Designed as the go-to reference for managing a consulting business, The Business of Consulting
is candid, practical, and eminently useful. Fine-tuned to address the changes in today’s business environment, this vital resource outlines the basics for managing a consulting practice and shows how to:
· Develop a business plan
· Market your business
· Charge for your services
· Build a client relationship
· Grow the business
· Ensure your continued professional growth
· Make money in the profession
Table of Contents:
List of Exhibits on the CD-ROM.
Foreword, by Jim Kouzes.
ONE: So You Want to Be a Consultant.
What Is Consulting?
Four Ways to Get Started.
Why Consulting Now?
Myths About Consulting.
Rewards and Realities of Consulting.
Just What Are You Getting Yourself Into?
TWO: Talents and Tolerance.
Skills for Success.
Personal Characteristics of Successful Consultants.
Roles You May Play.
Signs of a Mediocre Consultant.
Your Personal Situation.
Caution: Business Owner Ahead.
THREE: Dollars and Sense.
How Much Money Do You Require?
How Much Should You Charge?
Selecting a Pricing Structure.
Other Pricing Decisions.
Ethics of Pricing.
Value of a Guarantee.
FOUR: Starting . . . .
What’s in a Name?
Choosing an Accountant.
FIVE: . . . And Staying in Business.
A Marketing Plan.
Do I Need a Website?
Surprising but Practical Thoughts on Marketing.
113 Tactics for Low-Budget Marketing.
Contacts with Potential Clients.
Proposals and Contracts.
How to Refuse an Assignment.
Ways to Stay in Business.
SIX: The Cost of Doing Business.
Plan for the Worst.
Watch Your Cash Flow.
Set Aside Petty Cash.
Charge Your Client.
Deal with Bad Debts.
Keep an Eye on Your Numbers.
Protect Your Capital Investments.
SEVEN: Building a Client Relationship.
The First Meeting.
Four Phases of Building a Client-Consultant Partnership.
How to Improve the Relationship Continuously.
It’s the People.
How to Maintain the Relationship After the Project Is Finished.
More Value for the Client.
How Many Clients Do I Need?
EIGHT: Growing Pains.
Growing Without Adding People.
Expand Your Geographical Market.
Do Everything You Can to Grow Your Current Business.
NINE: The Ethics of the Business.
Consultant to Client.
Consultant to Consultant.
Client to Consultant.
Code of Ethics.
TEN: Exude Professionalism.
Continuing to Learn.
Balancing Your Life and Your Business.
Managing Your Time.
A Personal Checkup.
ELEVEN: Do You Still Want to Be a Consultant?
A Week in a Consultant’s Life.
About the Author.
How to Use the CD-ROM.
Read Excerpt: Chapter (PDF)
"This book is filled with real-world, practical and proven tactics that, when used, do build successful consulting practices. It is a must-have resource for people who are thinking of becoming a consultant and for anyone who already is one!"
—Dana Gaines Robinson, president, Partners in Change, and coauthor, Performance Consulting and Strategic Business Partner
"If I were just starting in the consulting field today, this is the one book I would choose to advise me, caution me, support me in my business, and 'professionalize' me! Complete and highly readable."
—Marjorie Blanchard, cofounder, Blanchard International
"According to my calculations, I could have easily doubled my income if I had a copy of Elaine's book 30 years ago when I started my consulting business. But I am not depressed because I plan to continue in my consulting business for 30 more years and the book has many new pieces of practical advice that I can immediately use."
—Sivasailam "Thiagi" Thiagarajan, The Thiagi Group
"Consulting is the art and science of creating solutions! Elaine Biech's The Business of Consulting is a valuable handbook to the field, the practice, and the logistics of the world of consulting. The second edition is even better!"
—Elliott Masie, president and CEO, The MASIE Center and Learning CONSORTIUM
"The extraordinary quality of this book is that it is a primer for the person entering into the consulting world while at the same time it is replete with practical wisdom for the most seasoned professional. Consulting is an occupation with much mystery surrounding it. Biech eliminates that mystery by shining the light of her experience onto the practical activities that make consultants succeed. What a gift!"
—Jack Zenger, CEO, Zenger-Folkman, and coauthor, The Extraordinary Leader and Results-Based Leadership
Elaine Biech is president and managing principal of ebb associates, inc., a strategic implementation, leadership development, and experiential learning consulting firm. She has consulted to a diverse range of industries including health care institutions, insurance, banking, ship building, manufacturing, government, and nonprofit organizations. Biech is the author and editor of dozens of articles and books including Marketing Your Consulting Services, Training for Dummies, and 90 World-Class Trainers.