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90 Days to Success in Consulting

Book Description

Interested in entering the consulting business? Already have a consulting practice but want to take its profits to the next level? 90 Days to Success in Consulting provides an action plan for success in the ultra-competitive consulting industry. The book is designed to logically take you through the major consulting topics and provide action items to be done in the next 90 days for immediate business functions, as well as for planning the future phases of your consulting journey. The book covers the various opportunities available, including the traps and pitfalls to avoid, ensuring a successful career as a consultant.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. About the Author
  4. Introduction
  5. I. Breaking into Consulting as a Profession
    1. 1. What Is Consulting?
      1. Who Is a Consultant?
      2. The Goal: Becoming a Top Consultant
      3. Consulting in Hard Times
      4. For Those Entering Consulting Post-Recession
      5. Client Value-Add
      6. Action Plan
    2. 2. The Traits of a Professional Consultant
      1. The Right Frame of Mind
      2. Clearing Your Life Deck
      3. Traits of a Good Consultant
      4. Time Management
      5. The Consultant Image
      6. Health
      7. Travel
      8. Action Plan
    3. 3. The Top Consultant Image Building Blocks
      1. Business Name
      2. Logo: The Little Icon That’s Supposed to Convey Everything
      3. Slogan
      4. Website
      5. Other Tools of the Trade
      6. Domiciling Your Business
      7. Action Plan
  6. II. Establishing and Expanding the Practice
    1. 4. The Bottom Line
      1. Securing Income to Get Started
      2. Brokers
      3. Business Formation and Taxation
      4. Insurance
      5. Startup Money
      6. Action Plan
    2. 5. How to Stay Current: Technology and Skills
      1. Focusing Your Technology Coverage
      2. Mastering Domains
      3. Technology Environment
      4. Planning Time for Learning
      5. Updating Technology
      6. What If Technology Is Not Enough?
      7. Action Plan
    3. 6. Service Planning
      1. Categories of Services
      2. Clients Need Consultants
      3. Consultants Your Clients Will Want
      4. Packaged Services
      5. Training Services
      6. Project Services
      7. Action Plan
    4. 7. Establishing Fees
      1. Hourly Consulting Rates
      2. Rate Flexibility
      3. Rate Sheet
      4. Fixed-Bid Services
      5. Billing Variations
      6. In Conclusion
      7. Action Plan
    5. 8. The Role of the Consultant
      1. Consulting Is a Personal Relationship
      2. Curb Your Enthusiasm
      3. Credit Is a Four-Letter Word
      4. Corporations Are Problem Creators
      5. Consulting Is About Tradeoffs
      6. Be a Positive Communicator
      7. Be Very Conscious of Naming Conventions
      8. The Occam’s Razor Principle of Consulting
      9. What Could Go Wrong?
      10. The Use of Guiding Principles
      11. Action Plan
    6. 9. Client Contracts
      1. Master Services Agreements
        1. Opening
        2. Personnel
        3. Confidentiality
        4. Payment Terms
        5. Rights Ownership
        6. Rates
        7. Liability Limits
        8. Administrivia
      2. Statement of Work
      3. Action Plan
    7. 10. Acquiring People
      1. People: Who Needs Them?
      2. Employee Styles
        1. Regular Salary
        2. Regular Hourly
        3. Part-Time
        4. Temporary
        5. Per Diem
        6. Casual
      3. Finding People
      4. Action Plan
    8. 11. Requests for Information/Requests for Proposals
      1. When to Respond
      2. What’s in an RFP?
      3. RFP Timelines
      4. Action Plan
    9. 12. Client Communications
      1. Communication Should Be Honest
      2. Listen First
      3. Communication Should Be Frequent
      4. Structured Project Communication
      5. Political Sustainability of Work Product
      6. Action Plan
    10. 13. Writing and Speaking
      1. Writing Articles
      2. Public Speaking
      3. Other Channels to Fame
      4. Weeding Through the Feedback
      5. Action Plan
  7. III. Beyond Initial Success
    1. 14. Managing Capital
      1. Top 10 Spending Decisions in Consulting
        1. 1. Hire or Contract the Billable Team
        2. 2. Hire Sales
        3. 3. Pay for or Self-Build Marketing
        4. 4. Have a Board
        5. 5. Office Space
        6. 6. Annual Bonuses
        7. 7. Accounting and Legal
        8. 8. Bookkeeping, Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable
        9. 9. Conference and Training Attendance and Sponsorship
        10. 10. Technology Environment
      2. Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable
      3. Financial Statements
      4. Action Plan
    2. 15. Partnerships
      1. Oh, the People You’ll Meet in Consulting
      2. Partnership Business Formation
      3. Deal-Based Partnerships
      4. Partnerships with Vendors
      5. Action Plan
    3. 16. Getting the Word Out
      1. The Campaign
      2. The Telescript and Being Prepared for Conversation
      3. The Target List
      4. Newsletter
      5. Action Plan
    4. 17. Marketable Value and Exit Strategies
      1. That’s Not a Marketable Business
      2. Business Valuation
      3. Timing Is Everything
      4. Valuation Metrics
      5. To Sell or Not
      6. The Deal
      7. Action Plan
    5. 18. Parting Words
      1. It’s Not What You Make
      2. Save Some for Me!
      3. Riding the Roller Coaster
      4. Buying Self-Determination
      5. Giving Back
      6. Less Than All-In Consulting
      7. Ethical Issues
      8. Have I Held Back?
      9. Final Thoughts
      10. Action Plan