Setting Up Your Consulting Practice

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This video course guides you through how to set up your consulting practice: setting up your legal entity, getting insurance, building your virtual team, and finding consulting clients. The course includes:

  • 90 short videos
  • 30 templates
  • Save 100+ hours of research
Next Video "Set Intentions and Goals"

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The videos in this course are short – usually 2-3 minutes. Many of the videos point you to a specific episode of our podcast, or one of our resources, for a more detailed discussion.

If this were a college course, then The Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning Clients by David A. Fields would be the required reading. Definitely get this book. Also, I highly recommend that you register to receive the weekly blog posts from David A. Fields.


This guide is the product of over 1,000 conversations and the experience of leading 20 professional development events for independent management consultants around the world. While I can’t thank everyone who has contributed to the ideas in the guide, I want to mention a few who have been particularly helpful:

Bill Bachman, my dad, who was my patient videographer

Marsha Brockenwell, Manager of Member Services at Umbrex

Gary Chan, for sharing tips on cyber security tailored to independent consultants

Marc Feigen, noted advisor to Fortune 200 CEOs, for his guidance

Aneta Key, for contributions to the facilitator checklist

Esther Kim, for contributions to the facilitator checklist

David A. Fields, consulting guru, whose thinking is particularly important in the Strategy and Business Development sections of this Guide

Joachim Fischer, who advised me during the first years of my practice

Jonah Gruda, Tax Partner at Mazars, for guidance on accounting and tax matters

Laura Handrick, who helped project manage the effort of getting this guide online

Roger Lee, for remote IT support

Molly Leeds, for advice on health insurance

Jing Liang, Umbrex Co-Founder

Jay Martin, for permission to share his project list

Chara McGill, for guidance on bookkeeping and accounting

Kaan Oran, who edited the videos

Maureen Pritchard, for sharing templates for will & estate planning

Srikumar Rao, whose course Creativity and Personal Mastery at Columbia Business School has helped me shape my own path

Rosina Samadani, who advised me as I started my own practice in 2008

Mary Kate Scott, for advice on many topics including proposals and negotiations

Charlene Sippel, for superb administrative support

Scott Skibell, whose online course got me started with video

Naomi Soto, who runs operations at Umbrex

Brendan Steidle, who created the template for the videos

Dorene Stockman, for guidance on liability insurance

Upright, our web development team, particulary Matthew O’Sullivan and Danielle Gaglioti

Matt Weill, for contract templates and legal advice

Mark Williams, aka “Mr. LinkedIn,” for his advice on using LinkedIn effectively

And most importantly, Umbrex Co-Founder and Managing Partner Margarita Soto, whose guidance has informed each day of my journey as a consultant.


Hi, I’m Will Bachman. I was a management consultant at McKinsey and Company from 2001 to 2008. In 2008, I left and started my own independent consulting practice, and this is the course I wish I had been able to take at that time to know what I had to do to set up my firm. I was operating in the blind, but I’ve consolidated the lessons learned from over 10 years of doing this in one place to help you get started.

What have I based this course on? Well, number one, my own experience since 2008. Number two, as the co-founder of Umbrex, I’ve gotten to know over 1,000 top tier independent management consultants, having hundreds and hundreds of conversations, and many of those are around how to get started. And number three, I’m the host of a podcast, Unleashed: How to Thrive as an Independent Professional. We currently passed 200 episodes, and have incorporated insights from that show as well.

What are you going to get in this course? Well, I’ll tell you. In the strategy section, we’re going to talk about figuring out what clients you want to serve, and what problems you want to work on. In the office section, very practical, we’re going to talk about setting up the physical space where you want to work. In the team section, we’re going to talk about building out your virtual team. One of the critical factors as an independent professional, getting an accountant, a bookkeeper, a graphics person, an administrator, someone who can, you know, be swing capacity for you. And other members of your virtual team including health insurance broker, a business insurance broker. This is a critical aspect of being successful, building your team.

Then we’re going to talk about legal aspects. How to register your LLC, getting an operating agreement, and other contract issues. We’re going to get into finance, so how much money should you set aside before you get started in this business, a business checking account, business credit card, as well as some tips around invoicing clients, keeping track of invoices, and how to pay subcontractors. We’re going to get into technology, so a quick view of a variety of tech tools that you should get in place. Then we’re going to move into marketing collateral. And that includes everything from business cards, correspondence cards, PowerPoint template, proposal template, website, newsletter, all the marketing collateral that will be helpful in raising your visibility.

And then finally, we’re going to get into business development. There, we’re just going to get started on business development, because that’s a big topic by itself, but we’re going to give some tips on how to generate leads by raising your visibility, both through one-on-one interactions and through creating content and thought leadership. SSo I hope you find this course helpful. I’ve put my heart and soul into creating it and love to get your feedback. You can email me at Thanks for watching.