image consulting business plan

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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 write a business plan for an image consultant?

image consultant business plan

Putting together a business plan for an image consultant can be daunting - especially if you're creating a business for the first time - but with this comprehensive guide, you'll have the necessary tools to do it confidently.

We will explore why writing one is so important in both starting up and growing an existing image consultant, as well as what should go into making an effective plan - from its structure to content - and what tools can be used to streamline the process and avoid errors.

Without further ado, let us begin!

In this guide:

Why write a business plan for an image consultant?

  • What information is needed to create a business plan for an image consultant?
  • How do I build a financial forecast for an image consultant?

The written part of an image consultant business plan

  • What tool should I use to write my image consultant business plan?

Being clear on the scope and goals of the document will make it easier to understand its structure and content. So before diving into the actual content of the plan, let's have a quick look at the main reasons why you would want to write an image consultant business plan in the first place.

To have a clear roadmap to grow the business

Small businesses rarely experience a constant and predictable environment. Economic cycles go up and down, while the business landscape is mutating constantly with new regulations, technologies, competitors, and consumer behaviours emerging when we least expect it.

In this dynamic context, it's essential to have a clear roadmap for your image consultant. Otherwise, you are navigating in the dark which is dangerous given that - as a business owner - your capital is at risk.

That's why crafting a well-thought-out business plan is crucial to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of your venture.

To create an effective business plan, you'll need to take a step-by-step approach. First, you'll have to assess your current position (if you're already in business), and then identify where you'd like your image consultant to be in the next three to five years.

Once you have a clear destination for your image consultant, you'll focus on three key areas:

  • Resources: you'll determine the human, equipment, and capital resources needed to reach your goals successfully.
  • Speed: you'll establish the optimal pace at which your business needs to grow if it is to meet its objectives within the desired timeframe.
  • Risks: you'll identify and address potential risks you might encounter along the way.

By going through this process regularly, you'll be able to make informed decisions about resource allocation, paving the way for the long-term success of your business.

To maintain visibility on future cash flows

Businesses can go for years without making a profit, but they go bust as soon as they run out of cash. That's why "cash is king", and maintaining visibility on your image consultant's future cash flows is critical.

How do I do that? That's simple: you need an up-to-date financial forecast.

The good news is that your image consultant business plan already contains a financial forecast (more on that later in this guide), so all you have to do is to keep it up-to-date.

To do this, you need to regularly compare the actual financial performance of your business to what was planned in your financial forecast, and adjust the forecast based on the current trajectory of your business.

Monitoring your image consultant's financial health will enable you to identify potential financial problems (such as an unexpected cash shortfall) early and to put in place corrective measures. It will also allow you to detect and capitalize on potential growth opportunities (higher demand from a given segment of customers for example).

To secure financing

A detailed business plan becomes a crucial tool when seeking financing from banks or investors for your image consultant.

Investing and lending to small businesses are very risky activities given how fragile they are. Therefore, financiers have to take extra precautions before putting their capital at risk.

At a minimum, financiers will want to ensure that you have a clear roadmap and a solid understanding of your future cash flows (like we just explained above). But they will also want to ensure that your business plan fits the risk/reward profile they seek.

This will off-course vary from bank to bank and investor to investor, but as a rule of thumb. Banks will want to see a conservative financial management style (low risk), and they will use the information in your business plan to assess your borrowing capacity — the level of debt they think your business can comfortably handle — and your ability to repay the loan. This evaluation will determine whether they'll provide credit to your image consultant and the terms of the agreement.

Whereas investors will carefully analyze your business plan to gauge the potential return on their investment. Their focus lies on evidence indicating your image consultant's potential for high growth, profitability, and consistent cash flow generation over time.

Now that you recognize the importance of creating a business plan for your image consultant, let's explore what information is required to create a compelling plan.

Information needed to create a business plan for an image consultant

Drafting an image consultant business plan requires research so that you can project sales, investments and cost accurately in your financial forecast, and convince the reader that there is a viable commercial opportunity to be seized.

Below, we'll focus on three critical pieces of information you should gather before starting to write your plan.

Carrying out market research for an image consultant

Carrying out market research before writing a business plan for an image consultant is essential to ensure that the financial projections are accurate and realistic.

Market research helps you gain insight into your target customer base, competitors, pricing strategies and other key factors which can have an impact on the commercial success of your business.

In particular, it is useful in forecasting revenue as it provides valuable data regarding potential customers’ spending habits and preferences.

You may discover that there is a strong demand for virtual consultations as more people become comfortable with digital communication. Additionally, you could uncover that there is a need for assistance when it comes to creating a more youthful, modern look for professionals in their 40s and 50s.

This information can then be used to create more accurate financial projections which will help investors make informed decisions about investing in your image consultant.

Developing the marketing plan for an image consultant

Before delving into your image consultant business plan, it's imperative to budget for sales and marketing expenses.

To achieve this, a comprehensive sales and marketing plan is essential. This plan should provide an accurate projection of the necessary actions to acquire and retain customers.

Additionally, it will outline the required workforce to carry out these initiatives and the corresponding budget for promotions, advertising, and other marketing endeavours.

By budgeting accordingly, you can ensure that the right resources are allocated to these vital activities, aligning them with the sales and growth objectives outlined in your business plan.

The staffing and equipment needs of an image consultant

As you embark on starting or expanding your image consultant, having a clear plan for recruitment and capital expenditures (investment in equipment and real estate) is essential for ensuring your business's success.

Both the recruitment and investment plans must align with the timing and level of growth projected in your forecast, and they require appropriate funding.

Staffing costs for an image consultant may include salaries for the consultant, as well as for any assistants or administrative staff. Equipment costs may include computers, printers, and other office technology, as well as items such as cameras, clothing racks, and makeup kits for photo shoots.

To create a realistic financial forecast, you also need to consider other operating expenses associated with the day-to-day running of your business, such as insurance and bookkeeping.

With all the necessary information at hand, you are ready to begin crafting your business plan and developing your financial forecast.

What goes into your image consultant's financial forecast?

The financial forecast of your image consultant will enable you to assess the profitability potential of your business in the coming years and how much capital is required to fund the actions planned in the business plan.

