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Getting Started in Consulting, 2nd Edition

Getting Started in Consulting, 2nd Edition

Alan Weiss

ISBN: 978-0-471-67856-4

May 2004

320 pages

Select type: E-Book



A new revision of the successful guidebook for novice consultants
Getting Started in Consulting, Second Edition provides practical solutions and proven strategies for launching a consulting business. Readers will learn how low overhead and a high degree of organization can translate into a six-figure income working from a home office. The book also offers key information on how to finance a consulting practice, how to write proposals, how to set up billing and bookkeeping, and more. A new chapter also explains how to get started quickly for those who can't wait to generate cash flow or those who have a cash reserve they are immediately willing to commit.
Alan Weiss (East Greenwich, RI) has consulted with hundreds of organizations around the world, including Mercedes-Benz, Hewlett-Packard, Merck, and the Times Mirror Group. He lectures widely and is the author of 12 books.
Introduction to the Second Edition.


About the Author.

Chapter 1: Establishing Goals and Expectations
You Will Be What You Decide to Be, Nothing Less, Nothing More.

Starting at Square Zero: Financial Needs.

Personal Attributes: The Investment from Within.

Time Use: There’s No Such Thing as Not Having Enough Time.

Focus: We’re All Working Part-Time.

Why Collaboration Can Kill You.



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.


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.


Chapter 4: Fundamental Marketing
Creating a Gravity for Your Business.

Creating a Press Kit.

Stationery and Related Image Products.


Pro Bono Work.

Listings, Ads, and Passive Sources.



Chapter 5: Advanced Marketing
Creating a Brand.

Establishing a Web Site.


Obtaining Media Interviews.




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”.


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.

Six Rules for a Command Appearance.

Ten Steps to Follow If the Buyer Is Unresponsive.

Horrors, What If the Buyer Says “No!”: Six Steps to Redemption.


Chapter 8: Establishing Fees
How to Make Them Beg to Pay You More.

The Fallacy and Lunacy of Time-Based Fees and Per Diems.

Preparing and Educating the Client.

Forty Ways to Increase Your Fees.



Chapter 9: Moving to the Next Level
How to Grow Your Business Dramatically.

Finding Resources: The Pros and Cons of Staffs.

Business Planning.

Creating Passive Income.

Working Internationally.

Investing in Longer-Term Potential.


Chapter 10: What Do You Do with Success?
How to Continue to Grow by Paying Back.

Maximize Retirement Investing.


Professional Growth.


Selective Project Acquisition.


Celebrity Status.

Life Balance.

The Firm’s Future.

Giving Back.


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.

Marketing Technique 1: Call Everyone You Know.

Marketing Technique 2: Target Twelve.

Marketing Technique 3: Focused Prospecting.

Quick Start, Full-Speed Mileposts and Dangers.




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
Accepting Equity for Your Services: Or Why the Craps Tables Suddenly Look Good.

What You Need to Know.

What You Need to Do.


G: Sources for Listings and Advertising.

H: Sample Magazine Inquiry Letter.

I: 101 Questions for Any Sales Situation You’ll Ever Face.

An Overview.

Qualifying the Prospect.

Finding the Economic Buyer.

Rebutting Objections.

Establishing Objectives.

Establishing Metrics.

Assessing Value.

Determining the Budget Range.

Preventing Unforeseen Obstacles.

Increasing the Size of the Sale.

Going for the Close.

The Most Vital Question.