How to Make Extra Cash With an Online Consulting Business

If you have put in some years of employment, you would have some areas of expertise. Are you wondering how to make extra cash from these skills that you have? Then it is a question of how you can channel this into an online consulting business.

Many employed individuals are finding it more fulfilling to venture out on their own into online consulting businesses. This is really a good place to start as it is not as costly as setting up a physical office. You can work right out of your home. And depending on the kind of expertise that you provide, you may just find that your customer base can be anywhere in the world where they have access to internet.

Note that the prerequisite is that you have expertise in one or more areas. It is for this expertise that you will be contracted instead of the organization hiring a new person and training. By getting a consultant, the organization gets the expertise that is needed to implement the specific task.

There are just too many changes happening in the business landscape to have every kind of skill that they will need. This also means that you as a consultant will continually have to update yourself. But if this an area that you enjoy, then this will not be a problem.

Some people fear that to be a consultant,you have to be some of the best with the specific skill, have held a high management position or owned a similar business. The good thing about being a consultant is that all you have to do is to be able to deliver the job.

Here are some guidelines that can help you as you look into how to make extra cash with an online consulting business.

1. Set Up Business Legal Structure

It is best to ensure that both the legal and tax aspects of your business are taken care of by legalizing your business. The common forms of business are the sole proprietor, partner and corporation. Most self employed consultants prefer starting of as a sole proprietor as it is the easiest to start with.

2. Prepare Your Business Plan

Just being good at what you are doing is not enough to have a successful business. It does not matter that there are no other investors in the business to whom to present the plan. A business plan sets your targets. If not, how will you know that you are progressing?

3. Your Work Area And Guidelines

Even if you are working at home, it is best to have your own work area. Especially, if you have a family,working at home does not mean that you are available to them any time of the day. Have your own guidelines on how many hours you need to put into the business.

4. World Wide Web Presence

With the background work done, you then look into how to set up your online presence. You now get to choose your domain name, web design and get the web development done. The challenge then is to get the right people to visit your site. This is crucial for the success of your online consulting business.

Top Questions to Ask a Business Plan Consultant

If you have the benefit of even one session with a business plan consultant, come prepared with questions to ask him or her. If you have a draft of your plan, see if the consultant can read it before you meet to make the meeting more productive.

What Do Funders Want?

One of the most important topics that business plan consultants can offer their expertise on is what investors and lenders (and specific classes of each group) want to see in a business plan. If you have written a draft, they can relate this knowledge to what you have created with specific guidance on how to develop the plan further. Also, asking questions about what your type of intended funder want to see in a business plan will give you a good idea of whether the consultant has experience in this area or not. This can help you evaluate potential consultants if you are shopping for one to contract for additional work.

Is My Research Complete?

Research into the market, customers, competitors, and costs you will encounter can never cover every potentially useful piece of data, as this would be cost-prohibitive for entrepreneurs. However, ask whether your research is complete enough to support your argument and calm any worries about the business’s feasibility. As research is one of the most time-intensive areas of business plan development, and generally an area consultants can help with, this is a good question to find out if you are on target.

Does My Strategy Make Sense?

While it is difficult for an outsider without the same knowledge of your resources, industry, and specific situation to know if your strategy is the right one, they should be able to say whether it makes sense in the context of the business plan. If the strategy does not seem logical based on your resources and research given in the plan, ask for actionable steps you can take to adjust the strategy or additional questions you can ask yourself to this end.

How You Stand to Gain From Automotive Service Consulting

Managers employed in automotive service manager jobs are struggling with challenges to satisfy their customers. The traditional service set up does not seem to be able to hold onto customers and there is a need felt for an overhaul. Automotive service consulting is one of the ways to improve customer satisfaction and bring in the expected results. A service consultant can guide you keeping important aspects in mind.

An automotive service manager is tasked with the responsibility of coordinating which are related to automotive equipment. He takes care of everything, from operations to maintenance and repairs also. He studies and sees to the quality of the equipment which is to be acquired. The automotive service manager takes charge of everything and looks into the performance, the cost and even the rules and regulations of its use. It is his responsibility to see that there are lesser operational delays and the system runs without any glitches.