The four key outputs of a financial forecast for a image consultant are:

  • The profit and loss (P&L) statement ,
  • The projected balance sheet ,
  • The cash flow forecast ,
  • And the sources and uses table .

Let's take a closer look at each of these.

The projected P&L statement

The projected P&L statement for an image consultant shows how much revenue and profit your business is expected to make in the future.

example of projected profit and loss statement in a image consultant business plan

A healthy image consultant's P&L statement should show:

  • Sales growing at (minimum) or above (better) inflation
  • Stable (minimum) or expanding (better) profit margins
  • A healthy level of net profitability

This will of course depend on the stage of your business: numbers for a startup will look different than for an established image consultant.

The forecasted balance sheet of your image consultant

The projected balance sheet of your image consultant will enable the reader of your business plan to assess the overall financial health of your business.

It shows three elements: assets, liabilities and equity:

  • Assets: are productive resources owned by the business, such as equipment, cash, and accounts receivable (money owed by clients).
  • Liabilities: are debts owed to creditors, lenders, and other entities, such as accounts payable (money owed to suppliers).
  • Equity: includes the sums invested by the shareholders or business owners and the profits and losses accumulated by the business to date (which are called retained earnings). It is a proxy for the value of the owner's stake in the business.

projected balance sheet in a image consultant business plan example

Analysing your image consultant projected balance sheet provides an understanding of your image consultant's working capital structure, investment and financing policies.

In particular, the readers of your plan can compare the level of financial debt on the balance sheet to the equity value to measure the level of financial risk (equity doesn't need to be reimbursed, while financial debt must be repaid, making it riskier).

They can also use your balance sheet to assess your image consultant's liquidity and solvency:

  • A liquidity analysis: focuses on whether or not your business has sufficient cash and short-term assets to cover its liabilities due in the next 12 months.
  • A solvency analysis: takes and longer view to assess whether or not your business has the capacity to repay its debts over the medium-term.

The projected cash flow statement

A cash flow forecast for an image consultant shows how much cash the business is projected to generate or consume.

example of cash flow forecast in a image consultant business plan

The cash flow statement is divided into 3 main areas:

  • The operating cash flow shows how much cash is generated or consumed by the operations (running the business)
  • The investing cash flow shows how much cash is being invested in capital expenditure (equipment, real estate, etc.)
  • The financing cash flow shows how much cash is raised or distributed to investors and lenders

Looking at the cash flow forecast helps you to ensure that your business has enough cash to keep running, and can help you anticipate potential cash shortfalls.

It is also a best practice to include a monthly cash flow statement in the appendices of your image consultant business plan so that the readers can view the impact of seasonality on your business cash position and generation.

The initial financing plan

The initial financing plan, also known as a sources and uses table, is a valuable resource to have in your business plan when starting your image consultant as it reveals the origins of the money needed to establish the business (sources) and how it will be allocated (uses).

image consultant business plan: sources & uses example

Having this table helps show what costs are involved in setting up your image consultant, how risks are shared between founders, investors and lenders, and what the starting cash position will be. This cash position needs to be sufficient to sustain operations until the business reaches a break-even point.

Now that you have a clear understanding of what goes into the financial forecast of your image consultant business plan, let's shift our focus to the written part of the plan.

The written part of an image consultant business plan is composed of 7 main sections:

  • The executive summary
  • The presentation of the company
  • The products and services
  • The market analysis
  • The strategy
  • The operations
  • The financial plan

Throughout these sections, you will seek to provide the reader with the details and context needed for them to form a view on whether or not your business plan is achievable and your forecast a realistic possibility.

Let's go through the content of each section in more detail!

1. The executive summary

In your image consultant's business plan, the first section is the executive summary — a captivating overview of your plan that aims to pique the reader's interest and leave them eager to learn more about your business.

When crafting the executive summary, start with an introduction to your business, including its name, concept, location, how long it has been running, and what sets it apart. Briefly mention the products and services you plan to offer and your target customer profile.

Following that, provide an overview of the addressable market for your image consultant, current trends, and potential growth opportunities.

Next, include a summary of key financial figures like projected revenues, profits, and cash flows.

Finally, in the "ask" section, detail any funding requirements you may have.

2. The presentation of the company

As you build your image consultant business plan, the second section deserves attention as it delves into the structure and ownership, location, and management team of your company.

In the structure and ownership part, you'll provide valuable insights into the legal structure of the business, the identities of the owners, and their respective investments and ownership stakes. This level of transparency is vital, particularly if you're seeking financing, as it clarifies which legal entity will receive the funds and who holds the reins of the business.

Moving to the location part, you'll offer a comprehensive view of the company's premises and articulate why this specific location is strategic for the business, emphasizing factors like catchment area, accessibility, and nearby amenities.

When describing the location of your image consultant, you might focus on the potential customer base. It could be a large metropolitan area with a diverse population and high number of potential clients. It could also be in an area with a strong economy and growing professional sector, making it a desirable place to do business. Additionally, the location could have access to quality transportation, making it easy for customers to access your business. All of these factors could make the location of your image consultant an attractive option to a third party financier.

Lastly, you should introduce your esteemed management team. Provide a thorough explanation of each member's role, background, and extensive experience.

It's equally important to highlight any past successes the management team has achieved and underscore the duration they've been working together. This information will instil trust in potential lenders or investors, showcasing the strength and expertise of your leadership team and their ability to deliver the business plan.

3. The products and services section

The products and services section of your business plan should include a detailed description of the offerings that your company provides to its customers. 

For example, your image consultant might offer wardrobe consultations to help their clients create a professional and stylish wardrobe that reflects their personality and goals. They could also provide makeup and hair consultations to help clients put together a look that works for their lifestyle, face shape, and skin tone. Lastly, they could offer personal shopping services, helping clients find the best pieces for their body type, budget, and lifestyle. All of these services are designed to help clients look and feel their best, and create a powerful image that helps them reach their goals.

When drafting this section, you should be precise about the categories of products or services you sell, the types of customers you are targeting and how customers can buy them.

4. The market analysis

When you present your market analysis in your image consultant business plan, it's crucial to include detailed information about customers' demographics and segmentation, target market, competition, barriers to entry, and any relevant regulations.

