So let’s say you went through the 12 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Becoming an Independent Consultant—and you still want to take the plunge. This article will give you the must-do items to complete before opening your doors.
It’s common to be excited about getting your consultancy going and landing that first gig—passion is great! But you absolutely need to get a few things in order first. I can’t stress this enough: If you skip over considering the 10 steps below, you are setting yourself up for potentially big problems later. This is a “measure twice, cut once” thing. (I think you get my point by now…)
My experience is setting up a U.S. company in the state of Washington. You should use the advisors and other suggestions that are right for your consultancy’s location.
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In my four decades as a professional, I’ve worked as a consultant at Accenture, hired consultants at Microsoft, and engaged with many clients while running my own firm. I’ve seen consulting from many different vantage points—some very positive, others not so much.
Of all these, I have by far enjoyed working in my own consultancy the most. I’m in no way trying to dismiss Accenture or Microsoft; I’m still on friendly terms with them, and strongly advocate them as employers. But going off on my own worked out best for me.
Hanging your own shingle is a bit like a bungee jump: it’s exciting, exhilarating and scary all at the same time. I’ve learned that branching off as an independent consultant isn’t for everyone, and that the most important first step anyone could take is to do some honest introspection on whether being an independent consultant is for him or her.
To that end, I have developed 12 questions that I believe are important to ask if you want to be your own consulting boss:
Read more at ProjectManagement.com.
So check this out.
Recently I received an email from someone who found me on LinkedIn. The person wasn’t a connection of mine, so I had no idea who he was or where he worked.
Let’s go through some of the items on the email (indicated by red letters A-F) and how it influenced my impression of this person. I changed personally identifiable information and will call him John Doe.
A LinkedIn interaction from some time back still sticks with me today. Why? He and I connected, then he immediately asked to review my personal finances so he could do for me what he had allegedly done for so many other “thrilled customers.” I told him “No thanks.” He replied back asking me why. Being the direct guy I am, I told him I thought it was insincere to connect with me and immediately want to review my personal finances and try to sell me on his service. He said he never asked me to send my personal finances through LinkedIn. At this point, the discussion was no longer about him trying to sell me a service; instead, I wanted to provide a teachable moment for him. I told him that sending personal finances through LinkedIn wasn’t the issue, but I didn’t want to divulge my personal finances to someone I didn’t even know who connected with me only 30 minutes ago. After another couple of interactions, he told me that “nice people” would agree to meet with him (I guess I’m not a nice person) and that he was rescinding his offer to meet (even though I already told him I didn’t want to meet with him). It was kind of like “you can’t break up with me because I’m breaking up with you first”. He then wished me the best. He made an impression on me for sure, just not one he wanted.
In a recent phone call I told the CEO of my insurance brokerage that after being a loyal customer for 15 years I had moved all my business to other providers. Given our long-standing relationship, I felt I owed him an explanation; not because I wanted to see someone fired, but because I wanted him to know my reasons for leaving so he could put any lessons learned to use.
It started about seven years ago when the person assigned to my business insurance seemed to lose interest in me. He wasn’t on top of my renewals, made me do work that he could have done for me, and didn’t competitively bid my insurance. I moved all of my business insurance to another agency. A similar issue happened in the past year with my personal insurance; I simply didn’t feel that I was important to my agent. The final nail in the coffin came when my bank notified me that my homeowners’ insurance had lapsed two months earlier without any notification from my insurance agent. I then reached out to another agency, who quickly bound coverage for me at 10 p.m. on a Saturday evening.
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