How to Start A Consulting Business In 2023

Be Your Own Boss and Start A Consulting Business

Ready to level up your consulting game and unleash your inner boss?

Starting a professional consulting business is attainable with the right information from someone who actually performs consulting service and gets paid to provide these services today.

Learn how to consult architectural, engineering and contracting businesses requiring your unique expertise. (With no college degree required)

Imagine being able to help contractors, homeowners, developers and architects obtain their NYC DOT Permits quickly and effortlessly. Your success will come through giving them advice on navigating the complex permit process – something they can’t do alone.

Plus your new life as an entrepreneur gives you more opportunities for growth as well as financial freedom – all while still making a difference in people’s lives!

Read below and find out how a DOT Consultant from unveils how you too can become an expert in this growing industry with minimal effort.

Construction Managers must hire consulting firms and management consultants for their projects.

Consulting Services To Offer

First, we must discuss what service you provide to attract clients and these professionals. When contractors are performing construction operations beyond the property line, a permit from the NYC Department of Transportation is required.

Depending on the scope of work, you can easily obtain 5-10 permits on each street frontage. The fee schedule is based on a per-permit basis, meaning the bigger the job, the more permits are required and the more money to make.

Who is Your Ideal Client?

Ideally, you would want to start with a contractor as they’re the ones registered with NYC DOT and require the most ongoing assistance.

Developers and architects are also a great pool for your to swim in as they encounter construction operations outside the property line that require a consultant to help them. This is normally outside their scope of work, so they’re happy to outsource this to you as long as you’re responsible and won’t hurt their reputation.

Do I Need To Hire A Lawyer?

No, not at all. You can apply to incorporate on  You will be operating as an independent consultant at first.  Your business model is not complex, so don’t complicate it.  

How Long Does It Take to Start A Consulting Business?

You can be up and running within two-four weeks, provided you follow the below guidelines:

How To Incorporate Your Business

Go to Legal Zoom to apply for a business name. This is important, companies don’t want to pay a freelancer who isn’t registered as a business entity.  Choose your legal business structure. Examples include a limited liability company, S Corp, C Corp or Sole Proprietorship.  

Open a Business Bank Account

With your new consulting business corporate paperwork, open a business bank account. ($100 minimum to open an account) I recommend Chase Bank.

Get the Best and Easy To Use Accounting Software

Apply for a QuickBooks online account for the minimum monthly recurring ($15.00) This allows you to accept all forms of payment, an absolute must.

Develop an Online Presence

People will want to see who you are, so having a simple website works wonders. You can make a basic WordPress website by going to The video below has step-by-step instructions.

In order to grow your own business effectively, use organic search engine optimization as part of your long-term strategy.

Get PDF Editing Tools

Sign up for an Adobe Account, you will need to do some light editing on all the pdf documents you’ll be sifting through. We’re talking about a simple text box and arrows. You won’t be making full drawings, ever, rest assured.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 607d92dc-c963-43b2-b9cd-d796ef0d1178.png

Example Of Editing You’ll Have To Do

Active Jobsite In Construction Consulting Industry Niche

Six-Figure Blueprint To Be A Successful Consultant

Profitable Consulting Business Comes from Noticing Industry Trends

This is where the rubber meets the road. A lot of times when clients ask for one thing, it requires other approvals or submissions in order to obtain.

Your job is to identify what they actually are asking for and how to obtain it on their behalf. For this, I’m showing you ALL MY OFFERINGS so you can see, everything that can be involved in obtaining approvals or permits.

If you want to know how to do one or two things, simply email DOT directly at [email protected]. (Don’t ask how to do everything at once, they’ll stop helping you immediately if you do so)

Remember, these are REAL people who monitor and respond to this email above. Be respectful, courteous and to the point as any sass on your part will give them the right to BAN YOU from doing business with them.

I can’t stress this point enough, be on your BEST BEHAVIOR. See below to get a feeling of what you can charge clients small businesses who request your services.

Service List

  • Bus Stop Relocations, Extensions, Shutdowns and Re-routes — $1,500.00 plus NYCT
    Fees ($3,300 City Fees)
  • Sidewalk Lien Removals from County Clerk Office– $2,000.00 (90 Day Process, call 311 in NYC to Schedule An Inspection). DOT permit required, provide DOT # to 311 Operator and Then The Clock Starts
  • Obtain DOT Permits – 250.00/permit — Go to website to register under a contractor who wants permits from you
  • Full Roadway Closures – $1,500.00 initial /1,000.00 Renewal (30 Days at a time)
  • Taxi/Hotel Loading Zone Authorizations — These Are Reserved For Urgent Care Facilities,
    Hospitals, and Hotels With 100 Room/key minimum – $2,500.00
  • Bike Unit Approvals (Approval To Work In Protected Bike Lanes, Installation of bike racks)
  • $500 To Approve Work In The Protected Bike Lane, $1,500.00 To Install A Bike Rack.
  • Contractor Registration – $750.00. Email all insurance documents to [email protected].  They will review/check and update contractor insurance online. Once approved, ask the general contractor to physically mail original documents directly to DOT.
  • Approval To Remove Parking Meters — $500.00 (DOT Fees $500 on top)

Can I Work From Home?

