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Consulting Basics


Starting your own consulting or freelance business requires planning and preparation. That includes having to make many decisions before your doors are even open for business, like deciding when or if you should leave your full-time job, what type of legal structure is best for your business, how to find clients and what rates to charge. These resources will help make sure you have covered the basics required to start a successful consulting or freelance business, whether you are just starting your business or you are still considering the best time to become self-employed.

Deciding to Start a Consulting/Freelance Business

Are you a consultant or a freelancer? Should you buy a franchise or start your own consulting firm? Could your hobby be turned into a full-time career as a freelancer? These are among the essential questions that must be answered before starting your own business. From common concerns with finding your first client to setting up an efficient home office, these resources explain the basics of getting started as a consultant/freelancer.

Working With Clients

A key element in starting a consulting business or being self employed as a freelancer is learning to develop client relationships. Identifying prospective customers is only the beginning. If the 80/20 rule holds true, then a small number of clients will account for a large amount of your business. That means you need to know how to find new clients, take care of their needs and handle concerns successfully. These resources explain how to develop client relationships.

Developing Rates and Policies

As a self-employed professional you are responsible for all aspects of managing a business. This includes establishing the policies and procedures necessary to run your own business. Setting hourly rates, determining project-based or retainer fees, establishing guidelines for your work and terms for your contracts is all part of running a competitive consultant/freelancing business.

Original Article: http://consulting.about.com/od/gettingstarted/u/CF_UserPathTab_StartUp.htm 

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