So You Want to Be a Consultant?

As attractive as it may seem – even glamorous, perhaps – being a Consultant takes work. It’s a job. It can also be a business, a career, even a profession, depending on the attitude with which you approach the effort. And, yes, becoming a Consultant does take effort. Make no mistake about that.

What do you need to start? Something you’re good at, obviously. Well, not just “good,” but as one of my college students once put it, you have to be “gooder” than everyone else. Can you believe a college student saying that? He did. Anyway, to put it in more acceptable terms, you have to have some knowledge, skill or talent – some ability – that’s more than, greater than, better than most others in your field.

You can’t be just “an expert.” You have to be “the expert.” “An expert” gets a job, becomes an employee. “The expert,” becomes the Consultant, someone many companies willingly to pay top dollar to for what he or she knows or can accomplish.

Is there some test to determine your level of expertise, some license you must study for to earn? After all, attorneys are licensed. So too are real estate and insurance brokers. So, what about Consultant? The simple answer is, “No!” There is no license required to call yourself a “consultant.” Some communities may require that you get a business license, but no government body licenses “consultants.”

Oh, if you’re curious about why I spell Consultant differently a different times – using both upper and lower case Cs – it’s because the to me the upper case version identifies a professional, the lower case nothing more than an area of interest, a topic for discussion.

Starting out, the most difficult part of becoming a Consultant is convincing potential clients that you are “the expert.” That’s a process that begins long before you make the decision to “go it alone.” Your expertise is typically based on what you’ve done – the reputation you earned over a number of years – working in your field of interest. So while there may be no license required to become a Consultant, an often lengthy apprenticeship is usually part of the process.

Keep in mind, too, that becoming a Consultant is not a destination. It’s a process. You’re “the expert,” remember? To remain “the expert,” a Consultant must always continue learning. Certainly about his or her particular area of expertise, but also about the various areas on the fringe of that specialty. For example, if you’re specialty is marketing, you’d better make it a point to know a good deal about operations, finance, management, even law.

Being a Consultant can provide interesting as well as rewarding work. But it is a job. It still requires that you work at it every day, either working for your clients or working to find additional clients. And it always means you have to be “gooder” at what you do than anyone else if you want to grow your family of clients.

In Support of Private College Consultants

What is an independent educational consultant?
“Independent educational consultants are skilled professionals who provide counseling to help student and family choose a college, university or other program that is a good personal match: one that will foster this particular student’s academic and social growth. Educational consultants can provide a student and family with individual attention, first hand knowledge of hundreds of educational opportunities, and the time to explore all of the options. An independent counselor works one-on-one with students and parents to develop a thorough, carefully researched and appropriate school and/or college search, and guide the student through every step of the process.”

Many argue that independent college consulting is a luxury many cannot afford. Within the four professional organizations I currently belong, I have yet to meet a private counselor who doesn’t work on a sliding scale or in fact for free if it necessitates. After being in schools for twenty-five years, it’s obvious that the potpourri of jobs any counselor has doesn’t give students the focus and assistance they need in both understanding and filling out college applications. School counselors are often excellent and well qualified. It’s just that they are part of a system that has an average ration of 500 students to every counselor.

A recent Boston Globe article discusses the possibility of a potential check box where students would have to indicate to universities if they were receiving outside help to complete their college applications. I wholeheartedly disagree with this concept. Privacy issues are of ultimate concern everywhere in everything. What families and students choose to do is personal. Do universities tell the public what they are doing behind closed doors? I think not. Not to imply that anything is being done they wouldn’t publicize. However, it is the right of every admission officer to keep their information private. There is nothing unethical about keeping this information private. Qualified private counselors assist students and do not do work for them. I know that myself, along with many colleagues will answer questions for students with no charge.

“The Independent Educational Consultants Association has seen its membership triple since 1996, and expects continued growth in the coming years. There are now approximately 4,000 independent counselors nationwide. . . . ‘Of the 260,000 [high school] graduates last year who went to private colleges, 58,000 worked with consultants, representing 22 percent of the freshman class in these schools.”

The business of education is widely recognized and accepted. Qualified independent college consultants must be a respected option as are life coaches, psychologists and physical trainers to mention a few. After all, college consultants all have the same goals in mind – that of placing students in the best educational environment to meet their needs and have them gain knowledge and achieve happiness and success.

