How I Started A Consulting Firm And Make $5M/Year

Published: June 4th, 2022
Tyler King
Founder, Assuras
from Dallas, TX, USA
started December 2018
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

My name is Tyler King, and I'm a serial entrepreneur! Today, I am the CEO of Assuras, a global management consulting firm that has been successful in tripling our market share our initial two years from inception. Our target client is an organization in its growth stage with 500-2000 employees.

We help solve challenges that come with growth in a company, among several other complex challenges. While we help many different types of companies, our core focus pertains to solving real impactful challenges that a company much complete a full pivot to overcome. Our firm tries to take on the most complex issues, which will bring real, impactful changes for our clients.


What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

My first venture was a technology service company that I started while in high school (CSR Technology Group, Inc.). It began as a computer repair company (CSR: Computer Service and Repair), which eventually outgrew its original inception. I developed the company into a field force company that worked with large technology vendors such as Dell, EMC, and Unisys.


Following my exit (splitting off the company and contracts in a sale), I moved on to executive consulting through my startup called Incorre, after spending a brief period taking on education at some well known universities. During that period, I consulted independently through my company Incorre. This company provides executive coaching and leadership advisory services. I also provided technology consulting, although that was minimal in my overall engagements. I worked with executives in companies, teaching them methodologies to help develop solutions to challenges they were facing.


Today, much of that practice (Incorre) has been absorbed into Assuras. This is where much of the conceptional idea of the venture came from.

As the CEO of Assuras, a global management consulting firm, I spend time solving problems and working with others to develop them. We take on complex challenges with many moving parts. We have taken on many of my independent learnings from engagement with leaders in my prior venture and education from leading institutions.


Take us through the process of coming up with your consulting business

What Assuras delivers consists of methodologies and plans of action to solve a particular challenge or meet an unmet need. Much of the consulting industry has been built on best practices and case studies. However, we decided to take a different approach than other major firms.

Consulting is naturally a traditional industry by nature. However, what we did was gather unique minds and build cross-functional and diverse teams which provide alternative ways of looking at a problem. Next, we gathered insight from those individuals on the ground level first. Bringing all that together, we got an initial perspective much different than what a traditional firm might come in and see.

Most of our consultants have graduate-level educational degrees from leading business schools. Many of the Ivy League schools teach via a case study, where the issues and ideas are broken down into real-life examples.

We have taken this approach and placed it on steroids. When we approach core issues, we consider small moving parts initially, mapping out the entire process and then rising back up to look at it from sky level looking down. From there, we design a map to get our clients where they need to be.

Describe the process of launching the business.

Taking any business to market can be a rollercoaster ride. There will be ups and downs. Every venture I have started experiences many of these motions.

Financing a new company is often one of the largest challenges many face. For Assuras, luckily I had previous successful ventures to pay for starting this new one. I was able to gain additional attention from partners who also became clients who invested initially in our service. While our costs were not huge in this consulting firm, we still had a large overhead in the form of offices, furniture, and equipment. There were also other costs related to advertising and the development of our brand.

One of the areas where we achieved a lot of initial support is in offering risk-free consulting and action plans with clients who would commit to implementing our recommendations. Initially, we had a large human capital overhead, but we were able to recover much of the initial investment after savings were realized in some of the initial clients.

Financing the labor portion is services is always the greatest cost. Previously I had learned that large secured lines of credit were important to float aged receivables. We had acquired a LOC with a savings and loans bank of $1.2M to cover initial labor costs, basically fronting the labor and taking a gamble that our advice would truly save our clients money and we would be able to recover our investment.

For marketing, we relied heavily on advertisements online. We also invested in PR where we would be able to tell the story of how we have been able to help some of our clients. Our website was a huge part of that success. Accordingly, we invested heavily into design and development, while using our consultants to help write some content.

We also limited some costs initially by renting a lot of our assets. This limited our upfront investments and allowed more capital for cash flow. Being that our labor overhead was the highest expense, we had to focus on delivering services and seeking compensation in stages. It was honestly a balancing act, and I applaud many in our accounting staff for this form of ‘art’.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Our work consists of problem-solving on an incredibly challenging and high level. We must understand all the moving parts of an organization, at a very rapid pace. We come into a lot of our client's organizations with limited backgrounds and have to learn from the ground.

Having people who can quickly swift through a large amount of data, and then learn as you go all the moving parts is important. Our clients are quick to notice talent. We spend a lot of time trying to find these people who can do this best. It's almost an art form. So one of the areas where we gain a lot of retention I'd put our best people in constant visibility of our clients.

