Contracting

3 Ways to Be Indispensible to Small Business

lemonade stand, small business
Want to make your IT consultancy indispensable to a small business? Here are three key ways to make yourself the go-to consultant for the small company in need of your services. In my IT consulting work, I find that most startups and small businesses need help in these three key areas: Strategic planning Leading a critical or new strategic project Resource management As an experienced IT consultant, you have the confidence, experience and connections to make a huge difference in the… continue…

Leverage Business Continuity as a Revenue Generator

Guy in Server Room
Companies across the U.S., and all over the world, are looking for groups within their organizations to either cut or downsize dramatically. If they don’t see you as part of the solution (revenue generation), then you’re part of the problem (costly overhead). And if your company has a separate business continuity group, it’s highly likely that it’s already been hit with reductions, or at the least is facing cuts or elimination soon. Business continuity groups may be safer if the… continue…

How to Protect Yourself Against Problem Projects

Finger Pointing
Even projects that start strong can begin to unravel as time goes on. Sometimes the problem lies in scope, budget or other issues that are beyond the team’s control, but in other instances the issue lies with the team, either in whole or in part. It’s not surprising. Each project team has to figure out how to get along, how to work together and — if it’s an Agile team — what each individual’s role is to be. During one… continue…

Treat Your Best Clients with Care

client
If someone asked you to pick your best clients on the spot, could you do it? Can you name your top five right now? If so, you’re doing pretty well. If not, then you better re-assess where things stand with all your clients. If I were to ask what you’ve been doing for those “special” clients to let them know how much you value their business, would you have anything to tell me? Are you letting them know that they… continue…

Would My Client Hire Me Next Time?

Assessment
By Brad Egeland Have you ever asked your spouse if they would choose you again if they could do it all over? I have, but I have to be careful which day to ask. Likewise, have you ever wondered whether your client would hire you again? Was your performance such that they would want you? For most of us, I’m sure the answer is a resounding yes. But there are always those uncertain cases out there, some of them even… continue…

5 Questions Consultants Should Ask Prospective Clients

Business People at Desk Thumbnail
By Brad Egeland Your advertising has worked and you’ve made contact with a potential client who has a need and thinks they might want your consulting services. That’s the easy part. Now you’re ready to sit down with and get details on what it is the client thinks they need. The easy assumption is that clients always know their requirements, but in reality they rarely have a good handle on their situation. They usually know a symptom or a portion… continue…

Wages Drift Higher for IT Consultants

Dice Techonomics
With the national unemployment rate edging down and tech hiring rising — 2.4 percent year-over-year in February — full-time IT workers may continue to enjoy a faster rise in their salaries than their consulting counterparts. Last year, the wages of full-time tech workers rose 5.1 percent to an average annual salary of $83,370, according to this year’s Dice salary survey. That was more than twice the rate of growth consultants saw — 2.2 percent — to an average of $103,977.… continue…

The Best Linux Tools for Working on the Road

Posted In Linux, Working in Tech
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The mobile workforce is a fact of modern technology life. And Linux is right there, silently helping professionals get the job done. A Linux road warrior might be the harried system admin bouncing between several sites. Or the freelance Open Source programmer, living in different places whenever they change projects. Or how about the Linux guru at a national conference, who is also simultaneously solving business problems for his company between talks? Quirky technology writers and chin-stroking consultants might round… continue…

Exiting Gracefully Now Can Land You a Job Later

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Sometimes you and a client must part ways, maybe even before your projects are completed. If you’ve decided that you’re leaving, what do you do? How do you leave gracefully? First and foremost, you want to make sure that your reputation—a good one, if you’ve managed it right—will stay intact. This means you need to ensure that you depart on a positive note and remain a positive influence even after you’re gone. Here are some things that I do in… continue…

How to Plan for Your Next Consulting Gig

Posted In Looking in Tech
business woman on phone
Life as a consultant is always interesting. We get to dodge some of the political issues, typically get better pay, and are seen as an industry expert. Despite those benefits, we also have to potentially deal with finding work on a more frequent basis. This is the time of year when contracts can end and the mad search for the next gig begins so that consultants don’t have too much of a break in their income stream. With the holidays… continue…