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How to Start a Consulting Business | Free Book PDF Download

Starting a Consulting Business

New from BizMove: Video Guides to Boost Your Business Management Skills
Here's a collection of results driven video guides to help sharpen your business skills while increasing your chances of success as a business manager.
► Video Guides to Improve Your Management Skills

How to Start a Consulting Business - Free Book

Are you considering starting a Consulting Business? if yes, you'll find this free book to be extremely helpful.

This is a practical guide that will walk you step by step through all the essentials of starting your business. The book is packed with guides, worksheets and checklists. These strategies are absolutely crucial to your business' success yet are simple and easy to apply.


Don’t Start a New Consulting Business Unless You Watch This Video First!

Checklist for Starting a Business: Essential Ingredients for Success

If you are thinking about going into business, it is imperative that you watch this video first! it will take you by the hand and walk you through each and every phase of starting a business. It features all the essential aspects you must consider BEFORE you start a business. This will allow you to predict problems before they happen and keep you from losing your shirt on dog business ideas. Ignore it at your own peril!

For more insightful videos visit our Small Business and Management Skills YouTube Chanel.


Here’s a Valuable Free Gift for You
This is a high quality, full blown business plan template complete with detailed instructions and all related spreadsheets. You can download it to your PC and easily prepare a professional business plan for your business.
Click Here! To get your free business plan template

The Single Most Important Ingredient for Business Success

The first and most important thing you need to acquire in order to succeed in a small business is... knowledge.

Sounds exaggerated? Listen to this...

According to research conducted by Dun & Bradstreet, 90% of all small business failures can be traced to poor management resulting from lack of knowledge.

This is backed up by my own personal observations. In my 31 years as a business coach and consultant to small businesses, I've seen practically dozens of small business owners go under and lose their businesses -- not because they weren't talented or smart enough -- but because they were trying to re-invent the wheel rather than rely on proven, tested methods that work.

Conclusion: if you are really serious about succeeding in a business... If you want to avoid the common traps and mistakes... it is absolutely imperative that you acquire the right knowledge.

"Why Invent Mediocrity, When You Can Copy Genius?"

That's an excellent quote I picked up from a fellow business owner a few years back. What this means is that you should see what is working and try to duplicate it. Why go through all the trouble of inventing something new, that you don't even know will ever work, when you can easily learn from and duplicate something that has been a proven success?

[ Note: One of the BIGGEST mistakes almost all new businesses make is that they WASTE tons of valuable time, energy and money on trying to create something "new", that has never been tested or proven... only to find out later that it was a total loss. Don't make the same mistake! ]

Hi! My name is Meir. I'm the founder and president of BizMove.com, a successful Internet based information business. I'm also the author of numerous books, mostly in the area of small business management.

I've been involved in small business for the past 31 years of my life, as a business coach, manager of a consulting firm, a seminar leader and as the owner of five successful businesses.

During my career as a business coach and consultant I've helped dozens of business owners start their businesses, market, expand, get out of troubles, sell their businesses and do practically every other small business activity you can think of.
You see, I have been there .... done it ... and bought the Small Business t-shirt! -- This free book contains techniques and strategies I've learned during my 31 year small business career.

Here's what you'll discover in the 'How to Start a Consulting Business' book:

How to determine the feasibility of your business idea - a complete fill in the blanks template system that will help you predict problems before they happen and keep you from losing your shirt on dog business ideas.

A detailed manual that will walk you step by step through all the essential phases of starting your business

A complete business plan template. This fill-in-the-blanks template includes every section of your business plan, including Executive Summary, Objectives, SWOT Analysis, Marketing Analysis and Strategy, Operations Plan, Financial Projections and more (a similar template is sold elsewhere for $69.95).

All this and much much more.

Success Tip: Setting Goals

Good management is the key to success and good management starts with setting goals. Set goals for yourself for the accomplishment of the many tasks necessary in starting and managing your business successfully. Be specific. Write down the goals in measurable terms of performance. Break major goals down into sub-goals, showing what you expect to achieve in the next two to three months, the next six months, the next year, and the next five years. Beside each goal and sub-goal place a specific date showing when it is to be achieved.

Plan the action you must take to attain the goals. While the effort required to reach each sub-goal should be great enough to challenge you, it should not be so great or unreasonable as to discourage you. Do not plan to reach too many goals all at one time.

Establish priorities. Plan in advance how to measure results so you can know exactly how well you are doing. This is what is meant by "measurable" goals. If you can’t keep score as you go along you are likely to lose motivation. Re-work your plan of action to allow for obstacles which may stand in your way. Try to foresee obstacles and plan ways to avert or minimize them.

