In the U.S., small business consulting fees range from $95 to $1,500, with an average cost of $399. The hourly cost of consulting fees range from about $45 to $150 per hour. Keep in mind that the fees you'll pay can vary depending on where you live, the specific services you need and whether you need one-time or ongoing consulting.
Small Business Consulting Fees:
What's in this Cost Guide?
How much do business consultants charge by the hour?
On average, small business consultants charge $75 per hour, with costs ranging from $45 to $150 per hour nationwide.
Hourly Small Business Consulting Fees:
What is the flat rate for business consultants?
Some small business consulting companies charge flat rates for specific consulting services or packages, and some charge a set hourly fee for services.
Here are cost examples from Peavy and Associates Business Services:
- Hourly business consulting rate: $125 (a free 15- to 30-minute consultation is provided to new customers).
- Business plans: $400
- Market research plans: $300
- Financial projections: $55 per projection
- Executive summary: $65 per summary
- Ongoing consulting services: $2,500–$3,500 per month, depending on the scope of work.
How much does it cost to get a business plan?
For companies just getting started, a business plan is the perfect place to begin. With professional assistance and consulting, new business owners can map out their success strategy with a seasoned pro who will help them determine their goals and how to accomplish them. Business plans can be created to target different goals, such as gaining investment funding, preparing for loans or branching out into a new market or specialty.
Prices vary depending on how in depth the business plan is and what the owner’s needs are. Some consultants charge by the hour to advise on an existing business plan rather than offering a set package rate. Here are some examples of package rates from Jennifer Rusz of Sterling Rose Consulting Corp. in Lawrenceville, Georgia:
- Loan-ready franchise plan package: $1,500–$2,500
- Includes five hours of consulting and one plan revision
- This package includes an executive summary, company overview, mission and vision statement, company objectives, startup summary, analysis of three competitors, analysis of four geographic areas, industry analysis, market analysis, marketing strategy, target market segmentation, target market strategy, product summary, sales strategy, sales forecast, pricing analysis, management summary, personnel plan, financials, five-year projection, two revenue streams, return on investment analysis (ROE, ROA, IRR), five-year net present value forecasting, equity and debt analysis, three historical financials analysis, and $500 investor pitch deck. Company revenue and investment must be less than $250,000 to qualify.
- Investment-ready package: $2,500–$5,000
- Includes 10 hours of consulting and three revisions
- This package Includes everything that the loan-ready package does and more.
- Enterprise package: $5,000 to start
- This package is entirely customizable to the client.
Business consulting package fees
Small business owners may save by taking advantage of coaching or consulting packages that target the needs of new and growing business owners.
From group coaching sessions to starter kits for professionals forming an LLC, here are examples of costs:
Scott Howard Coaching in Baltimore, Maryland:
- Group coaching package: $499
- Package includes eight one-hour group sessions.
- Sessions take place online and can range from four to 20 participants in size.
- Topics include setting and achieving business objectives, strengths assessment, market analysis, business planning, and more.
John Gramstad of JRG Taxes in Richardson, Texas:
- LLC Formation Package for Texas: $500
- Package includes name availability search, filing of Texas LLC formation documents, payment of state formation fee, registered agent service, provision of IRS EIN number, consult on and filing of S corporation form, completion of Texas franchise questionnaire, and setup of LLC ownership structure.
What do business consultants do?
Small business consulting is available for companies ranging in size from fewer than 10 employees to more than 50. Consultants work with established companies that have more than five years of operation under their belts, mid-way enterprises that are several years into their trajectory and startups at the beginning of the journey.
It doesn’t matter whether the organization has a business plan in place yet or not. Professional business consultants advise companies focused on sales and marketing, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, financial services, education, retail/consumer goods, real estate, construction and more, as well as nonprofit organizations.
Some small business consultants meet with clients in person and some work with organizations remotely to assess their goals and needs to create a strategic plan for business growth. Teleigha Peavy of Peavy and Associates Business Services in Duluth, Georgia, says that consulting encompasses a wide variety of services such as creating a business plan for new companies, helping seek startup funding, coaching on organization and structure, assisting with operations management, business development and improving existing business processes—among other services.