Most companies find it quite difficult to get good managers. They therefore look for service advisor training programs that are able to equip those already employed in a service manager job or service director job with the required skills to get good results. However, even good service consulting is difficult to get. In the event that you find a good service consultant the charges towards the consulting may be so high that you cannot afford him. Nevertheless a good service consultant is able to give you some essential advice and guidelines. You may not need his method of scheduling your customers as your goal is of capitalizing on your source of income. The main reason of an appointment system is to avoid delays and backlogs in the tasks.

A service manager is in charge of everything. He looks over the service department, controls the expenses and builds up a good clientele. He makes sure that the service is of a high standard and there are no causes for complaints. A service consultant will guide him and tell him how to supervise the people and to monitor their performances so that the customer is satisfied. He advises on their objectives and goal achieving of the people in the departments. He will even create a marketing plan and also the annual budget if a need is felt for a revamping of existing systems.

The service consultant has to give training regarding the administrative policies. All technicians have to be trained regularly and this is an important aspect which a service manager has to know and accept. The technicians have to be familiar with the latest equipment and their components. A Customer Service Index is important to every company. The service consultant is able to guide the company through the process and charts out the success path therein. Service managers will learn that this can be done by taking care of the complaints as soon as possible and dealing with them according to the policy of the dealership.

Credit Unions Maximize Their Effectiveness With IT Consultants

Threats to Credit Union data security have increased as business computer systems, information technology and the internet have developed and matured. Businesses in the financial sector are prime targets for internet criminals who introduce new security threats like viruses, trojans and worms on a daily basis. And social engineering schemes pose additional threats to any business handling sensitive personal and financial data, like credit card numbers, passwords, bank account numbers and identification codes. Unfortunately, these criminal perpetrators are moving targets (no names, addresses or permanent internet location), and they change their methods, tactics and delivery systems on a daily basis. So how do Credit Unions and other financial institutions avert potential disaster?

Some Michigan Credit Unions are fighting back by using IT consulting firms which specialize in system security. These consultants have specific expertise in IT security software and hardware products, and security systems integration (which includes planning, documentation, installation and monitoring). Although a few Credit Unions still subscribe to maintaining an in-house IT security staff, there are many compelling reasons to outsource, as long as the IT consulting team has the appropriate knowledge and experience in system wide security solutions.

One obvious reason to use a consultant for Credit Union IT security is the affordable cost. Staying informed about solutions to security threats that change on a daily basis is expensive. There are ongoing vendor changes to hardware and application software, including updates and security patches, as well as upgrades to existing products and the introduction of new security products which must then be evaluated. The rate of change and the volume of information related to computer security can be overwhelming.

Businesses could easily find themselves paying the salary of an in-house IT professional who must spend a large portion of his or her time in training to learn about all of a given system’s potential updates and upgrades in order to perform the job. And if off-site training is involved, there could be additional travel, food and lodging expenses on top of the lost productivity while the employee is off site. Add the cost of paying another IT professional to cover for the one who is away being trained, and the expenses become prohibitive in today’s business climate. And that does not even take into consideration the fact that the shear volume of information surrounding IT security, as well as its rate of change, is really more than any one person could be expected to handle.

It’s no wonder that Michigan Credit Unions are choosing IT consulting firms to design, implement and maintain their IT security systems. Instead of giving only one or two IT staff members the overwhelming (and never-ending) task of becoming IT security experts, Michigan Credit Unions can maximize the value they receive from their IT expenditures by hiring IT consultants like AccuTech International. IT consulting firms can draw from the extensive expertise of an entire team of IT professionals who have a broad variety of security knowledge, and years of cumulative experience to apply to their security solutions.

Consulting Jobs – How to Pass the Interview

What if you discovered some simple tips and tricks that you can follow easily to increase your chances in getting a powerful consultation based job?

Here are 3 simple steps to get you started…

Step 1 – Purchase a coaching or consulting course online.

Step 2 – Hire a consulting coach to train you one on one.

Step 3 – Build a small consulting business of your own, it is easy.

Here are step by step details that you can apply quickly and easily…

Step 1 – Purchase a coaching or consulting course online.

There are many coaching related courses available on the Internet, all you need to do is select the one you want to get started with and this will get you started providing you tons of knowledge in this area.

Your knowledge that you will gain out of this coaching course will help you to pass your interview very easily.

It is important that you hire a consulting-based coach who will train you one-on-one basis…

Step 2 – Hire a consulting coach to train you one on one.

