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Getting Started in Consulting, 3rd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-470-45499-2
320 pages
March 2009
Getting Started in Consulting, 3rd Edition (0470454997) cover image

The Unbeatable, Updated, Comprehensive Guidebook For First-Time Consultants

Getting Started In Consulting

More people than ever are making the jump from corporate offices to home offices, taking control of their futures, being their own bosses, and starting their own consultancies. Consulting is a bigger business than ever and growing every day.

For almost a decade, Alan Weiss's Getting Started in Consulting has been an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to strike out on his own and start a new consulting business. It provides a rich source of expert advice and practical guidance, and it shows you how you can combine low overhead and a high degree of organization to add up to a six- or even seven-figure income. You'll learn everything you need to know about financing your business, marketing your services, writing winning proposals, meeting legal requirements, setting fees, keeping the books, and much more.

This new Third Edition of Getting Started in Consulting is more comprehensive, up to date, and practical than ever. In addition to the nuts-and-bolts basics, you'll also get a wealth of new information and resources:

  • How to leverage new technologies to lower your business costs and increase your profits

  • A budget sampler that shows you how best to maximize an initial start-up investment of $5,000, $10,000, or $20,000

  • Free downloadable tools and forms to help you design and start your business quickly and easily

  • New interviews with consultants who achieved rapid success, including their personal stories and most effective techniques

  • Brand-new references, examples, and appendices

If your dream in life is to get out of the office and out on your own, consulting is a great way to make it happen. Make sure you do it right—and do it profitably—with Getting Started in Consulting, Third Edition.

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Introduction to the third edition.

About the author.

Other works by Alan Weiss.

Acknowledgments.

Chapter 1. Establishing Goals and Expectations (Including Your Own).

You will be what you decide to be, nothing less, nothing more.

• Starting at square zero: financial needs.

• Personal attributes: the investment from within.

• Focus: we're all working part-time.

• Why collaboration can kill you.

• Summary.

• Questions and Answers.

Chapter 2. Physical Space and Environmental Needs.

Act like you have a business and you'll have one.

• Alternative work spaces.

• The basics around you.

• Beyond the basics.

• Communicating at the speed of light.

• Getting some help from some friends.

• Questions and Answers.

Chapter 3. Sorting Out the Legal, Financial, and Administrative.

First, let's kill all the lawyers.

• Legal requirements and organizational options.

• Accounting, financial, and tax matters—exploiting opportunities.

• Finding a banker and obtaining credit.

• Other professional help.

• Questions and Answers.

Chapter 4. Marketing 101.

Creating a marketing gravity for your business.

• Creating a press kit.

• Stationery and related image products.

• Networking.

Pro bono work.

• Listings, ads, and passive sources.

• Summary.

• Questions and Answers.

Chapter 5. Advanced Marketing.

Creating a brand.

• Establishing a web site.

• Publishing.

• Obtaining media interviews.

• Speaking.

• Newsletters.

• Questions and Answers.

Interlude: Leveraging Technology.

How to get started at the speed of light.

• The importance of being earnest.

• The budget sampler.

• Best practices in leverage.

Chapter 6. Initiating the Sales Process and Acquiring Business.

Building relationships.

• Finding the right buyer.

• What to do about gatekeepers.

• Gaining conceptual agreement.

• Creating a succession of "yeses".

• Questions and Answers.

Chapter 7. Closing the Sale.

How to write proposals and cash checks.

• The nature of excellent proposals.

• The nine steps of great proposals.

• When to follow up.

• Eight rules for a command appearance.

• Ten steps to follow if the buyer is non-responsive.

• Horrors, what if the buyer says "NO": six steps to redemption.

• Questions and Answers.

Chapter 8. Establishing Fees.

If you bill by the hour you cheat your client and yourself.

• The fallacy and lunacy of time-based fees and per diems.

• Preparing and educating the client.

• Fifty-one ways to increase your fees.

• Summary.

• Questions and Answers.

Chapter 9. Moving to the Next Level.

You may be ready for dramatic growth before you know it.

• Finding resources: the pros and cons of staffs.

• Business planning.

• Creating passive income.

• Working internationally.

• Investing in longer term potential.

• Summary.

• Questions and Answers.

Chapter 10. Giving Yourself Permission to Succeed.

How to continue to grow by paying back.

• Maximize retirement investing.

• Mentoring.

• Professional growth.

• Retainers.

• Selective project acquisition.

• Travel.

• Celebrity status.

• The firm's future.

• Giving back.

• Questions and Answers.

Chapter 11. The Quick Start.

How to hit the consulting ground running at full speed.

• First dimension: creating infrastructure.

• Second dimension: reaching out for business.

• Summary.

* Questions and Answers.

Appendices.

A. Business Plan to Attract Investment.

B. Sample "To Do" Lists.

C. Office Equipment Recommendations.

D. Trade Associations, Professional Groups, Publicity Sources.

E. Sample Biographical Sketch for a New Consultant.

F. Sample Position Paper.

H. Sample Magazine Inquiry Letter.

I. Glossary.

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Alan weiss is a consultant, speaker, and bestselling author. His firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has consulted with such clients as Merck, Hewlett-Packard, GE, and Mercedes-Benz, among many others. His thirty other books include the bestseller Million Dollar Consulting. For more information, contact him at his blog, www.contrarianconsulting.com, or Web site, www.summitconsulting.com.

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