list is only indicative and will need to be adjusted according to the specifics of your image consulting firm.

Operating expenses of an image consulting firm

The final point to consider when analyzing the resources required is the question of operating costs.

Operating expenses for an image consulting firm may include:

  • Staff Costs: This includes salaries, wages, and benefits for your team of image consultants, stylists, and administrative staff.
  • Accountancy Fees: You will need to hire an accountant or bookkeeper to help with financial record keeping and tax filing.
  • Insurance Costs: As an image consulting firm, you will need to have liability insurance to protect against any potential lawsuits or claims from clients.
  • Software Licenses: You may need to purchase software for tasks like scheduling appointments, managing client information, and creating invoices.
  • Banking Fees: This includes fees for maintaining your business bank account, processing payments, and using ATM machines.
  • Marketing and Advertising: In order to attract new clients, you will need to invest in marketing and advertising efforts such as creating a website, printing business cards, and running social media campaigns.
  • Rent: If you have a physical office space for your image consulting firm, you will need to pay rent or a mortgage.
  • Utilities: This includes the cost of electricity, water, and other utilities for your office space.
  • Professional Development: As an image consultant, it is important to continuously update your skills and knowledge. This may require attending conferences, workshops, and training programs.
  • Office Supplies: This includes items like stationery, printer ink, and other office supplies needed to run your business.
  • Travel Expenses: If you offer on-site consulting services, you may need to cover expenses such as transportation and accommodation for out-of-town clients.
  • Professional Memberships and Subscriptions: Joining professional organizations and subscribing to industry publications can help you stay up-to-date with industry trends and connect with potential clients.
  • Legal Fees: You may need to consult with a lawyer for services such as reviewing contracts and protecting your business's intellectual property.
  • Office Maintenance: This includes expenses for keeping your office space clean and well-maintained.
  • Telecommunications: In order to communicate with clients and other professionals, you will need to pay for phone and internet services.

Here also, this list will need to be tailored to the specifics of your image consulting firm but should be a good starting point for your budget.

Creating a sales & marketing plan for your image consulting firm

The next step to start an image consulting firm is to think about how you are going to attract and retain customers.

You need to ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What actions can be leveraged to attract as many customers as possible?
  • How will you then retain customers?
  • What resources do you need to allocate for each initiative (human and financial)?
  • How many sales and what turnover can you expect to generate in return?

How you will attract and retain customers depends on your ambition, the size of your startup and the nature of your exact concept, but you could consider the following initiatives.

Your sales forecast may also be influenced by seasonality related to your business type, such as fluctuations during busy holiday periods, and your competitive environment.

How do I build my image consulting firm financial forecast?

Let's now look at the financial projections you will need to prepare in order to open an image consulting firm.

What is an image consulting firm's financial projection?

Your financial forecast will help you budget your project so that you can evaluate:

  • Its expected sales and growth potential
  • Its expected profitability, to ensure that the business will be viable
  • Its cash generation and financing requirements

Making your financial forecast is the only way to determine the amount of initial financing required to create your image consulting firm.

There are lots of business ideas out there, but very few of them are viable, and making a financial forecast is the only way to ensure that your project makes economic and financial sense.

Creating an image consulting firm financial projection is an iterative process, as you'll need to refine your figures as your business idea matures.

You'll start with a first high-level version to decide whether or not to continue working on the project.

Then, as your project takes shape, your forecasts will become increasingly accurate. You'll also need to test different assumptions to ensure that your idea of starting an image consulting firm holds up even if your trading environment deteriorates (lower sales than expected, difficulties in recruiting, sudden cost increases or equipment failure problems, for example).

financial forecast for an image consulting firm

Your financial forecast will be part of your overall business plan, which we'll look at in more detail later. Your financial partners will use your business plan to decide if they want to finance you.

Once you've launched your business, you can compare your actual accounting figures with your forecasts, to analyze where the discrepancies come from, and then update your forecasts to maintain visibility over your future cash flows.

Financial forecasts are, therefore, a financial management tool that will be with you throughout the life of your company.

What does a financial projection look like?

Your image consulting firm forecast will be presented using the following financial tables.

The projected P&L statement

The projected P&L statement for an image consulting firm shows how much revenue and profits your business is expected to generate in the future.

projected image consulting firm startup income statement

The projected balance sheet of your image consulting firm

Your image consulting firm's projected balance sheet provides a snapshot of your business’s financial position at year-end.

image consulting firm startup balance sheet example

The cash flow forecast

A projected cash flow statement for an image consulting firm is used to show how much cash the business is expected to consume or generate in the years to come.

image consulting firm cash flow projection example

What is the best financial forecasting tool for starting your image consulting firm?

The simplest and easiest way to create your image consulting firm's projections is to use professional online financial forecasting software such as the one we offer at The Business Plan Shop.

There are several advantages to using specialised software:

  • You can easily create your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you without errors
  • You have access to complete financial forecast templates
  • You get a complete financial forecast ready to be sent to your bank or investors
  • The software helps you identify and correct any inconsistencies in your figures
  • You can create scenarios to stress-test your forecast's main assumptions to stress-test the robustness of your business model
  • After you start trading, you can easily track your actual financial performance against your financial forecast, and recalibrate your forecast to maintain visibility on your future cash flows
  • You have a friendly support team on standby to assist you when you are stuck

If you are interested in this type of solution, you can try our forecasting software for free by signing up here .

The next phase in launching your image consulting firm involves selecting a name for your company.

This stage is trickier than it seems. Finding the name itself is quite fun; the difficulty lies in finding one that is available and being the first to reserve it.

You cannot take a name that is similar to a name already used by a competitor or protected by a registered trademark without inevitably risking legal action.

So you need to find a name that is available, and be able to register it before someone else can.

In addition, you will probably want to use the same name for:

  • Your company’s legal name - Example LTD
  • Your business trading name - Example
  • The trademark - Example ® 
  • Your company’s domain name - Example.com

The problem is that the procedures for registering these different names are carried out in different places, each with their own deadlines:

  • Registering a domain name takes only a few minutes
  • Registering a new trademark takes at least 12 weeks (if your application is accepted)
  • The time taken to register a new business depends on the country, but it's generally fast

You will therefore be faced with the choice of: either registering everything at once and hoping that your name will be accepted everywhere, or proceeding step by step in order to minimise costs, but taking the risk that someone else will register one of the names you wanted in the meantime.

Our advice is to discuss strategy with your legal counsel (see further down in this guide) and prioritise your domain names and registered trademarks. You'll always have the option of using a trade name that's different from your company's legal name, and that's not a big deal.

To check that the name you want is not already in use, you should consult:

  • Your country's business register
  • The relevant trademark registers depending on which countries you want to register your trade mark in
  • A domain name reservation company such as GoDaddy
  • An Internet search engine

In this area too, your legal counsel will be able to help with the research and formalities.

What corporate identity do I want for my image consulting firm?

The following step to start an image consulting firm is to define your company's visual identity.

Visual identity is part of the DNA of your image consulting firm: it makes you recognizable and recognized by your customers, and helps you stand out from the competition. It also helps convey your values, notably through the choice of colors that identify the company. 

Creating your business's visual identity yourself is entirely possible: there are several online tools that let you generate color palettes, choose typography and even generate logos.

However, we advise you to delegate this task to a designer or a communications agency for a professional result.

Your corporate identity will include the following elements: 

  • Your business logo 
  • Your brand guidelines
  • Your business cards
  • Design and theme of your website

Your image consulting firm's logo serves as a quick identifier for your company. It will be featured on all your communication platforms (website, social networks, business cards, etc.) and official documents (invoices, contracts, etc.).

Beyond its appearance, your logo should be easy to use on any type of support and background (white, black, gray, colored, etc.). Ideally, it should be easy to use in a variety of colors.

Brand guidelines

One of the challenges when starting an image consulting firm is to ensure a consistent brand image wherever your company is visible.

This is the role of your company's brand guidelines, which defines the typography and colors used by your brand and thus acts as the protector of your brand image.

Typography refers to the fonts used (family and size). For example, Trebuchet in size 22 for your titles and Times New Roman in size 13 for your texts.

The colors chosen to represent your brand should typically be limited to five (or fewer):

  • The main colour, 
  • A secondary colour (the accent),
  • A dark background colour (blue or black),
  • A grey background colour (to vary from white),
  • Possibly another secondary colour.

Business cards

Classic but a must-have, your business cards will be at your side to help you easily communicate your contact details to your founders, customers, suppliers, recruitment candidates, etc.

In essence, they should feature your logo and adhere to the brand guidelines mentioned earlier.

Website theme

Likewise, the theme of your image consulting firm website will integrate your logo and follow the brand guidelines we talked about earlier.

This will also define the look and feel of all your site's graphic elements:

What legal steps are needed to start an image consulting firm?

The next step in opening an image consulting firm is to look in detail at the legal and regulatory formalities.

Although it is possible to do the formalities yourself and draft some of the documents detailed here, The Business Plan Shop recommends that you seek advice on these aspects from a law firm.

Registering a trademark and protecting the intellectual property of your image consulting firm

One of the first things you need to do here is to protect your company's current and future intellectual property.

One way of doing this is to register a trade mark, as mentioned earlier in this guide. Your lawyer will be in a position to do the formalities for you and to help you select the classes (economic activities) and jurisdictions in which you have an interest in obtaining protection.

Your law firm can also advise you on other ways of protecting your company's intellectual property.

Preparing the legal documents for your image consulting firm

Your image consulting firm will need a set of legal and contractual documents to operate on a daily basis. 

Your exact needs in this respect will depend on the country in which you are launching your image consulting firm and the size and legal form envisaged for the company. Once again, we highly recommend having these documents prepared by your lawyer.

As a minimum, we recommend that you have the following documents prepared: 

  • Employment contracts 
  • General terms and conditions of sale
  • General terms and conditions of use for your website
  • Privacy Policy for your website
  • Cookie Policy for your website

Applying for licences and permits and registering for various taxes

Here too, the list of licences and business permits required for your business to operate legally will depend on the country in which you have decided to start your image consulting firm.

Your law firm will be able to advise you on all the regulations applicable to your business.

Likewise, your accountant will be able to assist you and take care of the formalities involved in complying with the tax authorities.

The next step to open an image consulting firm: put together your business plan.

What is a business plan?

To keep it simple, a business plan comprises two crucial components:

  • Firstly, a numerical part, the financial forecast (which we mentioned earlier), which highlights the initial financing requirements and profitability potential of the image consulting firm,
  • And a written, well-argued section that presents your project in detail, aims to convince the reader of its chances of success, and provides the context needed to assess whether the forecast is realistic or not.

The business plan will enable you to verify the coherence of your project, and ensure that the company can be profitable before incurring further costs. It will also help you convince business and financial partners.

As you can see, your business plan must be convincing and error-free.

How to write a business plan for an image consulting firm?

Nowadays, the modern and most efficient way to write an image consulting firm business plan is to use startup business plan software like the one we offer at The Business Plan Shop.

example of business plan to start an image consulting firm made with The Business Plan Shop

Using The Business Plan Shop to create a business plan for animage consulting firm has several advantages :

  • You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
  • You can access a library of dozens of complete startup business plan samples and templates for inspiration
  • You get a professional business plan, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank or investors
  • You can create scenarios to stress test your forecast's main assumptions
  • You can easily track your actual financial performance against your financial forecast by importing accounting data
  • You can easily update your forecast as time goes by to maintain visibility on future cash flows

If you're interested in using this type of solution, you can try The Business Plan Shop for free by signing up here .

