Start a Project Management Consulting Business

They say, failing to plan is planning to fail. True entrepreneurs understand this. That’s why they often hire project management consultants for doing research work and helping them plan their activities, reduce costs and provide better services to their customers. This business idea is about making money by helping different business owners to make the best possible business decisions and to provide oversight and leadership in efficiently executing projects from planning to completion.

Getting Started

While there are self-taught people who have learnt it the hard way through trial and error. It is best to take a course on project management, now like any course you have options as to how you will study for it, will you do it full time, part time or online etc. This means you have to consider both time and cost. For a locally focussed online course you can look at the one from Red & Yellow Creative School which runs over ten weeks. If you can’t afford that you can take the course on Udemy below that which is a 3.5 hour general overview which will act as a primer to the industry:

  1. Apply for a Project Management Course by Red & Yellow Creative School of Business(South Africa) – R12,500
  2. Get a Udemy course Growing a Successful Career as a Project Manager – R110 (when on special)

If you have the time and resources you can study at a local university.

Target Market

There are hundreds of thousands of small, medium and micro-sized enterprises in South Africa. Consequently, it’s merely impossible to find a business owner who wouldn’t like to improve their sales and total income. Not only that but many entrepreneurs in SA do not have formal business skills and a project manager can help them reach the next level of their business quicker than they would on their own.

Therefore, there are hundreds of thousands of prospective customers for your future company. On the other hand, consulting seems like  an easy way to make money, because it doesn’t require buying an expensive equipment or managing a factory. So the market must be competitive and hard to break into. Somewhat, yes.

The thing about consulting is that you need to have some achievements under your belt. Like a designer you need to have a portfolio of past successes but also real experience. You need to have achieved what your clients are striving for.  It’s difficult to help other people manage their projects if you don’t have  the experience and portfolio of your own or other people’s successful projects that you have managed. That is why if you don’t have any previous business experience you need to start getting it and there are a few ways to do this:
• Work with NGO’s
Offer to volunteer your skills to help NGO’s whether its on a fundraising project or exeturing a marketing or training project. This will also help you with references.
• Work pro bono
Help entrepreneurs who cannot afford consultants get their small businesses off the ground.

Watch this detailed video that will help you avoid common mistakes while starting a consulting business:


How much you make will depend on the company and project you are working on.The bigger the business that you’re dealing with, the more money you will make as a project management consultant but also the more experience you will need.


There is a non-profit organization that represents project management consultants across different sectors in SA.  Before you even start your own business, you should consider learning more about Project Management South Africa. It offers education and training advice for individuals and training providers.