Truck Month Best Books of the Month Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Lacuna Coil Father's Day Gift Guide 2016 Fire TV Stick Get Ready for Summer and Save 15% The Baby Store Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Amazon Cash Back Offer bighero bighero bighero  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $149.99 All-New Kindle Oasis Outdoor Recreation

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars11
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$17.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on May 4, 2000
In Successful Independent Consulting: Turn Your Career Experience Into A Consulting Business, Douglas Florzak draws upon his considerable experience and professional skills to create a practical, informative, "reader friendly" guide providing professionals in any field with a detailed "how to" plan for setting up and maintain a consulting business. Florzak explores the types of consulting work available, how to create a business plan, set up an office, and surveys the issues of contracts, law and taxes, fees, basic record keeping, retirement fund and insurance selection, and even offers marketing tips for utilizing the Internet. Successful Independent Consulting is further enhanced with a recommended list of resources for independent consultants and worksheets to help launch and maintain a consulting business. If you are contemplating becoming a career of professional consultation in your chosen field, begin with a thorough reading of Douglas Florzak's Successful Independent Consulting.
0Comment|22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 1, 2000
This is an excellent guide for anyone new to starting independent consulting and a good refresher to established consultants. After going through several similar books, this one, by far, is the best written, most helpful of the lot. He guides you through basic and more advanced steps in making your idea a reality in a clear, concise, and "user friendly" way. His approach is realistic and not stuck in the mundane as so many other "start your own business" books seem to be. While another book insults your intelligence by emphasizing the importance of street lighting for your new office (no kidding!) or devotes boring paragraphs on the evolution of their own business card logos, this author guides the novice entrepreneur effectively and intelligently from concept to practice. This book is highly recommended for professionals who do not have a background in business and who find "business speak" confusing and want a cogent initial guide. So if you are thinking of expanding your career path through independent consulting, and if you think "starship" when someone says "Enterprise," then you need this book to start thinking clearly about your new endeavor.
0Comment|30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 25, 2005
"Successful Independent Consulting" is the goal of my Entrepreneurship class, so the book of the same name by Douglas Florzak is a natural choice for my class text.

Mr. Florzak is a technical communicator himself, which matches the background and aspirations of a majority of my students. The examples provided in the book are the same situations found by all aspiring business owners, so the students find the reading interesting, relevant and practical. Most of my students are working adults who are studying for their Masters, and most have not done any prior consulting nor have they owned and operated their own business. The book provides a natural bridge for them, as the author explains how he transitioned from corporate `security' to the riskier world of independent consulting.

I teach in the Technical Communication program at the Illinois Institute of Technology; one of my classes is Entrepreneurship for Technical Communicators. To support the overall goal of successful independent consulting, we teach two main content areas: business planning and consulting skills. "Successful Independent Consulting" supports both areas, and we also use Peter Block's text "Flawless Consulting" for additional perspectives on consulting skills needed for large projects.

What Students Want to Learn

When you ask graduate students to list, as I do, what they hope to learn about starting and operating their own consulting business, you get a list of questions that correlates highly with the book's table of contents.

* How do I decide to start my own business? (See chapters 1-3 on why and when you might want to go independent, and how to leverage your current skills to get started.)

* What research do I have to do to on my business idea? What do I need to do to get financing? (See chapter 4 regarding the components of a business plan, and chapter 5 on the setting of rates.)

* What do I need to do to help ensure long term success? (See chapters 10-14 on marketing activities and the marketing plan, and chapter 17 on the delivery of services.)

* Do I need a lawyer? An accountant? (See chapters 6, 7, 8, 15 and 16 which cover legal entities, tax issues, record keeping, insurance, retirement funding, and contracts.)

In addition to the straightforward advice regarding business operations, the author also contributes to the consulting side of the equation. In one section, he reviews the characteristics of successful independent consultants, and then provides a discussion on how to assess your own qualifications as a consultant. A separate chapter is used to discuss the setting of rates, which addresses competitive research, types of rates for agency and your own projects, and projecting revenue to build a cash flow projection and therefore decisions regarding expenses.

