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Getting Started in Computer Consulting

A note from the author, Peter Meyer

So what's in this book for you?

Consulting has two components. One is the technical knowledge of the topic. The other is the information and plans that you need to build a business out of that knowledge. Most experienced consultants will tell you that of these two, the second is the most important and often the hardest. Making a consulting practice work is what this book is about, both for the beginner and for the experienced consultant who wants to grow his or her business.

Start with why you want to be an independent consultant. For most of us, it is a desire to be able to:

» Do work that we and our clients find satisfying
» Choose who we work for
» Get paid for it

Herman Holtz and I spent time working with successful computer (and other) consultants to find systematic ways that they make this happen for themselves. This book is explains some things that they did to get that way. If success is a satisfied consultant who is well paid and chooses his or her own clients - then we found a number of them.

You will find large sections on marketing for technical consultants, deciding where to start marketing your service, three different ways to set fees, selling to the government, and on various sales processes that have worked. You'll find a whole chapter on the 7-Step systematized process that many consultants follow to get the work that they want at a fair price. Give it a try, it works really well for consultants in many fields.

If you are just starting in consulting, you'll find answers to questions that you may not have asked yet, but should have. A lot is stuff we've learned the hard way.

If you are experienced in consulting, you will find some excellent tidbits in the first few chapters of the book. You will probably spend even more time on the second half, finding what has worked for others and ideas that you can take for your own use. Here is the stuff that your peers use, often in their own words.

Steal the best ideas and use them! And then let me know what worked for you.


Peter Meyer

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