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Risk Management

5 Mindset Shifts to Go from Struggle to Success

A common concern among consultants is that they feel like they do not have enough money to expand their business. Although they will readily encourage their clients to reallocate their resources in order to make business improvements, consultants are at a loss for how to do the same for themselves. In a post for Consulting Success, Michael Zipursky shares five tips to rectify this problem: If you’re running a business, act like it. Take an …

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Why Solo Consultants Need Business Continuity Plans

A business continuity plan can mean different things to different people, especially one person operating independently. Consultants should consider building a very informal one. Mark Haas explains why this is a good idea in a post for the Institute of Management Consultants USA. Little Contingencies The traditional business continuity plan is the thing that tells the business what to do after Hurricane Katrina or some other disaster hits. It explains what to do to salvage …

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3 Signs Your Consulting Firm Will Fail

Armageddon, apocalypse, doomsday, Ragnarok—the end goes by many names, and in spite of how cool they all sound, nobody looks forward to any of them. Likewise, nobody wants to work for a failing consultancy, but there are a few obvious signs that things could be headed south. In a post at his blog, Lew Sauder discusses three of them: Cutting costs An expanding bench of consultants A narrowing pipeline Tick Tock If nice perks like …

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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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Your Greatest Career Risk

Consultant or not, we all have our own career goals and ambitions. The road to fulfilling these various goals can be rocky and risky at times though. Lew Sauder writes at his blog about the greatest risk facing your career, a notably internal one. Looking Within Obvious challenges in a career include balancing life and family, or having to take certain uncomfortable actions in order to please bosses. But the internal risk Sauder identifies is …

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Lessons from a Business Growth Consultant: How Dial Soap Got Cleaned Out

Always think about how the competition will react. Case in point, Molly Lindblom was once an assistant brand manager for Dial who accidentally waged war with Proctor & Gamble (P&G). I suppose you could say the result was… a bloodbath. Get It?! Antibacterial products were new and exciting by sanitation industry standards back in the 1990s. (This was before it became common knowledge that antibacterial products are dangerous to overall public health and contribute to …

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A Simple Way to Prevent Project Problems

Sometimes, disconnects happen between what the client wants and what the consultant thinks the client wants. The result in delivery is a big round of disappointment, followed by maybe some embarrassment. Michael W. McLaughlin writes about the steps that can be taken to prevent these disconnects before they happen. No Problemo Projects Like when water freezes in cracks in the street, causing the cracks to get even bigger, a small misunderstanding in a project can …

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7 Reasons Young Consultants Fail

It takes time and effort to roll with the big dogs. For one reason or another, some consultants never make it far enough for that. Lew Sauder writes identifying seven reasons why young consultants fail: They don’t understand the double standard. They want to behave like an employee. They are poor communicators. They aren’t client-focused. They don’t develop thick skin. They don’t develop a brand. They don’t network effectively. Forever a Little Dog There is …

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How to Identify and Manage Problem Clients

Not everybody is going to be your dream client. But because you are a working professional—and because you want to get paid—you are going to push through client eccentricities to get the job done. Siedah Mitchum discusses how to deal with five of the most problematic types of clients. Five Fiendish Clients The Micromanager The Indecisive Client The Penny-Pincher The “Add a Feature” Client The “I Need More” Client When dealing with micromanagers, instill in …

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6 Tips to Prevent Important Tasks Falling Through the Cracks

When it rains, it pours, especially when it comes to workload. How do you make sure the most critical tasks are always being accounted for, whether just for yourself or pertaining to a team? Shweta Jhajharia writes about six ways to keep a grip on the work that needs to be done right now. On the Precipice Stop doing everything yourself. Give away your low-skill, low-fun tasks first. Match the correct person to the role. …

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