Alan Weiss is blessed with the ability to pay attention to details without losing sight of the big picture. He gets down and dirty when he has to, telling would-be independent consultants to take an honest look at your balance sheet and to shave every spare penny off your monthly bills. Yet he also flies high with some broad (and occasionally obvious) advice - such as promoting yourself so that business comes looking for you, rather than the other way around. getAbstract.com particularly appreciates the inspired editorial design, which features important principles, definitions and Q&As with successful consultants.
Those Who Survive, Consult
Surviving the learning curve is the first pivotal requirement in building your own consulting practice. Expect it to take you at least six months to generate revenue. Don’t let your dreams of a successful consulting practice fail due to an unrealistic approach. Here’s how to prepare for the economic realities of starting your own business:
- Reduce spending. Determine your bottom-line living expenses.
- Set aside, in cash, the amount that you will need for expenses during your first year of operation. Sources of financing include a home equity loan, non-retirement savings, retirement savings (try to avoid this if you’re older than 40), credit (beware of revolving credit), investors and family members.
- Prepare for the investment that comes from within. You must prepare yourself mentally for the challenges that lie ahead.
Be sure you have a sense of your mission in consulting, which is defined as the application of talents, expertise, experiences and other relevant attributes to improve your client’s situation. This task requires a certain mix of character traits, including:
- A sense of humor and perspective...
Alan Weiss, Ph.D. started his own consulting firm in 1985. He has written 12 books and more than 400 articles, and has worked with some of the world’s best-known and largest companies. He is an adjunct professor at the graduate school of business at the University of Rhode Island, where he teaches advanced consulting skills.