How to raise finance for my image consulting firm?

Once your business plan has been drafted, you’ll need to think about how you might secure the financing necessary to open your image consulting firm.

The amount of initial financing required will obviously depend on the size of your image consulting firm and the country in which you wish to set up.

Businesses have access to two main categories of financing: equity and debt. Let's take a closer look at how they work and what sources are available.

Equity funding

At a high level, the equity of your image consulting firm will consist of the money that founders and potential investors will invest to launch the company.

Equity is indispensable as it provides the company with a source of long-term (often permanent) financing and demonstrates the founders' conviction in the company's chances of success, since their investments would be lost in the event of bankruptcy.

Equity investors can generate a return on their investment through dividends (which can only be paid out if the company is profitable) or capital gains on the resale of their shares (if the company is attractive enough to attract a buyer).

As you can see, the equity investors' position is extremely risky, since their capital is at risk and can be lost in the event of bankruptcy, and the company must be profitable or resellable before they can hope to generate a return on their investment.

On the other hand, the return on investment that equity investors can expect to generate by investing in an image consulting firm can be very substantial if the company is successful.

This is why equity investors look for start-up ideas with very high growth or profitability potential, in order to offset their risk with a high potential return on investment.

In technical terms, equity includes:

  • Share capital and premiums: which represent the amount invested by the shareholders. This capital is considered permanent as it is non-refundable. In return for their investment, shareholders receive shares that entitle them to information, decision-making power (voting in general assembly), and the potential to receive a portion of any dividends distributed by the company.
  • Director loans: these are examples of non-permanent capital advanced to the company by the shareholders. This is a more flexible way of injecting some liquidity into your company than doing so as you can repay director loans at any time.
  • Reserves: these represent the share of profits set aside to strengthen the company's equity. Allocating a percentage of your profits to the reserves can be mandatory in certain cases (legal or statutory requirement depending on the legal form of your company). Once allocated in reserves, these profits can no longer be distributed as dividends.
  • Investment grants: these represent any non-refundable amounts received by the company to help it invest in long-term assets.
  • Other equity: which includes the equity items which don't fit in the other categories. Mostly convertible or derivative instruments. For a small business, it is likely that you won't have any other equity items.

The main sources of equity are as follows:

  • Money put into the business from the founders' personal savings.
  • Money invested by private individuals, which can include business angels, friends, and family members.
  • Funds raised through crowdfunding, which can take the form of either equity or donations (often in exchange for a reward).
  • Government support to start-ups, for example, loans on favourable terms to help founders build up their start-up capital.

Debt funding

The other way to finance your image consulting firm is to borrow. From a financial point of view, the risk/return profile of debt is the opposite of that of equity: lenders' return on investment is guaranteed, but limited.

When it borrows, your company makes a contractual commitment to pay the lenders by interest, and to repay the capital borrowed according to a pre-agreed schedule.

As you can see, the lenders' return on investment is independent of whether or not the company is profitable. In fact, the only risk taken by lenders is the risk of the company going bankrupt.

To avoid this risk, lenders are very cautious, only agreeing to finance when they are convinced that the borrowing company will be able to repay them without problems.

From the point of view of the company and its stakeholders (workforce, customers, suppliers, etc.), debt increases the risk of the venture, since the company is committed to repaying the capital whether or not it is profitable. So there's a certain distrust towards heavily indebted companies.

Companies borrow in two ways:

  • Against their assets: this is the most common way of borrowing. The bank finances a percentage of the price of an asset (a vehicle or a building, for example) and takes the asset as collateral. If the company cannot repay, the bank seizes the asset and sells it to limit its losses.
  • Against their future cash flows: the bank reviews the company's financial forecast to estimate how much the company can comfortably borrow and repay, and what terms (amount, interest rate, term, etc.) the bank is prepared to offer given the credit risk posed by the company.

When creating an image consulting firm, the first option is often the only one available, as lenders are often reluctant to lend on the basis of future cash flows to a structure that has no track record.

The type of assets that can be financed using the first method is also limited. Lenders will want to be sure that they can dispose of foreclosed assets if needed, so they need to be assets that have an established second-hand market.

That being said, terms and conditions also depend on the lender: some banks are prepared to finance riskier projects, and not all have the same view of your company's credit risk. It also depends on the collateral you can offer to reduce risk, and on your relationship with the bank.

In terms of possible sources of borrowing, the main sources here are banks and credit institutions.

In some countries, it's also possible to borrow from private investors (directly or via crowdlending platforms) or other companies, but not everywhere.

Takeaways on how to finance an image consulting firm

Multiple options are available to help you raise the initial financing you need to launch your image consulting firm.

There are two types of financing available to companies. To open an image consulting firm, an equity investment will be required and may be supplemented by bank financing.

What to do after launching my image consulting firm?

Launching your image consulting firm is the beginning of an exciting entrepreneurial adventure, and the culmination of your efforts to turn your idea into a reality. But this is also when the real work begins.

As you know, nearly half of all new businesses fail, so you'll need to do everything you can to make your business sustainable right from the start.

Estimating the future financial performance of an image consulting firm inevitably involves a degree of uncertainty. That's why we recommend simulating several scenarios: a central case with the most likely scenario, an optimistic case, and a pessimistic case designed to test the limits of your business model.

Normally, your company's actual financial performance, observed after you start trading, should fall somewhere between your pessimistic and optimistic cases.

The important thing will be to quickly measure and compare this actual performance with the figures in your forecast to see where you stand, then update the forecast to re-estimate the future cash flows and cash position of your image consulting firm.

This forward-looking financial management exercise is the only way to know where you stand and where you're going. And, when your figures fall short of expectations, to quickly implement actions to turn things around before the company runs out of cash.

There's nothing more dangerous than waiting until you have your accounts, which takes up to nine months after the end of your financial year (if you are in the UK, abroad your mileage will vary), to then realize that you're not on the right track and that your image consulting firm won't have enough cash to operate over the next twelve months.

This is where using a forecasting solution that integrates actuals vs. forecast tracking, like The Business Plan Shop's financial dashboards do, can simplify the financial management of your business and help reduce the risk associated with your start-up project.

  • To open an image consulting firm you need to go through each of the 15 steps we have outlined in this guide.
  • The financial forecast is the tool that will enable you to check that your project can be profitable and to estimate the investment and initial financing requirements.
  • The business plan is the document that your financial partners will ask you to produce when seeking finance.
  • Once you have started trading, it will be essential to keep your financial forecasts up to date in order to maintain visibility of the future cash flow of your image consulting firm.
  • Leveraging a financial planning and analysis platform that seamlessly integrates forecasts, business plans, and real-time performance monitoring — like The Business Plan Shop — simplifies the process and mitigates risks associated with launching a business.

We hope this practical guide has given you a better understanding of how to open an image consulting firm. Please do not hesitate to contact our team if you have any questions or if you would like to share your experience of setting up your own business.

Also on The Business Plan Shop

  • Start-up business plan templates

Do you know someone who is thinking about opening an image consulting firm? Share our guide with them!

Guillaume Le Brouster

Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd

Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.

Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.

Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.

Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.

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How to Start an Image Consulting Business

  • Small Business
  • Types of Businesses to Start
  • Starting a Consulting Business
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If you have an eye for fashion and like to make people look and feel more positive about themselves, then starting an image consulting business may be just right for you. From giving beauty makeovers, to giving professional advice on how body language affects ones job search success, image consultants help people help themselves. While image consulting can require a large financial startup investment, it does not have to be that way. Begin with a limited budget by following a few stylish guidelines.

Be specific when identifying your customer base. Determine if your major customer base will be individuals or corporate entities, and then define the needs of your target.

Develop a business plan and revise it quarterly. As your business grows, you may want to fine tune your offerings based on customer demand ,to increase profitability.

Consider starting out working part-time from your home. Your image consulting business will require a financial investment in equipment, such as makeup, fashion magazines, other industry research, mirrors, color swatches and travel expenses in meeting with customers.

Network and be a friend to caterers, event planners and wedding consultants. You may just find your niche in helping these individuals with their clients and develop profitable partnerships.

Create marketing materials, such as brochures and letterhead stationery and business cards, and mail them to public relation firms. Make follow-up calls and ask how you can be of service.

Obtain a cosmetology license if you are planning on applying makeup on client's skin as part of your service offerings. In the interim, until you are licensed, you can explain to your customers how to apply makeup as they put it on themselves.

Invest in a video camera if you are offering corporate image training. Your clients will likely want to see how their body language and speech has improved compared with before using your services.

Invest in virtual beauty makeover software if you are servicing individuals. Using it will help your clients make the best do-over decision with the least amount of regrets.

  • Entrepreneur: Business Ideas - Image Consultant Business Overview
  • The image consultant personality type must be straight-forward and blunt, yet caring. In addition, look for clients who are open to making positive changes when they seek your assistance.
  • Advertise locally by placing advertisements with discount coupons in your neighborhood publications to encourage new business.
  • In 2010, initial startup costs ran between $50,000 and $100,000, according to Entrepreneur website. However, if you keep your equipment investment to a minimum, you can drastically reduce these figures.

Nina Nixon has more than 30 years of professional writing experience. She enjoys writing about business and technology. Her articles have appeared on Chron, eHow Business & Personal Finance, Techwalla, and other digital content publishing websites.

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The Pros and Cons of Starting an Image Consulting Business

  • Small Business
  • Online Business
  • Home Business
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Operations & Success

Alyssa Gregory is an entrepreneur, writer, and marketer with 20 years of experience in the business world. She is the founder of the Small Business Bonfire, a community for entrepreneurs, and has authored more than 2,500 articles for popular small business websites.

Some people, especially those in the public eye, look to professionals to help them present themselves in the best way possible. This is where an image consultant comes in. Image consultants coach others on how to dress for success, what accessories to use, how to wear makeup properly, and specific etiquette tips that help them make a great first impression and achieve their goals.

If you are fashion-savvy, an excellent communicator, and a people-person, a small business as an image consultant might be a great business for you. Learn more about the pros and cons, as well as exploring some resources that will help you get started.

The Pros of Starting an Image Consulting Business

Not only do image consultants get to create a business around something they are passionate about, but they may also experience other benefits including:

  • Startup costs are relatively low.
  • You can work out of your home.
  • You can use your creativity to help your clients.
  • You can form partnerships with hairstylists, makeup artists, dietitians, personal trainers, and life coaches.
  • You can specialize in working with celebrities, executives, politicians or any other group who uses the services of an image consultant.
  • You can watch as your clients become highly confident and successful.

The Cons of Starting an Image Consulting Business

Although there are quite a few benefits, like any new business, a business as an image consultant may also comes with a few hurdles to get over. Some of the potential challenges of starting an image consulting business include:

  • Image consulting can be a difficult field to break into.
  • You will be exposed to extra scrutiny and have to be able to make an excellent impression on others in order to sell your services.
  • You need to stay up-to-date on all of the current fashion trends.
  • You will need to exhibit a gentle tact when it comes time to analyze your clients' images.
  • You may need to bring in other experts if you don't have experience in all areas of image consulting.

Recommended Resources for Starting an Image Consulting Business

To help you fully research this business idea, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the Association of Image Consultants International .

