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How to be a big-time consultant

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 25th May 2012

Tad wearing many neckties, top hat and monocle

Big-Time Consultant

A colleague asked:

How can I become a big-time consultant, just like you?

If you’re going to set up your own business, the first and most important thing is to get a good accountant, someone who knows about tax advantages for small businesses and can handle your payroll, tax payments, and both personal and business income tax. The rest kind of flows from there.

The next thing is to get a placement agency to do the work of finding work, advertising, marketing, and billing. Far easier for you to invoice one placement agency than to deal with multiple clients.

You should probably register your business as a “sole proprietor”. I did that initially, then incorporated five years later when a client required it (they contracted only to incorporated businesses). Your accountant can provide advice on this.

Ideally you’ll want to find a specialty. There’s not much demand for generalists. Web development skills, database administration, network cabling or teaching experience should be an advantage there.

Give knowledge away for free. Participate in online mailing lists and forums, be seen at tech events. Give presentations! That doesn’t make you any money directly, but serves to build up your reputation. Don’t be afraid to take chances. Playing it safe is comfortable, but accepting risks may lead to bigger and better contracts.

–Bob.

Need a big-time consultant? Bob Jonkman and his colleagues are available!

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Tad 2008-11-06” by philentropist is used under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.

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