The Computer Consultant's Guide: Real-Life Strategies for Building a Successful Consulting Career

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9780471176497: The Computer Consultant's Guide: Real-Life Strategies for Building a Successful Consulting Career

THE COMPUTER CONSULTANT'S GUIDE

If you're serious about striking out on your own as a computer consultant, you don't need a pep talk. You need reliable, authoritative information that will prepare you for the realities of independent consulting. You need to meet experienced consultants who have learned from their own successes and failures and who can teach you what it takes to develop a consultant mentality, attract and hold clients, set realistic prices, collect your money, run a business on your own, avoid tax problems, and much more.

In this Second Edition of The Computer Consultant's Guide, Janet Ruhl introduces you to more than 150 practicing computer consultants. In their own words, these professionals tell you how they feel about their work, what problems they commonly encounter, which real-world solutions worked for them, and which didn't. You'll even get to listen in on disagreements over touchy subjects such as when to discount rates and whether to insist on a written contract. You'll hear both sides of every question and decide for yourself which approach is right for you.

The Computer Consultant's Guide doesn't stop there. In excerpts from in-depth interviews with leading consultants, Ruhl addresses a host of important issues that will affect your day-to-day life as a consultant and could make or break your future: insurance requirements, effective image building, marketing techniques that work, and managing the client relationship.

New information in this Second Edition includes tax requirements and standard business practices for Canadian, U.K., and European consultants; and new tips and tricks from working consultants as well as ideas on how to use the Internet and World Wide Web to support and enhance your business. This practical, down-to-earth handbook also includes updated resource lists, extensive up-to-date information based on Janet Ruhl's popular Web-based Real Rate Survey, IRS rules for establishing independent contractor status, and the ICCA's model consulting contract.

If you're serious about becoming a computer consultant, or even if you're just thinking about it, this book gives you a clear picture of what you're up against, prepares you to meet the challenges of launching your business, and helps you avoid the common errors that most fledgling consultants make. No, you don't need a pep talk. You need The Computer Consultant's Guide, Second Edition.

"Read it twice and heed every word." -- CompuServe Magazine

"Belongs on the reading list of all prospective and current computer consultants." -- Library Journal

"250 pages of solid advice for anyone considering the consulting life." -- Software Development

"I took the leap [into consulting] 11 years ago, and I wish I had had The Computer Consultant's Guide for advice. . . . Janet Ruhl's recommendations fit my experience right down the line." -- Harry Green, President Pacific Netcom Inc.

"An excellent reference for the newcomer. . . 'old pros' will want a copy as well." --Deborah Sampson, President Independent Computer Consultants Association

The Computer Consultant's Guide, Second Edition, offers valuable guidance on every aspect of starting and managing a successful computer consulting business. It points out potential problems, solid solutions, and valuable resources, and covers everything you need to know to: Set up your business and establish your image
* Master essential business and marketing skills
* Find and manage the highest paying clients
* Set fees and bid on the big jobs
* Handle important tax and accounting issues
* Work through brokers with confidence

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From the Inside Flap:

If you’re serious about striking out on your own as a computer consultant, you don’t need a pep talk. You need reliable, authoritative information that will prepare you for the realities of independent consulting. You need to meet experienced consultants who have learned from their own successes and failures and who can teach you what it takes to develop a consultant mentality, attract and hold clients, set realistic prices, collect your money, run a business on your own, avoid tax problems, and much more. In this Second Edition of The Computer Consultant’s Guide, Janet Ruhl introduces you to more than 150 practicing computer consultants. In their own words, these professionals tell you how they feel about their work, what problems they commonly encounter, which real-world solutions worked for them, and which didn’t. You’ll even get to listen in on disagreements over touchy subjects such as when to discount rates and whether to insist on a written contract. You’ll hear both sides of ever), question and decide for yourself which approach is right for you. The Computer Consultant’s Guide doesn’t stop there. In excerpts from in-depth interviews with leading consultants, Ruhl addresses a host of important issues that will affect your day-to-day life as a consultant and could make or break your future: insurance requirements, effective image building, marketing techniques that work, and managing the client relationship. New information in this Second Edition includes tax requirements and standard business practices for Canadian, U.K., and European consultants; and new tips and tricks from working consultants as well as ideas on how to use the Internet and World Wide Web to support and enhance your business. This practical, down-to-earth handbook also includes updated resource lists, extensive up-to-date information based on Janet Ruhl’s popular Web-based Real Rate Survey, IRS rules for establishing independent contractor status, and the ICCA’s model consulting contract. If you’re serious about becoming a computer consultant, or even if you’re just thinking about it, this book gives you a clear picture of what you’re up against, prepares you to meet the challenges of launching your business, and helps you avoid the common errors that most fledgling consultants make. No, you don’t need a pep talk. You need The Computer Consultant’s Guide, Second Edition.

About the Author:

JANET RUHL is a well-known computer consultant and leader of CompuServe's Computer Consultant's Forum. She has published frequently in industry publications, including Computerworld and Datamation, and is a regular contributor to Contract Professional, the magazine for career contractors and consultants. She is Webmaster of "The Computer Consultant's Resource Page" on the World Wide Web. Her other books include The Programmer's Survival Guide and The Computer Consultant's Workbook.

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