How Can I Fire My Client?

Allen Weiss, management consulting guru, takes a fairly cold-blooded approach to getting rid of clients. He looks at the revenue stream from each client over the last two years and chops off the bottom 15%. Then he expands the top 5%. His premise is that you need to focus on the area of your market that stimulates your learning and expertise. If you are accepting the same types of assignments at the same fee structure today as you did two years ago, you are not growing as a consultant. You are also not increasing your bottom line. For those of us with a social justice perspective, however, this approach may not sit well. Some of our smallest clients actually provide the most interesting work and need us the most.

Still, sometimes we get more, or less, than we bargained for. We can find ourselves contemplating the very serious question, “How can I fire my client?”

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The Cash-flow Wars

iStock 000010185637XSmall empty walletWinning a consulting project feels like a victory but the real war is just beginning. While we’re always happy when money comes into our business, we’re not so thrilled when it goes out again. The movement of cash in and out of your business every month is called your cash flow.

Answer these questions:

·       What is your current bank balance? How is your current balance different from last month’s?

·       Do you have a balance sheet? When was the last time you looked at it?

·       Do you have a year end? What is your anticipated revenue this year?

You are not alone if you don’t know the answers.

Read more: The Cash-flow Wars

The Business Plan: Information Interviews

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(The Coffee Shop Chronicles, Part 2)

 Time for coffee at last! Maggie already has a table reserved for us.

Gail: Maggie-great to see you. How’s the consulting life?

Maggie: Just about to wrap up one project, another one about to start, and it’s soccer season—the twins are really into it this year. Here’s George!

George: Ladies! Time to put our heads together again.

Chris arrives, smiling broadly.

Chris: Hey, everyone, have I got news! I have a gig! No kidding. It just dropped into my lap. Now I really need to decide what to do.

Read more: The Business Plan: Information Interviews

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"Answering Important Social Questions"