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The Consultant's Quick Start Guide: An Action Planfor Your First Year in Business, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-470-45052-9
280 pages
December 2008, Pfeiffer
The Consultant
The Consultant's Quick Start Guide offers a practical approach to setting up a consulting business. Throughout the guide, Elaine Biech--author of the best-selling The Business of Consulting--shares both her own secrets as well as those of numerous other successful consultants. With a focus on the business side of consulting, Biech takes you through a painless, fill-in-the-blanks, step-by-step process for setting up your consulting firm. New sections include:
  • Why A Consulting Career—Five Reasons Why You May Be a Good Investment
  • How Much Will Clients Pay?
  • Your first "To Do" List
  • What to call your business
  • Creating and writing Business Plans
  • Office Location Options
  • Setting up your office, including Furnishing Your Office and planning your Technical Needs
  • Electronic Records, including Monthly Expense Records, Revenue Projections, and Invoicing
  • Staying Organized, including a Session Planner
  • Determining your market niche
  • Creating your marketing plan
  • Developing your website
  • Reviewing your first year with your family
  • Electronic resource list, available online
  • Skills And Knowledge Required of Consultants
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Preface.

Acknowledgments.

1. First Things First: Why Consulting?

Chapter Overview.

Consulting: What Is It?

Why a Consulting Career?

Explore Your Experiences.

Inventory Your Competencies.

Assess Your Consulting Aptitude.

Pull It Together: Your Initial Consulting Focus.

Entrepreneur Attitude: Do You Have What It Takes?

Quick Start Action: A Baker’s Dozen Questions to Ask a Consultant.

Quick Start Lists.

2. Planning Your Consulting Future.

Chapter Overview.

Your Preferred Future.

Will Consulting Lead You to Your Life Goals?

Professional, Financial, and Personal Considerations.

Identify the Changes You Will Have to Make.

Quick Start Action: Create Your Personal Expense Plan.

Quick Start Lists.

3. Dollars and Sense.

Chapter Overview.

Establish a Start-Up Budget.

Put a Price on Your Head.

Calculate Required Revenue.

Quick Start Action: Setting Your Fee.

Fill Out Financial Forms.

So What’s It Take to Get off the Ground?

Quick Start Lists.

4. Taking Care of Business.

Chapter Overview.

Getting Started.

What’s in a Name?

Find the Best Accountant and Attorney.

Quick Start Action: Find an Accountant and Attorney.

Determine Your Business Structure.

Explore Your Banking and Insurance Needs.

Check Local Zoning Laws, Licenses, and Taxes.

File Legal Documentation.

Quick Start Action: Your First To-Do List.

Quick Start Lists.

5. Your Business Plan.

Chapter Overview.

Are Business Plans Really Necessary?

Write Your Plan.

Plan to Use Your Business Plan.

Quick Start Action: Plan a Review.

Quick Start Lists.

6. Make the Switch Painlessly.

Chapter Overview.

Gain Consulting Experience Before Leaving Your Job.

Determine Your Transition Plan.

Quick Start Action: Plan with Your Family.

Quick Start Lists.

7. Setting Up Your Office.

Chapter Overview.

Office Location Options.

Set Up Your Office.

Paper, Paper Everywhere!

Quick Start Action: Preparing Forms.

Quick Start Lists.

8. Finding Clients.

Chapter Overview.

Determine Your Market Niche.

Quick Start Action: Is There a Client Base?

Who’s Your Competition?

Identify Your First Clients.

Land Your First Work.

Quick Start Lists.

9. Marketing.

Chapter Overview.

What Marketing Is.

The ABCs of Marketing.

Create Your Marketing Plan.

Build Your Marketing Plan.

Marketing on a Shoestring Budget.

Write Winning Proposals.

Track Your Clients.

Tips to Become a Better Marketer.

Quick Start Lists.

10. Surviving the First Year.

Chapter Overview.

Take Care of Your Health.

Manage Your Time.

Establish Good Habits.

Balance Your Life.

Did You Hear the One About the Consultant . . . - Developing a Personal Ethics Statement.

Quick Start Lists.

11. So, Now What? Year Two and Beyond.

Chapter Overview.

Assess Your Progress.

Quick Start Action: Review Your First Year with Your Family.

Plan Your Next Steps.

Bring It All Together.

Quick Start Action: Review Your First Year with a Colleague.

Quick Start Lists.

Reading List.

Electronic References.

Call for Ideas.

Call for Papers.

About the Author.

Index.

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Elaine Biech is president and managing principal of ebb associates inc, an organizational development firm that helps organizations work through large-scale change. Biech has been in the training and consulting field for thirty years and is the author and editor of four dozen books and articles, including Pfeiffer Annuals of Training and Consulting, 90 World-Class Activities by 90 World-Class Trainers, Training for Dummies, The Business of Consulting, Second Edition, and Marketing and Selling Your Consulting Services, all published by Wiley. Biech is the recipient of ASTD's highest honor, the Gordon M. Bliss award.

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