An Insider's Guide to Building a Successful Consulting Practice

An Insider's Guide to Building a Successful Consulting Practice

Authors: Bruce L. Katcher, Adam Snyder
Pub Date: March 2010
Print Edition: $18.95
Print ISBN: 9780814414361
Page Count: 272
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814414378

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The Top Six Myths About Independent Consulting

Myth #1: Consultants have little job security. Salaried employees may think that consultants have unstable work lives, but nothing could be further from the truth. Consultants quickly learn how to fend for themselves and provide services that are needed even during challenging economic times. Moreover, they don't have to worry about layoffs, mergers, or acquisitions that are out of the control of regular employees. Indeed, 70 percent of the consultants surveyed say they have better security now compared to their last full time job.

Myth #2: Consultants are unable to earn a good living. Employees may fear that as a consultant they would make dangerously less money, especially in that critical first year. However, 74 percent were able to support themselves from their consulting income within their first year of business and 85 percent were able to match their full time employee income within three years.

Myth #3: Consultants aren't respected. Everyone has worked in an office where the arrival of a consultant brought fear and dread—the consultant wouldn’t understand the company, the product, or the corporate culture, and would ruin everything he was supposed to be fixing. But most consultants report just the opposite effect—that they have great credibility and influence to enact change that employees have been struggling to enact themselves. Consultants typically divulge, "When I was an employee, management didn't respect my ideas, but as a consultant my ideas are valued and implemented.”

Myth #4: Consultants have little control over the type of work they perform. Because consultants jump from client to client, there is a fear that they work at the whim of a client—no longer choosing the type of work they perform. Yet 88 percent of the consultants surveyed said they have more control of the type of work they perform now than they did as an employee.

Myth #5: Consultants have little or no work-life balance. Work day and night to please a client and have no control of personal time. Quite to the contrary—independent consultants are able to arrange their client meetings around their personal schedule and have the flexibility to attend to family events. 85 percent said they have more control of their time as a consultant than they did as an employee.

Myth #6: Consultants are unable to consult with their previous employer. Although some companies have rules against hiring former employees as consultants, most do not. Indeed, many consultants report that their first client was their last employer.

Based on the results of a survey of 200 successful independent consultants as reported in AN INSIDER'S GUIDE TO BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL CONSULTING PRACTICE (AMACOM 2010) by Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. with Adam Snyder.

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