Aspiring consultants wrongly think they have to ditch their regular day job, and go full-time into consulting. Unless you're extremely fortunate to have clients banging down your door with work, you won't be quitting your day job just yet. And quitting your day job without having a backlog of consulting work is extremely risky.
Another problem that stops aspiring consultants from starting their business is the fear of not having enough, or any, income, benefits, etc. Not having any income or health benefits can be pretty scary.
But instead, there's a low-risk way to start a consulting business: start it on the side as a side-hustle. For those of you not familiar with a "side hustle", it's something you do for money aside from your regular day job. Starting a part-time consulting business is a great side hustle, since it's low-cost, and can typically be done outside your normal work hours.
Starting your consulting business part-time is a great way to lower your risk. You won't be freaked out about how you'll pay the mortgage while you're scrambling to get clients and do the billable work. By consulting as a side-hustle, you won't be desperate for work; potential clients can smell the fear, and if you're desperate for work, you'll probably end up lowering your rate and/or taking on ANY clients-including problem clients-which could waste your time.
By consulting on the side, you'll be testing the waters, seeing what works best, and deciding if you can-or want to-ramp up your consulting business to replace your day job. And in the meantime, you have your salary from your day job to pay the bills, while you can save your consulting income for your emergency fund.
I have tons of tips, tricks, tools, and techniques along with concrete steps you can take for starting and running a successful consulting business on my blog.