The main objective of this section is to help the reader understand the size and attractiveness of the market while demonstrating your solid understanding of the industry.

Begin with the demographics and segmentation subsection, providing an overview of the addressable market for your image consultant, the key trends in the marketplace, and introducing different customer segments along with their preferences in terms of purchasing habits and budgets.

Next, focus on your target market, zooming in on the specific customer segments your image consultant aims to serve and explaining how your products and services fulfil their distinct needs.

For example, your target market might include young professionals who have recently started a new job and want to make a good impression. This segment may be looking for help creating a style that conveys their personality and motivates them to perform their best. They may need help with wardrobe selection, color palettes, and grooming to achieve a professional yet unique look.

Then proceed to the competition subsection, where you introduce your main competitors and highlight what sets you apart from them.

Finally, conclude your market analysis with an overview of the key regulations applicable to your image consultant.

5. The strategy section

When writing the strategy section of a business plan for your image consultant, it is essential to include information about your competitive edge, pricing strategy, sales & marketing plan, milestones, and risks and mitigants.

The competitive edge subsection should explain what sets your company apart from its competitors. This part is especially key if you are writing the business plan of a startup, as you have to make a name for yourself in the marketplace against established players.

The pricing strategy subsection should demonstrate how you intend to remain profitable while still offering competitive prices to your customers.

The sales & marketing plan should outline how you intend to reach out and acquire new customers, as well as retain existing ones with loyalty programs or special offers. 

The milestones subsection should outline what your company has achieved to date, and its main objectives for the years to come - along with dates so that everyone involved has clear expectations of when progress can be expected.

The risks and mitigants subsection should list the main risks that jeopardize the execution of your plan and explain what measures you have taken to minimize these. This is essential in order for investors or lenders to feel secure in investing in your venture.

As an image consultant, you may face the risk of not having enough clients to sustain your business. You could also face the risk of clients not being satisfied with the services you provide, which may lead to negative reviews and a decrease in potential clients.

6. The operations section

In your business plan, it's also essential to provide a detailed overview of the operations of your image consultant.

Start by covering your team, highlighting key roles and your recruitment plan to support the expected growth. Outline the qualifications and experience required for each role and your intended recruitment methods, whether through job boards, referrals, or headhunters.

Next, clearly state your image consultant's operating hours, allowing the reader to assess staffing levels adequately. Additionally, mention any plans for varying opening times during peak seasons and how you'll handle customer queries outside normal operating hours.

Then, shift your focus to the key assets and intellectual property (IP) necessary for your business. If you rely on licenses, trademarks, physical structures like equipment or property, or lease agreements, make sure to include them in this section.

You may have key assets such as your brand identity and logo, which could be incredibly valuable to potential clients. Additionally, you might have intellectual property such as your unique processes or methods to help the success of your clients. This IP could make you stand out from other image consultants and entice new customers.

Lastly, include a list of suppliers you plan to work with, detailing their services and main commercial terms, such as price, payment terms, and contract duration. Investors are interested in understanding why you've chosen specific suppliers, which may be due to higher-quality products or established relationships from previous ventures.

7. The presentation of the financial plan

The financial plan section is where we will include the financial forecast we discussed earlier in this guide.

Now that you have a clear idea of what goes into an image consultant business plan, let's look at some of the tools you can use to create yours efficiently.

What tool should I use to write my image consultant's business plan?

In this section, we will be reviewing the two main options for writing an image consultant business plan efficiently:

  • Using specialized software,
  • Outsourcing the drafting to the business plan writer.

Using an online business plan software for your image consultant's business plan

Using online business planning software is the most efficient and modern way to create an image consultant business plan.

There are several advantages to using specialized software:

  • You can easily create your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you without errors
  • 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 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 easily track your actual financial performance against your financial forecast
  • You can create scenarios to stress test your forecast's main assumptions
  • You can easily update your forecast as time goes by to maintain visibility on future cash flows
  • You have a friendly support team on standby to assist you when you are stuck

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

Hiring a business plan writer to write your image consultant's business plan

Outsourcing your image consultant business plan to a business plan writer can also be a viable option.

Business plan writers are skilled in creating error-free business plans and accurate financial forecasts. Moreover, hiring a consultant can save you valuable time, allowing you to focus on day-to-day business operations.

However, it's essential to be aware that hiring business plan writers will be expensive, as you're not only paying for their time but also the software they use and their profit margin.

Based on experience, you should budget at least £1.5k ($2.0k) excluding tax for a comprehensive business plan, and more if you require changes after initial discussions with lenders or investors.

Also, exercise caution when seeking investment. Investors prefer their funds to be directed towards business growth rather than spent on consulting fees. Therefore, the amount you spend on business plan writing services and other consulting services should be insignificant compared to the amount raised.

Keep in mind that one drawback is that you usually don't own the business plan itself; you only receive the output, while the actual document is saved in the consultant's business planning software. This can make it challenging to update the document without retaining the consultant's services.

For these reasons, carefully consider outsourcing your image consultant business plan to a business plan writer, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of seeking outside assistance.

Why not create your image consultant's business plan using Word or Excel?

Using Microsoft Excel and Word (or their Google, Apple, or open-source equivalents) to write an image consultant business plan is a terrible idea.

For starters, creating an accurate and error-free financial forecast on Excel (or any spreadsheet) is very technical and requires both a strong grasp of accounting principles and solid skills in financial modelling.

As a result, it is unlikely anyone will trust your numbers unless - like us at The Business Plan Shop - you hold a degree in finance and accounting and have significant financial modelling experience in your past.

The second reason is that it is inefficient. Building forecasts on spreadsheets was the only option in the 1990s and early 2000s, nowadays technology has advanced and software can do it much faster and much more accurately.

And with the rise of AI, software is also becoming smarter at helping us detect mistakes in our forecasts and helping us analyse the numbers to make better decisions.

Also, using software makes it easy to compare actuals vs. forecasts and maintain our forecasts up to date to maintain visibility on future cash flows - as we discussed earlier in this guide - whereas this is a pain to do with a spreadsheet.

