Here's some info from a tax perspective: The answer would depend on the legal status of your consultancy service - whether it is a corporation or sole proprietor. In the UK, the corporate tax rate is lower than the personal tax rate. All salary/wage payments made from the corporation are deductible at the corporation level and taxable at the individual level. You will have to file 2 tax returns and report a loss at the corporation for wages/salaries and costs of running the business. And file an individual/personal tax return showing your wages. Your personal tax return will trigger taxes. Whereas, the losses generated at the corporation will have to be carried forward till the time the corporation generates revenue/income.
Therefore, if your consultancy is a corporation, I suggest you take out only minimum amount of cash as salary to keep the tax impact low.
Whereas, if your consultancy is a sole proprietorship, then, most likely, both the consultancy financials and personal income will be reported on your personal/individual tax return. Since you don't have any revenues you will report net loss due to the minimal costs of running the business. Which means, no tax impact.Therefore, you can go ahead and pay yourself what seems market rate.
Please note that I am located in the US and not a UK tax expert.
Also, the situation can be different with partnership/LLC type of legal entity set-up of your consultancy service.
Hope this helps.