Negotiation Tips for Independent Consultants

Negotiating is typically hard for everyone, but it’s especially tough for consultants. It’s our nature to make the client happy, so negotiating for a higher rate feels awkward. But when you’re self-employed, even the smallest increase in your rate can translate to big bucks, particularly if the rate is for a long project, or if you’re working with an ongoing client.


I recently discovered a series of practical tips on Instagram, of all places, by following Johanna Voss, owner of a boutique talent agency for female influencers and keynote speakers. With her permission, here are her three essential negotiation tips that every consultant should know.

Tip 1: Embrace the power of the pause

Johanna says that some of the best negotiation happens when you’re not talking. So, you’ve just asked your client for the rate you want, and your client is taking a moment to think about it. Silence is uncomfortable, so maybe you fill the void with nervous babble. Johanna says this is a huge mistake. Why? Your lack of confidence becomes evident. Chances are good that in the midst of your babble, you’ll end up lowering your rate, or offering to do more.

Use silence to your advantage. During the pause take a deep breath. Literally bite your tongue or clench your hands if you have to; the key is to exude confidence.

If this technique doesn’t come naturally and you can always practice. Try asking the waiter for a free drink to celebrate your birthday. Pause. Take a breath. You might just end up with a martini on the house.

See Also- Thinking About Tomorrow to Prepare for Today⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Tip 2: Wear “bigger money shoes”

Johanna says, “Think about a pair of shoes. If they are a full size bigger, they’re too big. You can’t walk. You’ll trip and drive yourself nuts. But a half size up? You can make that work. Not as uncomfortable. You’re not tripping. Maybe all you need is a thicker pair of socks.”

It’s the same concept with negotiating your rate. Let’s say you’ve been charging $175/hour, but your rate hasn’t changed as you continue gain experience and clients. The next time you quote your rate, ask for $180. Maybe even $185. It’s not a huge jump that will make you uncomfortable but it could still make a dramatic difference, especially if it’s full-time work. (An extra $5/hour adds up to $800/month!) ⠀⠀

Find a number that’s a “half size up” from your current rate and ask for that. Then when that next size up gets too comfortable, try on your “bigger money shoes”again.⠀⠀

Tip 3: Say what you want out loud, a lot

You are your own best advocate. Get clear on what you want, what you need, and what your bottom line is. Start saying it out loud, even if it’s with your life partner or your dog. When it’s time to negotiate and have the real conversation, you’ll be exponentially more confident.

Practice negotiating this way outside of work, in a scenario that doesn’t make you as nervous. Johanna told me she used this technique when she needed a new mattress. She asked the sales rep, “Would you give it to me for $150?” This made him laugh—she was completely lowballing him. But then he countered. There was clearly room for negotiation. She countered back and using Tip #1, she paused. Eventually, they came to an agreement, and Johanna saved $200 and was close to getting free delivery too.

Johanna continues to practice these techniques, and she reaps the benefits. Like most things, practice pays off. Try it and let me know how it goes!

Thinking About Tomorrow to Prepare for Today

Thinking One need only reflect on a short list of nearly obsolete items—folding maps, camera film, VHS tapes—to consider how powerful market forces such as disruption can be.

To thrive in today’s rapidly changing global economy, corporate leaders must always be thinking ahead. But how do you plan for a seemingly uncertain future?


After years of research, economist Mark Esposito and colleague Terence C. M. Tse developed a framework—called DRIVE—to help leaders examine the present to influence the future.

In their book Understanding How the Future Unfolds: Using DRIVE to Harness the Power of Megatrends, they write:

“We tend to think that today is certain and tomorrow is uncertain, but that logic needs to be flipped. Certainty, the present implies there is nothing we can do today to alter an outcome, and yet we can makes changes for the better today.

Uncertainty implies we can have a different and hopefully better future. The better we deal with our current problems, the higher our chances are of creating a better future. If we don’t act now, tomorrow will not improve.”

In this Q&A, Esposito explores this model, reflecting on the obstacles and opportunities of predicting trends.


Market trends are still today heavily inferred by traditional economic tools, like macroeconomic analysis, demographics, aggregate markets, etc.

Read More- The consulting case study: What you need to know

All of these tools tend to take into account generic aspects of markets and growth. But they hardly spot the markets that tend to emerge as grassroots and unnoticed. Take Blackberry, for instance. As the company focused on a corporate market and improvements to handheld features, it completely overlooked the consumer market where the availability of apps quickly grew as a priority for mobile phone users.

