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Companies, organizations, or individuals hire consultants to provide advice to themselves or to clients for a fee to help solve a particular problem or provide certification within the area of their expertise. A recent survey by the Association of Management Consulting Firms found entry-level consultants earn an average of $65,000 annually while senior partners earn an average of more than $300,000 (including bonuses and profit sharing). Self-employed business consultants may earn $35 to $400 per hour depending on their market. A majority of consultants have gained their expertise from previous employment. There are as many consultants as there are areas of expertise; one thing they all have in common is that they are well paid. The business of consulting is growing rapidly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consulting in particular business and IT consulting are becoming one of the fastest growing business segments in the U.S. economy. There has never been a better time to start your consulting business and get ahead of the competition. This new book is a comprehensive and detailed study of the business side of providing consulting services. If you enjoy meeting people, having a home-based business, traveling, problem solving, and using your expertise, this may be the perfect business for you. Keep in mind it looks easy, but as with any business, looks can be deceiving. To avoid the pitfalls, use this complete manual to arm yourself with everything you need including sample business forms, agreements and contracts; worksheets and checklists for planning, starting, and running day-to-day operations; and dozens of other valuable, timesaving tools of the trade that every entrepreneur should have. Here is the manual you need to cash in on this highly profitable segment of the service industry. While providing detailed instruction, examples, and case studies, the author leads you through establishing your office, learning how to draw up a winning business plan ( the Companion CD-ROM has the actual business plan you can use in MS Word ™), and provides dozens of forms you will need in your business. You will learn basic cost control systems, the best sales and marketing techniques, and pricing formulas. This book will teach you how to hire and keep a qualified professional staff (if you even need one), to use subcontractors, to deploy word of mouth marketing to get new clients, to use the power of the Internet, to network, get referrals, evaluate consulting opportunities, do your own sales planning, have great customer service, get reimbursed for expenses, proposals, and sales presentations, track competitors, do your own accounting, be certified as a "professional" consultant, increase client satisfaction, develop valuable contacts and resources (including the top professional associations for consultants and magazines), compile monthly profit and loss statements, and prepare taxes. You will be provided IRS requirements, and even get help to set up your computer systems to save time and money.