154: How to Start a Consulting Business: Your First $5k

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

Note: Click here to download Jonathan’s top tips for starting a consulting business.

Jonathan Stark says the key to side hustle success — for consultants, at least — lies in finding an expensive problem, and solving it. 

Jonathan’s a pro at finding these expensive problems, having run a successful online consulting business for several years, focusing on mobile-ready web development.

At the recommendation of two-time Side Hustle Show guest, Kai Davis, he dropped by to share some of his insight on how to get a side hustle consulting business off the ground. We chat idea generation and validation, pricing, and growth strategies.

Free PDF Download:

start a consulting business

Click here to download Jonathan’s top tips for starting a consulting business.

Subscribe to The Side Hustle Show on iTunes!

Subscribe to The Side Hustle Show on Stitcher!

Subscribe to The Side Hustle Show via RSS!


  • How to find a laser-focused niche you can serve, and hone your one-sentence elevator pitch. (“I help ______ with _______.”
  • Jonathan’s selection criteria to see if a niche or industry is “big enough” without being too big.
  • His recommendations on how to start a business-to-business side hustle even when your own availability during business hours is limited.
  • How to perform market research and idea validation to uncover expensive problems on the cheap.
  • How to earn your first testimonials.
  • The 3 and 4-tiered pricing approach he recommends after landing your first clients.
  • Why your ultimate goal should be to “sell your brain and not your hands.”
  • Jonathan’s #1 tip for Side Hustle Nation.


Free PDF Download:

Click here to download Jonathan’s top tips for starting a consulting business.

start a consulting business pin

Like That? There's More!

Join the 65,000 Who Get My Best Stuff via Email

I'll also send you my free guide: The 5 Fastest Ways to Make More Money.

6 thoughts on “154: How to Start a Consulting Business: Your First $5k”

  1. Nick, this podcast starts out like two minutes into the conversation after your intro. I streamed it from ITunes and had to listen the opening twice to make sure. You may want to double check this and see if you have a good back up.


    • Hey Bill,

      Thanks for the note. Checked again on my side and I’m not hearing the problem. The first thing Jonathan says is to pick a laser-focused niche, yes? (Lately I’ve been cutting out the part where I say, “Hey Jonathan, welcome to The Side Hustle Show,” to get into the content faster.)

      Are you hearing dead air or a repeated audio loop?

      • That makes sense then, that’s what I heard…it was just a weird effect- just wanted to let you know.

        All my best,


  2. I’ve listened to this twice now, great podcast Nick! I love what Jonathan is saying about pigeonholing and finding a specific problem that a specific audience has. It really does make everything so much easier to define. I think that if you can tell people what you do at a party without having to explain it past one sentence, you’ve probably made it specific enough.

  3. This is my favorite episode. Jonathan’s plan for a cold email, ‘asking for advice’ campaign, is brilliant. Reminds me of Justin Wilcox. Excellent step-by-step blueprint to go from zero to hero in any kind of consulting business.


Leave a Comment

Usually Hustling, Occasionally Social

plutus winner