That's for the forecast, but what about the written part of my image consultant business plan?

This part is less error-prone, but here also software brings tremendous gains in productivity:

  • Word processors don't include instructions and examples for each part of your business plan
  • Word processors don't update your numbers automatically when they change in your forecast
  • Word processors don't handle the formatting for you

Overall, while Word or Excel may be viable options for creating an image consultant business plan for some entrepreneurs, it is by far not the best or most efficient solution.

  • 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 cash flows.
  • Using business plan software is the modern way of writing and maintaining business plans.

We hope that this practical guide gave you insights on how to write the business plan for your image consultant. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our team if you still have questions.

Also on The Business Plan Shop

  • In-depth business plan structure
  • Key steps to write a business plan?
  • Free business plan template

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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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Image Consultant

Startup Costs: Under $2,000 Home Based: Can be operated from home. Part Time: Can be operated part-time. Franchises Available? Yes Online Operation? Yes

As an image consultant, you'll give clients makeovers, coach them on the right wardrobe style for the image they want to project and even weed out closets or go on shopping expeditions. You'll also likely give hair and makeup advice, instructions on effective body language and tips for self-confidence. You can snag corporate clients by teaching tactics for better sales and customer relations, or you can work with clients facing media spotlight to help them look and act their best. Some advantages to this business: You can work at home, you can start part-time with low costs, and it's often creative and satisfying -- whether you’re helping someone advance in their career or feel good about themselves in their personal life. In some states, you need a cosmetology license to work on clients' skin, so if you plan to offer makeup services be sure to check with your state board of cosmetology (and if you can't apply makeup to your clients yourself, you can supervise while they do their own). As an image consultant, you'll need an innate sense of style and up-to-the-second knowledge of fashion, hair and makeup trends in both personal and professional settings. You'll also want to know the latest conventions in big- and small-business conduct. Your clients may feel vulnerable in coming to you, so you'll need the ability to suggest changes in a kind, empathetic way. Last but not least, this is a practice-what-you-preach business -- you'll have to look polished, professional and dressed for success on all public occasions.


How much money can you make?

Nationwide, the average salary for an image consultant is $42,431 per year, according to Glassdoor.

What kind of experience do you need to have?

“First of all, you need to have a background in fashion or a related field, but more importantly, you need to gain experience dealing with people on the retail side of business. Image consultants do need to understand fashion, trends and clothing, but the reality of the business is dealing with people -- their fears, flaws and emotions. Some of the greatest fashion icons could never be an image consultant because they do not have the ability to deal with people on a personal level. Image consulting is direct and raw. Clients need to hear the harsh truth about themselves in order to course-correct. Aside from a relative degree, people skills is the most important experience someone would need to enter the field.” - Amanda Sanders , image consultant and personal shopper

What’s the most important thing to know about this business?

“Any time I'm in a rut or needing new perspectives or something like that, styling is definitely one of my go-tos. I also ask myself, ‘What is the problem that you're trying to solve?’ A lot of times as we think about creating solutions, we think about, ‘What do we have right now, and how can we make it better?’ I think a better question is just wiping the slate clean and saying… ‘In an ideal world, if we could rewrite everything, what would we do?’” - Katrina Lake , Stitch Fix

Your clients can be individuals who want to look sharp for a big social occasion, are looking for a new or better job, or have decided it's time to turn over a whole new leaf. Your clients can also be corporations who may hire you to train groups of executives or employees or to give the company dress code a facelift. Place ads in local publications and offer coupons in direct-mail coupon books. Network in professional and civic organizations. Introduce yourself to wedding consultants, caterers and event planners, who can refer you to their clients. Give workshops and seminars for private and corporate clients. You should also target public relations agents who may refer their clients to you. Send PR people your brochure, then follow up with a phone call to cement your service in their minds.

Needed Equipment

All you really need to get started are mirrors, makeup, color swatches, and fashion books and magazines. You may want to purchase, either during startup or after your business gets going, computer software that gives your clients a virtual beauty makeover before they take the actual hair-cutting plunge. If you plan on going the corporate route, you may also want to invest in a video camera and VCR so clients can judge their before-and-after speech and body language performances. In some states, you need a cosmetology license to work on clients' skin, so if you plan to offer makeup services be sure to check with your state board of cosmetology. If you can't apply makeup to your clients yourself, you can supervise while they do their own.

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Capitalize on this popular procedure that both women and men take advantage of.

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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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The Pros and Cons of Starting an Image Consulting Business

  • Small Business
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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.

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How to Start an Image 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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How to Start an Image Consulting Business

The image consulting business is all about providing advice to your clients about beauty makeovers, clothing fitness, color basics, and instructions for enhancing self-confidence that helps them to look and act their best professionally.

An individual having true passion and interest in helping others can initiate this business part-time from home. Image consulting is definitely a self-rewarding and exciting career to start with. You will need to have an inner sense of style, fashion , and knowledge about the current trend.

Your client may be an individual or a corporation. The business of image consulting is highly paid. As per Glassdoor, the average salary of an image consultant in the United States is more than $45,000 per year.

Image Consulting Business Plan Guide for Beginners

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Here are the 8 steps to follow to start a profitable image consulting business:

1. Skills Required For Image Consulting

You must have a passion for fashion and a keen eye for detail, as well as be up to date with the latest fashion trends and color schemes and be familiar with a huge range of fashion labels. An understanding of body and face shapes will also be a necessity.

You will need to have patience and not let your ego rule and be creative and able to think outside the box. One must be highly organized, self-motivated, honest, trustworthy, and presentable. Furthermore, you also need to have the ability to work to a schedule and have a sense of humor.

Before initiating an image consulting business you may avail of some training programs. These programs may cover certain aspects of fashion, such as colors and business wear, as well as areas such as nutrition and communication.

There are many associations that provide certifications and training to image consultants. Following are some of the trade associations:

  • The Image Consultants’ Society International (ICSI)
  • International Federation of Image Consultants (IFIC)
  • Association of Image Consultants International (AICI)

2. Services You Can Offer as an Image Consultant

Image Consultants can offer the kind of advice that can help people, land a job, get a promotion, find someone to love, or just feel good about themselves. Some of the services you can provide are as follows:

Image Makeover : Assist a client with a makeover, which could include color analysis, wardrobe detox, a new hairstyle, and makeup tips.