Jeannie received her Masters Degree in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles and is Founder and President of the Los Angeles based independent college counseling firm College Connections. She has an extensive educational background having served as counselor, school administrator, admissions director, teacher and curriculum supervisor for over twenty years in both the public and private sectors. Jeannie has done admissions counseling work for over fifteen years and continues her work of the past ten years as an independent educational college consultant. Jeannie has been awarded professional membership with the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA). Her affiliation with the National and Western Association of College Admissions Counselors as well as the Higher Educational Consultants Association keeps her on the forefront of innovative and current trends in college admissions and education.

Consulting – How To Be Successful

Consulting is a wonderful occupation, because you can tailor it to suit your individual style and personality, as well as any particular business experience you already have. Getting started in consulting isn’t always easy, but here are some general tips and ideas to help you be a success.

A good place to start is asking other people for advice – not help, advice. Most people love giving advice, and the funny thing is that when they give you advice, they inadvertently end up helping you! Be very clear and explicit when you describe your business to others, and be specific about the services you provide. Talk to everybody about what benefits a client can expect from using your services, and let them know exactly what it is you have to offer. This is vital – nobody is going to employ you as a consultant unless they understand what it is that you can do for them and their business.

Selling your services as a consultant is no different to selling any other product. For example, take widgets. If you were selling widgets to someone else, you’d tell people how great your widgets are, what makes your widgets different and better than any other widget they can buy, and how your particular widget can make their life better. The main difference with consulting is that clients usually don’t understand what benefits they are likely to gain from using a consultant, so you may have to work a little harder to sell them your services. After all, people already know about widgets, they may have bought widgets in the past, they’ve enjoyed the benefit of using a widget before, so it’s only necessary for you to sell them the idea of buying YOUR widget.

You’ve probably heard many times that the customer is always right, and that’s just as true for consulting as any other business. Remember, your clients are the most element of your business, so treat them that way. After all, without them you wouldn’t even have a business. Happy clients tell other people, and that word of mouth advertising is the most powerful boost your business can get.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to be something you’re not. Stick to your known areas of competence and don’t overstep the boundaries. Sometimes a client might ask you to do something you’re unfamiliar with, and it’s better to be honest and say you don’t know how it’s done, than taking it on and messing it up completely.

Remember, too, that just like the client can choose whichever consultant they want, you have the right to choose your clients. So if you’re not comfortable working with someone, don’t take them on as a client. It can be hard at the beginning to turn away business, but in the long run you’ll lose more than you gain if you take on a project that isn’t a good fit, takes time away from other good projects, and makes you unavailable for some other great opportunity.

Look around for joint venture arrangements. It’s likely that there are plenty of other businesses that offer complementary services for your clients. Set up a reciprocal arrangement with them. This can be a great way of getting clients when you’re starting out. Joining together with some other companies also means that you set up package deals or other incentives for clients, and share some of the costs of attracting new business.

Finally, try offering some of your services for free, helping out on a community project, or giving potential clients some sort of gift to attract their interest. Don’t over do it, particularly when starting out, but it all helps to promote your business and attract new business opportunities.

What is Plumbing Consulting?

In just about every important thing we do in our lives, we look to find authorities that understand the intricacies of what we want to accomplish. If we want to build a building, we turn to an architect. For advice on how to grow a business we seek out marketing experts. It only makes sense that if we have a major project that involves plumbing, we would go for plumbing consulting.

Not often understood as the profession within a profession that it is, plumbing consulting is a task that is only undertaken by the most knowledgeable of persons in the plumbing field. There is not really a school to go to or a degree that can be obtained in the certification of plumbing consulting. Rather, proficiency in plumbing consulting is a result of years of training, practical experience, and good old-fashioned common sense.

In addition to requiring years of experience, consulting can be a highly lucrative choice of career. Because the cumulative knowledge of a plumbing consultant goes far beyond that of a typical plumber, a person who chooses to go into the field can be a great asset to any building project. Whether the project is the reworking of a plumbing network for an existing structure or creating a brand new one for a new one, competent consulting can result in huge net savings. Local municipalities may find plumbing consulting to be helpful as well. A professional consultant can save time and money when it comes to laying out new water systems or adding to an existing one.