To make sure that you gain tremendous knowledge out of this area you can easily get started hiring a coach who will help you out and train you easily.

Your coach will also help you to get started with your own consulting-based business which will easily create an additional income source for you.

Get started with your own business…

Step 3 – Build a small consulting business of your own, it is easy.

Your business will help you to make an extra source of income. Also it will help you to show your practical knowledge in your interview which will in turn boost your chances to get recruited.

Make sure you get started applying the information provided in this article and this will make you rapidly successful very quickly starting today.

Hiring a Medium As a Business Consultant

I have been tested by the media as a professional medium for the past 14 years. I did not ask for it nor self promote, word of mouth just happened between close friends and one day things just spiraled to the point where I found myself in a nationally syndicated column.

Over the years, several clients who privately hold corporations have contacted me for personal business development advice. This has always been kept a secret. After all , what customer or client would want to know that the owner of a company that they do business with, has such concerns where a medium is consulted?

Today, I received a phone call from a client who owns a medium sized orthopedic practice on the East Coast.He has a group of investors and hold quarterly meetings. The economy has not impacted the orthopedic business. After all, people still get injured at work and in car accidents, despite the declining household incomes and high gas prices.

When I answered the phone, I heard the echo of being placed on speaker phone. He said to me, “Welcome to our board meeting, today I have hired a medium to consult on the marketing aspects of our practice.”

My client revealed his previous secret conferences with me in public at his meeting.
He had tape recorded our previous conversations and compared the financial growth of our brainstorms with actual financial data over the past two years. He created a spreadsheet presentation and compared the revenue of each marketing idea implemented. He then did a comparison spread sheet of the cost of our consultations vs. the cost to consult with a marketing firm to implement the same ideas.

He showed his investors he saved $150/hour through our secret conferences.

Dealing with a New Age practitioner or medium has always been a closeted encounter especially in mainstream business. Now today, with more reality shows featuring using psychics and mediums in crime investigations, our field is starting to receive a tad more respect.

It is strange that someone could just hear or sense a piece of information out of the clear blue. How can you trust that the information that you are receiving will prove to be instrumental to your success? I am not exactly sure how I can answer that question. I am often asked, ” How do you know you are right?

Honestly, very few professional mediums actually know if they are correct when they consult with someone. Over the years from dealing with people you develop a batting average.

Yet even with that, it still seems far fetched.

From an ethical standpoint, when I work with a business client, I structure my services where initially, they choose what they will pay me. For example, if I initially consult with them, if they feel the information I gave them was only worth $5.00, then that is all they pay. If they feel the session was worth $200.00 then, they pay it. I always tell my clients, to evaluate what they feel the value of the information is worth to them. Channeling is an exchange of energy. You will get from it what you believe it is worth to you. That is my personal belief. This plan has worked quite well after fourteen years of helping people. When first working with a client there is a slight learning curve involved and I do not believe the client’s financial risk should be involved. They should feel the transaction was beneficial from both sides.

I decided to write this article because I realized after being hidden by business clients most of these years, it felt great for a client to announce me to their business partners. I felt a sudden rush of joy and job well done. It is a fine feeling to be appreciated.
I wish to share with you some of my most recent consulting tips:

For Food and Beverage Walk -In Stores:

I did not invent this idea but I have seen it bring in a tremendous savings vs. printing coupons for customers ordering food/beverage for take out or dine in. Creating a trivia coupon where the customer walks into the store and at the ordering cash register there is a trivia question of the day. If the correct answer is given you will give a drink for 99 cents instead of regular price or take 50 cents off the order. It is really not about getting the right answer, it is about developing a dialogue with your customer.

It opens up the door for you to talk to them to make them feel welcome at your establishment.

You can find out what they feel about your food or service. It acts as an informal way to build a good customer relationship. Upon surveying customers who do the trivia coupon, they return to repurchase at the establishment not only because they enjoyed what they bought, but they liked the fun of interacting with the employee at the time of purchase. They felt welcome and want to buy again where they feel welcome. The discount is a minor incentive.

Real Estate Sales FSBO:

We didn’t sell just a house, we sold the cause it went to. My client had to sell her home. She recovered from cancer but did not recover financially from her time off. Her home sat on the market for 20 months, after going through several realtors. She decided to go FSBO with the incentive of offering a realtor bringing in a qualified buyer 3% of the sale. In our consult, we evaluated what was most important to her. I then asked her, ideally what would she do if she got her asking price for her home.