Communication & Etiquette Consultant: Advise people on their vocal communication (voice, grammar, vocabulary, etc.), non-verbal communication (handshakes, posture, eye contact, etc.), and etiquette – from dining to cell phones.

Personal Shopper: Personal shopping, including purchasing clothing and accessories on the client’s behalf.

Liaison Services: Making liaisons between the client and other professionals who can improve the client’s appearance, such as physical trainers, hairdressers, or dermatologists.

Marketing Consultant for Fashion Businesses: Working closely with fashion designers and selected boutiques to develop ensembles made specifically for the client.

Other image consulting careers you can consider are corporate trainer, fashion stylist, and brand strategist.

3. Understanding the Market for Image Consulting

Your potential clients can include individuals setting out on a new career, business executives trying to relate to their stockholders and customers, actors, and news personalities like politicians attempting to project a successful image.

Furthermore, your customers can be brides-to-be who are challenged in the wardrobe or social etiquette areas, and a host of others looking for expert advice on how they can physically and/or psychologically create an impact.

Your clients can also be corporations who may hire you to train the executives or employees or to give the company dress code a face-lift. It is advised to conduct extensive market research to understand the demand and trends of your existing market.

4. Create a Business Plan

It is essential to write a business plan for your image consulting business. For startups starting on a small scale, you may not need a lengthy business plan document. Some of the basic issues to be addressed in your plan are as follows:

  • 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.

Learn More: How to Name Your Business? Step-By-Step Guidelines

6. Equipment For Image Consulting

You can start image consulting by just having a mobile and a computer with an internet connection. As your business grows you can purchase mirrors, makeup, color swatches, and fashion books and magazines of your own.

You will also need to have a video camera and accessories to keep the views of your clients before and after having makeup.

7. Licenses and Permits for Image Consulting Business

Register your image consulting business under which you are going to operate day-to-day operations. If you are from the United States, forming an LLC will help you in protecting your personal assets.

Talk to the local appropriate authority for the kind of licenses and permits you net to get start an image consultancy business. If you want to provide makeup services to clients, some states will ask you to have a cosmetology license.

8. Promote Your Image Consulting Business

80% of building an image consulting business relies on how you market and promote yourself and only 20% is about the actual execution of consulting services.

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. Concentrate on building brand identity through business cards, brochures, and a website .

In starting an image consulting business, building your credibility starts by developing a media kit . Press or media kits include many things such as professional photos, your biography, and press releases. Network with professionals and civic organizations. Introduce yourself to wedding consultants, caterers, and event planners, who can refer you to their clients. Conduct workshops and seminars for private and corporate clients.

image consulting business plan

About the Author: led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their businesses.

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Start An Image Consulting Business - Business Ideas

Please note that the data provided in this article are estimates and may vary depending on various factors, and should not be considered as perfect or definitive.

Image consultants are specialists who improve a client's personal or professional image. The image consultants evaluate, enhance and upgrade client appearances, behavior, and communication skills.

Starting an image consulting business requires a great deal of effort, dedication, and most importantly passion .

If you're interested in how to sell image consulting, or selling image consulting online, you can use this page as a guide for everything you'll need to know.

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Image Consulting One Page Business Plan

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Resources On Image Consulting

  • Financial Model
  • Business Plan
  • Value Proposition
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Business Model
  • Description
  • Opportunity

Company Description

Industry analysis, financial summary, target market, marketing plan, funding required.

An Image Consulting business is an essential player in today's competitive world, where first impressions can make or break opportunities. With society's increasing emphasis on personal branding and appearance, the demand for image consulting services has seen a remarkable surge in recent years.

According to the latest statistics, the global image consulting market is projected to reach a value of $15.6 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 8.2% from 2020 to 2027. This significant growth is a testament to the increasing recognition of the impact image consultants have on enhancing individuals' confidence, credibility, and success.

As individuals navigate their personal and professional lives, they seek guidance from image consultants to refine their visual identity, wardrobe selection, grooming habits, and overall presentation skills. The image consulting industry provides a wide range of services, including personal styling, wardrobe audits, body language coaching, and etiquette training, designed to empower clients and help them stand out from the crowd.

In today's competitive marketplace, businesses, professionals, and even public figures understand the value of projecting a powerful and authentic image to attract opportunities and build lasting relationships. An image consulting business has the unique opportunity to contribute significantly to this process by leveraging expert knowledge, personalized strategies, and creative insights to transform clients' visual impact and deliver tangible results.

By establishing a strong brand presence and cultivating a reputation for excellence, an image consulting business can position itself as a trusted partner in personal and professional transformation. With the right combination of expertise, style, and innovation, a successful image consulting business can not only foster individual growth but also make a lasting impact on society's perception of personal image and self-presentation.

The Business Opportunity

Image consulting is a highly sought-after service in the US, offering individuals the opportunity to enhance their personal brand and improve their overall image. This business idea aims to capitalize on the demand for personalized one-on-one consulting services, providing clients with tailored solutions to meet their unique needs and goals.

  • High demand: The need for image consulting services is on the rise, as individuals recognize the importance of projecting the right image in various personal and professional settings.
  • Personalized approach: Our business will offer one-on-one consulting, allowing us to understand each client's specific goals, preferences, and challenges, and provide tailored solutions accordingly.
  • Enhanced personal brand: By utilizing our image consulting services, individuals can develop a cohesive personal brand that aligns with their personality, values, and aspirations, ultimately boosting their confidence and success.
  • Market potential: The target market for image consulting services is vast, ranging from professionals aiming for career advancement to individuals seeking personal growth and improved social interactions.
  • Unique solutions: Our business will differentiate itself by offering innovative and creative solutions that go beyond just fashion and appearance, encompassing aspects such as body language, communication skills, and overall personal development.
  • Long-term relationships: By building strong relationships with our clients, we aim to not only provide image consulting services but also be a trusted advisor and partner in their journey towards self-improvement and success.

