Leaving the world of the office grind for greener pastures as a freelance consultant can give you the freedom to choose how and where you’ll work on your own terms. It’s not a bad way to make a living – unless you screw it up.
This useful list of ten typical mistakes that consultants make from TechRepublic shows you what to stay away from.
Rapid technological shifts frequently change the way you work, the tools you use, and the operational procedures you require. To meet that challenge and stay in the game, you must learn early on how to avoid some of the more preventable pitfalls.
Some typical screw-ups:
Failing to properly document project scope: “It’s your responsibility make sure you understand the client’s needs and that the right technology is used.
Underestimating hardware costs: Remember hardware costs change and that it costs money to ship. You don’t want to surprise your client when you bill them.
Trying to master all technologies: “Determine which platforms you’ll master. Then make sure you know who to call for assistance when troubleshooting problems with the remainder.” You don’t have to know everything – clients really just someone who can make sure the job gets done.
Failing to market the business: Yes, you want as many billable hours as you can get. But you still have to spend time finding new clients and new projects , otherwise you won’t have any hours to bill. Some consultants hate this part, but it’s a critical part of the consulting life. Go to networking meetings, hand out business cards, and generally let people know you’re out there, and what you’re good at.
— Don Willmott