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The New Business of Consulting: The Basics and Beyond

Elaine Biech

ISBN: 978-1-119-55694-7 April 2019 368 Pages

Description

Everything you ever wanted to know about consulting—a practical roadmap for aspiring entrepreneurs

Seismic changes occurring in the workforce are leading to more and more people entering the world of contract, freelance, and contingency work. Rapid changes in demographics and advances in technology have led companies and talent to engage in profoundly new ways and consulting is one of the keys to success.

The New Business of Consulting is authentic and practical, and shares the knowledge and skills required to start and grow a successful consulting business. From how to make a smooth career transition, to how to determine a consulting fee, to how consultants inadvertently create a bad reputation, it covers everything you need to know to thrive and flourish in this competitive field.

  • Covers contemporary topics, such as how to achieve success in the gig economy
  • Discloses a reliable technique to land the clients you want
  • Presents options to help you balance your life and your business
  • Prepares you for naming your business, managing critical financial issues, and building a client relationship
  • Shows you how to take your income and impact beyond working as a solopreneur

The crucial start-up days of a consulting business may be frenetic and fraught with questions. This new edition provides sanity and answers all the questions. It includes practical tools, templates, and checklists that you can download and implement immediately.

Exhibits and the Companion Website xi

Foreword xv

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction xxi

One So You Want to Be a Consultant 1

What Is Consulting? 3

Why Consulting Now? 4

Four Ways to Get Started 10

Myths About Consulting 17

Realities and Rewards of Consulting 22

Just What Are You Getting Yourself Into? 23

For the Consummate Consultant 29

Two Talents and Tolerance 31

Your Skills for Success 33

Roles You May Play 40

Signs of a Mediocre Consultant 42

Your Personal Situation 43

Caution: Business Owner Ahead 45

Entrepreneurial Characteristics 45

For the Consummate Consultant 50

Three Dollars and Sense 51

How Much Income Do You Require? 52

How Much Should You Charge? 56

Selecting a Pricing Structure 64

Other Pricing Decisions 68

Other Charges 70

Fee Increases 71

Ethics of Pricing 73

Money Discussions 75

Value of a Guarantee 76

For the Consummate Consultant 77

Four Starting . . . 79

Why Some Start-Ups Succeed and So Many Fail 81

What’s in a Name? 82

Selecting an Accountant 86

Selecting a Legal Entity 87

A Business Plan to Guide You 89

Plan to Use Your Business Plan 95

Start-Up Costs 100

Finding Your Niche 102

Your Image Is Everything 105

Experiencing the Experience Maze 108

For the Consummate Consultant 113

Five . . . And Staying in Business 115

Marketing from Day One 117

Creating Your Marketing Plan 118

Using the Internet 128

Surprising but Practical Th oughts on Marketing 131

Tactics for Low-Budget Marketing 136

Contacting Potential Clients 141

Proposals Lead to Contracts 148

Why Would You Refuse an Assignment? 150

For the Consummate Consultant 151

Six The Cost of Doing Business 153

Keeping Records for Your Consulting Business 155

Watch Your Cash Flow 156

Track Your Expenses 164

Set Aside Petty Cash 172

Charge Your Client 175

Project Revenues 179

Deal with Bad Debts 179

Keep an Eye on Your Numbers 181

For the Consummate Consultant 186

Seven Building a Client Relationship 187

Relationships: It’s Why You’re in Business 189

The First Meeting 191

Four Phases of Building a Client-Consultant Partnership 193

Adding More Value 204

How Many Clients Do You Need? 211

How to Improve the Relationship Continuously 211

It’s the People 214

Maintain the Relationship Aft er the Project 215

Ensure Success 216

For the Consummate Consultant 218

Eight Growing Pains 219

Adding People 221

Growing Without Adding People 238

Expand Your Geographical Market 247

Doing Everything You Can to Grow Your Current Business 249

For the Consummate Consultant 253

Nine The Ethics of the Business 255

Consultant to Client 258

Consultant to Consultant 265

Client to Consultant 269

Parting Ethics Shots 270

For the Consummate Consultant 272

Ten Exude Professionalism 273

Competencies to Boost Your Consulting Success 275

Continuing to Learn 286

Balancing Your Life and Your Business 289

Managing Your Time 291

Giving Back 297

For the Consummate Consultant 299

Eleven Do You Still Want to Be a Consultant? 301

A Week in a Consultant’s Life 304

Visualizing Success 316

Taking Action 317

Get Ready, Get Set . . . 318

For the Consummate Consultant 324

Appendix 325

Helpful Resources and Links 325

Reading List 327

About the Author 331

Index 333