Consulting Practices Can Work From Home. A Business Owner Can Be A Stay-At-Home Parent.

You most certainly can work from home.  I don’t recommend renting any kind of office space.  Your business structure will allow you to manage emails, calls and video conference meetings from the comfort of your own home.  You may use Zoom and Microsoft Teams platforms for conferencing.

I’ve had clients for years who I’ve never met in person, so it’s 100% doable. 

Promote Your Consulting Firm Using Social Media Marketing

You May Promote Your Own Consulting Business or Speak With A Marketing Consulting Agency.

A Great Place for this consulting industry is LinkedIn. Start following and commenting on all the big companies and see how other professional consulting businesses interact with their pages.  This is fantastic exposure to potential clients. 

Join all the contractor/home improvement groups on Facebook. Look for the guys digging outside the property line, breaking the sidewalk, or booming over the sidewalk into the property.  A lot of small business owners reach out to people just like you.  Their companies hire people they relate to, which are other small businesses

I don’t recommend schlepping to industry events as a business strategy as there are more productive uses of your time.  Instead focus intensely on customers who do come in the door.  Nothing is better than word-of-mouth referrals.

What Are the Key Costs of Starting A Consulting Business?

Develop a Consulting Business Plan;

The most expensive part of your new business, believe it or not, is the time spent learning these new skills. Even though it can be done a lot faster than other businesses, there is still a learning curve.

As far as actual costs, see below:

$125.00 To Incorporate (May vary state to state)

$15.00 QuickBooks Monthly Subscription

$20.00 Adobe DC Monthly Subscription

$20.00/month or $240.00/yearly for Website Hosting

$100.00 To Open New Business Account

$400.00 For a Decent Computer

So, this will run you about $500-$900 to start, plus a monthly recurring fee of $35.00-$55.00 depending if you pay for the yearly options or opt to do it on a monthly basis.

When Should I Hire an Assistant?

I’m going to say you shouldn’t hire any assistants your fist year of business.  The reasoning behind this is when you’re just starting a consulting business, you need all the capital you can muster to GROW.  This will ensure you have a profitable business model from the start and scale comfortably.

Instead of hiring an assistant, I want you to network with architects, engineers and even competing consulting businesses.  The consulting market is huge, I’ve definitely been hired by several competitors to process the more complex portions of a job. 

You’ll notice quickly you can offer other services that you don’t perform!  Yes, imagine a homeowner who requires an architect or contractor for their new project. 

They’ll speak to you and ask if you have anyone you recommend.  Discuss with your new partners that you’re interested in giving them clients, for a small finder’s fee based on the total cost of work to be performed. 

They’ll get the lion’s share in this scenario since they’re doing all the work, but you can get 5% for simply referring them repeatedly to new clients. 

This also has the added effect of reciprocity.  People will feel they owe you since you just got them a customer for their professional services. 

Now they’ll do the same when they get approached by prospective clients for services outside of their scope of work. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It A Good Idea To Start A Consulting Company?

It’s definitely a good idea.  The low cost and barrier to entry plus high margins are a recipe for success.

What Industries Hire Consultants?

Architectural firms, Development Firms, Contracting Firms, Property Managers and Real Estate Companies.

What Registrations and Licenses Do I Need?

None, you are not a professional and do not require any seals or insurances to operate.  Your professional opinions are jus that, opinions that people can choose to listen to or not. 

Do I Need Special Training?

You do not need special training.  You only need to know the steps to take to perform each action effectively.  Once you know the process, you can charge others to do it for them.

How Should I Charge For Consulting Work?

Always look at the size of the problem and charge based on how quickly and effectively you can help resolve this for a client.  Never charge based on how simple something is.

Do Consultants Make Good Money?

On average you can expect to make a minimum of $500 for every request people make.  This can add up pretty quickly.


Now you know how to start a consulting business of your own. Are you surprised professionals in the architectural and engineering industries hire consulting companies?  I certainly was when I first started my own consulting business back in 2007. 

The most important takeaway here is that you don’t need to offer all these services at once!  I recommend choosing a few service list items from above and getting some practice performing these services for clients. 

A good consultant knows all the moving pieces involved for each line item.  Clients can be inquisitive and will want you to guide them on their next steps.  Be sure to articulate the process to them so they know they’re in good hands.   

Author Bio:

NYC DOT Expediter

Principal at Permits In No Time Inc.

Jeffrey Calderon has worked on thousands of projects for the past 17 Years In The Construction Consulting Field. He’s helped countless homeowners, Developers and Architects complete their projects. 

Similar Posts