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Thread: Consulting Question

  1. #1

    Default Consulting Question

    Promo: Code Books
    I have been a Certified Coder for the past 5 years. I am also an experienced Financial Analyst.

    Recently, while in my new position at a new Health System, I have been asked to come and work at many places.(Mostly our vendors) And, that got me thinking about consulting. I would love the freedom of making my own schedule.

    My question is: Has anyone out there started their own consulting business? And, if so, what did you need to get it off the ground?

    Thank you and I look forward to any and all suggestions.

    Thanks again;
    Betsy

  2. #2

    Default

    Assuming you will start from home and billing is not apart of your business, honestly, you really don't need much. You have your skills, your resources, and your clients. Besides coming up with a name for your business, your logo, computer, fax, phone, letter head, business cards, supplies, and all that jazz .... You really only need to talk to your lawyer, establish a tax id, you could even use your ssn, have them do all the legal documents, such as insurance, and also have them review and/or draft up your client contracts. You may also hire an accountant/bookkeeper if you wish. The only other thing is marketing/advertising unless you are operating by word of mouth. The only other option is hire a business consultant to help create a business plan and stick by it to ensure maximum growth of your business. As your business grows, if you add employees, choose to rent space and all that, that's a matter of contacting the right people to put it into place. (lawyer, realtor, contact your city/county for occupancy permit, utilities, phone lines) Then you'll also need to look into payrolls, benefits, 401K, and all that not so fun stuff. I'm sure you can google "starting a small business check list" or something similiar and that can definitely help you.

    I recommend taking a few small business courses at your local community college. Starting a business is easy, keeping it thriving and successful in the long term is the hard part. It takes a lot of work and a very serious, dedicated, and organized person. I find a lot of people get burned out quickly or things can go great for a while, but as soon as the client's demand change (and we all know they change at the blink of an eye), things can get rough.

    Good luck to you. E-mail me if you wish.
    Last edited by ARCPC9491; 06-22-2009 at 08:29 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    16

    Default Consulting

    Betsy,

    I very recently started my own consulting business. I started by deciding on a name and having my attorney set up an LLC and filing for a tax ID number. There can be tax advantages to setting up a separate entity, securing a tax ID number, and keeping the business separate from your personal finances. Your attorney and accountant can advise you on the best entity structure for your location. I did work with a marketing firm to help me with setting up a website and developing a logo, although if you are talented in that area, spending money on a marketing firm is not necessary. I had business cards printed and have recently developed a brochure that I will use to market my service.

    I would highly recommend that you join your local Chamber of Commerce. It is good way to get your name into the community.

    Most importantly, be sure you are prepared for slumps in business. If can't afford to be without a steady income, you could run into some problems. So analyze your finances before you give up your W-2 job and that steady paycheck. If you are not in a position to make the jump all at once, I recommend you take on a few consulting jobs on the side and get your business going. Then when you have steady clients and enough income, you can leave your W-2.

    If you have any questions that I can answer, please feel free to contact me.

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