As with starting any small business, it's best to research local laws in your city and state that apply to home business owners. Do your homework before you start, and you'll be prepared to take the first steps in your business the right way.

Take It Personel-ly

Where the World of Work and Personal Life Intersects

Take It Personel-ly

Tips on Setting Up Your Image Consulting Business

image consulting business plan

What kind of training should I take? How do I reach my audience? How do I manage funds?

I had a lot of questions when I decided to become an image consultant. And if you’ve decided to set up your image consulting business, you must have a lot of questions too. So, to help you better, I am sharing a few important things that I have learned from my experience.

Read on for some very important tips to create a roadmap before starting your image consulting business.

Decide what kind of customers you wish to target

As an image consultant, you can work with a variety of clients seeking different services such as makeover consulting, personal shopping assistance, event consulting, employability skills training, soft skills training, etc. And though a variety of projects will cut the monotony out of your life, you must choose an area of interest where you can demonstrate your expertise. This will help you target exactly the kind of clientele you wish to attract.

So, find out what you’re naturally good at; it could be networking, communicating, presenting, public speaking, grooming, clothing and styling, etc. Now check where your strength fits perfectly under the image consulting umbrella. This will give you a clear idea of your career path even before you set out on it.

Get trained and certified

Once you identify your strengths, opt for formal training to become an expert. You may come across many self-taught image consultants, but believe it or not, a certification immediately improves your credibility. People’s trust that you are trained to assist them on all aspects of fashion, behaviour, and communication will help you establish a better client base more quickly than self-taught image consultants do. Moreover, a structured image consulting course will cultivate business skills in you and give you a great start.

Do not quit the job that pays the bills

When you decide to pursue image consulting, you will be tempted to quit your current job and invest your time completely in training. But that may not be a wise decision. You will require funds to finance your training and to set up your business. And for that, you must have a back-up plan in place. So, continue what you’re doing so that the cash flow isn’t disrupted. You can start out by taking classes on the weekends and practicing in the evenings or on your day-offs. This will help you progress slowly but consistently. And once your image consulting career starts paying off, you can quit your job and take up image consulting full-time.

Network with other people in the industry

In the image consulting industry, networking is the key. The reason is that you won’t have a portfolio as soon as you start. And this is where word-of-mouth marketing comes into the picture. You can get your initial few clients through your network to create a portfolio and build your way up from there. So, expand your horizons and meet experts from different industries such as IT, event management, photography, training & development, education, etc. and communicate that you are open to opportunities. Putting extra effort to create and use your network to your advantage will give you the kick start you need.

Start investing in things you will need for your business

A great thing about setting up an image consulting business is that it doesn’t require you to invest in a brick and mortar space. All you may require is some training material, fashion magazines, a video camera to record clients’ growth, and a few subscriptions to help you stay on top of your game. So, start investing every month in your business as soon as you start training so that these expenses don’t burden you all at once.

This strategy will definitely help you set up your image consulting business without a lot of trouble and surprises. So, make a note and get started. All the best!

Author Bio:

image consulting business plan

Suman Agarwal, cofounder of Image Consulting Business Institute (ICBI), is an award-winning Image Management Professional. She has helped students, home-makers, women on sabbatical as well as people seeking second career alternatives to explore Image Management and Soft Skill Training as a vibrant professional choice. She frequently writes blog posts about the urgent need of image consulting professionals and soft skill trainers in the 21st century and loves guiding people in exploring lucrative career options.

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Want to Start Your Image Consulting Firm? Do it in 6 Steps!

  • by Guest Contributor
  • Published: September 26, 2023

image consulting business plan

Are you a fashion lover with a good sense of style and a desire to assist others in looking their best? If you answer yes, you can think of starting an image consulting business. An image consultant is someone who helps clients improve their personal and professional looks, behavior, and communication skills.

As an image consultant, you have the power to change a person’s appearance in the same way that a chameleon changes its skin. It involves psychological, physical, and cognitive improvements. Yes! Anybody can improve their looks. But as an expert, you can help by providing essential assistance, organized suggestions, and feedback to make the process more efficient and successful.

Image counseling is a journey that helps people of all ages and backgrounds discover the best ways to portray themselves. So, do you want to know how to start an image consulting business? Keep reading!

6 Steps of Starting an Image Consulting Business

Let’s walk you through all you need to know to establish your own image consultancy business in this step-by-step tutorial.

Step 1: Become Trained and Certified as an Image Consultant

Before launching your image consultancy firm, you must acquire the appropriate information and abilities. Several training programs and certification courses are available to help you lay the groundwork for success.

Color analysis, body form analysis, wardrobe style, soft skills, and personal branding are among the subjects covered in these programs. By investing in your education and getting an image consultant certification , you can provide excellent services to your clientele.

Step 2: Determine What Services You Wish to Provide

Image consulting involves a wide range of services. You need to decide which ones you wish to specialize in. Personal style, wardrobe audits, color analysis, soft skills development, wardrobe organization, and personal buying are some common services. When determining which services to provide, consider your abilities and interests.

Along with your preferences, you would also need to evaluate the demand of your target market. Offer a specialty service that is your strength and can help you stand out in a competitive market. You would definitely attract clients who are seeking that expertise particularly.

Step 3: Develop a Business Strategy

“Failing to plan means planning to fail.” Any new venture requires a well-thought-out business strategy and plan. It acts as a road map to assist you in achieving your objectives and making educated decisions along the way. Your business plan should include details regarding your target market, price structure, marketing tactics, financial predictions, and other pertinent information.

Developing a sound business strategy can be time and energy-consuming. But this process is necessary before starting an image consulting business as it lays a solid basis for the firm.

Step 4: Begin Investing in Stuff Required for Your Business

Now, let’s look at what you need to run your operations! Setting up an image consultancy firm necessitates some upfront capital. Color analysis tools, fashion publications, style guidelines, and a professional camera for before-and-after images are all necessary purchases.

In order to promote your services, you may need to invest in a website, business cards, and marketing materials. These costs may appear intimidating at first. But most of them are a one-time investment. Moreover, they are critical for developing a professional image and acquiring clients.

Step 5: Make Connections With Others in the Business

In the corporate world, networking is a strong tool, and image consultancy is no exception. Building ties with other industry professionals can lead to profitable partnerships and recommendations. Be proactive in making connections within your sector.

You can attend industry events, join online forums & networking groups, and use social media to interact with other image consultants. In this way, you remain current on the newest trends and practices. You can also increase your professional network.

Step 6: Market Your Image Consulting Company

Now that you have all the tools and knowledge to start an image consulting business, it’s time to advertise your firm! You have the option to use a variety of marketing methods to boost your visibility and attract new clients. Some of the most proven ones are as follows:

  • Create a robust online presence – Use social media platforms and professional websites.
  • Give free consultations or seminars to highlight your knowledge.
  • Use word-of-mouth marketing through delighted clients.

These are all excellent marketing techniques. Consistency is essential in marketing. Keep active and involved with your audience.

Why is Image Consultancy a Good Business Option for Women?

Being an Image consultant is the best career option for women. Why? For starters, it allows you to express your distinct sense of style and delve into your creative side. It also gives the freedom and independence that you may crave. Women have a lot of options in the realm of image consultancy. You can work from home and develop a rewarding career doing what you enjoy.

Furthermore, as a woman, you can empathize with the issues and concerns that your female customers may have with their appearance. This quality makes you a trustworthy and compassionate counselor.

So, this is it!! Starting an image consultancy firm can indeed be a gratifying and successful career for you. You’ll be well on your way to developing a profitable image consultancy firm if you follow the steps indicated in this article.

So, what are you holding out for? It’s time to transform your hobby into a profitable company and help others look and feel their best.

image consulting business plan

Suman Agarwal is an award-winning image management professional. She has helped students, homemakers, women on sabbatical as well as people seeking second career alternatives to explore Image Management and Soft Skill Training as a vibrant professional choice. She frequently writes blog posts about the urgent need for image consulting professionals and soft skill trainers in the 21st century and loves guiding people in exploring lucrative career options. Write to her at [email protected] to seek advanced career guidance.

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Introduction:   Starting an Image Consultation Business has a lot of similarities with starting most businesses. There are professional and legal process to go through. There are decisions about how you will reach clients, choosing a name and logo, opening business accounts, developing resources that will support your business and finding the finances to pay for all of this. You have to consider insurance, technology set up and software, an accounting system, a website, and permits required for your area. You need to identify your opportunities, develop a plan and structure for your business, and know your competition. Marketing and promotion is just one more necessity to face.

In spite of all the technical decisions that have to be made, a consultant can face this sprawl of paperwork because of the excitement of being on the edge a spawning a new career. Preparation and planning is the key to staying on top of each part of this stage of your business. Taking time, giving each piece thought and consideration, working through the steps in an organized fashion and using all the resources available to educate yourself will create a business that is sound. The main word is time. Take time. Don't rush. Learn everything you can, talk to lots of people in different places in life and different stations in life. Write everything down. You will want to review what you see, hear, and read, many times.

A. The Plan : When you begin to research a career as an Image Consultant, you must gather all the information, organize it and use a check list for easy reference to what you've done and what you have left to do. Trusting yourself to keep in all in your head would be your first and biggest mistake. Here is an example of a check list.

1.  Research everything you can about Image Consulting, including talking to those who do it.

2.  Determine how great the need is in your area and if you can make a profit.

3.   Develop your business plan (see below)

4.  Choose a business name/verify the right to use that name/check domain availability

5.  Register the business name/ get a business certificate/register the domain name

6.   Choose your location

7.  Check zoning laws

8.   File partnership or corporate papers if you decide to go that route/reserve your corporate name

9.   Attain required business licenses and permits

11.   Apply for a patent if you make any products

12.  Comply with community laws about advertisement of your intent to do business there

13.  Set up phone, computer, fax, scanner, printer, purchase software or download free software

14.   Check into business insurance needs

15.   Make sure you are covered with health insurance

The following represents what is required in a strong business plan for a start-up. If your intention is to work for a company, you do not need a business plan but you should put together a life plan with goals to guide your career.

Business Plan

1.    Profit and loss statement – This is prepared for you to begin using the day your business opens. It is a statement that tracks your revenue streams, expenses (do this for each quarter) and puts the amount of net profit or loss at the bottom. (also called a financial statement, P&L, or pro forma income statement)

2.    Cash flow statement – explains how much cash you bring in, pay out, and a balance. (This is done monthly and is important to keep track of so you have enough to pay bills)

3.    Balance sheet – This is a picture of your business's financial position at a moment in time. It will lists assets (what you have) and liabilities (what you owe) and equity (what part of the business you own and what it is worth). You should be able to look at this sheet and know where you stand financially.

4.    Sale's forecast – How much you will charge a client and how often you predict to make such a charge. You can break this down for different parts of your business.

5.    Personnel plan – Even if you don't hire at the beginning, you need to plan what personnel you might add in the next year, write job descriptions, hours and possible cost.

