The New Consultant's Quick Start Guide
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More About This Title The New Consultant's Quick Start Guide

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An action plan for working as a consultant

Management consulting is a $250 billion industry and growing at a rate of over four percent annually. Many predict that more than 40 percent of the U.S. workforce will soon be contingent, freelance, or consulting members of the workforce—making this book more relevant than ever.

Individuals become independent consultants out of necessity or preference: necessity because they lost their job or the company offered an attractive exit package; preference because they want a career change, more control over their time, or an enriched, varied work situation. Consulting also appeals to the Millennial workforce who are searching for careers that offer a good salary as well as meaningful work. The New Consultant’s Quick Start Guide:

• Serves as a companion to The New Business of Consulting

• Provides you with a place to plan your transition into consulting

• Helps you identify your niche, develop a business plan, charge what you’re worth, and create a marketing strategy to ensure a steady stream of clients

• Prepares you for changes you will encounter beyond your professional life, including social, family, and financial aspects

The New Consultant’s Quick Start Guide helps you work through the challenges of consulting such as working alone, deciding on necessary insurance coverage, finding your first clients, struggling with cash flow, and understanding market trends.  

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Elaine Biech (www.ebbweb.com ; Norfolk, VA) is president of ebb associates, inc., a strategic implementation, leadership development, and experiential learning consulting firm. Elaine has been in the field for more than 30 years helping organizations work through large-scale change. She has presented at dozen of national and international conferences and has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Management Update, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. She is the author and editor of more than 75 books, receiving national awards for several. As a consultant, Elaine works with the C-suite, helping leaders maximize their effectiveness. Customizing all of her work for individual clients, she conducts strategic planning sessions and implements corporate-wide systems. Elaine is a consummate consultant who is particularly adept at turning dysfunctional teams into productive ones. As a management consultant, trainer, and designer, she provides services globally to public- and private-sector organizations to prepare them for current challenges.

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Acknowledgments

Introduction to the New Consultant’s Quick Start Guide

1. First Things First: Why Consulting?

Chapter Overview

Consulting: What Is It?

Why a Consulting Career?

Explore Your Experiences

Inventory Your Competencies

Assess Your Consulting Aptitude

Pull It Together: Your Initial Consulting Focus

Entrepreneur Attitude: Do You Have What It Takes?

Quick Start Action: Questions to Ask a Consultant

Quick Start Lists

2. Planning Your Consulting Future

Chapter Overview

Your Preferred Future

Will Consulting Lead You to Your Life Goals?

Professional and Personal Considerations

Identify the Changes You Will Need to Make

Quick Start Action: Create Your Personal Expense Plan

Quick Start Lists

3. Dollars and Sense

Chapter Overview

Establish a Start-Up Budget

Put a Price on Your Head

Calculate Required Revenue

Quick Start Action: Setting Your Fee

Fill Out Financial Forms

So What’s It Take to Get off the Ground?

Quick Start Lists

4. Taking Care of Business

Chapter Overview

Getting Started

What’s in a Name?

Hire the Best Accountant and Attorney

Quick Start Action: Find an Accountant and Attorney

Determine Your Business Structure

Explore Your Banking and Insurance Needs

Check Local Zoning Laws, Licenses, and Taxes

File Legal Documentation

Quick Start Action: Your First To-Do List

Quick Start Lists

5. Your Business Plan

Chapter Overview

Are Business Plans Really Necessary?

Write Your Plan

Plan to Use Your Business Plan

Quick Start Action: Plan a Review

Quick Start Lists

6. Make the Switch Painlessly

Chapter Overview

Gain Consulting Experience Before Leaving Your Job

Determine Your Transition Plan

Quick Start Action: Plan with Your Family

Quick Start Lists

7. Setting Up Your Office—or Not

Chapter Overview

Office Location Options

Set Up Your Office

Paper, Paper Everywhere!

What About a Website?

Quick Start Action: The App Age

Quick Start Lists

8. Finding Clients

Chapter Overview

Determine Your Market Niche

Quick Start Action: Is There a Client Base?

Who’s Your Competition?

Identify Your First Clients

Land Your First WorkQuick Start Action: make a Sale to Solve a Problem

Quick Start Lists

9. Marketing

Chapter Overview

What Is Marketing?

The ABCs of Marketing

Create Your Marketing Plan

Build Your Marketing Plan

Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

Quick Start Action: Grab Attention with Your Headlines

Write Winning Proposals

Track Your Clients

Tips to Become a Better Marketer

Quick Start Lists

10. Surviving the First Year

Chapter Overview

Take Care of Your Health

Manage Your Time

Establish Good Business Habits

Delight Your Clients

Balance Your Life

Did You Hear the One About the Consultant . . . ?

Quick Start Lists

11. So, Now What? Year Two and Beyond

Chapter Overview

Assess Your Progress

Quick Start Action: Review Your First Year with Your Family

Plan Your Next Steps

Bring It All Together

ebb’s 13 Truths to Ponder

Quick Start Action: Review Your First Year with a Colleague

Quick Start Lists

Electronic Resources

Reading List

About the Author

Index

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