A Guide to Professional Consulting Part Two Course Summary
Part Two of my A Guide to Professional Consulting lecture series is focused on all the things that are taking place prior to the actual commencement of a contracted for project. The tips and template verbiage I include in this course have served me well over a 35+ year career as a professional consultant and they can help you too. This course contains a series of lectures on the following core topics:
If you are at all interested or serious about becoming a professional consultant, this course will be a very valuable resource to you. It not only will help you find and secure engagements for your services, but the tips and verbiage you should put into your client contact and proposal documents provided within this lecture series will help to protect you as you strive to sell yourself on and complete projects for clients.
This course will take you close to two hours to complete. May you get a lot of value from it.
Dan Grijzenhout – Course Creator
This lecture provides the student with an overview of the entire 5 part course series "A Guide to Professional Consulting". Each of the 5 courses is briefly discussed and described as to their content to be shared.
This introductory video provides an overview of what will be covered in this course along with insights on what it is like to work at finding clients and securing engagements.
This lecture covers some of the best and most known consulting bulletin boards used by consultants and consulting entities to find projects that resumes can be submitted to. Also included are sites that post projects that can be bid on through RFP/Proposal submissions where full teams of consultants are proposed to complete larger engagements. This lecture covers Canadian, USA and even international projects.
This lecture covers both how to work with head hunting organizations and names a number of organizations that work with independent contractors in Canada and the USA.
This lecture discusses how you as an independent can align yourself to work with large consulting organizations to be included in larger projects they are regularly working on with larger organizations. Several of these organizations are named within this lecture.
With a little work, you also can become a niche consulting organization yourself without having to hire staff. I will describe how you can setup a consulting entity that you can operate from your own home working with other independent contractors to generate proposals for projects requiring more than one person to complete. You can even make additional revenues from consultants you place on these projects.
This lecture describes how you can be included to receive RFP's from private and public sector organizations and what important things are required to be done in order to have a shot at winning the engagement. Key steps in the proposal submission process are discussed along with a discussion on what the actual formal bid process usually looks like.
This lecture provides tips on building the initial SOW - an integral component to any proposal effort.
This lecture discusses the art form known as proposal writing. It discusses what clients are looking for in a proposal response and what the layout of and your content in a proposal should include. It discusses such sections as "Our Understanding of Your Requirements", "Our Project Team", "Our Project Approach", "Project Pricing", etc.
If you want to create a professional marketing presentation and be able to have it viewed by your client prospect by video, this lecture shows you how you can create this professional video using Microsoft PowerPoint. It will view with audio and any "animations" you wish to include. Just upload it to YouTube and send it to your client in an e-mail or use it in front of a client on a screen when presenting to him/her. This adds another level of professional and smoothness to your consulting toolkit when trying to secure an engagement.
The team lead usually meets or has a phone call or phone calls with the client acceptor after the engagement has been awarded to finalize the terms for the project. This includes discussion and agreement on start dates for each of the resources, finalization of consulting rates and expense terms, client locations the consultants will work at, a High Level Project Plan if required for "Phase Zero", any modifications of deliverable terms and dates for the engagement, etc. With these sorts of items agreed to, an engagement letter is written and signed and agreed to by all relevant parties.
This lecture walks the student through an example of a Client Engagement Letter. Please note that under the Resource tab on the previous lecture, you can download this template example in .pdf format. Best wishes, - Dan
Even though a proposal has been written, and submitted by the consulting team and it has been approved by the client to commence with the project; the proposal, if it has any complexity to it often has assumptions built into it that need to be further understood or defined prior to finalizing the terms and total project costs, particularly in a "fixed bid" situation. This is often addressed by a project "Phase Zero" stage where key consulting team leaders go to the client location and begin investigating what needs to be done with a view to further defining the final project scope. A high level project plan for "Phase Zero" is usually created with the client's assistance prior to the engagement letter being signed and it becomes and addendum to the proposal and the signed engagement letter.
It is not always easy as a consultant to get paid by your client. The tips provided in this lecture will help you to minimize the occurrences of this and the impacts of this on you financially.
The Confidentiality Agreement or Non-Disclosure Agreement is often used between a client and a consultant prior to an engagement being undertaken, although there are times when it is used after an engagement has commenced. Often, in order to write a proposal that truly addresses the work that a client needs completed, a client will request that an "NDA" be signed before disclosure of client proprietary information is made available to the consultant. Reciprocally, the consultant may request that an NDA be signed prior to a proposal being written in order to protect his/her own proprietary information such as methodologies, tools to be used on the engagement, etc.
This is a template downloadable example of a Confidentiality - Non-Disclosure Agreement
If your new consulting venture will involve you providing services for others where they would be booking for and paying for your time on a daily or an hourly or fraction thereof basis, then you may want to consider making a small investment and obtain the Acuity System for your website or Blog site. The Acuity Scheduling System allows you to:
This is a professional level product - and I looked at over 20 or so before selecting and now recommending this one which I use on my site and have implemented elsewhere as well.
This lecture discusses a number of general strategies you should consider employing to protect your computer against both the threats of hacking and importation of viruses.
About Dan Grijzenhout: For close to thirty years, Dan has been a professional business and information systems consulting professional working to executive levels for both private and public sector organizations globally, a number of which were "Fortune" level enterprises. Dan has founded, operated and sold an online global payment services company that moves millions of dollars on behalf of its 100,000 plus account holders annually; he has been interviewed on the show "World Business Review" by former head of NATO and Secretary of State, General Alexander Haig, for his work in advanced digital and online telecommunications services and nation-wide online and card based "Loyalty" programs; and now works at writing and building training programs to share his years of experience with others interested in online entrepreneurship.
Social Media Marketing, Content Creation and Authorship: During the past few years, Dan has focused nearly all his time and energy on designing and building online marketing systems and social media marketing platforms. In fact, Dan recently completed a two year project as the project manager and chief architect to build a marketing system used by several major airlines, travel agencies and Fortune Level manufacturing corporations. Dan has written, self-published and self-marketed five books now being sold through Amazon Kindle and Create Space; he has written and published over 40 published social media related training/learning articles, and has created over 100 training videos and knowledge enhancing video podcasts.
He has gained expertise in many online content creation tool-sets including the full suite of Adobe Creative tools and Adobe Dreamweaver for website development; video and audio editing software; 3rd party social media related website services and content creation partners; and most main-stream social communication platforms including Facebook and Facebook business pages, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Reddit, Goodreads, Amazon Author Central, LinkedIn, Ezine Articles Publishing, Amazon-Kindle Book Publishing, Amazon Create Space and more. On these social media platforms, Dan has now amassed over 15,000 followers and subscribers and more are following him daily.