The Consultant’s Handbook: How to Use Your Expertise to Deliver Client Success and Run a Profitable Business
Tarjuman LLC (2022)
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (11/2022)
“The Consultant’s Handbook” offers a very high-level view of what it takes to be a consultant. From the skills necessary to succeed, to setting up a firm yourself, it covers the basics and gives readers a deeper understanding as to whether this is something that may suit them.
Given its title as a handbook, it is unsurprising how well organized and easy to read this was. “The Consultant’s Handbook” is laid out in a way that makes it quick but informative, certainly providing enough of a view for readers to get a better feel of whether consulting is something that fits their skill set or not. For myself, this read made it more clear how difficult and challenging obtaining the success author Andrew Sheves has had is, however it also showed the organization, hard work, and commitment necessary to get started.
I particularly enjoyed the author’s chapter on rates and pricing. This topic is often taboo to discuss, but is critical knowledge for both the consultant and client as they look to move forward. Sheves offers a very easy, yet structured and accurate view of how to set up your firm’s pricing and rates for work. He is even candid about the need for vacations and the likely flow of clientele.
Set from the author’s point of view and opinions from his own consulting work and firm, Sheves offsets much of the nitty-gritty details with footnotes that add a flavor of his personality. However, there were times the footnotes were truly key for readers to better understand some of the terminology used, such as Systems I and Systems II, something that wasn’t explained otherwise. Other crucial insights provided include details in setting up one’s business that could easily be overlooked such as the need for errors and omissions insurance and the necessity of separating business from personal in one’s banking relationship.
Overall, this quick read is a great starting point for anyone even considering starting a consulting business of their own. The honesty and high-level view of this line of work are a refreshing insight into an often misunderstood or hazy career path. Sheves lays it all out on the pages in “The Consultant’s Handbook” as he provides readers with the necessary acumen to determine whether this is a path that suits them or not.
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