Click here! to download your Consulting Business book for free (PDF version)


Here're other free books in the "how to start a business" series that may interest you:

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Here's a Sample 'Executive Summary' for a Consulting Business plan:

COMPANY NAME is an existing counseling and massage therapy service provider located in Chico, California.  The Center currently offers healing massage therapy, individual and family counseling, and wedding facilities.  The purpose of this Business Plan is to educate the decision makers in control of grant, investment, and loan funds of the capital requirements of the business, its history and projected future, and the economic value to their community should the requested capital be approved.
 The Center is centrally located to the tri-county area it serves, specifically Butte, Glenn, and Tehama counties.  The area is rapidly growing in population with over 310,000 inhabitants and demographic information indicates it is predominantly an agricultural region.  These counties may not have faired as well as many other parts of California and the United States through the ongoing economic downturn.  According to U.S. Census data, the area is made up of homes with a less than average median household income and a higher than average population of individuals below the poverty level.  
The Center has been in existence at its present location since 2001.  OWNER’S NAME founded the business and operates it as a sole proprietorship.  Currently, there are no other employees of the business and OWNER’S NAME handles all facets of business and service provision.  Prior to forming her business, she achieved impressive credentials by becoming ordained as a minister through two churches and successfully completing massage therapy training. 
The Center has a large number of competitors in the local area that offer essentially the same services.  However, the COMPANY NAME has four distinctive competitive edges - the credentials of the owner, the unique environment of the Center, the excellent individualized services that include both counseling and physical therapy, and the fact that the Center delivers all services with an honest Christian value set. 
OWNER’S NAME has already identified what she must achieve to make her Center successful. She hopes to add another competitive edge by securing $125,000 in needed funding to provide her clients with even more services such as water therapy, an expanded massage unit, and a larger child counseling unit.
Increased sales and profits can be achieved by expanding the facilities, offering more services, and hiring massage therapists to create the time required to develop additional medical referrals.  In addition, a concentrated effort to better develop awareness for the business through a sophisticated website, more Yellow Pages exposure, and an advertising campaign will assist growth. 
The future of the COMPANY NAME appears bright.  The Center has an excellent point of influence in OWNER’S NAME.  Its strengths exceed its weaknesses.  It has opportunities for growth and profitability by simply following this business plan and by finding a source of funds to expand.  The only serious business threats are a prolonged and worsening economic downturn or competitor decisions to expand.

1.1 Objectives

  1. By January 1, 2011, expand the building and include a solar heated therapy pool and a new massage unit
  2. Grow sales by 12/31/2012 to $250,000 through expanded services, a sophisticated website, and aggressive marketing to further attract medical referrals
  3. Grow owner's draw plus profitability to a combined total of over $90,000 by 12/31/2012

1.2 Mission

The mission of the COMPANY NAME is to provide everyone residing within a 200-mile radius with a thoroughly pleasing, consultative, healing, and therapeutic experience with every visit by offering the best customer service, the most attractive facility, and the best service variety of any privately owned area center while providing profitable, yet fair and competitive pricing for our clients.

1.3 Keys to Success

  1. Expanding our building to include a therapy pool and a new massage unit
  2. Continue our heritage by exceeding customer service expectations every time with honesty, availability, cooperation, realistic assessment, and a welcoming personality 
  3. Continue to focus our marketing efforts on attracting medical referrals and increasing business awareness
  4. Expand our service offerings to include water therapy, a dedicated child counseling unit, massage therapy courses, and lectures on conquering both physical and emotional life challenges

COMPANY NAME was formed on July 25, 2001 by OWNER’S NAME as a sole proprietorship.  Her service oriented business, located in Chico, California, offers individual and family counseling, healing massage, and wedding facilities to the men, women, and children residing within a 200-mile radius. 

2.1 Company Ownership

COMPANY NAME operates as a privately owned sole proprietorship that is owned by OWNER’S NAME (100%).  Using her own funding, she organized the business and began its operation on July 25, 2001.
The sole proprietorship formation was chosen as a means to simplify the business formation and income tax filing processes and to avoid corporate taxation and regulation.
OWNER’S NAME is an active and hands-on owner, operator, and decision maker.  She has earned a two-year degree, two ordainments as a minister, and successfully completed certification as a massage therapist.  She has years of extensive experience in counseling, teaching seminars and classes, healing body massage therapy, and nine years as the business owner.

2.2 Company History

In May 2001, after being ordained as a minister with two churches and completing massage therapy training, OWNER’S NAME organized her business and began its operation at its present location.
Sales topped $100,000 in 2004, but fell off significantly until reaching a low of $8,662 in 2007.  Sales have improved dramatically in each of the past two years with 2009 sales totaling $64,553.  Even though there has been a marked improvement over the past two years, sales figures are still only about 60% of those in the peak year.  
The increase in sales over the past two years is a result of the owner changing the marketing strategy of the business to one that emphasizes medical referrals.  Also, the owner has identified and planned future changes which include the expansion of the existing building and the addition of a solar heated therapy pool, a new massage unit with a bathroom, and the dedication of existing space for a specialized child counseling unit.