Keep your business plan handy and review it on a regular basis. It can be modified anytime in any way and organize the different parts so you can add the new sheets on a regular basis or keep it in some form of an account book

B. The Training:  There are international organizations that sponsor training, institutes that offer training, it is available on line and in books. Sometimes the training is featured for image consulting and other times for style coaching, life coaching, and fashion consulting. It is important to examine the training choices with a detailed eye before deciding which direction to go. You don't want to make the mistake of paying for training, taking time to invest in it and then realize it was not worth it. You should go and visit any brick and mortar school, call people who have had the courses and talk to image consultants who currently are finding success. Don't dismiss this as too much trouble because in the long run it will save you so much, get you started on the right foot and give you the training you will need. Just getting a certificate to put on the wall is not the point. The point is to become professional at what you are about to undertake. The objective of training is to learn skills that will give you the basis for becoming an expert in the industry.

If you intend to pursue a niche consulting service, make sure that you are getting thoroughly trained in that area you have chosen as well as a good basic all-around general training. If you intend to branch out you need to go ahead and get deep training in all areas or be prepared to go back for more training later in your career. Whatever you decide to do, remember that staying current in the field will require continual training of some kind.

Your business success depends upon how well you are able to be a consultant, to do your job. You will be dealing with very personal issues with people, not just selling a product. You are selling yourself and your ability to accomplish what the client needs, so work to be an expert in all things you do. Demonstrate what you know in the way you work and live. Be a person that others can trust and have confidence in. Show you have the skills by demonstrating the best image you can have. Make the most of your own personal qualities.

C. The Legalities:  You've already been introduced to some of the business paperwork that is necessary for your business to be effective, turn a profit and keep good records. There are a few other things for you to learn. If you start your own business you have to declare it as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company or LLC, or a corporation. 

Sole proprietorship is often used for a business operated by a single individual. This is the easiest and simplest plan. The downside is that you cannot sell interests in your business to raise money and the owner is fully liable for all debts and legal suits of the business. Any lawsuits can access your personal assets.

A partnership is similar to a sole proprietorship but with more than a single individual involved. These people share in all profits and losses of the business. It is easy to set up and not subject to taxes required of larger corporations. The partners are liable for any debts and legal suits as the sole proprietorship. The downside is during financial struggles partners can have interpersonal difficulties.

Corporations are controlled by a group of people who own shares in the company. The shareholders dictate who runs the company and how it does business. These owners receive profits based on the shares they own. Corporations are able to raise money more easily because they are supported by more people and often start with more capital. They are slow to act due to the process of voting by shareholders. Corporations are also subject to more taxes and fees.

LLC's or Limited Liability Companies have the elements of a corporation and the sole proprietorship. Owners are not personally responsible for debts and other liabilities, they can make decisions about the business faster than corporations and they are less controlled by legalities.

Summary:  As with any business, the Image Consultant who is ready to go to work has got to start with a plan. Everything must be included in the plan. If you have it in the plan and you follow your plan, then you are looking at a well-established business. If not, prepare for problems. Starting any business is a stressful time, but with a well-developed plan as a guide, you will be in good hands. It's important that the consultant spend time and thought building the plan and access professional help as needed.

Training is another part of the process that is of great importance. Hopefully as an Image Consultant, you will have some talent for fashion, dressing, beauty and color, however, having the talent and skill isn't all there is to know. There are many details, people skills, knowledge of keeping clients healthy and safe, knowing about fabrics and the various cuts of clothing and appropriate care. Being able to tell your clients that you have been trained by a school that is recognized by the top international associations will gain their confidence.

Getting the permits and legal paperwork done, choosing software to keep good records, setting up bank accounts and developing your business name, logo, location and brochures is a third very important and necessary task in the process of starting a business. The most important part is to do it right. Before you open your door for business, advertise for clients, or develop your expert referrals, you have to hammer down the legalities of the business.  

Make notes in your journal or notebook about what you have learned in this article, what you need to pursue and what more information you need to gather. Make a copy of the checklist and keep it in your business plan and with your notebook. Begin now to pull all of this together.

Why I Need a Business Plan

A. Introduction:

A business plan is an organizational document that guides you from the beginning to the end of your business. Most business don't actually end but they morph and change along the journey. A business plan should be clear and simple. If you need to explain or provide details, do it in another document. This is a plan to get you started, keep you focused on your goals, and can be easily tweaked if you decide to do so.

A Business Plan:

Defines your business

Explains your program, vision, mission, and goals

Organizes your basic operations/methods/processes/strategies

Identifies your customer

Includes certifications, licensing needed, permits, tax numbers,

Determine financial needs, transaction methods

Why keep it simple?

It is easy to make changes as you go along

It provides information that is important

It will assist you when you make a pitch

It can be used for marketing

It is more specific and straight forward.

It can be used as your action plan

B. My Business Plan Step by Step       

1. Overview:  Explain the purpose of your business, for example; My business will develop an individual's image for the purpose of building confidence and self-esteem.

2. Product:  What are your selling? I will provide one on one consulting, a skin care product line and group sessions that target corporate employees.

3. Marketing:  How will you market your service? I will provide business cards, brochures, newsletters and start a website for my business that will provide information about our services, our costs, and our certifications.

4. Profit:  How will I make money? I will charge a flat rate for the first session and a per hour fee for the work we do together. I will not charge for three "check-in" visits after service is ended.  I will charge a flat rate fee for groups up to 10 who want to learn about a topic of choice, which will be outlined on my brochure and web site and over that an extra fee for each person up to 20. For groups over 20 I will charge "presentation" fees with no individual interaction.

5. Clients:   I intend to find customers by phone, visit, referrals, and through my website. I will promote my business with newsletters to organizations and corporations, handing out my business card, and writing blogs about the success this training offers each person. 

6. Goals:  One year from the date of this plan I will be averaging one training sessions per week in my schedule and 3 initial individual consultations per week and one presentation to a large group each month.

7. Annual income goals:  Within two years I will be profit a minimum of $60,000 per year.

8. Challenges:  1. My shyness, 2. My lack of business experience, 3. Care for my children when I am working.  

9. Solutions to these challenges:  1. Practice and become determined, 2. Read books and articles on line about business and find a mentor, 3. Partner with another business trainer to swap care-giving with each other.

This is a lot to think about, but you are ready if you can answer these questions. Write down an answer for each of these questions. Put this information into organized form into your official business plan.  Remember, the most important part of this plan is that it is flexible, changeable, and your guide to success. It is a work in progress but a great place to begin your journey into this new phase of life.

C. Legal Issues:  Take one day and phone, e-mail, or check websites and find out about community, county, state, national, health department laws, permits, zoning laws and fees that you will be required to attend to. Take another day to search the domain names, patent, trademark, and copyrights you want to use. A third day will be to learn everything you can about the various structuring; sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, and corporation and the cost on insurance to protect your business. You will find resources on line, the small business association and you can also discuss this with your banker, an accountant and a lawyer. By the way, it would be smart to use a lawyer who works with businesses to monitor your progress, structuring, taxes and legalities.

Don't forget to work up the following documents:

Profit and loss statement

Cash flow statement

Balance sheet

Sale's forecast sheet

Personnel plan

D. Planning to work for someone else:  Often an image consultant decides to work for another consulting business that is already up and running. If that is the case, you are not required to develop a business plan but you do need to develop a career plan.

A career plan takes some time for self-reflection, deciding on some goals, and knowing what your passions are. Careers that start in one area often slide into a similar area, one that works with your original career field, or something totally different. And that is definitely okay. You want to grow and learn and seek out new areas that continue to keep you motivated. But in the beginning there are some specific things you can look at to gain a bit more understanding of yourself and what you want.

1.  What kind of lifestyle are you living currently and what do you see as your future lifestyle? Make a list of the key characteristics of how you are living now and decide if your career path will take you to the future lifestyle of your dreams.

2.  Think about what you like to do and what you enjoy in your free time. Often what you choose to do in your free time is a great guide to a specific career field. If you prefer to spend time alone or need to be with people can tell a lot about what type of job you might like. What things do you avoid at all costs? Think of these activities and your chosen career.

3.  What are your strengths and weaknesses? Be honest and realistic. When do you feel most engaged and energetic doing? What is your passion? Do you enjoy continually learning new things or do you prefer something that is the same day to day? Are you happier doing technical jobs or working with your hands, or do you like developing ideas and writing?

4.  How do you define success? Is it a comfortable living in a small town or a fast pace environment? Do you see success as becoming someone important, making lots of money, traveling to other countries, or is success a job that allows you time for family and other things and not so much lots of money? What will make you feel content?

5.  What about your personality. Are you outgoing, shy, a people person, a loner or a leader or follower? Do you need to move a lot in a day, do you need a different experience each day, or do you prefer to know exactly what is required from you on a regular basis? Can you work independently or do you need another person to guide you?

6.  Where are you in your career journey now? What skills and education do you have? What are you willing to pursue? Can you afford to move, attend classes, leave your current job?

Take some time now to go back over the above points and make notes in your notebook. Make so to do lists and prioritize them. You should not continue until have confidence in yourself to work through each topic presented here.

Once you have answered these questions, you are ready to proceed to the next steps.

1.  Choose a career field and research the various pathways in that field, the education required and the jobs that fit with who you are and what you want. Look at on-line resources, visit someone who works in that field, examine the need for workers, the pay, required education and various businesses that offer the career path that interests you.

2.  List the exact qualifications and search for job postings. Call these – not to apply just yet – but for information. Find out everything you can and let them know you are considering this as a career field but are researching before you take that step.

3.  Decide if you have the qualifications or if you will need to increase your skills or education. If you decide to go for this, then develop a timeline or a plan of action to achieving this job. Set some specific life goals. Write them down. Review them from time to time.

Summary:   No matter what you decide to do, you have to take charge of your life and make it what you want it to be. If you are waiting for someone else to do something, for something to happen first, to have enough money, time, energy, then you will be waiting forever. You can wait forever and meanwhile your life is passing you buy. If you want something, then begin now to prepare for it. Be ready when the door opens. There is a saying that you find success when your "preparedness meets opportunity." That simply means to be ready. Learn all you can. Know everything there is to know. Talk to people, read, search the net, stay invested in your dream and make it happen. There are many opportunities in life. Your job is to be ready, willing and able to take advantage of that opportunity. Keep your eyes open and invest in yourself by filling your life with knowledge, creative endeavors, and active participation.

Another part of preparedness is knowing what you value. Look at what you have, what you do, how you spend your time, and what you enjoy. Most people put what they value first in their lives. Family before job, an expensive car before a home, clothes before a savings account or possibly travel before education. What you value has a way of moving to the front of the line. If you say you value family but work late and weekends, then maybe you really value your job more. If you are honest you will examine where you spend your time to know what you value.

Stop now and examine yourself once again. Write down what you put first in your life and see if it aligns with what you value most. If not write down what you intend to do about it. Make another list of who you need to be more prepared for those opportunities that do open up.

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Growth Management and Strategies

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.

Growth Management and Strategies (GMS) is an ambitious innovative new company that is attempting to turn the small business consulting business on its head. With an experienced consultant at the helm as President, GMS intends to grow at more than 50% per year through solid customer service, a great sales plan, proven competitive strategies, and a group of people that bring dynamic energy to the company and the sales process.

The goal for this plan is financial: GMS needs a Small Business Adminstration (SBA) loan, and this document is one step in the process. It is also a road map for the company. The document gives all present and future employees, as well as the owner a sense of purpose that may exist without the business plan, but becomes more relevant after the business plan is written, reviewed, shared, and edited by all. It is a living document that will last far beyond the SBA loan purpose, or if that doesn’t occur, to bring an investor on board.