Why You Will Like the Book Too

The biggest benefit for me from using the text is its approach to the business planning process. Some students need a business plan just for the planning exercise, so they are shown how to capture the spirit of their business through the coordinated use of vision, strategy, services/product, and marketing. Other students will be going to the bank or a venture capitalist for initial funding, and the business plan is the first step in that direction. While there are many business planning resources available, Mr. Florzak's compact and practical approach works well in the non B-school environment of our department. Through an example and a series of worksheets, the reader is led through the business planning process, shown how the spirit of the business is tied to the financials and operations through market analysis, competitor analysis, and cash flow projections.

As you can see from my comments here, I find many reasons, as an instructor, to like this book. The best recommendation, however, is reserved for my students: they rate it as easy to read and extremely relevant to their work. They are always positive when referring to the text.
0Comment|8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 3, 1999
Successful Independent Consulting is the best available source of written information and advice on independent consulting I have come across. I recommend it highly as both a reference tool and for in-depth reading. It is an unusually well organized, well exemplified, comprehensive, and concise. It is full of critical, savvy insights for prospective and new consultants as well as those in the business for many years: some tips I already knew and could recognize as critical to consulting, and some were new to me and are proving to be very helpful in my career. It also has substantial, high-quality appendixes of additional resources, and is a great value. If I were just starting out in consulting, I would build much of my career plan on this book, and I know I will be referring to it frequently in years to come.
0Comment|8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Wish I had bought this book first. Douglas Florzak gives concrete and practical advice for veteran consultants and persons contemplating a consulting career. While he's a Technical Writer with a programming/systems background, he writes in easy to understand, non-technical terms.
I found the book informative and well organized. Of particular interest are the 4 chapters dedicated to marketing. Some of the active & passive marketing techniques and internet marketing methods presented have already helped my business. The worksheets are useful and the Recommended Resources section points to a variety of other beneficial material.
This book is a must read! I highly recommend it.
0Comment|8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 17, 2000
"Successful Independent Consulting" is the best straight-forward, practical and content-rich source for the novice or the experienced consultant. For the experienced, it is an affirmation and a review of the necessary basics to being an independent; for the novice, it is the very mentorship Florzak himself recommends beginners seek. His book is the beginners' mentoring guide to becoming a successful independent consultant.
0Comment|7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 23, 1999
This book is an excellent compendium for anyone new to the independent consultant market and for people who haven't learned all the ropes yet. I wish I'd had it a year ago, when I started my company. Doug has included information that it really has taken me over seven years to garner, and the section on retirement plans was new news to me! Easy to read, easy to reference, I don't believe there is a more comprehensive book on independent consulting on the market. I plan to hand it out to my employees and to the independent consultants with whom we work.
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 17, 2000
"Successful Independent Consulting" is the best straight-forward, practical and content-rich source for the novice or the experienced consultant. For the experienced, it is an affirmation and a review of the necessary basics to being an independent; for the novice, it is the very mentorship Florzak himself recommends beginners seek. His book is the beginners' mentoring guide to becoming a successful independent consultant.
0Comment|7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 13, 1999
For anyone thinking of making the change from employee to self-employed this is the only guide you'll need. The author covers everything you need to know in a clear concise format. If you are thinking about becoming your own boss this book should be your first investment.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 11, 2006
This is a well-organized, very readable text for anyone who is considering the realm of independent business consulting. The book's coverage is comprehensive enough to allow the reader to develop a checklist of preparatory actions. The author is pretty good about not delving into too much detail-- especially where legal and accounting matters are concerned-- so that the reader at least knows where to go for more details.

The down side is that the contents focus on computer and information systems consulting. The tips and refernce suggestions are sometimes specific to that sector and not of use outside those industries. Also, the binding of my soft-cover version was defective. Almost every other page was not securely glued to the spine, making for a sloppy page-turning experience.

But overall, this was a worthwhile purchase.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.