From Shannon Belew, former About.com Guide
Deciding to Start a Consulting/Freelance Business
Are you a consultant or a freelancer? Should you buy a franchise or start your own consulting firm? Could your hobby be turned into a full-time career as a freelancer? These are among the essential questions that must be answered before starting your own business. From common concerns with finding your first client to setting up an efficient home office, these resources explain the basics of getting started as a consultant/freelancer.
- Consulting vs Freelancing
- Buying a Consulting Franchise
- Landing a Consulting Job
- Creative Freelancing Careers
Working With Clients
A key element in starting a consulting business or being self employed as a freelancer is learning to develop client relationships. Identifying prospective customers is only the beginning. If the 80/20 rule holds true, then a small number of clients will account for a large amount of your business. That means you need to know how to find new clients, take care of their needs and handle concerns successfully. These resources explain how to develop client relationships.
Developing Rates and Policies
As a self-employed professional you are responsible for all aspects of managing a business. This includes establishing the policies and procedures necessary to run your own business. Setting hourly rates, determining project-based or retainer fees, establishing guidelines for your work and terms for your contracts is all part of running a competitive consultant/freelancing business.