GMS’s financials are realistic, and based on very conservative sales figures relative to the industry as a whole. That is because one of the goals of GMS is to build the business one client at a time, and to serve each client as if it were the last. This is how loyalty is generated, and cultivated. Customer service is what GMS will do best, and is a large part of the company’s overall mission.

Business consulting business plan, executive summary chart image

1.1 Objectives

The objectives for Growth Management and Strategies are:

  • Gain access to an SBA loan upon start up.
  • Grow the company from 2 employees in Year 1, to over 10 by Year 5.
  • Increase revenue to over $3 million by Year 3.
  • Increase client base by 450% in three years.
  • Maintain job costing that keeps margins above 70%.

1.2 Mission

The company mission is to serve small business clients that are in need of logistical, technical, and business strategy services. All projects will be chosen based on the availability of human resources, and each individual employee will be given the respect of a contract worker, and will share in profits for each job. Politics have no place at Growth Management and Strategies, and to limit the affects of favoritism, the company will implement and clearly communicate a performance review policy that applies to those at the bottom as well as the top of the leadership ladder. Credit will be given to the person who performed and/or innovatively modified a project, and compensation will be both financial and in the form of commendation.

Growth Management and Strategies is a company that respects the needs and expectations of its employees and clients. If either is compromised, adjustments will be made so that the company culture may remain intact.

1.3 Keys to Success

Our keys to success are:

  • To maintain client satisfaction of at least 90%.
  • To keep overhead low.
  • To ensure professional marketing and presentation of services.
  • To provide an active and functional website.

Company Summary company overview ) is an overview of the most important points about your company—your history, management team, location, mission statement and legal structure.">

Growth Management and Strategies was established as a C corporation. The company’s headquarters are located in Boston, MA, near Copely Place. The company was established as a result of the efforts of its owner, Bill Dawson, and his experience in leading small businesses into prolonged periods of growth and innovation. Dawson worked for McKinsey before being hired away to Bain and Company. A Harvard graduate, Dawson spent hundreds of hours each week for nearly a year, slowly building the company to where it is now.

The company has had numerous successes this year, including one client that was purchased by a major multinational conglomerate, and another that experienced product sales growth of over 700% the first year.

2.1 Start-up Summary

This start-up summary table lists all the costs associated with establishing a lease, purchasing office equipment, and pulling together the other resources necessary to get the business off the ground. Furniture, LAN lines, and additional technology purchases are a must in order to properly communicate with clients, and to establish a website.

Other services included in the start-up summary are legal consulting fees, kept to a minimum thanks to resources provided by Nolo. Incorporation fees are included in the legal fees line item.

The free cash flow (cash balance) appearing in this start-up table is high relative to other small consulting businesses of its size. The owner is preoccupied with maintaining positive cash flow, and is risk averse enough to understand that during months in which contracts are not available, the corporation must sustain itself.  With this said, planned debt leverage is low, therefore risk to the lender is relatively low as well.

Business consulting business plan, company summary chart image

2.2 Company Ownership

Growth Management and Strategies is wholly owned by Bill Dawson, and is classified as an LLC.

Growth Management and Strategies offers a variety of services to the small business client. Many of the services are customized for each client, and a bidding process is observed. The company also offers a traditional fixed rate sheet for its services.

Market Analysis Summary how to do a market analysis for your business plan.">

The target customer owns a small business, and is generally dissatisfied with the revenue that the business is generating, or is dissatisfied with the daily management of their business. The customer is likely to operate a business worth between $200K and $10 million, with growth rates of between 1-10%, or even a negative growth rate.

Market growth, that is, the predicted growth in the small business sector within the Boston/Cambridge Metro area is expected to be around 3% per year. This may increase due to additional SBA lending programs designed to match the strengths of research and faculty grant work with the needs of the market and small businesses willing to take new products to market. Regardless of the market growth, the company’s customer base is far more dependant upon service needs, and a solid reputation. Mr. Dawson is well respected within the community, and has built a number of relationships with high profile individuals, and is a frequent contributor to the business section of the Boston Herald.

The corresponding market analysis table below breaks the potential market down into tactical sub-markets.

4.1 Market Segmentation

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  • Debt of more than 30% yearly revenue.
  • Free cash flow frequently in the negative, requiring deep pocket borrowing or investment.
  • Long-term growth underperforming relative to competitors.
  • Management discord and performance issues.

These are not the only differentiators used to determine the market potential for a client, they are simply a starting point for the sales team as they reach out to this group of small businesses, owners and investors.

Business consulting business plan, market analysis summary chart image

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

The target market strategy involves isolating potential customers by revenue, then drilling down to very specific needs via the sales team’s needs analysis methodology.

The first tier customers, businesses with over $3 million in revenue, is more experienced in outsourcing and may find themselves more comfortable hiring Growth Management and Strategies on retainer. Strategically, a retainer helps maintain consistent cash flow, even if during some months these customers will require more services than what they have paid for that month. This issue will be addressed in the Personnel topic.

The second tier customers, those businesses operating at revenue levels of $501K – $3 million, typically are very excited to have moved out of the home office stage, and into a new level of stability. If they are self-funded, these businesses can be the most challenging to work with because they are often not willing to part with company shares, and don’t yet have a sense of what kind of marketing investment is necessary to grow a business at this stage. The company will serve these small businesses based on a bid cycle, and needs analysis.

The third tier customers are easier to identify, and more ubiquitous than the rest. These small businesses are operating on $200K – $500K in revenue, often are operating out of a home, and have a firm sense of their market and potential, yet have trouble executing their plans effectively, or following through on growth strategies that generate wealth. Again, the strategy is to provide these businesses with a short needs analysis, and focus on the quantity of such customers to maintain a solid revenue stream.

4.3 Service Business Analysis

This industry is split up between a variety of players, including small businesses advising small businesses, such as the case with Growth Management and Strategies, to large conglomerate multinational consulting firms that send in newbie MBAs and use their name recognition to convince their clients that every one of these MBAs will generate over $300K a year in value. Sometimes they do, but when they don’t, GMS plans to be there.  

At the other end of the spectrum, there are a wide variety of mom and pop consulting firms owned by very talented people who simply don’t have the marketing resources or expertise to reach a broader spectrum of customer.

GMS is somewhere in between. With years of guerrilla marketing experience, and a long-term plan for success, Mr. Dawson is determined to build the company each client at a time, and to focus on a sales team that outperforms all the competitors.

GMS is planning to grow exponentially within the first two years, to over $2 million in consulting revenue. At this point the service business analysis will be re-evaluated from the outside in.

4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

Typically small business clients will learn about the consulting services market through word-of-mouth experience passed on through a friend or contemporary. Still, outbound sales teams dominate this category, and the stronger your sales team and name recognition, the greater your odds of finding clients willing to place your company on retainer or accept your company’s bid. The most competitive players in this market tend to have some of the best sales teams in the industry, that is, people who know not only how to communicate the technical needs analysis in a non-technical way, but in addition, are able to follow through and execute on promises and provide accurate, industry specific information that is useful to the client even before the deal is made.

Price is also important, and operates on a complex tiered system that is dependant upon the effectiveness of a particular salesperson, the word-of-mouth (WOM) advertising already in the mind of the potential client, and the ability of the client to reform the way they think about their own business. The demands of turning a business around, or pushing it to the limits of its potential are in direct proportion to the price of each bid. GMS must be careful not to be lured into out bidding a competitor, only to find that the customer has no plans to modify their business plan, and are seeking a “magic bullet” that may or may not exist. Competition in this industry leads to frustration and burnout for many people, and it takes a strong sense of purpose to push the business beyond the realm of the high-intensity, low-return client.

Strategy and Implementation Summary

GMS will pursue a strategy in line with the experience of the owner, and implementation will be performance based and follow a clear path. Milestones are important to the implementation of this plan, and so is the vision and the will of the company’s owner, Mr. Dawson. The overall company strategy is tied very closely with the sales strategy, that is, with the front lines of the business. One of the biggest threats to any strategy is that they can become too high-minded, and not literal enough to translate into action. This will not be the case with GMS, a solid company that hires top talent and achieves it’s goals on time and on budget.

5.1 Competitive Edge

GMS has a significant competitive edge in the following areas:

  • Customer service mobility – As a customer-centric firm, GMS offers no hold phone lines, same day email responses, and callbacks within one hour. In addition, the phone technology is set up in such a way as to provide salespeople with all databased information about the customer before they say “hello”. 
  • “Needs Analysis” service – Possibly the best competitive edge in an industry fraught with agressive outbound sales teams and your run of the mill ego-centric, customer alienating, consultants.
  • A considerable network of contacts – Mr. Dawson is well connected in the area of general consulting, and his Harvard degree opens doors via simple bragging rights, and an extensive alumni network.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

GMS’s marketing strategy revolves around a three-tiered focus. At the top of pyramid one, imagine a customer service ideal. This ideal is also included in the competitive comparison.

Pyramid three has at the top a team-centric company culture. Tactics revolve around building this culture from the ground up so that it rewards innovation and determination, and management shows no personal bias or favoritism except when a salesperson or consultant is outperforming the mean. Although this strategy appears to be an internal management goal or company summary object, it is highly relevant to marketing’s performance because without integrity standards and a consistent company culture, GMS’s marketing will feel disconnected and unsupported, and will suffer as a result. A more detailed breakdown of tactics and programs related to this strategy is available in the full marketing plan. 

5.3 Sales Strategy

GMS plans to develop and train 5-6 new salespeople by year two. Upon start up, the primary sales contact will be Mr. Dawson, but this will change as the revenues increase, and the company is able to invest in human capital.

GMS has a sales strategy that focuses on an initial needs analysis. Once the results of the needs analysis has been forwarded or described over the phone to a potential client, the salesperson will ask for a personal interview, a chance to sit down and discuss specifics. At no time should this be perceived by the potential client as “pushy” or “agressive.” 

The goal of this sales process is to get behind the numbers, and the business successes, to identify where the client’s needs lie. Once this is mapped out, GMS will decide how these problems can be best addressed, and will offer both a bid and some action points. If the client wants to use the action points to move forward on their own, this is very acceptable. GMS’s research has in fact shown that the clients that choose this path, often come back to seek additional information, and more often than not, accept the bid.

This strategy differs from the course often taken by large consulting firms in that the customer is not condescended to, or treated as if the knowledge isn’t right there in their own heads. Often, consulting companies will send a large ego to clean up a client’s mess, and find that the strategy backfires when the client only chooses to give the consultant the chance to bid. GMS’s sales strategy revolves around customer service and empowerment, not condescension and sales “closers.”

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

Sales forecast is based on the assumption that most of the revenue will be the result of consulting bids. The growth in retainer revenue is about 30% lower than the expected yearly growth in consulting bids of 80%/year. This may seem like an agressive number at first glance, but this is not a large company being discussed in this business plan. The smaller the company, often the larger the opportunity for exponential sales growth, and especially if the firm uses sound sales and marketing strategies to take share from the larger, less nimble consultancies.

The Needs Analysis service is listed only to highlight the fact that some outside information gathering firms/consultants will be used to compile the necessary information. This poses some risk because there are no costs associated with the Needs Analysis efforts. Nevertheless, GMS is confident that this product will set the company apart from the competition, and generate sales far in excess of the costs incurred.