Table: Past Performance

PAST PERFORMANCE

 

 

 

 

2007

2008

2009

Sales

$8,662

$29,625

$64,553

Gross Margin

$5,527

$27,718

$62,687

Gross Margin %

63.81%

93.56%

97.11%

Operating Expenses

$20,863

$16,880

$16,968

 

 

 

 

Balance Sheet

 

 

 

 

2007

2008

2009

 

 

 

 

Current Assets

 

 

 

Cash

$3,606

$1,485

$6,719

Other Current Assets

$0

$0

$0

Total Current Assets

$3,606

$1,485

$6,719

 

 

 

 

Long-term Assets

 

 

 

Long-term Assets

$0

$0

$0

Accumulated Depreciation

$0

$0

$0

Total Long-term Assets

$0

$0

$0

 

 

 

 

Total Assets

$3,606

$1,485

$6,719

 

 

 

 

Current Liabilities

 

 

 

Accounts Payable

$0

$0

$0

Current Borrowing

$0

$0

$0

Other Current Liabilities (interest free)

$0

$0

$0

Total Current Liabilities

$0

$0

$0

 

 

 

 

Long-term Liabilities

$0

$0

$0

Total Liabilities

$0

$0

$0

 

 

 

 

Paid-in Capital

$39,099

$26,140

($14,345)

Retained Earnings

($10,901)

($35,493)

($24,655)

Earnings

($24,592)

$10,838

$45,719

Total Capital

$3,606

$1,485

$6,719

 

 

 

 

Total Capital and Liabilities

$3,606

$1,485

$6,719

 

 

 

 

Other Inputs

 

 

 

Payment Days

1

1

1


3.0 Services

COMPANY NAME currently offers services that are typical of many counseling and healing massage therapy businesses.  Services currently being offered include counseling of a varied nature for all ages and genders, seminars, classes, healing massage therapy, and a wedding facility. 
Future plans include expansion of the existing building and constructing a solar heated therapy pool and a new massage unit with bathrooms.  This project will also make existing space available to dedicate it for specialized child counseling.  In addition, the hiring of more massage therapists will allow the owner to conduct courses and give lectures on conquering physical and emotional life challenges. 
Completing these plans will give the business a competitive advantage over local competitors by providing additional needed services under one roof.  The expansion will offer local residents convenience, a specialized child counseling unit, additional counseling venues such as classes, courses, and lectures, and water therapy for body strengthening, muscle elongation, non-impact exercise, depression reduction, and fear phobias reduction.

How To Manage Your Time Effectively At Work

1. Start with the end in mind.

It has been said that "Time is Money" -- but I disagree. When you think about it, isn't Time really LIFE? At the end of your life, can you even imagine saying to yourself, "I wish I'd made more money?" It's more likely you'd be thinking "I wish I'd had more TIME -- time to spend with my loved ones, time to enjoy my life more, time to take that special vacation…". Here are my favorite strategies for managing that most precious of all resources -- TIME.

1. The first step is being aware of where your time is going, now.

You can't find something you've lost when you don't know where you might have lost it in the first place. So the first strategy for managing your time is to know where it's going, now. That means actually tracking or logging your time daily, for at least 1 week (preferably 2). Track the exact time you begin and end an activity, make a note of the duration in exact minutes, and a few words to describe the activity. This step requires you to be really honest with yourself and track EVERYTHING you do in your work day so you can see where your time is really going -- so if you spent 23 minutes chatting with coworkers at the coffee machine (no cheating by logging all your time in nice, even 15, 30 or 60 minute intervals) -- write it down EXACTLY!

2. Analyze and summarize your time logs.

At the end of the week, review your time logs and start to summarize the tasks (and the amount of time spent on each) into categories. You will create these categories yourself, and you should have between 6 and 12 categories. They should be meaningful to you, self-defining, mutually exclusive and as concise as possible. Some examples might be: Administration, Business Development, Sales & Marketing, Computer, etc. You will then summarize, for each day, how much time you spent doing tasks or activities for each category, in the exact number of minutes. You might also do a little math, to figure the percentage of time each category takes out of each day. You make this step as detailed as you like, but the key here is: AWARENESS.