With the demand for image consulting services continually growing, our business is well-positioned to thrive in this lucrative market. By offering personalized solutions, leveraging our expertise, and fostering lasting client relationships, we anticipate significant growth and success in the image consulting industry.

Our company, [Company Name], specializes in offering one-on-one image consulting services to individuals who are looking to enhance their personal style, grooming, wardrobe, and overall presentation. We understand that first impressions matter, and we believe that everyone deserves to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin.

At [Company Name], we take a personalized approach to image consulting, tailoring our services to meet the unique needs and goals of each client. Our team of experienced consultants works closely with individuals to understand their preferences, lifestyle, and desired image. Through a combination of expert advice, personalized recommendations, and ongoing support, we help our clients develop a distinct personal style that aligns with their personality and aspirations.

We are committed to building strong relationships with our clients, providing them with the guidance and tools they need to enhance their image and achieve their goals. Our consultants stay up-to-date with the latest fashion trends, grooming techniques, and industry insights to ensure that our clients receive the most relevant and cutting-edge advice.

At [Company Name], we believe that true image consulting goes beyond just fashion and grooming. We focus on empowering individuals to express their authentic selves through their personal style, helping them exude confidence and make a lasting impression in both their personal and professional lives.

Our dedication to client satisfaction and ongoing success sets us apart. We are committed to delivering exceptional service, creating a positive and enjoyable experience for each client. Through regular consultations, personalized plans, and continuous support, we strive to exceed our client's expectations and help them embrace their true potential.

If you are looking to elevate your personal style, redefine your image, or simply enhance your overall presentation, look no further than [Company Name]. Join us on this journey of self-expression and empowerment, and let us help you make a lasting impression.

The image consulting industry in the US is thriving, thanks to its popular business model that revolves around offering personalized one-on-one consulting services to individual clients. This approach allows for tailored solutions and services, making it a highly successful and profitable venture.

With the right expertise and a strong brand reputation, there is ample opportunity to secure a significant market share in this industry. However, it is important to be aware of the competitive landscape and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in image consulting.

Key Points:

  • The image consulting industry in the US is centered around personalized one-on-one consulting services.
  • Tailored solutions and services are the key to success in this industry.
  • A strong brand reputation and expertise are crucial for capturing a significant market share.
  • Remaining competitive and staying informed about industry trends is essential for success in this field.

Implementation Timeline

  • Conduct market research and analysis to identify target market segments and competitors. This will involve gathering data on the image consulting industry, identifying potential customer segments, and analyzing competitors to gain insights into market trends and demands.
  • Develop a comprehensive business plan and strategy. This will involve outlining the mission, vision, and goals of the image consulting business, as well as developing strategies for marketing, sales, and operations.
  • Establish key partnerships with tailors, stylists, and other professionals in related industries. Building relationships with trusted professionals will enhance the services provided to clients and expand the network of resources available.
  • Set up online platforms, social media accounts, and advertising campaigns. Creating a strong online presence will enable reaching a wider audience and promoting the image consulting services effectively.
  • Hire experienced image consultants and build a strong team. Recruiting professionals with expertise in the field will ensure the delivery of high-quality consulting services and provide support for the growing business.
  • Launch initial marketing campaigns and networking events. This will involve organizing promotional events, attending relevant industry gatherings, and implementing targeted marketing strategies to attract potential clients.
  • Offer initial consultations to identify client goals and needs. Providing free introductory consultations will allow understanding the specific requirements and expectations of each client.
  • Develop customized plans and recommendations for each client. Utilizing the gathered information, personalized plans and recommendations will be created to address the specific goals and needs of each individual client.
  • Provide ongoing one-on-one consulting services and maintain strong relationships with clients. Continuously working with clients to achieve their desired outcomes and building long-term relationships will be crucial for client retention and word-of-mouth referrals.

By following this implementation timeline, the image consulting business will successfully establish its presence in the market and provide exceptional consulting services to clients, ultimately leading to sustainable growth and success.

Our revenue streams will primarily come from project-based or hourly consulting fees, which can range from affordable to high-end for premium services. With the ability to tailor services to meet the unique needs of each client, we anticipate a steady growth in revenue.

Our cost structure will include employee salaries and benefits, marketing and advertising costs, office space and equipment, and other related expenses.

  • Revenue Streams: Project-based or hourly consulting fees
  • Cost Structure: Employee salaries and benefits, marketing and advertising costs, office space and equipment, and other related expenses

Our team consists of experienced image consultants who have a deep understanding of personal branding and style. We have carefully selected professionals with a diverse range of skills and backgrounds to ensure that we can cater to the unique needs of each client.

Our image consultants have undergone extensive training and education in the field of personal styling and branding. They stay up-to-date with the latest fashion trends, industry techniques, and strategies to provide the most relevant and effective advice to our clients.

In addition to our core team of image consultants, we have developed strong network connections with tailors, stylists, and other professionals in related industries. This enables us to offer comprehensive services, including personalized wardrobe consultations, shopping experiences, and grooming services.

At our core, we are passionate about helping individuals enhance their personal brand and improve their overall image. We believe that everyone deserves to feel confident and empowered in their appearance, and we are dedicated to providing the guidance and support needed to achieve that.

  • Experienced image consultants with a deep understanding of personal branding and style
  • Diverse team with a range of skills and backgrounds
  • Up-to-date with the latest fashion trends and industry techniques
  • Strong network connections with tailors, stylists, and other professionals
  • Offer comprehensive services to cater to the unique needs of each client
  • Passionate about helping individuals enhance their personal brand and improve their overall image

Our target market includes individuals who are seeking to enhance their personal brand and improve their overall image. This can include professionals, entrepreneurs, job seekers, and anyone looking to make a positive impression in their personal and professional lives.

At Image Consulting, we understand the importance of a strong personal brand and the impact it can have on one's success. Our services are tailored to the unique needs and goals of each client, ensuring a personalized experience that addresses their specific image enhancement requirements.

Whether our clients are looking to polish their professional image for career advancement, make a lasting impression during important events, or simply boost their confidence through a refined personal style, our team of expert image consultants is here to guide and support them every step of the way.