Its shortcomings were its reliance on macroeconomic data. Another challenge is that even when market trends are identified, it is difficult to make them relevant to the nature of the business in which professionals are working. This is because many trends are generic and merely on the surface of what can be statistically measured.

Those interested in customizing the specific entity will find things a bit hard unless we elaborate the impact of a specific trend within a specific industry.


1. Keep an ongoing mindset for your market as well as your nonmarket strategies. The best opportunities do not occur in familiar and predictable markets.

2. Find a way to connect megatrends—the fundamental forces that have started to dramatically shape the social, economic, and political landscapes of tomorrow’s world—with actionable items at the company level. Always determine some proxies that allow you to turn macro into micro.

An example of this is the rise of the sharing-economy giants, such as Uber or Airbnb. It was their ability to perceive that customers’ sentiments were shifting towards more personalized experiences that led them to initiate their innovative business models.

3. In lieu of fully developing products from the start, keep testing hypotheses and experiment by turning ideas into pilots and minimal viable products to determine how the market responds. Rather than assuming that the market will embrace your products, you can collect real-time feedback and determine whether it is worth bringing a product to full production or not.

The consulting case study: What you need to know

The consulting

Why are Case Studies used?

Case studies are used to assess a range of skills which can broadly be summarised as your “commercial skill set”. For consulting case studies, this will typically be assessing your ability to solve business problems in a structured, logical fashion, making reasonable commercial assumptions as you go along and using your mental maths ability to synthesize these assumptions to find the answer. Note that they are not looking for a “right answer”; they are looking for a “right method”.

Learn More- Starting A Consulting Business With No Experience

Types of case studies

Different industries need to test different skills and therefore depending on whether you’re applying to management consultancies, strategy consultancies or investment banking, your case study will be slightly different. Here are some examples of different approaches across industries;

  • Management Consulting: tend to use “operational” type case studies (more details below)
  • Strategy Consulting: tend to use “strategic” type case studies (more details below)
  • Investment Banking: tend to use a very different case study compared to consultancies. Investment banking case studies are a lot more quantitative and tend to focus on reading financial statements and based on a corporate finance deal e.g. a company going public on the stock market. They usually need you to understand the rationale behind financial modeling e.g. DCF, LBO, etc.
  • Private Equity: depending on the type of PE fund, it will align closely to an investment banking case study or a strategy consulting case study. Consider how they make money, do they follow an “operational improvement” model (a more strategic approach) or do they follow a “financial engineering” model (an investment banking approach). An easy way to find this out is by looking at the composition of the team, are they mainly ex-strategy consultants or ex-bankers?

How to answer the case study

Here we will focus on the consulting type case studies. There are four steps which will greatly increase your chances of success by helping you to structure your answer in an intelligent and commercially aware fashion.

The Ivy Case is a system created by a Harvard professor who coached students for interviews at top-tier consultancies such as McKinsey. He summarised that all case studies were a combination of the following 12:

Strategy Cases: Entering a new market, Industry Analysis, Mergers and Acquisitions, Developing a New Product, Pricing Strategies, Growth Strategies, Starting a New Business & Competitive Response.

Operational Cases: Operations Case, Increasing Sales, Reducing Costs, Improving the Bottom Line, Turnarounds.

The consulting1

To get it right, here is the top line method for structuring your case study:

1)  Summarise the question: often the interviewer we give you a lot of excess verbiages to test your ability to see into the heart of the problem. The most important thing to ensure you start down the right path is for you to summarise and confirm the question with the interviewer.

2)  Verify the objective: the first thing consultants do with clients is to define what “success” looks like to that client and to find out why that is the case. If the objective is “to increase profits”, ask questions such as: why is this important? And in what timeframe? Is there anything else we need to know? By asking these questions, it will not only show your sensitivity to the case and it could also uncover vital information.

3)  Ask clarifying questions: very often the interviewer won’t provide all the necessary information to answer the question and it is up to you to find out this information before answering the question. Are we figuring out the profit per day, per month or per year? Is it for one store or all the stores? Of course, there is a limit to the number of questions you should ask but you must ensure you have the relevant information to make sensible assumptions.

4)  Layout your structure: now that you know exactly what they are looking for you can begin to tell them how you find the answer. Once you have laid out the structure, you can begin to add your assumptions into the formula and use your mental maths to come up with a well thought out answer.

5)  Follow the structure to come to your conclusion: It is important that you follow the steps you announced in 4). An easy way to come up with a logical structure is to memorize The Ivy Case – a set of 12 types of case studies and how to solve them. By following this, you won’t forget any elements and your answer will be concise and well-structured.