Of course, it is fairly easy for anyone to claim to be proficient in plumbing consulting. Before hiring someone for your building project, check their credentials with your local and state plumbing associations. Make sure to get references and follow up on them. Verify their certification. Remember, a true professional will not only be happy to provide you with the information to do this, but will insist that you check them out before they contract with you.

Ebusiness Consulting

Consultants can do everything from advising you on your choice of system to providing a full installation. Their main advantage is that they make sure you have far less work to do. You simply specify what you want, and, to the extent that you choose, the consultant helps you acquire it.

Typical e-business consulting skills include analyzing your requirements and turning a proper specification into a workable technical design in addition to installing all the required hardware, software and (where necessary) network cabling, as well as knowing where to find the most cost-effective solutions. It’s the job of a consultant to arrange or perhaps provide training and on-going support.

The big disadvantage of consultancy is the cost. Fees vary from around $25 to $250 per hour, depending on the skills involved, although most consultants will be happy to quote on a per-project fixed-fee basis. Both fixed fee and hourly rate work should be carefully defined in a contract so that your legal and professional positions with respect to each other are clearly defined.

However, even with the extra outlay, consultancy can still be cost-effective. When chosen wisely, a consultant will save you money and time overall, and will also sidestep the most common pitfalls involved in creating a working system.

If you are buying one or two computers for an office, then you will probably be able to get by without a consultant. But if you are trying to connect 50 PCs in a building and install a new accounting system at the same time, you will almost certainly need to call in an experienced third party. Larger companies will be able to ask the computer services and software association for consultancy referrals, but finding consultants willing to work with a very small business can be problematic.

A Marketing Consultant Is NOT a Luxury

A marketing consultant is a necessary investment for any business, particularly in the global network of today. This is true regardless of the industry. The marketing consultant is the person, or company as the case may be, that will help get the word out to the industry about a particular business. Although many people think they can effectively market their businesses themselves, there usually comes a time when every business owner begins to think about hiring a marketing specialist.

This typically happens for one of two reasons. Many business owners and entrepreneur simply have too much to do with the actual running of their business to focus effectively on the marketing aspect. At this point, they decide to turn to an expert in the marketing field. The other scenario that often has the entrepreneur or business owner turning to outside help in marketing their business is that they have run out of fresh ideas to present their businesses in a unique way or they need a fresh perspective on how to do so in the most effectively way possible.

While it is certainly important to use proven traditional marketing techniques, it is also vital for a marketing consultant to explore other avenues of marketing techniques. This includes exploring the different ways in which the Internet can be used to market a business. This multi pronged approach will help to ensure that the business is able to push its success to the next level.

A competent marketing consultant has studied the marketing aspects as they pertain to the Internet and is effective in harnessing the unique aspects of this global presence as well as the more traditional marketing techniques. These include ways that put businesses in the forefront of the people who are most likely to purchase the services or products offered by the business.

Marketing consultants know the secret of getting a business seen is to have a vibrant website with information that clients, as well as potential clients, will find relevant and useful. Keyword rich articles that provide valuable information for the site visitor as well as relevant keywords that enable the website to show up favorably during online searches is the backbone of any successful marketing strategy. In addition, it is imperative to have a presence on the various social media websites. These include general websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In addition, there are more specific social media websites for a host of industries. A specialist could help you in many areas. Why not arrange a free consultation to see what they can offer you?

How a Marketing Consultancy Firm Can Get Your Site Traffic

If you’re in business and want to be successful today, you probably know that you could benefit from being on the internet. But not every company that creates a website knows how to navigate the world of ecommerce. But that’s where a marketing consultancy can come in. Not only can a consultancy firm help you to get online but a firm with an internet marketing specialty can also help you get the right traffic — traffic that nets results.

Marketing companies specialised in marketing for online audiences can help companies in many ways, such as:

  • Helping you design an effective website. It’s not enough to simply put up a site. You want to take the time to put up a site that uses winning marketing strategies and search engine optimisation tactics.
  • Helping you attract traffic. Just because you build it doesn’t mean that “they’ll” simply come. Marketing companies can help you figure out how to attract the traffic that will become customers.
  • Helping you convert visitors into customers. Every person that visits your site is a potential customer. Once they arrive, you’ll need a strategy to capture their “opt in” so that you can work on selling to them.
  • Assisting you with the management of your branding and your messaging strategy. Strategists can help you formulate a plan to tackle your target market effectively.
  • Assisting you with the ongoing task of uncovering new markets and new opportunities to delve into. A website won’t just attract people, it’ll uncover new opportunities. A consultancy firm can help you mine website traffic data and turn that into a strategy.