Our marketing strategy for the Image Consulting business will utilize a combination of online platforms, social media, advertising, word-of-mouth referrals, and networking events to reach our target market. The key objective of our marketing efforts will be to showcase our expertise, highlight the benefits of our personalized one-on-one consulting services, and share the success stories of our satisfied clients.

By leveraging various marketing channels, we aim to build a strong brand reputation and attract a steady stream of clients. Our online presence will be a vital component of our marketing strategy, with a focus on creating engaging and informative content across our website, blog, and social media channels.

We will actively engage with our target audience on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, where we will share tips, advice, and success stories related to image consulting. This not only positions us as experts in the field but also establishes a sense of trust and credibility with our potential clients.

In addition to our online efforts, we will explore targeted advertising opportunities, both online and offline, to reach a wider audience. This may include running targeted ads on social media platforms or partnering with local businesses to promote our services.

Word-of-mouth referrals will also play a significant role in our marketing strategy. By providing exceptional service and achieving tangible results for our clients, we aim to generate positive word-of-mouth and encourage satisfied clients to refer us to their networks.

Networking events will be an integral part of establishing and expanding our professional connections and client base. We will actively seek out relevant industry events, conferences, and gatherings to connect with potential clients and strategic partners. By actively participating in these events, we aim to raise awareness of our services and create valuable opportunities for collaboration.

In summary, our marketing efforts for the Image Consulting business will focus on showcasing our expertise, highlighting the benefits of our services, and sharing success stories to attract a steady stream of clients. By building a strong brand reputation through online platforms, advertising, word-of-mouth referrals, and networking events, we aim to position ourselves as the go-to image consultants in our target market.

To successfully launch and grow our image consulting business, we are seeking funding to cover initial expenses such as employee salaries, marketing and advertising costs, office space and equipment, and other related expenses. We estimate a funding requirement of [insert amount] , which will allow us to establish a strong presence in the market and scale our operations effectively.

In conclusion, the One-Page Business Plan for our Image Consulting business provides a clear and concise overview of our goals, strategies, and action steps. By focusing on the key elements of our business, such as our target market, unique selling proposition, and marketing approach, we have created a roadmap for success.

Through extensive research and careful planning, we have identified the needs and preferences of our target audience, allowing us to tailor our image consulting services to meet their specific requirements. By leveraging our expertise and utilizing the latest industry trends and techniques, we are confident in our ability to deliver exceptional results to our clients.

Our marketing approach, which includes a combination of online and offline strategies, will enable us to reach our target market effectively. By establishing strong partnerships with relevant influencers and leveraging social media platforms, we will create brand awareness and attract potential clients to our services.

Furthermore, our commitment to providing exceptional customer service and delivering personalized solutions will set us apart from competitors. By continuously monitoring and evaluating our performance, we will make necessary adjustments to ensure our clients' utmost satisfaction.

In conclusion, the One-Page Business Plan sets a solid foundation for our Image Consulting business, outlining our goals and strategies in a concise and efficient manner. With a clear focus on our target market and a commitment to delivering exceptional services, we are confident in our ability to thrive in the market and achieve long-term success.

  • Key Takeaways:
  • Clear overview of our goals, strategies, and action steps
  • Tailored image consulting services based on target audience preferences
  • Effective marketing approach combining online and offline strategies
  • Strong commitment to exceptional customer service and personalization

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Consulting Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

consulting firm business plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their consulting businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a consulting business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today. It can be used to create a business consulting business plan, a management consulting business plan or any other type of consultancy business plan.

Download our Consulting Business Plan Template here

What Is a Consulting Firm Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your consulting firm as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Consulting Firm Business Plan

business consultants

Source of Funding for Consulting Firms

With regards to funding, the main sources of capital raising for a consulting business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

The second most common form of funding for a consulting business is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan.

Sample Consulting Business Plan Template

Your business plan should include 10 sections as follows:

Executive Summary

consultant meeting with prospective clients

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of consulting business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a starting a consulting firm, or do you have a consulting business that you would like to grow?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the consulting industry. Discuss the type of consulting business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target market. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of consulting business you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types:

  • IT Consulting : this type of consulting business designs custom software, plans for IT system infrastructure, and/or manages computer systems and data processing facilities.
  • Management Consulting : this type of consulting business provides advice to businesses, nonprofits, and agencies in various areas such as corporate strategy, marketing, organizational design, etc.
  • Environmental Consulting : this type of consulting business provides advice on environmental issues such as pollution, hazardous materials, etc.
  • Human Resources Consulting : this type of consulting business provides advice for structuring HR and personnel policies, employee benefits, compensation, recruitment, and retention
  • Other Business Consulting : there is nearly a limitless number of areas in which people need and will pay for consulting services

In addition to explaining the type of consulting business you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to questions such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales objectives, sales goals you’ve reached, new office openings, new products, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

consultant work

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the consulting industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your consultant business plan:

  • How big is the consulting business (in dollars)?
  • How big is your niche (e.g., management consulting) within the consulting business (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your consulting firm? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your consulting business plan must detail the clients you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: Corporations, Federal Government, Nonprofits, Consumers, etc.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of consulting business you operate. Clearly,  nonprofit organizations  would want different pricing and service options and would respond to different marketing promotions than the federal government.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the business sizes and types, or consumer ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the clients you seek to serve.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target audience. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your clients.  

Competitive Analysis

consultant meets with a prospective client

Direct competitors  are other consultants and consulting firms.

Indirect competitors  are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes doing it themselves and in-house expertise among others. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not every company or consumer engages a consultant.

With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other consulting businesses with which you compete.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What services do they offer?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide superior services?
  • Will you provide services that your competitors don’t offer?
  • Will you make it easier or faster for customers to engage your services?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

operations consulting

Product : in the product section you should reiterate the type of consulting business that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific consulting services you will be offering. For example, in addition to IT infrastructure consulting, will you also offer an IT Security component?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the consulting services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your consulting business. Document your location and mention how the location might impact your consulting success. For example, maybe your consulting business is located in an office complex with lots of potential clients.

Promotions : the final part of your consultant marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider as a consultant:

  • Pay-per-click keyword advertising
  • Providing seminars or keynote presentations
  • Advertising in local papers and magazines
  • Reaching out to local bloggers and websites
  • Social media advertising
  • Local radio advertising

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes  include all of the tasks involved in running your consulting business such as serving clients, prospecting new clients, procuring supplies, keeping the office clean, etc.

