You are previewing The Everything Start Your Own Consulting Business Book.
O'Reilly logo
The Everything Start Your Own Consulting Business Book

Book Description

Consultants work in all fields. They operate from offices and from home, work for investment firms and as personal trainers, or have expertise as accountants and wedding planners. The independence, flexibility, and potential income it brings make for an exciting and satisfying career. And it's an increasingly popular one for highly skilled, motivated professionals who've been laid off in this unstable economy. This guide features tips and tricks to help beat the competition, including how to: Set--and keep--personal and financial goals; Organize important paperwork; Price and market specific services; Create advertising and publicity plans; Grow a business, from finding a partner to managing employees; Minimize and eliminate business risks. Consultants are paid well for their advice--if they know how to operate a successful business. With advice from experts in a variety of areas, this valuable guide helps you create the business of your dreams!

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Top 10 Things Every Successful Consultant Must Know
  6. Introduction
  7. 01 opportunities for consultants
    1. The Life of Consultants
    2. Consulting in the Information Age
    3. Primary Consulting Services
    4. Add-On Products and Services
    5. Selecting Your Field of Expertise
    6. How Much Will You Earn?
    7. Making the Leap
  8. 02 what consultants do
    1. The World of Consultants
    2. Developing Expertise
    3. Developing Resources
    4. Developing Contacts
    5. Adding Value
    6. The Consulting Process
    7. Minimizing Risk
    8. The Market for Consulting Services
  9. 03 consulting requirements
    1. Your Personal Goals
    2. Your Personal Values
    3. Your Financial Goals
    4. Risk Tolerance
    5. Licensing Requirements
    6. Tools and Equipment for Consulting
    7. Protecting Primary Resources
  10. 04 setting up your consulting service
    1. Naming Your Business
    2. Structuring Your Business
    3. Calculating Financial Requirements
    4. Choosing Your Office
    5. Setting Your Hours
    6. Advanced Time Management
  11. 05 resources for consultants
    1. Analyzing Your Knowledge
    2. Expanding Your Credentials
    3. Knowledge Resources
    4. Consulting Service Opportunities
    5. Small Business Administration Resources
    6. Tax Information Resources
  12. 06 identifying your clients
    1. Who Are Your Clients?
    2. What Do They Need?
    3. Types of Businesses
    4. Finding Clients
    5. Features and Benefits
  13. 07 writing your business plan
    1. Executive Summary
    2. Present Situation and Objectives
    3. Service Description
    4. Market Analysis
    5. Clients
    6. Competition
    7. Marketing Strategy
    8. Pricing and Profitability
    9. Financial Statements
  14. 08 getting help
    1. Hiring an Accountant
    2. Hiring an Attorney
    3. Hiring an Insurance Professional
    4. Finding a Partner
    5. Limited Liability Company
    6. Starting a Corporation
    7. Finding Funding
  15. 09 managing costs
    1. Estimating Your Operating Costs
    2. Budgeting Operating Costs
    3. Managing the Value of Your Business
    4. Reducing Operating Costs
    5. Managing Taxes
  16. 10 keeping good records
    1. Your Recordkeeping Systems
    2. Single versus Double Entry
    3. Invoicing
    4. Managing Equipment Records
    5. Managing Petty Cash
    6. Online Banking
  17. 11 pricing your services
    1. Service Pricing Basics
    2. Calculating Service Costs
    3. Value Pricing
    4. Pricing Analysis
    5. Margins and Discounts
    6. Developing Your Rate Sheet
  18. 12 marketing your services
    1. Marketing
    2. Defining Clients
    3. Finding Prospects
    4. Market Analysis
    5. Market Strategy
    6. Positioning
  19. 13 advertising and publicity
    1. Word of Mouth Isn’t Enough
    2. Advertising
    3. Promoting Your Consulting Business
    4. Publicity Opportunities
    5. Client Referrals
  20. 14 working by priority
    1. Importance of Priorities
    2. Setting Your Goals
    3. Prioritizing Goals
    4. Keeping Score
    5. Revising Goals
    6. Scheduling for Success
    7. Advanced Time Management Tips
  21. 15 profitability
    1. Understanding Profit and Loss
    2. Increasing Profitability
    3. Improving Client Profitability
    4. Cash Flow
  22. 16 financial records
    1. Tracking Income and Expenses
    2. Your Income Statement
    3. Your Balance Sheet
    4. Improving Cash Flow
    5. Managing Loan Interest
    6. Offering Credit to Clients
    7. Improving Financial Planning
  23. 17 growing your business
    1. The Challenges of Growth
    2. Growing in the Right Direction
    3. Solving Common Business Problems
    4. Selecting the Best Solution
    5. Dealing with Business Cycles
    6. Locating Reducible Expenses
    7. Reducing Overhead
    8. Growth Plans
  24. 18 managing employees
    1. Hiring Good Employees
    2. Employee Benefits
    3. Selecting the Right Plan
    4. Hiring Temporary Help
    5. Managing Payroll Records
    6. Employee Appraisals
  25. 19 managing business risk
    1. Understanding Risk
    2. Degrees of Risk
    3. Minimizing Risk
    4. Risk Management
    5. Business Insurance
  26. 20 the future of your consulting business
    1. Enjoy What You Do
    2. Keeping Your Life
    3. Measuring Success
    4. Avoiding Consultant Burnout
    5. Taking a Break
    6. Selling Your Consulting Business
  27. Consulting Business Glossary