Marketing consultancy companies that advertise a specialty in internet marketing strategies should have demonstrated expertise in this area and be willing to share information about their strategies with you so that you can be an active participant in your online strategy. This way, you can ensure that your company’s branding and messaging is consistent with your goals and both your short and long term strategies.

After you become successful online, you’ll want to utilise the services of a consultant to help you either on an ongoing basis or to help you learn how to manage your website traffic on your own. Choosing the right firm from the start is important.

The worst thing that can happen to an online site that is experiencing success is that the success suddenly ceases and the website owner can’t figure out why. When the right strategy is in place, this rarely happens. Choose the right marketing consultancy, one that uses a consultative approach, from the start and even if this does happen, your company can rebound from it through education, advice, and gathering business intelligence.

Recession-Proof Your Computer Consulting Business

It’s true that economic recessions result in downsizing and poor consumer spending in practically every major market. As the economy tumbles, it can seem daunting to take risks in business, especially when all you hear about in the news is how businesses are closing up and money is scarce.

But don’t believe everything you hear! The truth is, poor economic conditions are the BEST time for small business owners and start-ups to get in on the game and leapfrog their competition! While huge corporations are stuck with mind-boggling overhead and klunky business models to manage, fresh start-ups use nimble business strategies and innovation to become the next big thing in their industry.

The same is true for the computer consulting industry. If you implement frugal operating practices and aggressively innovate, you can outgrow your competition and end up in a better position when times are good.

The key is to ‘recession-proof’ your business. When it comes to computer consulting, there are 4 important steps to take to stabilize your income and build predictable wealth and market dominance.

Here Are 4 Steps You Can Put In Action Today:

1. Focus on accessibility. Successful companies are moving their focus away from making their products more sophisticated, and are instead focusing on adding more value and affordability. In a down economy, people are looking to either save money or get MORE for their money. It’s no coincidence that inexpensive netbooks are outselling their more expensive competitors. Study the graph to the right to learn more about 3 important movements that are going on right now in the computer consulting industry. Companies are adding more value to inexpensive products and reducing the price on their premium products. This is putting pressure on the middle market and squeezing them out of their market share.

So start thinking of ways you can add more value to your product while keeping your prices affordable to people with a tight income. You could bundle your services together, offer free upgrades, provide flat rate pricing (instead of hourly fees), etc. Making your computer consulting more affordable to low-income families will allow you to jump into an untapped market and dominate. Plus, if you build a loyal client following now with this low-income market, just imagine how profitable they will be when the economy picks up, they start making more money, and go to you for all their computer work!

2. Establish recurring income. The single fastest way to ‘recession-proof’ your computer consulting business is to capture reliable, recurring revenue streams to sure up your expenses and save you when business is slow. The easiest way to do this is to take your existing services and package them into proactive monthly maintenance plans. Managed services is a cash cow market, as is emerging cloud computing opportunities. Start looking into these markets and put together a monthly plan of your own that you could offer small businesses and home users in your area. Clients will contract to pay you monthly for unlimited support, scheduled backups and audits, and included upgrades. It’s a win-win because it guarantees you business (even if your client’s systems are healthy) and it gives your clients peace of mind that they never have to worry about their system going down or a catastrophe occurring that could have been prevented.

If you also provide web design (which some computer consultants do), web hosting and online email marketing software plans are a great way to establish recurring monthly income.

3. Go lean. To grow your business and build market share you have to be a lean, mean operating machine. That means cutting corners with expenses as much as you can. Make sure you are documenting EVERY PENNY you are spending on your business. You’ll find things like eating out, going over on your cell phone minutes, printing on paper when you could go digital, and wasting unnecessary electricity can all add up to a dollar amount that could ultimately break you. Imagine what you could do with an extra $400/month in advertising to get new clients. Do that every month for 2 years and you are talking about tens of thousands of dollars in extra business (not including the word-of-mouth these new clients will generate for you). Positive growth happens exponentially.