Tip: Making sensible assumptions: this is potentially one of the hardest parts to get right as it requires you to make a sufficiently detailed assumption without making it too complex that you will not be able to do the mental maths correctly to come to the right answer.

Are your consultancy proposals letting you down?

If you’ve recently left your senior position to establish a solo consultancy business, you’ll be regularly pitching for business.  And until you’ve built a stellar reputation as a consultant, you’ll likely be competing for most projects that come your way.

Getting on the invitation list is an important step, but unless your consultancy proposal stands out from the crowd, you’re going to struggle to win enough business to stay afloat.

Here’s 5 mistakes beginner consultants make when they prepare a consultancy proposal.

Learn More- Reasons Why Investors Bid For Foreclosure homes

Mistake # 1 – They don’t get enough background information

When they receive a consultancy brief from a potential client it’s common for new consultants to presume that this has all the information they need to prepare a response.  But in fact, consultancy briefs rarely tell the full picture. It’s really important that your consultancy proposal demonstrates to the client that you understand their problem, their context and what they need.

And to do that you need to dig a bit deeper and think beyond the written brief.   Talk to the potential client to find out more. Get the back story; get them to tell you the problem in their own words; find out what they’re really looking for. In other words, make sure you really do understand what they need so you can write a proposal that hits the mark .

Mistake # 2 -They include way too much information

Potential clients are very busy people and if your proposal is a tome they have to wade through, chances are you’ll lose them pretty quickly. Don’t be tempted to add more and more.

Instead you need to find a way to provide all the essential information as succinctly as possible, and nothing superfluous.  If your competition nails this and you don’t, you’ve got a pretty good idea where this is heading.


Mistake # 3 -They don’t clearly outline their proposed methodology

When you were an employee there was no requirement to map out exactly how you would go about your role – you just got on with the job.  But all that changes now you’re a consultant.  When you pitch for a project the client needs to know what you plan to do for them.

How do you plan to go about addressing the problem you’re presented with; what methods and tools do you plan to use; who will you talk to; how will your time be allocated?  The currency of solo consulting is projects and so project planning is your bread and butter.  Show the client you can do this right from the get-go by providing a clear methodology in your proposal.

Mistake # 4 – Their proposal doesn’t have a logical flow

If you’re not familiar with the consultancy proposal process its easy to get confused about exactly what to include and how to structure your proposal. But if the client has to constantly flip back and forth to find what they’re looking for, then you’re definitely going to lose points in the competitive process.

Your proposal needs to have a logical flow that takes them from your understanding of the problem, to how you’ll go about undertaking it, to costs, timeframes, and so on.  So make sure you think about how to structure your proposal so it makes sense for the client.

Mistake # 5 – They don’t build in risk management strategies

Every consultancy project has some risks, for example in terms of scope, or timeframes, or stakeholder management. And the very first point at which you need to demonstrate you’re paying attention to risk management is in your consultancy proposal.  The client is looking for a consultant who recognises the potential risk points and is clearly thinking ahead about how those might be managed.

So you need to look ahead and identify any potential pitfalls and areas you envisage scope creep might be a problem. Don’t ignore those niggling concerns when you’re preparing a proposal because chances are, they’ll come back to bite you. Be proactive, flag them up front and demonstrate that you’re paying attention to risk management.

Reasons Why Investors Bid For Foreclosure homes

Networking has been a proven way for people to come in, to understand what is in it or something about a business for them. Be aware of media opportunities such as cocktails, family gatherings, seminars and conventions.

Sara Whitaker is a 41 year old sales executive and mother of two living in Tampa FL. The woman has flaunted a physique flat , composed ofa flat stomach and curves. Yet, she’s put on over 25 lbs. The worst part about it all is that Sara has made zero changes to her diet or exercise regimen. She was smart enough to begin one of the HGH plans available. An anti aging HGH prescription sped up her metabolism. Right away, it became possible to get rid of a pound every 24 hours. The weight came off of her big buttocks, as well as her stomach. Sara owes her new and improved shape to an HGH treatment.

But Property in chandigarh is this. The replicate at 12 frets (called an octave) can be like magic in your hat! When you’re learning to play the guitar, realize (sooner than later please) that by taking thirty minutes to genuinely learn the notes on the neck will open up worlds of amazing leads, melodies and songs that will stand the test of time. Think I’m kidding? Try taking a very simple D chord at the third fret and strum it. Once it rings, let the (D) string itself to ring and slip your hand 12 frets up the neck and then strum in reverse the same chord. go to a C major chord, As you’re still there and pick on each series.

