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Monthly Archives: September 2015

10 Tips on How to Start a Consulting Business

You can make almost anything sound simple if you just format it as a numbered list. On that note, Tim Berry shares 10 tips for starting a consulting business. Surely these are the tips to inspire you to drop everything and become a consultant: Take it seriously. Never apologize for being on your own. See if your previous employer wants to hire you. Plan for late payments. Under-promise and over-deliver. Start small to demonstrate your …

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3 Emotional Pitfalls of Consulting

Consulting is draining. It just is. In addition to working long hours on a regular basis, you also have to be actively building new relationships with as many professionals as you can find in order to expand your potential client base. In an article for Inc., Ash Varma shares the three biggest emotional pitfalls of consulting he has encountered in his 25+ years in the industry. Three Challenges to Confront Defining who you are and …

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Fixing Rookie Mistakes of Presentations

When presenting a slideshow presentation, do not read the slides. It should go without saying, but there are still misguided people in the world who do this. A post at Consultants Mind explains why not to do this, and what can be done to reduce the urge. Don’t Fall Asleep Mid-Sentence Either When you read your slides, you inevitably have your back turned to the audience. If people cannot see your face, they will have …

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6 Tips for Finding a Great Software Implementation Consultant

Enterprise software implementation can be like repainting a house—doable, but kind of a hassle. A consultant might facilitate the transition though. Jill Barson Gilbert writes for CIO.com with six tips for finding the consultant with the best chops: Create a small selection team. Establish objective selection criteria and stick to them. Know your consultants. Be specific about your needs. Time is valuable – don’t waste it. Practice due diligence. For Great Results Enterprise software implementation …

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A Consultant’s Guide to Difficult Client Feedback

Early in his consulting career, Ron Ashkenas and a colleague dealt with a CIO whose staff feared his autocratic leadership. When Ashkenas and his colleague informed the CIO that his staff feared him, the CIO chose to outright ask his staff if that was true. The staff were too meek to answer affirmatively, so the CIO just assumed the consultants were wrong. Ashkenas shares his lessons learned since then at Harvard Business Review. Context Makes …

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Does Your Alma Mater Matter?

How big a deal is the college you have gone to when trying to get into the consulting game? Well, it depends. In a post at his blog, Lew Sauder touches upon in brief what your schooling should bring to an interview. Matters of the Mater Sauder went to Illinois State University in the 80s, and upon graduation, he got nary a bite from big consultancies. Instead, he got hired as a computer programmer at …

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How to Create Positive Consulting Firm Culture

A great company culture lifts you up. A bad company culture swats you like a fly and deposits you into the nearest folded tissue. An article for Consultant News by IRG Executive Search describes the effects that consulting firm culture has on its consultants. A Place Where You Want to Work Research by Columbia University finds that job turnover at organizations with vibrant company culture is 13.9 percent, compared to a mildly gigantic 48.4 percent …

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Why and How to Build an In-House Consulting Team

Consultants make life easier for the businesses who employ them, so why not just build your own in-house consulting team for the business? In an article for Harvard Business Review, Malte Bernholz and Andrew Teng explain how to build an internal consultancy that functions just as well as the high-cost equivalent. DIY Consulting Bernholz and Teng implemented internal consulting to great effect at EMC Information Infrastructure (EMC II), and so have several time-tested insights to …

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The Top 3 Mistakes Consultants Make

Before Sharlyn Lauby became a consultant, which was quite a while ago now, she spoke to many different consultants about their successes and failures. She learned that failures tend to fall into one of three categories. In a post at her blog, she reveals these sources of consulting woe. Where Mistakes Happen The consultant The money The lifestyle These categories sound pretty vague, but there is an underlying reasoning. For “the consultant,” there are a …

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How to Stop Consulting for Free

In order to land business with a client, you have to give some pertinent details on what your offer entails. But how do you sell a solution without spilling the beans up front and giving them vital information for free? In an article at his website, Michael W. McLaughlin explains how to strike the balance that entices clients while still giving them a reason to give you the job. Consulting for Fee McLaughlin finds that …

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