First ask yourself some questions.
Do I have what it takes?
Perhaps you are working for an organization in a regular job, and you are being paid for your skills and knowledge. In the current economy many have lost their jobs or face an uncertain future. You may be looking for a job, and have the know-how. Whether or not you are currently employed, you could use your knowledge to benefit others as a consultant.
How do I get started?
You can begin consulting as a part-time activity until you have enough income to know that you will succeed. If you are currently employed, it is best to find out what your employers rules are for consulting or outside work.
Three pathways to an independent consultancy:
1) Let someone else handle all business details and find clients for you
Some companies will arrange the work, the travel, and the projects. You just do the work and they send you the check. You can pick and choose the jobs as long as you have enough work. In this case you devote yourself entirely to consulting. An example of this is YourEncore.
2) Let someone else handle business details, but find your own clients
An option is to join an organization that allows you to be an “employee of record.” The organization could handle all of the business, provide benefits, such as group health insurance, and do the billing, bookkeeping and taxes, but you would find your own clients and projects. Examples of companies that provide such services is MBO Partners and the Solo W-2 For Independent Professionals. Agents and various companies will be happy to find work for you – for a fee, of course.
3) Establish your own business, find your own clients, and do the consulting
If you go with establishing your own business, you will first have to decide what business structure you will use.