3. Create a New Daily Routine.

If you were honest and diligent during steps 1 and 2, chances are you had a rude awakening when you reviewed and analyzed your time logs. You no doubt can see where the time drains are occurring -- and now you're ready to make better choices and create a new daily routine. This routine will maximize the time you spend on productive work by conforming to the natural flow of your day and with your natural rhythms, by taking into consideration when you're at your best for certain tasks, grouping similar tasks together for greater efficiency, and by setting aside dedicated time for doing uninterrupted work. How do you create your routine? Look at where you've been spending your time and start making some decisions about where the different tasks can best be fit into your day… then actually write this routine down and post it where you'll see it every day. Strategies 4 through 10 will give you some food for thought as you develop and implement your new daily routine.

4. Prioritize and stay focused.

Once you've done the up-front work of tracking and analyzing your time, and creating a new routine… how do you keep it on track? You will also need to do some work on prioritizing what you do. You can create your own easy tools to do this. On one sheet of paper, create 5 sections: High Priorities, Secondary Priorities, People to Contact, Telephone calls, and Schedule. You can fill this out each day, first thing in the morning (or better yet, at the end of your work day so you are well prepared to start fresh tomorrow!) Each day, ask yourself: "If nothing else gets done today, what are the one or two items that absolutely MUST be done?". Those are the items you will use to focus your day. You should also periodically go back to the time logging exercise, so you can determine if you are slipping back into those old bad habits and take immediate steps to get back on track.

5. Reduce interruptions by creating stronger boundaries.

It is true that interruptions to your day can and will happen, and to some degree they are out of your complete control. However, you probably have more control than you think. Instead of blaming other people and getting frustrated with them for interrupting you, take responsibility for creating stronger boundaries with your co-workers where appropriate. Keep in mind, other people don't mean to be inconsiderate by interrupting, they are just caught up in their own "stuff" and probably don't realize. It is really up to you to set up some guidelines for when you can and cannot be interrupted, to communicate them to others, and then to stick by them. For example: you might institute a "quiet time" policy (mornings are usually best) where you let everyone know that this is a time where you cannot be interrupted -- and then set up another time later in the day where you have an open-door policy. This strategy creates a firm boundary but also provides time for you to be accessible to others. At first, those around you might try to cross your boundaries, and it's up to you to gently remind them that they can come back and talk during your "open door" time. After a while, they'll get used to it. Change takes time, so stick with it!

6. Structure your telephone time.

Set aside certain periods of the day to accept, initiate and return calls. The best time to accept incoming calls is just prior to lunch or at the end of the work day (the other person will not want to dawdle on the phone at those times either!) -- so whenever possible, let others know this is your preference and set that time aside so you are available. When initiating or returning calls, the best time to contact those difficult-to-reach folks is early in the morning, just before or after lunch, or late in the day. Other tips for making the best use of your phone time -- plan in advance what you need to cover during the call; and at the beginning of a call, you might say "I have about 10 minutes to spend with you now. If we don't finish, we can always schedule another time."

7. Don't procrastinate.

Procrastination is probably one of the biggest "time hogs" we have… not only are we NOT doing the thing we're procrastinating about, but we also end up wasting even more time worrying about how much we're procrastinating. So, if you have an unpleasant task to do, simply make up your mind to take care of it immediately and just get it done!

8. Under-promise and over-deliver.

You may have heard this one before, but a little reinforcement never hurts. Many of us have too many demands on our time because we take on more than we should... we don't like to say No, don't want to hurt someone else's feelings. When we over-commit ourselves, we are not only creating unnecessary stress in our lives, but we are also creating potential situations where we cannot deliver what we've promised. We also don't realize that when we can't deliver what we've promised, we can inadvertently cause more pain and hurt feelings than if we'd been willing to say No in the first place. Remember, you're not doing yourself or anyone else any favors by taking on more than you can reasonably deliver. Commit yourself to making this strategy a high priority in your life, and watch what happens!

9. Separate your work from your personal life.

Whether you work in or out of your home, it is critical for your well-being that you find a way to separate your work from your personal life. If you work out of the home, don't take work home at all unless you are certain you can get to it -- it's better to stay a little longer at the office (but be sure and set time limits for yourself!) to get it done, then enjoy your leisure time without the stress of having to do that work at home. If you work at home, you will need to be even more diligent in setting aside separate times in your day for work and for your personal time and family. Post your schedule where your family can see it, and make it clear when you can and cannot be interrupted (when you work at home, you have to create better habits for the whole family to ensure your success!)

10. Remember, you're only human.

We all have only 24 hours in the day -- and sometimes that just doesn't feel like enough, does it? There will always be days where things happen that are unplanned and which can throw even the most organized day into a tail-spin. When that happens, take a deep breath or two, and accept that you are doing the very best you can, right now. Tomorrow is a new day and a chance to start fresh. Let go of the need to be a perfectionist and remember, you're only human!

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