Edison failed with his lightbulb filament thousands of times, but we remember him for his single and best success. Avoiding failure also means avoiding success.

In our marketing and sales funnel, we track leads all the way from our digital marketing platforms to closing a deal. We continue to tweak our PPC keywords every week because what people need changes over time.

Almost everyone in the modern-day work force is familiar with how valuable reputation is. Word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertising. In our case, networking with executives within our client companies, really getting to know their vendors and partners, we had opportunities to prove our worth through results to these individuals. Utilizing our network was a huge part of our strategy.

To promote customer referrals, we offered cash gift cards to those who referred a new client with whom we engaged. We put the ball in the individual’s court to spread the word about our firm and offerings and how we helped them. Accordingly, we were able to compensate for the referral. This was one of our best strategies and even worked in our favor to retain current clients by continuous and active engagement.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

The most important lesson I learned in business is no such thing as the 'perfect time'. The time for action is now. Every moment you delay action is one moment lost to create something amazing.

Too many people wait around until the market is in a better position, see what a competitor does, or even just bring an idea/concept to market. Innovation is key to survival. It shouldn't matter how the market is doing if that is the line of work you want to be in. Work to find a way to improve your position or market. It shouldn't matter what your competitor is doing - you can't control their actions, and you should be focused on your products/services. And thinking that tomorrow will place you in a better position is a line of thought which will lead you to months and years of delay with nothing to show for it.

Since birth, we have fallen down. The important thing to remember is to get back up and try something new as well as protect yourself from excessive harm on the next attempt.

You must consider things you have control over and make the best decision in the present. You won't be able to control the market, but you can control how to respond to it. Constant innovation and development are key to survival.

Don't wait. Put your ideas into motion today.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

I've come from a technology background with previous ventures being in tech. I value many of these applications and tools within my firm.

I'm big on productivity and integration. We link all our systems in the most efficient way possible so information is not entered multiple times or maintained in different systems. TheseThis elements are errors and wasted time which is important, as our firm should base a case study on itself to show our clients the levels of performance they can see in their own organizations.

  • Today, we map our sales funnel from the initial point of advertisement for digital marketing (Google Ad-Words and Meta, etc.).

  • We use a suite of tools which have complex integration to a backend Salesforce system for customer relationship management.

  • We are also heavy on Office 365 for our productivity suite. We now keep most of our systems cloud-based so any of our team can access the necessary data no matter where they are working at the moment in the world.

  • Internally, we utilize an ERP system that has been built out in modules custom for our services. Most of that system has been designed by our own developers specifically to efficiently manage our entire organization on a global scale.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Personally, I seek to live a life worth living, one that has a purpose. This concept drives me, and I have spent a lot of time in life so far contemplating the meaning of life and why we are here.

The idea of purpose is extremely personal to me in my walk through life, and I have been touched by the words of Victor Frankle, "Man's Search For Meaning". It describes how he found purpose and meaning in life while subject to the cruelty of a concentration camp. I encourage anyone to read it if you are looking for meaning in life, as I believe at the foundation, this is what drives us, entrepreneurs, to do what we do.

From a more professional and business oriented standpoint, the author of the Dilbert Cartoon wrote a book about failing his way to success. He has several books and he discusses in detail how failure has been an important part of his journey. I share similar viewpoints, but in my opinion, he probably expresses the perspective better than I . It is well worth the read.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

One of the things I try to mentor other future leaders on is the idea of learning to fail. While everyone generally tries to aim for success, it is important not to avoid failure in the pursuit. Since birth, we have fallen. The important thing to remember is to get back up and try something new as well as protect yourself from excessive harm on the next attempt.

I call this learning to 'fail well '. In my business, people rely on advice due to experience. Failure is just another word for experience. And accordingly, success is built upon the previous failure. The most important thing here is to protect yourself and your company from failing in a way that completely destroys the organization. Small scale tests, or experiments, are key. Don't implement anything until it is proven on a small scale and always plan for redundancies and backups.

Edison failed with his lightbulb filament thousands of times, but we remember him for his single and best success. Avoiding failure also means avoiding success.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Absolutely! We never stop looking for the best and brightest minds. As a consulting firm, we require people who are experts in their industries. We also look for those with strong academic backgrounds who have recently completed graduate level education.

These individuals are who make up our firm, our consultants drive our success. We have intern positions for those who are still working on their education and senior-level consultants who have mastered certain parts of their respective industries. You can check out our careers section online to learn more.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!