Business consulting business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

5.4 Milestones

The milestones table includes one listing each for the business plan and the marketing plan. Each of these are crucial to the long-term and short-term success of GMS. The other milestones are also important, but most are simply tasks necessary in starting up almost any business. Nevertheless, the most important milestone in this table is financial. The SBA loan will determine whether this company will have the working capital to operate for 5-12 months with little or no immediate revenue. If GMS cannot find the working capital to meet the minimum cash flow expectations set forth in this document, the company will dissolve and the owner will turn his talents elsewhere. Therefore, it is possible that the line item for “SBA Loan” may be changed to acquire family or friends as investors. Ideally it will not come to that and Mr. Dawson will be able to retain full control of the company, and direct it entirely based on his vision.

Business consulting business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

Management Summary management summary will include information about who's on your team and why they're the right people for the job, as well as your future hiring plans.">

The management team will initially consist of Bill Dawson. A Harvard MBA, and world-renowned consultant for major Fortune 500 companies, Mr. Dawson has built a reputation based his customer-centric approach to consulting, a relative anomaly in the world of high profile consulting. Many consultants are trained to believe they are right and the client was put on this earth to learn from the consultant. That is not the case for GMS, as the management team (Dawson) takes a different tact. The consultant acts as an interviewer, learning all that is possible to learn about the client in a one or two week period. As a management tool, this approach is very effective because it gives the sales team flexibility in dealing with potential customers, and relieves the uncomfortable pressure to close the sale.

Mr. Dawson’s approach to managing customers is also the approach he will take in dealing with his salespeople. GMS doesn’t need a hefty management structure, or administrative overhead. Many of those processes may be handled through outsourcing and Internet technology. On the contrary, the management structure at GMS is designed to reward the performer and educate the underperformer. Each salesperson is given a battery of psychological and rational tests, and most importantly, are screened based on how well they will fit into the Dawson management style. This leaves little to chance, and encourages a team atmosphere that remains light-hearted and fun.

6.1 Personnel Plan

This table demonstrates how GMS plans to start acquiring clients. One salesperson will be trained initially, and that person will later head a team of salespeople as the company expands. The promise of growth, and chance to work for a strategically positioned consulting business is enough to have three major players bidding for the job. Although each will see a major cut in salary from their current position, the chance to share in company profits (10%) and growth is enough to draw them to a low base, high commission position that offers no guarantees.

Financial Plan investor-ready personnel plan .">

The Financial Plan is based on a pending SBA loan, and a corresponding cash flow amount held in a highly liquid account.

7.1 Important Assumptions

7.2 break-even analysis.

The Break-even Analysis table is based on the assumption that each hour worked can be billed at approximately $70 per unit, and the employees will start at approximately $25/hour. This doesn’t include the cost of the payroll burden, however the assumptions are fairly accurate. Fixed costs are related to the lease and other monthly costs.

Business consulting business plan, financial plan chart image

7.3 Projected Cash Flow

The following table and chart show the Projected Cash Flow figures for Growth Management and Strategies.

Business consulting business plan, financial plan chart image

7.4 Projected Profit and Loss

The following table and charts are the Projected Profit and Loss and Gross Margin figures for Growth Management and Strategies.

Business consulting business plan, financial plan chart image

7.5 Projected Balance Sheet

The following table is the Projected Balance Sheet for Growth Management and Strategies.

7.6 Business Ratios

Business ratios for the years of this plan are shown below. Industry profile ratios based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code 8742, Business Management Consultants, are shown for comparison.

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image consulting business plan

Image Consultant Training on Colour, Bodyline, Wardobe with Christina Ong 2

The most successful image consultants are individuals who enjoy working with people to realise their fullest potential through their appearance, behaviour and communication.

Image consultants add the polish that builds confidence in individuals and increases brand reputation for an organisation’s public image. Since the industry’s early beginnings in the 1980s, image consulting has evolved into a multi-disciplinary profession that generates millions of dollars in service fees for image management training, coaching and consultancy.

Globally, people realise the power of first impressions.

From all walks of life, image consultants help people to increase their confidence and opportunities for success in their career, business, relationships and social life

Image consulting is an ideal career for those who enjoy helping people to fulfil their potentials. Couple that with a passion for style and a keen eye for the aesthetics of design and fashion, this would be a dream career or business enterprise well worth exploring with AIM.

What Services Do Image Consultants Provide?

Image Consultants are image management and soft-skill experts who improve the personal or professional image of a client. They evaluate, enhance and upgrade their client’s appearance, behaviour and communication skills to ensure that their personal brand is consistent with their professional or business goals.

Just think of us as passionate educators helping you with your personal branding in the ABCs of image management.

What is Image Consulting - Image Management

Colour and style analysis, wardrobe management, personal shopping, accessorising, hair, makeup and grooming etc.

What is Image Consultaing - Behavior

Body language, business and social etiquette, civility, protocol, brand culture etc.

What is Image Consulting - Communication

Communication

Verbal and written communication, social media presence, presentation skills etc.

The opportunities for training, coaching and consulting people on the above ABCs are endless. Image management and soft-skills are in high demand for leadership, sales and negotiation, networking, emotional intelligence, customer service, job interviews, career performance appraisals, business entertainment, public speaking, presentation and more. Imagine your opportunities as an image consultant!

There is also an increasing trend among professionals in services related to beauty, wellness, personal styling, apparel retail, HR and talent development where image consulting skills value add to an existing profession or business.

Successful full-time image consultants command four to five-figure fees per client engagement as personal image consultants, executive coaches, trainers, image workshop facilitators, authors, bloggers and speakers. What you can expect to charge as an image consultant will depend on geographic business location, past related experience, the extent of image consulting training and guidance after, the dedication of time and effort as well as marketing ability. Contact us for a non-obligatory discussion to assess your image consulting earnings potential.

Consider your current or past career or business experience and contact us to discuss how image consulting can expand your value-added services and take your career or business to the next level.

Who Do Image Consultants Work With?

Image consultants work with people from all walks of life from individuals to business professionals and anyone looking to improve their image as a personal brand.

Clients include people who understand the power of personal branding in an increasingly competitive world, where first impressions can make or break career, business and relationship opportunities in life.

Image consultants serve individual and organisational clients in a variety of market segments, including:

  • Private individuals
  • Corporate executives
  • Business owners
  • Public personalities
  • Politicians
  • Corporate companies – local and foreign
  • Educational institutions
  • Professional associations
  • Social clubs/societies
  • Community centres and social networking groups

What is Image Consulting-who to work with

Do You Have What It Takes?

If helping people to enhance their confidence through personal branding is a passion you have had for years, contact us to schedule a call.

Investing in image education is a big first step, and it is wise to do your homework. While our track record of successful graduates will tell you that the Academy of Image Mastery is a top image consulting school of choice, every student is unique, and it helps to get to understand your plans. We are committed to helping you make an informed decision that best supports your goals. Drop us an email with your questions. We are excited to help you take the next step towards a fulfilling career!

What Is AICI?

AICI CEU-Approved Competency-Based Courses at AIM puts you on track for professional certification by AICI.

Association of Image Consultants International AICI Logo

The Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) is the leading and largest professional association of personal and corporate image consultants worldwide with over 1,000 members from more than 40 countries. Founded in 1990, AICI is dedicated to the task of advancing the level of professionalism and enhancing the recognition of image consultants.

We recommend AICI membership to all image consultants who are committed to professional development and global certification. Upon completing any of AIM’s Foundational Courses approved for AICI CEUs ( Continuing Education Units ) , our graduates qualify to apply for AICI’s Image Consultant Member category.

AICI Chapters are located throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. For more information, visit www.aici.org and find a Chapter closest to you.

What Are The Different Levels Of AICI Certification?

What is Image Consulting - AICI CIC symbol

AICI CIC (AICI Certified Image Consultant)

The  AICI Certified Image Consultant  shows clients, colleagues and the media that you have achieved a competent level of training and knowledge in the image field and that you keep abreast of current thinking and technical knowledge. AICI confers the title of “AICI Certified Image Consultant” on those who successfully complete the AICI CIC Portfolio review process and pass the AICI Certified Image Consultant exam. A consultant receiving the Certified Image Consultant may write “ AICI CIC ” after his/her name.

What is Image Consulting - AICI CIP

AICI CIP (AICI Certified Image Professional)

When you achieve certification as an  AICI Certified Image Professional , you will be able to use the letters “ AICI CIP ” after your name. It shows clients, collea gues and the media that you have achieved a highly competent level of training and knowledge in the image field and that you are on a journey towards professional image excellence.  Among other requirements, you must have achieved AICI CIC and have gained work experience by providing fee-based image services for at least two years full-time or four years part-time.

What is Image Consulting - AICI CIM

AICI CIM (AICI Certified Image Master)

AICI Certified Image Master  is AICI’s highest level of certification, denoted by the letters “ AICI CIM ” after the consultant’s name. It identifies exceptional, dedicated consultants, who have a recognised brand in the industry and have demonstrated exceptional levels of competence in their own successful image businesses. To earn the AICI CIM certification, consultants must have been in the image industry for at least five years as an AICI CIC and CIP. You will be expected to demonstrate a unique philosophy, brand or  professional process currently in use for clients. A comprehensive portfolio of work and contribution to the industry and community is assessed by external reviewers outside of the image industry.

In addition to AICI certification, clients appreciate knowing that we value integrity and honour professional ethics. When registering for AICI membership, you will be required to commit to and embrace the AICI Code of Ethics.

Is There A Difference Between The AIM Certification And The AICI Certification?

AIM’s image consultant courses are aligned to AICI core competencies. This puts our graduates on track for professional certification, making it easier to progress through AICI’s three levels of professional certification. We continue to support committed graduates wherever possible in their professional growth and career development for success.

Upon completion of our image consultant courses, AIM confers a Certificate or Diploma that recognises the consultant’s attainment and successful completion of the core competencies covered in each course. AIM is proud of the fact that many of our graduates have successfully attained AICI CIC on their first attempt, as well as AICI CIP and AICI CIM in record time time.

Jumpstart Your Image Consulting Journey

Find out more about AIM’s certification courses and Masterclasses.

Financial Model, Business Plan and Dashboard Templates - FinModelsLab

How Much Does It Cost to Start an Image Consulting Business?

By henry sheykin, resources on image consulting.

  • Financial Model
  • Business Plan
  • Value Proposition
  • One-Page Business Plan

Startup Costs

Introduction.

Image consulting is a rapidly growing industry that aims to help individuals enhance their personal brand and improve their overall image. With the increasing emphasis on personal appearance and branding, the demand for image consulting services has been steadily increasing in recent years. According to IBISWorld, the image consulting industry has grown at an annualized rate of 3% over the past five years, reaching $10.5 billion in revenue in 2021.

With this growth comes an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to enter the field and start their own image consulting business. However, starting a business in any industry requires capital, and image consulting is no exception. In this blog post, we will discuss the costs involved in opening a successful image consulting business.

From office space and technology expenses to professional attire and marketing fees, we'll cover the one-time costs associated with starting an image consulting business. We'll also highlight some ongoing expenses you can expect to incur as your business grows and becomes more established.

  • Office space rental and setup costs
  • Technology and software for client management and marketing
  • Professional attire for consultations and meetings
  • Marketing and advertising expenses for promotion and client acquisition
  • Hiring and training employees or contractors
  • Professional development and training courses for staff
  • Equipment and supplies for consultations and presentations
  • Legal fees for business registration, contracts, and intellectual property protection
  • Insurance coverage to protect the business and clients

By understanding the costs associated with starting an image consulting business, you can develop a more accurate budget and make informed decisions as you build your business. Let's dive in and explore these costs in more detail.

