Have a strong background in consulting? You may want to take your skills to the Web. Online consulting offers clients advice via an Internet, rather than human, interface.
IDC predicts that online consulting will pose a significant challenge to traditional consulting firms, as the business model is well-suited to the changing Internet marketplace. Yet few large companies have stepped into this arena. Those that have, such as Ernst & Young and IBM, target enterprise clients and other larger businesses, leaving the small-business niche wide open for start-ups.
"A consultant who spent some years with a major firm could start an online consulting business, especially one that targets the small and middle market," says Sophie Mayo, program manager at IDC. She adds, however, that start-ups should plan to eventually add a face-to-face component to their services in an effort to build ongoing client relationships.