The Cost-Effective Allure of Freelance Consulting: Ten Cheap Tools for Starting Now!

No experienced professional should have an income deficiency. In fact, any adult that has been in the workforce for at least ten years already has ownership of a very valuable money making product. This money making product is experience or intellectual knowledge. We need to look back to the days when we sat in a recruiter’s office and either they asked us what we have done in our careers or perhaps we listed our skills on a résumé.


What is preventing us from leveraging our talents for a side hustle to increase our income above and beyond the fixed income that a primary job provides? Okay, we do need to pay the rent, feed our bellies, and keep the electricity on so that the food in our refrigerator will not spoil. That is the purpose of a primary job. What about money for buying a home? What about money for investing? What about money for getting married? Well, that is the purpose of a side hustle.


I recently did some research to see how much it would cost to start a virtual consulting business and found that the most expensive tool for this type of business is our product itself which is our intellectual knowledge. The tools needed to leverage this product for the marketplace will run us at roughly $1,500* to get our businesses started in the first year. Amazon is an excellent and cost-effective source of small business tools.
*Excludes high-speed internet access. 


The following are ten cheap tools that you will need to start your virtual consulting business now:


1) PC $199 and High-Speed Internet (varies and is usually part of your cable plan)

HP 14 Inch Stream Laptop, Intel Celeron N3060 Processor, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, 1-year Office 365 Personal included, HDMI $199.00

2) Printer Scanner $63.01

HP DeskJet 3755 Compact All-in-One Wireless Printer with Mobile Printing, Instant Ink ready – Stone Accent (J9V91A)

3) G Suite aka Google Apps (free or $10 a month for the unlimited version)

G Suite includes cloud-based Gmail, Hangouts, Calendar, and Google+ for communication; Drive for storage; Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Sites for collaboration. Chances are you already have this product linked to your school email as part of an alumni benefit. Alternatively, Office 365 offers the same functionality.

4) Military Grade Data Encryption Folder Lock – Data Security & Encryption $39.99

5) Internet Security Kaspersky 20171 Device 1 Year $28.97

6) Basic Small Business Liability Insurance (Errors and Omissions) $500 annually

7) Software or Database Access Specific to Your Profession (varies) $500 annually

8) Incorporation (varies by state) $250

Forming an LLC will cost $149 plus filing fees via Filing fees for an LLC in the State of Virginia will cost $100.

9) WordPress Blog Site, Hosting, Domain Name *$96, $36, $15

*Current Go Daddy pricing.   

10) Business Cards *$9.99

*Vista Print will get you started with a new customer deal for $9.99 for 500 business cards.

I also found the following article on which lists the 15 best sites where freelancers can find quality side gigs to get started.

-Charles Edward

The 15 Best Freelance Websites to Find Jobs

There are plenty of guides for striking out on your own, but as a freelancer, getting higher-paying gigs isn’t just a matter of signing up on popular platforms. You’ll have to branch out, establish a great portfolio of past work and maybe even prove yourself through tests that showcase your skills. Here’s a list of the 15 best sites to find work as a freelancer.

1. Upwork

With over 1.5 million clients, Upwork (previously oDesk) offers something for every type of freelancer. It accommodates both short- and long-term projects, hourly or per-project work and expert-level and entry-level engagements. Regardless of where you are in your career, Upwork is likely to have something for you.

2. Toptal

With a distinctly different approach than the other services on this list, Toptal is for seasoned, talented freelancers. Passing Toptal’s screening process gives you unparalleled access to meaningful projects with great clients (JPMorgan, Zendesk, Airbnb, etc.) and fair compensation (no low-bid contests). You’ll also be able to join the Toptal community for frequent meetups and tech events.

3. Elance

Elance removes a lot of the hassle that comes with freelancing. You’ll be able to make a profile right away without jumping through any hoops, enjoy payment protection to ensure you’re always paid for the hours you work and more.

Editor’s note: Elance has joined Upwork since the publish date of this article.

4. Freelancer

Unlike most other platforms, in addition to offering millions of projects, Freelancer allows you to compete with other freelancers in contests to prove your skills. If you’re competitive and confident in your expertise, it’s a great way to showcase your abilities and attract more clients.

Source: The 15 Best Freelance Websites to Find Jobs

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2018