Starting an image consulting business requires some initial investment to cover the costs of setting up the office, purchasing necessary equipment and supplies, hiring employees or contractors, and investing in marketing and legal expenses. Let's take a closer look at some of these startup costs and average ranges in USD:

Note that these are estimated ranges and actual startup costs may vary depending on factors such as location, size of the business, and the level of services offered. It's important to conduct market research and develop a detailed business plan to accurately determine the necessary startup capital for your image consulting business.

1. Office space rental and setup costs

When it comes to starting an image consulting business, one of the main expenses you need to consider is the cost of renting office space. According to recent statistical information, the average cost of office space rental in the US is around $25 per square foot per year. This means that renting a 500-square-foot office space could cost you around $12,500 per year.

Aside from the cost of renting office space, you also need to factor in the costs of setting up your office. This includes furnishing your office with a desk, chairs, shelves, storage cabinets, and other necessary equipment. On average, it can cost around $3,000 to $5,000 to outfit a small office with basic furniture and equipment.

If you don't want to rent an entire office space right away, there are other options to consider. One option is to look for co-working spaces, which are shared offices where you can rent a desk or workspace for a fraction of the cost of renting an entire office. The cost of co-working spaces varies depending on the location, amenities, and services offered, but on average, it can cost around $200 to $500 per month.

Another cost to consider when setting up your office is the cost of utilities such as electricity, water, and internet. According to recent statistics, the average cost of utilities for a small office is around $200 to $300 per month. You also need to factor in the cost of office supplies such as stationery, printer ink, and other necessities, which can add up to around $100 to $200 per month.

To keep your costs down, you can consider starting your image consulting business from home or using virtual office solutions. However, keep in mind that having a professional office space can help to build credibility and establish trust with clients, so it may be worth the investment in the long run.

  • Renting a 500-square-foot office space costs around $12,500 per year.
  • Setting up a small office with basic furniture and equipment can cost around $3,000 to $5,000.
  • The cost of co-working spaces varies from $200 to $500 per month.
  • The average cost of utilities for a small office is around $200 to $300 per month.
  • The cost of office supplies such as stationery, printer ink, and other necessities can add up to around $100 to $200 per month.

2. Technology and software for client management and marketing

When it comes to running an image consulting business, there are several technology and software solutions available to help with client management and marketing. According to recent data, the average cost of these tools can vary depending on the specific needs of the business, but typically, it can range from $50 to $500 per month.

Client Management Software: One essential tool for an image consulting business is client management software. This type of software is designed to help manage client information, track appointments, and store client notes and details. Examples of client management software include HoneyBook, Tave, and 17hats. The cost of these tools can range from $25 to $50 per month.

Email Marketing Software: Another critical tool for image consulting businesses is email marketing software. This type of software allows businesses to create and send targeted email campaigns to their clients. Examples of email marketing software include Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor. The cost of these tools can range from $20 to $50 per month.

Social Media Management Software: For image consulting businesses, social media management software can be an effective way to manage social media accounts and content. Examples of social media management software include Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer. The cost of these tools can range from $50 to $200 per month.

Virtual Meeting Software: With the rise of remote work, virtual meeting software is becoming increasingly important for image consulting businesses. This type of software allows for virtual consultations and meetings with clients. Examples of virtual meeting software include Zoom, Skype, and GoToMeeting. The cost of these tools can range from $15 to $50 per month.

  • Client management software can help organize and streamline client information.
  • Email marketing software can facilitate targeted email campaigns.
  • Social media management software can help manage social media accounts and content.
  • Virtual meeting software allows for remote consultations and meetings.

By investing in these technology and software solutions, image consulting businesses can improve their client management processes and attract new clients through more targeted marketing efforts. Understanding the costs associated with these tools can help businesses plan and budget accordingly.

3. Professional attire for consultations and meetings

In the image consulting industry, presenting a professional and polished appearance is crucial. It not only enhances the credibility of the consultant but also sets the tone for the client to trust their expertise. As such, image consultants typically dress in business attire for consultations and meetings.

The cost of professional attire for consultations and meetings can vary depending on the quality, brand, and location of the items. A basic business suit from a department store can range from $100 to $500, while a luxury designer suit can cost upwards of $2000.

Accessories such as ties, belts, and shoes are also essential components of a professional look. While these items can be found at different price points, a high-quality leather belt can cost around $50, while a pair of designer shoes can cost over $500.

When it comes to female attire, options can range from a tailored suit to a dress paired with a blazer. Prices for business suits for women can start at $100 and go up to $1500 for designer options. The cost of shoes, bags, and other accessories can also vary based on style and brand, with prices ranging from $50 to $500 or more.

Image consultants may also need to invest in grooming supplies to maintain a professional appearance. This can include haircuts, skincare products, and makeup. The cost of these items also varies based on the services offered but can range from $50 to $200 per session.

To summarize, while the cost of professional attire for consultations and meetings can vary depending on the quality and brand of the items, it is an essential and worthwhile investment for image consultants. It not only helps them present as credible experts but also sets a tone of professionalism that inspires confidence in their clients.

  • Basic business suit: $100-500
  • Luxury designer suit: $2000+
  • High-quality leather belt: $50+
  • Designer shoes: $500+
  • Dress with blazer: $100-1500
  • Grooming supplies: $50-200 per session

4. Marketing and advertising expenses for promotion and client acquisition

Marketing and advertising are essential for promoting a new image consulting business and attracting clients. While it can be tempting to cut costs on marketing, investing in effective advertising strategies can result in significant returns. According to a recent survey, the average marketing and advertising budget for a small business in the US is approximately $9,000 to $10,000 per year.

Establishing a strong online presence is crucial for gaining visibility in the competitive image consulting industry. A website should be created to showcase the services offered and provide contact information. The cost of designing a professional website can vary depending on the complexity of the site and the needs of the business. A simple website can cost between $1,000 to $5,000 .

Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising are two effective ways to drive traffic to a website and attract potential clients. SEO involves optimizing the website's content and structure to rank higher in search engine results pages. The cost of SEO services can range from $500 to $5,000 per month. On the other hand, PPC advertising involves placing online ads placed on search engine results pages or social media platforms, and costs can range from $0.50 to $2.00 per click.

Social media advertising is another effective way to promote an image consulting business. Social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer paid advertising options to target specific demographics and interests. The cost of social media advertising can range from $1,000 to $10,000 per year.

  • Establishing a strong online presence is crucial for gaining visibility in the competitive image consulting industry.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising are two effective ways to drive traffic to a website and attract potential clients.
  • Social media advertising is another effective way to promote an image consulting business.

Overall, marketing and advertising expenses for promoting and acquiring clients for an image consulting business can vary greatly depending on the strategies adopted and the competitiveness of the market. It is essential to allocate a significant budget for marketing and advertising to reach out to potential clients and establish a successful image consulting business.

5. Hiring and training employees or contractors

Hiring and training employees or contractors is an essential component of any successful image consulting business. According to recent statistical information, the average salary for an image consultant in the US is $66,224 per year. However, this cost can vary depending on the level of experience and expertise of the consultant.

When hiring employees or contractors, it is crucial to consider the specific needs and requirements of your business. For example, if you plan to offer services in multiple locations, you may need to hire multiple consultants to accommodate the demand. The cost of hiring and training these employees or contractors can range from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the level of experience and training required.

It is also important to factor in the cost of ongoing training and development for your employees or contractors. This can include attending conferences, workshops, and other professional development opportunities to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in the industry. The cost of ongoing training can vary, with some programs costing as little as $100, while others can cost upwards of $2,000.

To ensure the success of your image consulting business, it is crucial to invest in hiring and training the right employees or contractors. This may include conducting interviews and background checks to find the best candidates for the job. Additionally, it may be necessary to offer competitive compensation packages to attract and retain top talent.

  • Example 1: Hiring and training a team of five image consultants may cost approximately $100,000 in total, including salaries, training, and ongoing development.
  • Example 2: Offering a competitive compensation package that includes health insurance, retirement benefits, and paid time off may cost an additional $15,000 per year per employee.

6. Professional development and training courses for staff

Professional development and training courses for staff are vital for the success of any business. This is especially true in the image consulting industry, where changes in fashion, style, and grooming trends are constant. To keep up with the latest trends and techniques, it is important to invest in continuing education for staff.

According to the latest statistical information, the cost of professional development and training courses for staff can vary widely. On average, a one-day course can cost between $100 and $300, while a week-long seminar can range from $1000 to $5000. However, online training courses can be significantly cheaper, with prices ranging from $20 to $500.

When investing in professional development and training courses for staff, it is important to consider the specific needs of your business. For example, if you specialize in men's fashion, you may want to invest in courses that cover the latest trends and techniques for men's fashion. Similarly, if you focus on executive image consulting, you may want to invest in courses that cover leadership and communication skills.

One way to save on the cost of professional development and training courses for staff is to look for opportunities that offer group discounts. Many training providers offer discounts for groups of five or more attendees. Additionally, you may want to consider offering in-house training programs for your staff. This can be a cost-effective way to provide customized training that closely aligns with the needs of your business.

Another option is to partner with other businesses in the industry to share the cost of training programs. For example, you could team up with a makeup artist or hairstylist to offer joint training sessions that cover the latest trends in fashion, style, and grooming.

  • Online training courses can provide cost-effective options for professional development and training.
  • Invest in courses that align with the specific needs of your business.
  • Look for group discounts or consider in-house training programs to save on costs.
  • Partner with other businesses in the industry to share the cost of training programs.

Overall, professional development and training courses for staff are a crucial investment for any image consulting business. By staying up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques, your staff can provide the best possible service to your clients.

7. Equipment and supplies for consultations and presentations

As an image consultant, you will need to invest in some basic equipment and supplies to ensure that you are providing your clients with a professional and high-quality service. Depending on your business model and budget, your equipment and supplies costs can vary anywhere from $500 to $5,000 or even more. Here are some of the essential items you will need:

  • Laptop or tablet: You will need a reliable device to create presentations, show your portfolio, and manage client files. Depending on your preference and budget, you can choose from a wide range of laptops and tablets, ranging from $300 to $2,500 or more
  • Software and apps: To create professional presentations and designs, you will need to invest in image editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop or Canva, and a project management tool, such as Trello or Asana. The cost for these tools depends on your subscription plan, and it can vary anywhere from $10 to $50 or more per month.
  • Clothing and accessories: As an image consultant, you will need to showcase your personal style and sense of fashion. Investing in high-quality clothing and accessories can help build your personal brand and create a positive first impression on your clients. Costs can vary widely based on personal preference and location, but you can expect to spend at least $1,000 on building your professional wardrobe and accessory collection.
  • Makeup and grooming products: Your personal presentation plays a significant role in building trust and credibility with your clients. You will need to invest in high-quality makeup and grooming products, such as moisturizers, hair products, and shaving tools, to maintain a professional appearance. Costs can range from $100 to $500 or more depending on your preference and needs.
  • Printed materials: To showcase your work and recommendations, you may need to invest in high-quality printed materials such as business cards, flyers, and portfolio books. Depending on your business needs, you can expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $500 on printed materials for consultations and presentations.
  • Camera and lighting equipment: To create high-quality before-and-after pictures and video demos, you may need to invest in camera and lighting equipment. Depending on your preference and budget, you can choose from a wide range of camera models and lighting kits, ranging from $200 to $2,000 or more.

