Avoid common mistakes
Seann Maxwell, a Bellevue, Wash., consultant to consultants who has 25
years of experience, has identified mistakes consultants commonly
make. Here are some of them.
- Failing to Develop a Tangible Service.
An intangible service, such as a market study, doesn't pay dividends
until well after the purchase is made. On the other hand, a tangible
service, like computer consulting, delivers at the time of
- Ignoring Gut Feelings.
You'll be working with this client for a long time, so you've got to
like the company and the individuals you're dealing with, says
Maxwell, who has found that not heeding his instincts leads to
problems down the line.
- Failing to Get It in Writing.
Always document the scope of the work, the schedule, the terms of
payment and the like in a written agreement signed by both parties.
- Spending Too Much Time on One Client.
When you spend more than 50 percent of your time on one client or
project, says Maxwell, you lose flexibility, objectivity and
independence. Devoting too much time to one client also puts your
business in jeopardy should the client leave or the contract end.
- Taking Clients for Granted.
This is a highly competitive market, with new consultants entering
the field all the time. Don't rest on your laurels. Constantly work to
stay abreast of clients' changing needs, trends in their industries
and new ways to service them.
Return to Introduction