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Should I Become A Consultant?. Pat E. Goodwin Pat Goodwin Associates [email protected] You ARE One!. You already have an area of expertise. You have functioned often as an internal consultant. You were paid for that service—just not separately billed.

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Should i become a consultant

Should I BecomeA Consultant?

Pat E. Goodwin

Pat Goodwin Associates

[email protected]


You are one
You ARE One!

  • You already have an area of expertise.

  • You have functioned often as an internal consultant.

  • You were paid for that service—just not separately billed.


Difference packaging
Difference: ‘Packaging’

An outside independent

Bill for the service

No responsibility for execution


Why do it
Why do it?

Self-employment-Autonomy

Life Long Learning-You know more than you think you know

Good earning potential

Satisfying work-Challenging

Networking opportunity


We re talking about
We’re talking about . . .

NOT. . .

  • Working for a consulting firm

Self-employed

Solo operator but seek others expertise

Working out of home or low-overhead office


Do i want to do it
Do I Want to Do It?

  • Uncertainty of income

  • 3+ months of income saved

  • Prospecting

  • Selling

  • Hassles of self-employment


Can i do it
Can I Do It?

Do I have the ‘right stuff’?

Opportunity to learn

Get help- Other Consultants-Experts

What if I get over my depth?


What s your expertise
What’s Your Expertise?

Functional or technical area(s)

Industry / industries

Geographic areas

A “matrixed” specialty?

Collaborate with support group of specialists


What we ll cover
What We’ll Cover:

The consulting process

Managing your practice

Building your practice

Assessing your personal ‘fit’


The consulting process
The Consulting Process

The “How”


Consulting
Consulting:

Giving (selling) advice professionally.

The Independent Consultant:

A personal service business based on trust.


Consultant
Consultant:

‘Brain on legs’


Consulting vs contracting
Consulting vs. Contracting

CONSULTING

  • Independent professional

  • Autonomy is critical

  • Deliverable is knowledge

CONTRACTING

  • Employee without benefits

  • Part of the team

  • Deliverable is a work product


Content vs process
Content vs. Process

CONTENT

  • Functional area

  • Technical expertise

  • Single intervention

  • Contract opportunity

  • Linear project

  • Boundary issues not key

PROCESS

  • Broad applicability

  • Team dynamics

  • Often expands

  • Contract will compromise role

  • Cyclical involvement

  • Boundary issues are critical


Edges get blurred
Edges get blurred . . .

  • Can slip easily from consultant to contractor

  • Can slip easily from content to process consulting

    Watch where you step!


Consulting stages
Consulting Stages

Meet and qualify the client / issue

Define the agreement

Collect, analyze data-purpose, process, people, personal

Provide recommendations, possibly re-contract

Implementation phase

Close-out / follow-up


1 meeting qualifying
1. Meeting & Qualifying

  • Presenting problem

  • Background

  • Stakeholders and prime mover

  • Attempts to solve

  • Duration

  • Resources

  • Expectations


2 defining agreement
2. Defining Agreement

  • Services

  • Resources

  • Deliverables

  • Timetable

  • Compensation

  • Rights

  • Acceptance


3 collect analyze data
3. Collect, Analyze Data

Start with stated problem: What they think they want may not be what they need

Get to all key stakeholders-Buy in

Get to important information sources

Peel the onion

Pinpoint the core issue

Define a practical solution:

Purpose, Process, People,

Personal

Why doesn’t the client do it


Data gathering tips
Data-Gathering Tips

What’s really important? To whom?

Follow the work flow (through silos?)

Anything working right? Where? Why?

Where’s resistance coming from? Why?


4 recommendations
4. Recommendations

To all stakeholders

Start with stated problem

Trace the research

Reframe the problem-

Purpose, Process, People, Personal

Get all reactions

Sum up acceptance / resistance

Get closure—or re-contract


5 implementation
5. Implementation

Not the consultant’s role! Danger!

Can advise as consultant

Can refer a resource to implement

Can serve as overseer for implementation


6 closeout follow up
6. Closeout / Follow-up

May complete the consult

On-going advice may be sought

Probability of follow-on work

Retained for audit / follow-up

References: Ask permission to use work as an example for other projects


Additional reading
Additional Reading

Flawless Consulting by Peter Block

Process Consulting by Edgar Schein

The Business of Consulting by Elaine Beich

Other recent books by Elaine Beich


Managing your practice
Managing Your Practice

‘A Day in the Life . . .’