All of these costs are rough estimates and can vary widely depending on your location, business model, and client needs. However, investing in high-quality equipment and supplies is essential to maintaining a professional image and creating a positive client experience.

8. Legal fees for business registration, contracts, and intellectual property protection

When starting an image consulting business, legal fees are important to consider as they are essential in establishing a solid legal foundation for your business. The costs for legal fees for business registration, contracts, and intellectual property protection vary depending on the state and the attorney or service provider you choose.

On average, business registration fees range from $50 to $500 depending on the state. Contract creation fees range from $250 to $2,500, depending on the length and complexity of the contract.

Intellectual property protection is also an important aspect when starting an image consulting business. The costs for registering trademarks and patents can range from $225 to $400 per class, while copyright registration costs $35 to $85.

It's important to remember that these fees can add up quickly, and it's best to consult with an experienced attorney or service provider to ensure that you are properly registered and protected.

One option to consider is using online legal services such as LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer, which can provide cost-effective legal services for business registration and contract creation. However, these online services may not provide the same level of customized advice and support as a dedicated attorney.

Additionally, it's important to consider ongoing legal fees for maintenance and updates to contracts and intellectual property protection. It's recommended that a budget be set aside for this purpose to avoid any surprises or unexpected costs.

  • Business registration fees typically range from $50 to $500 depending on the state.
  • Contract creation fees range from $250 to $2,500, depending on the length and complexity of the contract.
  • Intellectual property protection costs for trademark and patent registration can range from $225 to $400 per class.
  • Copyright registration costs between $35 to $85.

Overall, legal fees for business registration, contracts, and intellectual property protection are a necessary expense when starting an image consulting business. It's important to budget accordingly and consult with an experienced attorney or service provider to ensure full compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

9. Insurance coverage to protect the business and clients.

It is crucial for an image consulting business to have insurance coverage to protect both the business and the clients. Without insurance coverage, the business may be vulnerable to various risks such as lawsuits and property damage, which could lead to financial losses and even bankruptcy.

The cost of insurance coverage for an image consulting business typically ranges from $500 to $2,500 per year, depending on the coverage needs and the size of the business. The most common types of insurance coverage for an image consulting business are general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and property insurance.

  • General Liability Insurance: This type of insurance coverage protects the business against claims of bodily injury or property damage caused by the business operations. General liability insurance can also cover legal fees and settlements if the business is sued.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: Also known as errors and omissions insurance, professional liability insurance protects the business against claims of negligence, errors, or omissions in providing professional services to clients.
  • Property Insurance: This type of coverage protects the business against damage or loss of property due to perils such as fire, theft, or natural disasters.

Other types of insurance coverage that may be beneficial for an image consulting business include cyber liability insurance, workers' compensation insurance, and business interruption insurance.

It is important to shop around for insurance coverage and compare quotes from different insurance providers to find the best coverage and rates. It is also recommended to work with a licensed insurance agent or broker who can provide expert advice and guidance on the most appropriate coverage for the business.

Examples of insurance companies that offer insurance coverage for image consulting businesses include Travelers, Hiscox, and Nationwide.

Starting an image consulting business requires a significant investment of time and money, but the potential rewards can be enormous. As you can see from our discussion of the costs involved, there are numerous expenses to consider when starting and running an image consulting business.

One of the most significant costs is office space rental and setup, which can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars per month depending on the location and size of the space. In addition to rent, you'll also need to budget for furniture, equipment, and other supplies to create a professional and welcoming workspace for your clients.

Another significant expense is technology and software for client management and marketing. This includes customer relationship management (CRM) systems, email marketing software, and social media management tools. These tools can be essential for managing client relationships and reaching out to potential clients, but they can also be expensive. Plan to spend several hundred to several thousand dollars per year on these tools.

Professional attire for consultations and meetings is also an essential expense for image consulting businesses. Clients expect their consultants to look professional and stylish, so investing in high-quality clothing and accessories is a must. Depending on your budget and tastes, you can expect to spend several hundred to several thousand dollars on professional attire.

Marketing and advertising expenses are another significant cost for image consulting businesses. Marketing efforts can include online advertising, print advertising, social media marketing, and other promotional activities. Depending on your marketing strategy, you can expect to spend several hundred to several thousand dollars per month on marketing and advertising.

Hiring and training employees or contractors is another significant expense for image consulting businesses. Whether you're hiring full-time employees or independent contractors, you'll need to budget for recruitment, training, and ongoing management. Depending on the size and complexity of your business, you can expect to spend several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars per year on personnel expenses.

Professional development and training courses for staff are also an important expense for image consulting businesses. Continuing education and training can help your consultants stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques, which can benefit your clients and your business. Plan to spend several thousand dollars per year on professional development and training.

Equipment and supplies for consultations and presentations can also add up quickly. Depending on your business model, you may need to purchase cameras, lighting, sound equipment, and other tools to deliver high-quality presentations and consultations. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can expect to spend several hundred to several thousand dollars on equipment and supplies.

Legal fees for business registration, contracts, and intellectual property protection can be another significant expense for image consulting businesses. It's essential to work with a qualified attorney to ensure that your business is set up correctly and that you're protected from liability. Depending on your legal needs, you can expect to spend several thousand dollars on legal fees.

Finally, insurance coverage to protect your business and clients is another essential expense for image consulting businesses. You'll need to purchase liability insurance, property insurance, and other types of coverage to safeguard your business and your clients. Depending on your level of coverage and risk, you can expect to spend several hundred to several thousand dollars per year on insurance.

Overall, starting and running an image consulting business can be a challenging and costly endeavor, but with the right planning and execution, it can also be incredibly rewarding. By understanding the costs involved and creating a detailed budget, you can set yourself up for success and achieve your goals in this exciting and growing industry.

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  1. Step-by-Step to Start an Image Consulting Business

    See An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start for all the details. b.) Demand, the Competition and Your Location. To ensure a successful start for your image consulting business, you must analyze critical factors, including supply and demand dynamics, market saturation, competition, and your chosen location.

  2. [Guide] How to Start an Image Consulting Business

    How to Start an Image Consulting Business. The steps in setting up your consulting business similar to any start-up entrepreneurial business. You should consider training and certification as the best way to establish credibility, with a solid framework for your future consulting. The next step is to develop a business plan, with specific steps ...

  3. Craft a Winning Image Consulting Business Plan: 9 Steps to Success!

    Writing a business plan for image consulting is crucial to the success of your venture. By following these nine steps, you can ensure that you have a solid foundation and clear direction for your business. Conducting thorough market research, identifying your target market, and defining your unique selling proposition will help you stand out in ...

  4. How to write a business plan for an image consultant?

    A business plan has 2 complementary parts: a financial forecast showcasing the expected growth, profits and cash flows of the business; and a written part which provides the context needed to judge if the forecast is realistic and relevant. Having an up-to-date business plan is the only way to keep visibility on your image consultant's future ...

  5. Corporate Image Consulting Business Plan [Sample Template]

    A Sample Corporate Image Consulting Business Plan Template. 1. Industry Overview. Corporate image consulting firms are under the Public relations industry and players in this industry manage the communications between an organization and the public to promote favorable relationships and portray a desired image.

  6. Image Consulting: What, Why, Who, When, Where, How

    Our comprehensive Business Plan for Image Consulting is the perfect tool to help you achieve success. With a personalized plan, flexible service options, and affordable pricing, our business plan will guide you towards building a strong brand and attracting a loyal client base. Get started today with our Image Consulting Business Plan in Word.

  7. How to Start an Image Consulting Business

    Initial and recurring costs. Target customers. Pricing plan. Services you are going to offer. How you are planning to promote your image consulting services. 5. Name your Business. Select a catchy and relatable name for your image consulting company. Also, do not forget to book a similar domain name for your website.

  8. Learn How to Start a Successful Image Consulting Business and Image

    An image consultant business plan outline and worksheet with an earnings income projection model; An image consultant marketing plan outline and worksheet- tailored for the image consultant industry and includes today's top marketing strategies; Sample business card, post card and brochure templates;

  9. How to open a profitable image consulting firm?

    Create a business plan for your image consulting firm. Raise the financing needed to launch your image consulting firm. Track your actuals against your forecast. Key takeaways. Talk to image consulting firm owners with experience. Work a few months in an image consulting firm already in operation. Take a training course.

  10. Master the Art of Image Consulting: 9 Steps to Launch Your Business!

    9 Steps to Start a Image Consulting Business. Before launching your image consulting business, there are several important steps that you need to take to ensure a successful start. These steps will help you understand the market, develop a solid plan, secure funding, and establish your brand identity, among other crucial aspects.

  11. How to Start an Image Consulting Business

    8. Invest in virtual beauty makeover software if you are servicing individuals. Using it will help your clients make the best do-over decision with the least amount of regrets. If you have an eye ...

  12. The Pros and Cons of Starting an Image Consulting Business

    Not only do image consultants get to create a business around something they are passionate about, but they may also experience other benefits including: Startup costs are relatively low. You can work out of your home. You can use your creativity to help your clients. You can form partnerships with hairstylists, makeup artists, dietitians ...

  13. Tips on Setting Up Your Image Consulting Business

    Moreover, a structured image consulting course will cultivate business skills in you and give you a great start. Do not quit the job that pays the bills. When you decide to pursue image consulting, you will be tempted to quit your current job and invest your time completely in training. But that may not be a wise decision. You will require ...

  14. Want to Start Your Image Consulting Firm? Do it in 6 Steps!

    Your business plan should include details regarding your target market, price structure, marketing tactics, financial predictions, and other pertinent information. Developing a sound business strategy can be time and energy-consuming. But this process is necessary before starting an image consulting business as it lays a solid basis for the firm.

  15. Developing an Image Consultation Business

    1. Research everything you can about Image Consulting, including talking to those who do it. 2. Determine how great the need is in your area and if you can make a profit. 3. Develop your business plan (see below) 4. Choose a business name/verify the right to use that name/check domain availability. 5.

  16. Business Consulting Business Plan Example

    The objectives for Growth Management and Strategies are: Gain access to an SBA loan upon start up. Grow the company from 2 employees in Year 1, to over 10 by Year 5. Increase revenue to over $3 million by Year 3. Increase client base by 450% in three years. Maintain job costing that keeps margins above 70%.

  17. What is Image Consulting?

    The Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) is the leading and largest professional association of personal and corporate image consultants worldwide with over 1,000 members from more than 40 countries. Founded in 1990, AICI is dedicated to the task of advancing the level of professionalism and enhancing the recognition of image ...

  18. How To Become an Image Consultant

    Here are seven steps you can take to start and build your career in image consulting: 1. Attend related workshops and take courses. Image consultants benefit from having a background in related fields including beauty, fashion design or merchandising, psychology, marketing and communications. These fields can provide you with a variety of ...

  19. How Much Does It Cost to Start an Image Consulting Business?

    On average, business registration fees range from $50 to $500 depending on the state. Contract creation fees range from $250 to $2,500, depending on the length and complexity of the contract. Intellectual property protection is also an important aspect when starting an image consulting business.

  20. BETA GIDA, OOO

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