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Getting Started in Consulting, Third Edition

Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Introduction to the Third Edition
  3. About the Author
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. 1. Establishing Goals and Expectations (Including Your Own): You Will Be What You Decide to Be, Nothing Less, Nothing More
    1. 1.1. Starting At Square Zero: Financial Needs
      1. 1.1.1. Reduce Monthly Expenses
      2. 1.1.2. Establish a Fund for the Year
    2. 1.2. Personal Attributes: The Investment from Within
      1. 1.2.1. 10 Traits
    3. 1.3. Time Use: There's No Such Thing As Not Having Enough Time
      1. 1.3.1. 10 Time Investment Tips
    4. 1.4. Focus: We're All Working Part-Time
    5. 1.5. Why Collaboration Can Kill You
    6. 1.6. Summary
    7. 1.7. Questions and Answers
    8. 1.8. Notes
  6. 2. Physical Space and Environmental Needs: Act Like You Have a Business and You'll Have One
    1. 2.1. Alternative Work Spaces
      1. 2.1.1. Office at Home
      2. 2.1.2. Shared Space
      3. 2.1.3. Formal Office
    2. 2.2. The Basics Around You
      1. 2.2.1. Two-Line (or more) Phone
      2. 2.2.2. Voice Mail
      3. 2.2.3. Fax with Dedicated Line
      4. 2.2.4. Copier
      5. 2.2.5. Computer and Peripherals
      6. 2.2.6. Postage Meter and Electronic Scale
      7. 2.2.7. The Bottom Line
    3. 2.3. Beyond the Basics
      1. 2.3.1. Laptop Computer
      2. 2.3.2. Scanners, Digital Cameras, Color Printers
      3. 2.3.3. Cell Phone/Pager/PDA
      4. 2.3.4. Dictation/Recording Device
      5. 2.3.5. Some Final Considerations
    4. 2.4. Communicating at the Speed of Light
      1. 2.4.1. Phone Response
      2. 2.4.2. General Response Time
      3. 2.4.3. Packaged Responses
    5. 2.5. Getting Some Help From Some Friends
    6. 2.6. Notes
    7. 2.7. Questions and Answers
  7. 3. Sorting Out the Legal, Financial, and Administrative: First, Let's Kill All the Lawyers
    1. 3.1. Legal Requirements and Organizational Options
    2. 3.2. Accounting, Financial, and Tax Matters—Exploiting Opportunities
    3. 3.3. Finding a Banker and Obtaining Credit
    4. 3.4. Other Professional Help
      1. 3.4.1. Design
      2. 3.4.2. Insurance
      3. 3.4.3. Payroll Services
      4. 3.4.4. Bookkeeper
      5. 3.4.5. Web Designer
      6. 3.4.6. The Blog!
      7. 3.4.7. Trade Associations
    5. 3.5. Notes
    6. 3.6. Questions and Answers
  8. 4. Marketing 101: Creating a Market Gravity for Your Business
    1. 4.1. Creating a Press Kit
      1. 4.1.1. Results a Client Can Expect
      2. 4.1.2. Testimonials
      3. 4.1.3. Biographical Sketch
      4. 4.1.4. Position Papers
      5. 4.1.5. References
    2. 4.2. Stationery and Related Image Products
      1. 4.2.1. Letterhead
      2. 4.2.2. Second Sheets
      3. 4.2.3. Envelopes
      4. 4.2.4. Labels
      5. 4.2.5. Business Cards
    3. 4.3. Networking
      1. 4.3.1. Alan's Networking Insights
    4. 4.4. Pro Bono Work
    5. 4.5. Listings, Ads, and Passive Sources
    6. 4.6. Summary
    7. 4.7. Notes
    8. 4.8. Questions and Answers
  9. 5. Advanced Marketing: Creating a Brand
    1. 5.1. Establishing a Web Site
      1. 5.1.1. Social Media
    2. 5.2. Publishing
    3. 5.3. Obtaining Media Interviews
      1. 5.3.1. Print
      2. 5.3.2. Cyberspace
      3. 5.3.3. Radio and Television
    4. 5.4. Speaking
    5. 5.5. Newsletters
    6. 5.6. Notes
    7. 5.7. Questions and Answers
  10. Leveraging Technology: How to get Started at the Speed of Light
    1. The Importance of Being Earnest
      1. Alan's Technology Tempest
    2. The Budget Sampler
    3. Best Practices in Leverage
  11. 6. Initiating the Sales Process and Acquiring Business: Building Relationships
    1. 6.1. Finding the Right Buyer
    2. 6.2. What to do About Gatekeepers
    3. 6.3. Gaining Conceptual Agreement
      1. 6.3.1. What Are the Objectives to Be Achieved?
      2. 6.3.2. How Will We Measure Progress and Success?
      3. 6.3.3. What Is the Value or Impact to the Organization?