Long-term goals  are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 100th client, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or open a new location.  

Management Team

financial advisory

Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in the consulting business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in consulting businesses and/or successfully running small businesses.

Financial Plan

business planning

Income Statement

An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you serve 5 clients per month or 25? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets

While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your consulting business, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement

Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a consulting business:

  • Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
  • Cost of maintaining an infrastructure (i.e. data warehouse, database subscriptions, etc.)
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses
  • Other expenses

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your consulting business plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office design blueprint or location lease.

Putting together a business plan for your consulting firm is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the consulting business, your competition, and your prospective clients. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful consulting business.  

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Consulting Business Plan FAQs

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You can download our consulting business plan PDF template here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

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75+ Unique, Creative & Catchy Image Consulting Business Names Business Names Ideas

Are you looking for the perfect name to give your new image consulting business? Look no further! Here are over 75 unique, creative, and catchy image consulting business names to help you stand out from the competition. With these ideas, you can make sure your image consulting business stands out from the crowd and has a name that resonates with customers.

image of author, Nick

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Table of contents:, 25 catchy image consulting business names business names:.

  • Sightly Solutions
  • Vivid Vision
  • Polar Picture
  • Perfectly Photogenic
  • Image Magnified
  • Visual Visions
  • Snapshot Strategies
  • Glimmer Graphics
  • Picture Perfection
  • Visible Images
  • Image Artists
  • Digital Designers
  • Virtually Visible
  • Pixel Professors
  • Photo Finishers
  • Eye-Catching Images
  • Picture Prodigies
  • Image Impressions
  • Snapshot Specialists
  • Graphic Gurus
  • Photo Finesse
  • Optics Experts
  • Image Inventors
  • Visual Visionaries
  • Check out our entire small business plan directory

Image of Zenbusiness business formation

25 Creative Image Consulting Business Names Business Names:

  • Image Impact Consulting
  • Fashion Focus Consulting
  • Look Good Consulting
  • Glamour Glance Consulting
  • Style Sense Consulting
  • The Creative Consult
  • Vogue Visions Consulting
  • Picture Perfect Consulting
  • Fashion Forward Consulting
  • Style Solutions Consulting
  • Vogue Visionaries Consulting
  • The Image Enhancers
  • Fashion Finishers Consulting
  • Image Makers Consulting
  • Style Starters Consulting
  • Look Like a Star Consulting
  • Glamour Guidance Consulting
  • Style Seers Consulting
  • The Look Lab
  • Fashion Fixers Consulting
  • Image Illuminators Consulting
  • Couture Consultants
  • Style Specialists Consulting
  • Fashion Facilitators Consulting
  • Check out our entire small business ideas directory

25 Unique Image Consulting Business Names Business Names:

  • Image Perfection
  • Style Visionary
  • Image Refinement
  • Style Evolution
  • Style Solutions
  • Image Designers
  • Image Insight
  • Style Innovators
  • Image Enhancement
  • Style Professionals
  • Image Facilitators
  • Style Facilitators
  • Image Consultancy
  • Style Strategies
  • Image Creators
  • Style Architects
  • Image Makers
  • Style Enhancement
  • Image Architects
  • Style Directions
  • Image Masters
  • Style Mentors
  • Image Specialists
  • Style Consultants
  • Image Advisors
  • Check out how to start an llc in different states

Helpful content

More business resources to help you get started:

Internal resources:.

I'm Nick, co-founder of, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. As a small business owner with over five years of experience, I have garnered valuable knowledge and insights across a diverse range of industries. My passion for entrepreneurship drives me to share my expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs, empowering them to turn their business dreams into reality.

Through meticulous research and firsthand experience, I uncover the essential steps, software, tools, and costs associated with launching and maintaining a successful business. By demystifying the complexities of entrepreneurship, I provide the guidance and support needed for others to embark on their journey with confidence.

From assessing market viability and formulating business plans to selecting the right technology and navigating the financial landscape, I am dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs overcome challenges and unlock their full potential. As a steadfast advocate for small business success, my mission is to pave the way for a new generation of innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are ready to make their mark on the world.


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    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;

  2. How to write a business plan for an image consultant?

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  3. [Guide] How to Start an Image Consulting Business

    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.

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    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.

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    Startup Costs: Under $2,000 Home Based: Can be operated from home. Part Time: Can be operated part-time. Franchises Available? Yes Online Operation? Yes THE BRIEF: As an image consultant, you'll...

  6. 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.

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    1. Introduction 2. Getting to Know Your Image Business 3. Legal Basics 4. Marketing + Promotion 5. Branding + Logo, Image, Name 6. What Do I Charge? 7. Your Online Marketing Toolbox

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    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

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    3. 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 ...

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    Image consulting is a professional field that aims to improve the image of the client personally or professionally through appearance, behavior, and communication. It is the process of evaluating the effect of a person's appearance on their professional image.

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    Businesses Pros & Cons Please note that the data provided in this article are estimates and may vary depending on various factors, and should not be considered as perfect or definitive. Image consultants are specialists who improve a client's personal or professional image.

  15. Buy or Acquire Image Consulting Business: Your Checklist

    Tip 2: Research the average costs associated with acquiring an image consulting business, including potential costs for rebranding, marketing, operational expenses, and any necessary legal or professional services. Tip 3: Explore various funding options, such as personal savings, bank loans, lines of credit, or partnerships.

  16. Corporate Image Consulting Business Plan [Sample Template for 2022]

    [Guide] How to How an Image Consulting Business This including communication over the general public, staff, equity, customers, analysts and select stakeholders. In contrast into advertising, PR campaigns aim for exposure through general interest and news coverage, rather than paid classified, to give they send third-party legitimation.

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    The key components included in the image consulting one-page business plan template are:1. Business Opportunity: Describing the market demand and potential for image consulting services.2. Company Description: Providing an overview of the image consulting business and its unique selling proposition.3.

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    Consulting Business Plan Template. Written by Dave Lavinsky. Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their consulting businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning.

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