Nov 072007

So You Want To Be A Consultant, Eh?


Pondering a career as a consultant? Wondering whether a career as an independent consultant is feasible? Not sure how to go about it? Need help setting up a business consulting in the United States? Then Getting Started In Consulting is the right book for the budding consultant rookie.
In a book drawing from personal experience Alan Weiss covers the A to Z of how to set up a business as an independent consultant in virtually any field. The topics range from the mundane (office furniture, gadgets needed, etc.) to the more germane such as obtaining financing, fee structure and structured networking, marketing and selling.

Divided into neat chapters including useful sidebars and summaries and providing succinct checklists at the end of the book Getting Started In Consulting is an easy to read and digest book by someone who has walked the walk. The knowledge that this is more than a mere academic study is in fact reassuring.
Nevertheless, the book is not perfect. The obvious, and Weiss is forthright about this given the title of the book, issue is that certain aspects of the book are quite elementary. Furthermore, some of the discussion regarding technology is already dated – and the book is only three years old. Finally, the author’s insistence on finding the least expensive options when obtaining the services of others, compensating others’ services cheaply, shopping at Wal-mart and so forth are not only symptomatic of the petty and cheap society we live in, but also go against Weiss’ own advice on how to structure one’s consulting fees, charging customers and asking for superior remuneration and are moreover counter-productive on a macro scale. If adopted universally, these tactics will perpetuate what consultants themselves face day in and day out. Namely, everyone’s top concern is minimizing costs and getting a service cheaply.
All in all, Getting Started In Consulting is a valuable book for consultant rookies or those with ambitions to rev up their practice and is a good investment for the reader.