She simply stated that she would pay off her bills and donate $15,000 to cancer research. We created an honest straightforward marketing approach where she constructed a one page letter to the realtors in her area stating her desire to sell her home to donate $15,000 to cancer research. In two months, a realtor brought in a qualified buyer, who was also a cancer survivor. My client received her exact asking price. In some cases when dealing with a high end transaction, you may want to try aligning yourself with others who share similar values.

Personal Finance Short Course- Choosing a Personal Financial Consultant

When it comes to handling personal or family financial matters, many people like to be in charge of their own money, and have trouble with the idea of letting someone else manage their finances. However, there are people who are willing to admit that they need help, and that is where personal financial consultants become handy.

A personal financial consultant is someone who is a professional when it comes to finances, and who is put in charge of handling various aspects of your finances. There are many people out there who will gladly take charge of your finances, so you must make sure that you are going with the right person before you trust anything to anyone.

Are you looking for a personal finance consultant? The absolute first thing that you need to decide is if you really feel comfortable trusting your financial decisions to someone else. This is not really a casual gesture, because you will be giving another person control over your finances, and it would be a very bad thing to give this control to someone you cannot trust. Do you absolutely prefer to have someone else in charge of your finances? Is there a way to handle your finances on your own without outside help?

On the note of trust, the next thing that you must decide is whether or not you feel comfortable trusting your personal finance information to someone else. Personal finance consultants are professionals, but that does not always necessarily mean that you should trust all of your personal information and financial information to them without doing some research and making a concrete decision about how trusting you feel. There is no rush involved when it comes to finding a personal finance consultant, so take your time and weigh all of your options before making any decisions.

Never give all of your control away! This goes for allowing anyone to manage your finances, be it your spouse, or a personal finance consultant. If you put someone else completely in charge of your personal finances, there is a chance you will be unable to keep track of your own money. If something happens to your spouse, will you know how to pick up where he or she left off? The same thing essentially goes when it comes to hiring a professional personal finance consultant. If there comes a day where they are no longer your financial consultant, will you be able to pick up where they left off?

You should always make sure that you have at least some control over everything, and that you are always aware of what is happening with your finances, even if you allow someone else to be in control of them. This way, if you are ever forced back into control, you will be able to pick up where they left off without any confusion.

Setting Fees For Your Consulting Business

Setting consulting fees and hourly rates for a new consultant can be a challenging process. If you set the hourly rate too high, you won’t get business, set the hourly rate to low and you’ll not make money.

There are several factors that determine the correct hourly rate for flat consulting fee. The most important is quite simply, how much do you need? There is a formula for setting this rate and you’ll be surprised how closely the result parallels what others charge.

X = hourly consulting rate

To find X


How do we find X?

First we need to define a few constants. We’ll start with our base rate which is Y.

A= is the salary you desire
B= the number of hours you can realistically bill in one year.

To define the base rate (Y) A/B
So for example if you desire a salary of $80,000 per year and you can bill 1500 hours as an IT consultant you are left e rate of $53 per hour. This is not your base rate, you still have one more calculation.

Next we have to add in the self employment tax. This is the tax for Social Security and Medicare for a self employed or small business owner. This rate is 15.3% Add this to the $53 (53 * .153)

Now we have a base hourly rate (Y) of $61.

At this point many independent consultants set their rate and hang up the shingle. This is why many of them are out of business within a year or two. You must consider all of the other things you’ll need that your employer paid on your behalf, and money to grow your business.

H = Health insurance costs

The first and most costly is health insurance. If you have a family of four you can count on at least $500 per month. Health insurance for self employed can be very expensive. Check with several brokers do get the best price and then divide the total yearly cost by the number of hours you will bill. Taking a rate of $500 per month, or $6,000 per year, at 1500 hours your rate will need to increase by $4 per hour to cover health insurance.

M= Marketing and sales costs

For an independent consultant your business is only as strong as your next engagement. We recommend a minimum of 5% of your first year estimated sales to keep the pump primed. $2.6 would be our hourly rate at this salary.

P= Professional fees.

This is the cost for your accountant, attorney fees, answering service, and any other monthly or quarterly fees you’ll need to pay throughout the course of the year. We’ll use a figure of $2400 for this example, so P= $1.6 ($2400/1500 hours)

F=Fudge factor.

