How To Start an Online Consultation Marketplace: A 360-Degree Analysis

How To Start an Online Consultation Marketplace: A 360-Degree Analysis

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Last Updated: 10th March, 2021

Imagine you have just finished your graduation and you need some career advice. You turn to your parents, but they are not from the same field, and thus, unable to guide you properly. You want to get advice from someone from your field so that you know you are on the right path for a bright future.

When you fall sick, you visit a doctor. When your car breaks down, you visit a service station. But what do you do when you need some personal, professional, or relationship consultation? Nowadays, people are resorting to the internet for everything like shopping, ordering food, finding a home, finding a car, buying groceries. So, why not have a portal where people can seek consultation from experts!

Launching an Online Consultation Marketplace is a good idea for aspiring entrepreneurs. Focusing on bringing consultation seekers and consultants together on a platform, this business idea is an innovation in itself. FATbit analyzed the inside out of this business and created a guide for entrepreneurs who want to be part of this revolution. What follows next is a thorough discussion on the business model, revenue channel, and critical features of an online consultation marketplace.

Business Model

As we mentioned earlier, the online consultation marketplace is a common meeting point between consultants and consultation seekers. The website has several consultants listed with their expertise, ratings, and other details which makes it easy for the consultation seekers to find consultants according to their requirements. The process is simple; the users just have to sign up and find the appropriate consultants for the problem they are looking to be solved. Depending on the target audience and niche market you can decide which all categories you want to add to your website.

online consultation marketplace business model

As a Consultant

  • Sign up on the website.
  • List your expertise and provide appropriate certification for the same.
  • The profile approval request goes to the admin of the platform. Once the admin approves the profile, the consultant then can mark his/her availability on the calendar to receive session bookings.
  • After the consultant receives a booking, he/she can start the session at the time decided beforehand, else the consultant can request the client to reschedule the booking.
  • Once a session is delivered successfully, the admin transfers the session fees to the consultant after deducting the commission.

As a Consultation Seeker

  • Sign up on the website
  • Search relevant keywords in the search bar to find an appropriate consultant for your problem.
  • A list of all the matching consultants is displayed on the page and the client can schedule a free demo with the consultation of his/her choice as per his availability calendar.
  •  After having a demo session, either the client can look for another consultant or schedule further sessions with the same consultant.
  • For scheduling more sessions, the client can make the payment and start attending the sessions.
  • In case, the client faces any issue regarding the sessions, he/she can raise a ticket to the admin for a refund.

Top Market Players of Online Consultation Marketplace

Top market players

Revenue Model

The right revenue model for your online consultation marketplace will help you reach your business goals and sustain long-term growth. Below listed are some revenue models that can be adopted for your business.

Commission: One of the primary sources of revenue for the online consultation marketplace is commission. The consultation seekers are charged per session and the payment is transferred to the Admin account. After deducting the pre-decided commission, the admin transfers the remaining amount to the consultant.

Freemium: Consultants and consultation seekers can access the platform for free for a limited time and sessions, post which they need to purchase the monthly/ annual subscription of the platform to access the platform. The payment from the subscription fee is a direct revenue source.

Featured Section: Admin can opt to add a featured listing section on the platform to display the popular consultants in lieu of a nominal fee. Being listed in the featured section will give them more visibility and more clients.

Ads: Partner with the relevant businesses whose advertisements you can display on your website. These ads can be served by any third-party ad network like Google AdSense.

Must-Have Features of an Online Consultation Marketplace

Business owners often find themselves in a quandary over which features to include in their online consultation platform. Below listed are some of the most pertinent features for increased growth and better client engagement.

  • Audio/Video Chat: Having the potential to bring both parties in close contact, this feature is actually an asset to the online consultation platform. Consultants and clients can communicate remotely in real-time over a secured network. It elevates the quality of consultation as the consultant can easily interpret the client’s problem and communicate the consultation effectively.
  • Text Chat: Instant chat between the consultant and client saves a lot of time and helps both parties to offer/get immediate consultation right from their home before, during, or after a session.
  • Session Scheduling: In situations that require an increased number of consultation bookings, an online consultation platform should have the ability to plan and schedule appointments. It helps consultants to manage their time efficiently and offer on-time consultations to their clients.
  • File-Sharing: This is another great feature that lets clients share their reports and statistics seamlessly to take the consultation further. The file-sharing feature should be secured as one is free to share all the confidential reports over the platform.
  • Advanced Search: The search functionality in the online consultation platform allows the clients to search for the consultants by filling in their preferences without browsing all the consultants. Providing a seamless user experience to the users, search functionality also increases their time on your platform.
  • Multiple Payment Gateways: Not finding their preferred payment gateway, several users may abandon the website and switch to any other platform. Multiple payment gateways on the platform make it easy for the users to make and receive payments, that too in their preferred currency.

Launch Online Consultation Marketplace Compiled With Feature-Rich Functionality

Business Domains for Online Consultation

Now that we know the essential features of an online consultation platform, it is equally important to understand which business domains this software is applicable to. There are several industries with a fruitful ground for consulting services. Here are some of the popular ones:

  • Business Consulting (IT, Management, Marketing, HR, etc.)
  • Nutrition Consulting
  • Healthcare Consulting
  • Education Consulting
  • Legal Consulting

Final Notes

As the consultation market is growing exponentially, having an online consulting marketplace is a lucrative one. Yo!Coach is the turnkey solution that allows entrepreneurs to build their own online consultation marketplace. The software can be easily tailored to the personal needs of any consulting service and additional functionalities can be added as required. Currently serving a huge clientele, the software is in high demand because of the following features:

  • Audio/Video Chat
  • Multiple Screen Sharing
  • Session Scheduling
  • Reviews/Ratings
  • Multilingual/Multi-Currency
  • Marketing & Reporting Features

Bridging the gap between the consultants and consultation seekers, Yo!Coach is not only a powerful software but also the need of the hour that can help you start your venture with a solid footing.

Want to start your online consultation marketplace swifty & with ease

Disclaimer: The Blog has been created with consideration and care. We strive to ensure that all information is as complete, correct, comprehensible, accurate and up-to-date as possible. Despite our continuing efforts, we cannot guarantee that the information made available is complete, correct, accurate or up-to-date. We advise - the readers should not take decisions completely based on the information and views shared by FATbit on its blog, readers should do their own research to further assure themselves before taking any commercial decision. The 3rd party trademarks, logos and screenshots of the websites and mobile applications are property of their respective owners, we are not directly associated with most of them.

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