Starting a consulting firm alone is not a small thing.It requires big experience in the consulting field. From your question i understood that you don't have any idea on business consulting.So its better to join some reputed company business consulting companies and learn the process.Only then you should think of consulting.To know more about business consulting see the link below.
First and foremost, do not lose hope. Have the courage and conviction that you will succeed. It would take time but keep hunting. Start with a clean slate, and draw from your experience of what unique you are going to offer. Keep brushing up your skills. Talk to clients on what realistic you can do based on your skills and expertise. Understand what is happening in the industry vertical where the client plays and talk of assisting in areas where there are unmet needs, where they could have a problem
try to speak to at least five potential clients a day, introduce yourself. Some may know and some will eventually know. Do a small freebee to demonstrate what you can offer. Keep it simple and it would eventually lead to success. Never give up
Open a website. Start blogging. Get a good reputation, get known online. Get a network of businessmen who would want to hire your services. Get a team of real experts in their respective fields when you are already rolling. Be prepared to have the capital needed and the tools or technology to keep your business rolling. Get tips and advice from actual people who are in the same business as what you are thinking. Learn from their mistakes. Get a mentor if possible.
The most important is to find some field where you have expertise, can provide value and differetiate from your competitor. Finding customers is the key issues and customer need value.
Starting a consulting firm from home is really an good idea. Well, I found ths link.. hope it might be useful to help to know about "How to start a HR Consultancy company" ( http://www.gsjobpoint.com/blog/recruitment/how-to-start-a-hr-consultancy-company.do )
Also, book "How to start an HR Consultancy?" written by Sangita Singh might be useful as well.. The book describes the need of HR recruitment firm and its benefits for the employers and job seekers. It also provide an insight into the inner working of the consultancy and how to tackle the problems that can be associated with the business. (http://gsjobpoint.com/how-to-start-a-hr-consultancy-company.php )
Make sure you have...
- a big network of people
- have a clear offering
start spreading your gospel...calls are best
A consulting firm is usually started by people who have experience and who know something that can bring a whole world down to its knees. Connections can also help too. It can be any expertise. However if you do not have the expertise,it will be very hard to start such a firm whether at home or in an office. A lot of the big companies usually charge a lot of money to help due to the fact that their expertise brings out a lot of the results that their clients expect in return.
If this is all brand new to you there are a lot of free seminars, resources, webcasts etc available to talk in detail about many of the issues others have mentioned here in the comments. Not only can these provide valuable tips and insight, but they give you an opportunity to check out potential professionals you might want to hire to assist you in one thing or another. Most of the people providing free webcasts (etc) also provide services of one sort or another. There are many groups on LinkedIn related to job search, and entrepreneurship. You can find these people there.
Excellent question and definitely awesome answers!! Thanks to all for sharing your knowledge too.
I suggest have a read of "Advantage - A Road map for entrepreneurs in the Digital Age" . Its a very practical and pragmatic guide, with advice and tools that will help . Its available on Amazon paper and ebook, smashwords or www.advantage-book.com for PDF