The fudge factor is the small things that are going to come up from time to time. Stamps to mail out invoices, a one time cost for your accounting software (QuickBooks, or Microsoft money) and the dozens of other items that pop up from time to time. As your business grows the F factor will have other expenses like rent, and overhead for non-billing employees, extracted and divided by the number of employees and the number of hours worked. For now just use your best guess. If you need starting point $200 per month is not unreasonable. F=$1.6

Now we can figure out X


Or an hourly consulting rate of $71

Starting Up An HR Consultancy Business

Human resources, or “HR”, consulting companies work and collaborate with different types of businesses, such as small enterprises, large corporations and non-profit organizations. If you have a profound knowledge and experience in this challenging field of human resources as a senior consultant, and if you have enough capital, you might want to consider starting your very own small HR consultancy business. With your knowledge and experience as a consultant, you might be asked to provide assistance by companies on how to retain their employees, to boost their morale, to build and prepare outstanding employees for becoming leaders within their companies, or to handle complaints and issues among them. You might also be asked to guide companies on how to comply with the employment law of the nation where their establishments are based, as well as hiring outsourcing services from different parts of the globe.

Determine the niche that you will be taking as well as the general services that you will be providing to your clients, basing your decision on your background, experience and specialization. For example, some businesses might hire your services to run background checks on possible new employees or set up interviews on candidates for managerial or executive levels. You might also operate as a full-service office and have small and medium-scale companies that either do not have an in-house human resources department or want to outsource excess workload.

Choose a suitable name for your HR consultancy, create a website, incorporate your business name and identity to your website, and check its availability on the Internet. Find a location in business districts, since these places can give you a lot of clients bumping on to your office needing HR services. You could consider renting an office space, especially if you do not have enough funds to cover purchasing one or if you will screen applicants on the behalf of your clients.

Assess applicable local, regional and national regulations. You must acquire a local business license and necessary certifications. Consider enrolling in courses provided by reputable bodies or organization in the field of human resources in order to stay up to date with employment trends and laws, as well as keeping in touch with the basics of hiring and managing employees.

Plan a growth plan and strategy for your HR consultancy. You have to determine if you will need a secretary, and assistant or a business party. Organize your business systems so you can run and manage things efficiently, with well-defined assignments and responsibilities, and a plan for supporting each other up when necessary. Make a checklist that identifies daily, weekly and monthly tasks, such as payroll, site visits, leadership training classes, and anything that are associated with each of your clients. Establish a strong relationship with your lawyer in order to help you with legal concerns.

Advantages of Independent Business Consulting

We often hear people say that they are in a rut because their career gives them little or no job satisfaction, few options for advancement and insufficient compensation for hours worked. Whatever your situation, consulting offers you many options to achieve the results of your goals and career aspirations.

Here are some examples:

  • Flexibility of work hours
  • Working from home
  • Assignments and projects can be scheduled to suit your own personal circumstances
  • Introduction to a diverse range of business environments
  • Choice of who to work for and who to work with
  • No large monetary investment
  • Low overheads
  • Rest, relaxation and holidays are yours to plan, as and when you please
  • Helps you broaden your experience, skills and abilities
  • Full-time or part-time career options
  • You decide how much you want to earn
  • No limitation on geographic location
  • No formal qualification necessary
  • Diverse opportunities for entrepreneurial and other business ventures

There are many options for part-time independent consultants. You could consider doing a needs assessment at your current place of employment. Convince management to allow you to offer skills-based training programs that will address the needs of less experienced colleagues.

Alternatively you could consider expanding a special interest or hobby and offer your services as an independent consultant. A prolific reader could offer to write reviews for a local bookshop.

If you have public relations skills your expertise could be very valuable to small businesses who may not have the financial reach to employ a full-time person. There are also many opportunities for public speaking and networking at schools, colleges, charities and various other community organisations.

If you have internet access there are literally thousands of opportunities waiting to be explored and discovered. Everyone has some ability and if you are sufficiently self-motivated, you will discover the many other advantages independent consulting has to offer.

As an independent consultant you are able to explore the various tasks that an individual or company wants performed. There are many stories of multimillion-dollar firms that became successful as a result of a single entrepreneurial consultant.

You could be the next success story!