Business plan
Business Plan

  • Content area?

  • Specific services?

  • Geographic market?

  • Market need trends?

  • Prospects?

  • Biz objectives?

  • Form of business?

  • Risks/constraints?


Setting fees
Setting Fees

What’s the market rate?

What’s my expertise worth?

What’s my income objective?


Market rate
Market Rate?

In Texas today:

  • Day?

  • Hour?

    Other approaches:

  • Project

  • Service trade

  • Pro bono


Your work value
Your Work Value

SALARY-BASED

Your annual compensation

Divide by 2,000 (hours)

Your accustomed rate per hour

CONSULTING

Multiply by 3 for parity

Multiply by 4 for uplift


Your income objective
Your Income Objective

$100,000 per year is…

Month: $ 8,500

Day: $ 850

Hour: $ 100

$150,000 per year is…

Month: $ 12,500

Day: $ 1,250

Hour: $ 175


Billable days
Billable Days

START-UP

Month total: 31

Weekends: -7

Administrative: -3

Professional: -3

Selling: -8

BILLABLE: 10

MATURE

Month total: 31

Weekends: -7

Administrative: -3

Professional: -2

Selling: -6

BILLABLE: 13


Overhead
Overhead

  • Office . . . ?

  • Technology

  • Administrative

  • Marketing / Branding

  • Professional

  • Self-employment taxes & benefits

  • Travel Costs

  • Insurance / Legal Fees


Building your practice
Building Your Practice

How Do I Get Clients?


Where to start
Where to start?

  • You’re not at ground zero!

  • Check your resources: Vendors, Customers

  • Check all contacts!

  • Sort as:

    - prospects (platinum!!)

    - advocates (gold!)

    - talkers (silver)


What works
What works:

1:1:

  • New networking

  • Old networking

    Groups:

  • Speaking / Teaching

  • Lecturing

  • Publishing


Don t overdo
Don’t overdo:

  • Brochures

  • Direct mail

  • “Broadside” flyers

  • Advertising

  • Yellow pages

    (Save your money)


Prospects to clients
Prospects to clients:

Personal familiarity

Trusted referral

Quiet research

Validating your credentials

Trial contact

Bio Data Sheet, Business Cards


Web presence
Web Presence

  • Checklist item

  • Doesn’t “sell”

  • Validates your practice

  • Gives you global reach


Web page features
Web Page Features

  • Identity

  • Credentials

  • Photo/Bio

  • Charter / niche

  • Services

  • Professional Groups

  • Testimonials

  • Examples

  • Fee guidelines

  • Availability

  • Topics

  • E-mail link LinkedIn


Web page benefits
Web Page Benefits

  • Tells your unique story

  • Validates prospect’s choice

  • Makes ‘yes’ easy: comfort zone

  • Can be interactive

  • Easy to keep fresh


Practice building keys
Practice-building keys:

Display your knowledge, expertise

Professional visibility in the right places

Show your unique style

Frequently add value


Assessing your personal fit
Assessing YourPersonal ‘Fit’

Is It Right for You?


Benefits of consulting
Benefits of Consulting

  • Autonomy

  • Variety

  • Low cost of entry

  • Low overhead

  • High earning potential

  • Great satisfaction, if a fit


Risks of consulting
Risks of Consulting

  • No structure

  • No support system

  • Income uncertainty

  • Need to invest in self with uncertain return

  • Work-life integration issues


Self check
Self-check:

  • No structure?

  • Self-promotion?

  • Closing a sale?

  • Comfort zone?

  • Personal situation?

  • Money drive?


High earning consultant
High-earning Consultant:

Strong drive to make money

Runs a BUSINESS!

Works a niche

Strong belief in self

Focused, Disciplined, Motivated

Comfort with selling

‘Expert power’ drive


The consulting conflict
The Consulting Conflict

‘Expert power’ drive

versus

Money drive


Comfort zone
Comfort Zone:

Built-in structure

Rewards of managing

Satisfaction of getting results

Accepted expertise


Test the waters
Test the waters…

  • Tricky to ‘try it for a while’

  • Tough to toggle with job search

  • Contracting is viable option

  • Consulting can lead to employment


Making the decision
Making the Decision

PERSONAL FIT

  • Expertise

  • Interest

  • Risks

    SITUATIONAL FIT

  • Financial

  • Spouse, family

  • Circumstances



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