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The Business of Consulting: The Basics and Beyond Hardcover – October 9, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0787940218 ISBN-10: 0787940216 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Pfeiffer; 1 edition (October 9, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787940216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787940218
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

The consulting profession has become one of the fastest-growing industries in the '90s, and observers expect that both the demand for such services and the avocation's undeniable allure will continue to draw people into the profession. However, management consultant Elaine Biech believes that most newcomers are completely unprepared for the operational realities they encounter. So after two decades of mastering the accounting, marketing, and managing skills necessary to succeed as a consultant, she has organized them into one helpful volume called The Business of Consulting: The Basics and Beyond. Biech considers all phases of a typical consulting business, from start-up and attracting new business to subcontracting and balancing personal and professional responsibilities. An accompanying disk includes various documents and worksheets described in the text. --Howard Rothman


"Here are the nuts and bolts for a successful career in consulting. A few hours with Elaine's book will save you years of trial and error." --Jerry C. Noack, , vice president/group publisher, TRAINING Magazine

"If I were just starting into the consulting field today, this is the one book I would choose to advise me, caution me, support me in my business, and 'professionalize' me!" --Marjorie Blanchard, , chief financial officer, Blanchard International

"Every consultant should apply her principled practices to guarantee satisfied customers." --John E. Gherty, , president and chief executive officer, Land O'Lakes

"This book is filled with real-world, practical and proven tactics that can be used to grow and build a successful consulting practice. It is a must-have resource for people who are thinking of becoming a consultant . . . and for those who already are one!" --Dana Gaines Robinson, , author; president, Partners in Change

"The Business of Consulting will serve as my consulting practice workbook. The comprehensive coverage of the subject--along with the practical tips--make it the best tool I have." --Pam Schmidt, , vice president, American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)

"Read her book. She shares all her secrets!" --Gail Hammack, , regional vice president, McDonald's

Customer Reviews

Well, I have to admit my expectations were not fulfilled.
All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone going into business as a consultant.
M. Frawley
The book is straight-forward, practical, and immensely readable.
Patzy 49

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By W. Harris on October 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I purchased The Business of Consulting, (CD-ROM Included): The Basics and Beyond (Essential Knowledge Resource) shortly after its publication. It has been a Godsend! Like most consultants, I'm an expert in my chosen area of consultation, which happens to be human behavior in the workplace. However, I found myself in desperate need of step-by-step guidance when it came to establishing and doing business. Your book and Alan Weiss's, Million Dollar Consulting, have become the Old and New Testaments of my Business Bible.

I established my consulting firm late last year. After reading several books on how to start a consulting practice, I found The Business of Consulting to be the most helpful. Reading the first two chapters allowed me the opportunity to reexamine my reasons for getting into consulting as well as putting on paper what I actually bring to the table to be a successful businesswoman.

Chapter four, "Starting..." and chapter five, "...And Staying In Business", along with the CD-ROM of exhibits were particularly helpful to me. I cannot stress enough the importance of developing a comprehensive written business plan. Even if you're not looking for outside funding, a comprehensive business plan will guide you when you feel the need to be all things to all people. The best advice I received from The Business of Consulting book was "Go for the Big Fish; You'll Spend the Same Time Baiting the Hook." That statement was worth the price of the book. As the new kid on the block, I labored under the misassumption that I needed to start with smaller companies and earn a reputation. I soon discovered that smaller companies could not afford my services.
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To be honest I was somewhat disappointed with this book, but only because my expectations were set to high based on these reviews! I have read many books on consulting and must of them have very little in the way of valuable content. This is well written and does give useful information. What disappointed me was the lack of depth. The title `the basics & beyond' should have been only `the basics'. Most of the examples and items included in the disc are VERY introductory and simplex. The sections of the book dealing with marketing were good - but could have been much more comprehensive.
If you a just thinking about consulting or are new to consulting the book would be great for you. If you have a successful consulting business already - you most likely could have written this book yourself.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Marguerite Tompkins on March 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Business of Consulting: The Basics and Beyond, by Elaine Biech truly deals with what the title suggests, the business end of consulting. Throughout her book, Ms. Biech reiterates that "Staying in business is less dependent on how good a consultant you are than on how well you run your business" (p. 201). Biech backs up her emphasis on running a business successfully by offering a number of exhibits in the form of worksheets, questionnaires, self-evaluations and developing a business plan. Her exhibits contain information from tracking expenses, to tracking time. In every topic covering the business end of consulting Biech is very thorough. For example, in the marketing section of her book, she tells readers what to put in mailings in order to get attention. Her idea is to make all mailings aimed at getting business "lumpy envelopes" by enclosing objects such as holiday symbols. This has created a trademark for ebb associates, Biech's consulting business. She is also very in-depth in her discussion on how to figure out your rates as a consultant. Although the majority of the book is aimed toward the business aspect of consulting, the author does discuss how to decide if consulting is a good profession for you or not. She is very up front in informing the reader what it takes to get into the business. In this section she offers self-evaluation exhibits for those considering consulting as a career. Biech is quick to dispel myths about consulting and tell the reader what he or she can actually expect. She believes that, although the best reason to become a consultant is because you want to, it is important to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in regard to the profession. For this purpose she provides the reader with a variety of worksheets.Read more ›
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "" on January 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Wanting to obtain more quality information about how to become a consultant, I browsed through the list of consulting books. There I found Elaine's book. What distinguished her book from others was the average 5 star rating and the kind of praise that sounded as if her book touched and changed many professional lives. I became convinced that this book must be a hands-on, real insider guide and receipe book to get it started, a well of knowledge that was read, enjoyed and tested by hundreds of intelligent people. Well, I have to admit my expectations were not fulfilled. Although the book gives a good overview of the profession and points out several rather creative and helpfull insights and ideas, for the most part I found it to be only light "food", common knowledge and at times even repetitive. For somebody who would like to break in the consulting profession, this book might be a starting point to get an overview and to gain more substantial knowledge from elsewhere, but in my opinion it certainly is not enough to provide the understanding that will inspire the necessary knowledge and confidence of how to become a consultant. Then again, there are not many books that achieve that standard...
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