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The Consultant's Manual: A Complete Guide to Building a Successful Consulting Practice Paperback – 26 Apr 1994


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From the Back Cover

The Consultant’s Manual If you’re serious about starting your own consulting practice, there’s something you should know … … No matter how knowledgeable you are in your field.… No matter how expert your advice or impressive your credentials.… If you don’t bring an air of consummate professionalism to every phase of your practice—from proposal–writing and fee–setting, to drawing up contracts and issuing reports—you’ll almost definitely lose out to the professional who does. But don’t worry, because with Tom Greenbaum and The Consultant’s Manual in your corner, you can make sure that never happens! Growing out of the author’s Harvard consulting course, this book offers level–headed, expert advice on virtually every practical aspect of starting, building, and marketing your consulting practice. Centered around the theme of developing and working an exhaustive business plan for your firm, it leads you step–by–step through the research, planning, and problem–solving stages. Positioning your firm, giving it a name, targeting your market, establishing a sales culture, maintaining top–flight customer service, cash flow, billing, and fee setting … it’s all in here, and much more.

About the Author

THOMAS L. GREENBAUM is President of Groups Plus, Inc., a focus group research and consulting practice.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Virtually everyone who enters the consulting business faces the same two basic challenges; how to generate leads and then how to turn leads into clients. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
No frills...and not the fun part for many! 3 Dec 2001
By "tpabbott" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It doesn't come with a free CD, accompanying website or an appendix of checklists. There's not even a photo of the author. It's not about how to consult (the part you're excited about!), it is, rather, about how to run your consulting business for a living (the part you're not particularly excited about, but is necessary). Based on Greenbaum's Harvard consulting course (which is what attracted me to the text, along with, honestly, its affordability), the subtitle "A Complete Guide to Building a Successful Consulting Practice," really sums it up. Just because you have a developed area of expertise does not mean you will be a successful consultant from your own financial perspective. You have to manage and grow your business.
A business plan is just as important for a service business as for a product-based enterprise; perhaps even more so. A carefully constructed image ("company identity") including promotional materials parallels development of an effective business plan. A personal selling strategy needs to be in place, including details of billing and contracting, before you begin, or at least get in too far. The chapter on "Planning Your Company's Finances" was of particular interest to me, since it is often taboo in casual conversation among colleagues.
I initially thought the author was extremely hard-sell, but to be successful long-term, confidence and forethought are essential. Competition is fierce in many fields, and you need to get and keep your slice of the target market pie. As I read further, reality set in, and this book is reality and experience-based.
Be honest, and go for win-win situations; you are in business to make money by providing honest, consistent, quality customer service. The last few chapters, particularly the chapter on ethics, provide nice segue to perhaps another book.
For the money, this is a good survival manual from the consultant's point of view for a beginner or a professional already in the field. It's an easy read meshing the marketing and business principles you'll need to supplement your given areas of expertise. For more complete (and pricey, but worth it if you're serious) information and advice, check out Elaine Beich "The Business of Consulting and Beyond" and/or Peter Block's "Flawless Consulting" sets of workbooks/case studies plus texts.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
I Dreamed of Consulting 11 Oct 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Making money as a consultant means meeting prospective clients who are decision makers within their businesses and standing by your fees, because you never know when competition and technology will get the better of you. Also, it means getting business prospects to think of you, not only as a customer of advertising and print shops, but as a breadwinner too who likes cashing regular paychecks. You can get paid to make business-boosting connections by appearing on radio and television, giving industry and trade talks, teaching courses, and writing articles and books.
So Thomas L. Greenbaum is particularly helpful on the financial side of becoming a consultant. His book, THE CONSULTANT'S MANUAL, makes consulting dreams come true, along with Geoffrey M. Bellman's THE CONSULTANT'S CALLING, Herman Holtz's THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO CONSULTING CONTRACTS, Peter Meyer's GETTING STARTED IN COMPUTER CONSULTING, Janet Ruhl's THE COMPUTER CONSULTANT'S GUIDE, and Howard Shenson and Ted Nicholas' THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO CONSULTING SUCCESS.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Book for New Consultants 23 Nov 2008
By Mitch Paioff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In "The Consultant's Manual", Thomas Greenbaum presents a concise, well-thought-out guide for starting a consulting business. Although a bit outdated (published in 1990), the content of Greenbaum's manual is just as applicable now as it was in the 1990's.

His first chapter deals with marketing, a good place to start. He stresses that focusing on a target market and defining what you have to offer are the key aspects of building a successful business. "...nothing happens until someone sells something" is right on page one of his Introduction section.

His chapters on proposal preparation and handling objections are right on the money. His essay on ethics at the end of his book is well written and to the point.

Greenbaum taught consulting classes at Harvard University before he wrote this book. His depth of knowledge is evident.

I highly recommend this book.

Mitch Paioff, Author, Getting Started as an Independent Computer Consultant

Getting Started as an Independent Computer Consultant
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Starting a Consulting Business 3 Oct 2008
By George Herczeg Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am setting up a small consulting business and found The Consultant's Manual by Thomas L. Greenbaum to be extremely informative and quite valuable in the detail that it provided on the planning and implementation of a successful consulting business. It was highly recommended by my colleagues and friends. I would pass that recommendation on to anyone who is in the process of setting up a consulting business.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
good book for beginning business owners 19 Aug 2011
By jeff riley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So far this book has been a good comprehensive book about consulting. It has spurred me to think and plan far beyond what I had.

Since I really had no knowledge of all that I was getting into, I am glad I purchased this book.
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