    4. 6.4. Creating a Succession of "Yeses"
    5. 6.5. Notes
    6. 6.6. Questions and Answers
  12. 7. Closing the Sale: How to Write Proposals and Cash Checks
    1. 7.1. The Nature of Excellent Proposals
    2. 7.2. The Nine Steps of Great Proposals
      1. 7.2.1. Situation Appraisal
      2. 7.2.2. Objectives
      3. 7.2.3. Measures of Success
      4. 7.2.4. Expression of Value
      5. 7.2.5. Methodologies and Options
      6. 7.2.6. timing
      7. 7.2.7. Joint Accountabilities
      8. 7.2.8. Terms and Conditions
      9. 7.2.9. Acceptance
    3. 7.3. When to Follow Up
    4. 7.4. Eight Rules for a Command Appearance
    5. 7.5. Ten Steps to Follow if the Buyer is Unresponsive
    6. 7.6. Horrors, What if the Buyer Says "No!": Six Steps to Redemption
    7. 7.7. Notes
    8. 7.8. Questions and Answers
  13. 8. Establishing Fees: If You Bill By The Hour, You Cheat Your Client and Yourself
    1. 8.1. The Fallacy and Lunacy of Time-Based Fees and Per Diems
    2. 8.2. Preparing and Educating the Client
    3. 8.3. Fifty-one Ways to Increase Your Fees
    4. 8.4. Summary
    5. 8.5. Notes
    6. 8.6. Questions and Answers
  14. 9. Moving to the Next Level: You May Be Ready for Dramatic Growth Before You Know It
    1. 9.1. Finding Resources: The Pros and Cons of Staffs
      1. 9.1.1. Rule 1: Implementers Are a Dime a Dozen
      2. 9.1.2. Rule 2: One and One Must Equal at Least 64
      3. 9.1.3. Rule 3: Hire the Help that Provides for Abilities or Interests You Do Not Possess
      4. 9.1.4. Rule 4: Demand that Any Service You Pay For, Full- or Part-Time, Be Constructed Totally in Your Self-Interest
      5. 9.1.5. Rule 5: Don't Confuse Ego with Business Needs
    2. 9.2. Business Planning
    3. 9.3. Creating Passive Income
    4. 9.4. Working Internationally
    5. 9.5. Investing In Longer-Term Potential
      1. 9.5.1. Become a Trade Association Leader
      2. 9.5.2. Publish a Column
      3. 9.5.3. Develop into a Professional Speaker
    6. 9.6. Notes
    7. 9.7. Questions and Answers
  15. 10. Giving Yourself Permission to Succeed: How to Continue to Grow by Paying Back
    1. 10.1. Maximize Retirement Investing
    2. 10.2. Mentoring
    3. 10.3. Professional Growth
    4. 10.4. Retainers
    5. 10.5. Selective Project Acquisition
    6. 10.6. Travel
    7. 10.7. Celebrity Status
    8. 10.8. Life Balance
    9. 10.9. The Firm's Future
    10. 10.10. Giving Back
    11. 10.11. Notes
    12. 10.12. Questions and Answers
  16. 11. The Quick Start: How to Hit the Consulting Ground Running at Full Speed
    1. 11.1. First Dimension: Creating Infrastructure
      1. 11.1.1. Phase I: Incorporate Your Business
      2. 11.1.2. Phase II: Set Up Your Office
      3. 11.1.3. Phase III: Create Your Logo and Image
      4. 11.1.4. Phase IV: Create Your Press (or Media, or Presentation) Kit
      5. 11.1.5. Phase V: Create Your Web Presence
      6. 11.1.6. Phase VI: Optimize Your E-mail
    2. 11.2. Second Dimension: Reaching Out for Business
    3. 11.3. Marketing Technique 1: Call Everyone You Know
    4. 11.4. Marketing Technique 2: Target Twelve
    5. 11.5. Marketing Technique 3: Focused Prospecting
    6. 11.6. Quick Start, Full-Speed Mileposts, and Dangers
    7. 11.7. Summary
    8. 11.8. Notes
    9. 11.9. Questions and Answers
  17. A. Business Plan to Attract Investment
  18. B. Sample To-Do Lists
  19. C. Office Equipment Recommendations
  20. D. Trade Associations, Professional Groups, Publicity Sources
  21. E. Sample Biographical Sketch for a New Consultant
    1. E.1. Alan's Biographical Sketch
  22. F. Sample Position Paper: Accepting Equity for Your Services: Or Why the Craps Tables Suddenly Look Good
    1. F.1. What You Need To Know
      1. F.1.1. Is It Light of Day or an Approaching Train?
      2. F.1.2. Who's in Charge?
      3. F.1.3. What's Your Stress Level?
    2. F.2. What You Need To Do
      1. F.2.1. Evaluate Your Conflicts of Interest
      2. F.2.2. Establish What You Can and Can't Control
      3. F.2.3. Set an Example of Proper Conduct
      4. F.2.4. Review Each Situation, Well, Situationally
  23. G. Sample Magazine Inquiry Letter
  24. H. 101 Questions for Any Sales Situation You'll Ever Face
    1. H.1. An Overview
      1. H.1.1. A Few Guidelines for Use
    2. H.2. Qualifying the Prospect
      1. H.2.1. Questions
    3. H.3. Finding the Economic Buyer
      1. H.3.1. Questions
    4. H.4. Rebutting Objections
      1. H.4.1. Questions (in responding to an economic buyer's objections)
    5. H.5. Establishing Objectives
      1. H.5.1. Questions
    6. H.6. Establishing Metrics
      1. H.6.1. Questions
    7. H.7. Assessing Value
      1. H.7.1. Questions
    8. H.8. Determining the Budget Range
      1. H.8.1. Questions
    9. H.9. Preventing Unforeseen Obstacles
      1. H.9.1. Questions
    10. H.10. Increasing the Size of the Sale
      1. H.10.1. Questions
    11. H.11. Going for the Close
      1. H.11.1. Questions
    12. H.12. The Most Vital Question
      1. H.12.1. Question
  25. Glossary