How to Be a Successful Consultant

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Be a Successful Consultant: An Insider Guide to Setting up and Running a Consultancy Practice

Susan Nash

HOW TO BOOKS LTD

Contents
Preface Section One ^ Getting Started Chapter 1 ^ Setting the scene Game plan The business environment in the new millennium The Shamrock Organization The new self-employed market Defining consulting Working for a consulting firm Case studies Checklist Scorecard

viii 1 3
3 3 4 5 6 9 11 13 13

Chapter 2 ^ Evaluating your ¢t
Game plan Being realistic about consulting Advantages and disadvantages of consulting Characteristics of successful consultants Consulting and the four temperaments So do people enjoy being self-employed? Checklist Scorecard

14
14 14 15 17 26 33 34 35

Chapter 3 ^ What type of consulting business are you running? Game plan Why define your business before jumping in? Defining your vision Defining strengths and weaknesses Identifying your unique selling proposition SWOT analysis Establishing key result areas Checklist Scorecard

36
36 36 37 41 44 46 49 57 57

Chapter 4 ^ Establishing your business direction
Game plan Writing a business plan Deciding your legal structure Setting objectives v

59
59 59 66 70

vi / Be a Successful Consultant

Establishing milestones Organizing systems Checklist Scorecard

75 77 78 78

Section Two ^ Getting clients Chapter 5 ^ Marketing your business Game plan Creating your marketing plan Conducting market research Establishing marketing objectives Segmenting the market Defining your product or service: the first ‘P’ Deciding your promotional plan: the second ‘P’ Selecting distribution channels: the third ‘P’ Pricing your product: the fourth ‘P’ Creating a marketing schedule Checklist Scorecard

79 81
81 81 83 86 87 89 94 102 107 107 109 109

Chapter 6 ^ Selling your service
Game plan Overcoming your fear of selling Understanding the sales process Establishing sales objectives Evaluating sales communication channels Preparing your 30-second commercial Using the telephone in selling Managing the sales meeting Adjusting your style to maximize sales Writing successful proposals What if the client says no? What if the client says yes? Sample questions to ask Checklist Scorecard

110
110 110 112 115 117 119 121 129 134 137 141 141 142 145 145

Section 3 ^ Getting money Chapter 7 ^ Financing your business Game plan Estimating your start-up and ongoing costs Funding your business in the start-up phase

147 149
149 149 152

Contents / vii

Establishing financial objectives Creating revenue statements Creating cash flow statements Setting your billing rate Using different fee arrangements Collecting fees Limit your exposure to bad debts Charging for sub-contracting Checklist Scorecard

156 157 159 161 166 172 172 173 177 177

Section 4 ^ Getting organized Chapter 8 ^ Organizing your business Game plan Setting up your office space Selecting equipment and support tools Identifying administrative resources Prioritizing between multiple projects Planning your activities Organizing your office work space Establishing organization/administration objectives Checklist Scorecard

179 181
181 181 184 190 192 196 201 205 206 206

Chapter 9 ^ Running your business: doing the work!
Game plan Formalizing contracts Structure of consulting assignments Consulting project stages Establishing project objectives Checklist Scorecard

207
207 207 209 213 220 221 221

Chapter 10 ^ Moving into Action
So what will you do now? The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Further reading Index

222
222 229 235 237

This Page Intentionally Left Blank

Preface
How to use this book

If one advances con¢dently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.

Henry David Thoreau

Why consulting? The business environment is changing drastically. No longer is there long-term employment and job security. Consulting has become a...
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