4. Learn to multiply by dividing. Most computer consultants are one-man-bands, but the fastest way to more money is to partner strategically. If you take a small slice of a much bigger pie you’ll make out in the end. It’s very easy to partner strategically with other companies when the economy is tight, because everyone is hungry for new money-making opportunities. Don’t be afraid to work together with someone locally. When you help others make money, you make money too!

The bottom line is

Successful companies know that the best time to get ahead is to innovate when their competition is tightening their belts and closing their wallets. Now is the time to think creatively and act on it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Qualities of a Top Internet Marketing Consultant

If you really want to drive a lot of traffic to your websites, simple keyword research and article submissions into directories may not be enough. For more guaranteed results, you may have to resort to hiring professionals in the field of internet marketing such as a web development specialist and an internet marketing consultant. When it comes to driving traffic to your website, a marketing consultant would really be the best person you could rely on because it is his main job to provide traffic and most likely, it is his greatest marketable skill for employers like you.


Sometimes, it could take a lot of detailed instructions and reviews and strategic revisions before both of you could even find some working chemistry so learn to be patient. On the same side, your internet marketing consultant could also use some time before he could actually adapt his skill to the demands of your website and most especially, your goals. You should at least be able to come up with some good results after some 2-3 weeks of adjustment period. A month-long adjustment period is actually too much and it be could a sign of unproductiveness if the consultant you hired is still not able to cope with your needs and demands.


Internet marketing consultants with the highest capability to improve the results of their previous tasks should actually be rewarded because only few individuals actually have the capacity to do that. However, it is likely that you will only encounter this type of internet marketing consultant if you will raise your employee benefits so that you would at least be able to compensate for the highly skilled service he has provided you with. Truth as it is, good, consistent and reliable employees really deserve an increase in benefits every once in a while so that they may be able to feel how you value them.

Skills and results

In evaluating the performance of your internet marketing consultant, be objective as much as possible and try to remove all the biased judgments you may happen to have. Also, make it a point that you base your evaluation on the results of their work and not on the effort that they exerted alone. But of course, that would still count but on an extremely smaller scale.

In terms of the skills, you should be able to determine that by observing how he does his tasks and what strategies he use.

The 5 Advantages of Being a Business Consultant

For an individual to successfully generate a reasonable income, it is important to have good presence of mind. Talent alone can’t bring a decent life to someone. Having the ability to see a really good opportunity and to be able seize it, combined with an individual’s talent brings a higher chance of succeeding not only in generating money but also in life. Being a consultant for a small business is one of the fastest growing online opportunities today that usually consists of talented individuals in different online categories. As lots and lots of online businesses today are now starting to establish online presence, the truth is they really can’t run their show alone. They will require help from different people.

Being a consultant for a small business offers multitude of advantages and represents the skeletal bone of many online businesses. Without them, basically confusion and failure is bound to occur. Success of an online business also greatly depends on internet consultants. The assistance of a consultant can ultimately lead an online business to the next level, that’s how important they are to the business. Small internet marketing business consultant offers the following vital advantages.

1. They help characterize online businesses. It is through their creative minds and their colorful vision that keeps the element of surprise for online businesses alive. What makes many online businesses today very diverse and catchy is because of their spectacular ideas. They help organize a businessman’s goals and objectives. They also help in making impressive business plans.

2. They help improve the business. There are many kinds of business consultants. While there are consultants who can help improve the web traffic by making creative skin layers for the website, there are also consultants who specialize in online marketing sales plan. They can help boost sales by providing an excellent marketing plan.

3. They help attract customers through creative planning. One of the most efficient ways in making a business quickly notice is to have a spectacular website design. Website design is also an important factor in any online business. A very catchy site can help increase web traffic, while running a complicated site can bring headache to customers resulting to less web traffic. Less web traffic means slimmer chance of creating sales.

4. They make things easier and less complicated. A business consultant spares businessmen the complicated work of major online planning, which includes graphic designing, marketing plans, website designing, Script coding and many more.

5. They help boost motivation, increase the drive to succeed, focus, and balance. Small business consultants can make a businessman’s life easier and less complicated, they help them focus on some other major things, and they help them maintain balance in their business.

One of the best reasons why being a consultant for a small business is a very good choice is because of its increasing demand and good pay. There are literally millions of small online businesses that are looking for some one that can show them the proper way around. The opportunity and demand is there, and so is the possibility to generate high amount of money.