Now that you’re eyeing for that house, get an inspector that can check the house if there are or repair. The inspector will check on the roof, the base and walls, plumbing and electrical. Hire an appraiser who can verify the value of the home so you know how to negotiate the cost.

Take an break on your ways that are spending. After winning the jackpot, an individual’s response is to pay the debts and giving the family expensive gifts such as automobiles and Chandigarh Real Estate. An individual must resist in doing this for there are areas and states that would imposed taxes. These taxes could eat up all your winnings and that’s the reason it is vital to lock up and zip your pockets after you won the grand prize.

Appropriate choice of seats. Usually, we are sitting in everywhere provided that there is a seat but we should choose a couch to sit on. The chairs which will be selected should have a good help, had the right height and ergonomically made. The seats should encourage your back effectively to prevent discomfort back. You could possibly also place a pillow at your likely. In sitting down, find a position.

Are companies scams? Of course not! What else are you going to do? real estate? Probably not a good idea. Are you going to go back to school? Fantastic idea, but man, that takes a lot of time. And what for? That means you can get yourself back in the exact same situation you’re in right now? I’m not trying to be cold and hard but you’ve got TO WAKE UP! Be realistic!

I also state because there is a flip-side to the frequent logic, that it ought to be the last consideration. Choosing a firm only won’t guarantee a service that is better.

bridal Wedding Dresses That Are Comfortable

This is the first step to sparking attraction. Women judge your own body language to find out what type of man you are. Believe it or not, your body language says a lot about what kind of man you are.

Our modern era strangely sees us returning to the age-old habits of noting and paying respect to the sacred cycles of nature and the part we play in it, for we are intrinsically tied to these cycles of nature whether we like to admit it or not, influenced by the stages of the moon with its ebb and flow of energy. The sunlight’ the life giver’ marks the times of death and decay back into regeneration and growth. None of us that live on this planet can escape Mother Nature, the Goddess and her womb, or Father Time, the God and his creation of all life by the elements. Light and dark, all is one, all religion, all life blessed be!

Dave claims the thought of letting his team down almost paralyzes him. That one thought puts him on the top, the anxiety rises and he spins out of control. Because he is ashamed about this fear, which he realizes isn’t logical, his attempts to just get over it’s not worked.

It is a means to demonstrate loving in separation. Talking out loud or silently to your loved one is another case of enjoying in separation through remembrance. He/she is always a thought away in your heart and it may well be an important way for you to remind yourself that love never dies and you will always have a connection though separated. There is nothing untoward with all of the dead every day in this way, if you are so inclined.

Use your creativity and become inspiring. For those who actually are far more ambitious, fine-tuning an Army Fancy Dress a little bit would certainly be excellent. Get creative and experience to infuse some other ideas. Good examples are a futuristic naval officer, anything that a little has a resemblance to Robocop; or it might be a Sexy, military woman nurse. The choices are limitless. Perv Mom can spice up an army fancy dress anyway you prefer.

But before I got to thatstage, I enlisted the assistance of my fantastic girlfriend to write my a professional resume and cover letter (she is an English major), and I pulled myself out to the Porn internet workforce.

Andy got lucky, he lives in Texas and a few years ago a tornado came through his little town and murdered several people.Luckily, for Parker, it was confined to the other side of town. “My wife ran out to take pictures and these items are the size of grape fruits”, he said. His house suffered no damage.

Consider It. You’re a fanatical golfer,”Googling” away for some suggestions on how to improve your game so you can trim your handicap down a bit and beat the annoying Colonel in the golf course on the next visit. You find a website in the search results that provides tips on improving your game. When you go to the site, you find a small pop up that announces their new report”Slash your disability in 30 days” has just been published and is subject to a special 25% discount this week only. Now would you be interested in that?

Ways to Use Your Hair Ventilation and Lace Wig-Making Skills

Many people have taken the initiative to learn the art of hair ventilation. However, some are curious to know how and where they can use this new skill. Hair ventilation and wig-making can be very useful if applied in the right areas.

Below is a list of ways you can apply your new skill. Remember that the possibilities are endless, but we would like to list a few ideas to get you started.

Make wigs and hair pieces for your family and friends or choose from the following professions:

• Wig Designer

• Wig Builder

• Foundation Sewer

• Master Hair Ventilator

• Wig Technician / Wig Master

• Wig Consultant / Educator

• Customer Service Technician

• Sales Expert

• Mold Maker

• Wig Stylist

• Instructor / Trainer

Enter any of these industry focus areas:

• Hair Restoration

• Theater / Stage Plays

• Television / Film

• Cranial Prosthesis-Cancer Patients

• Entertainment Industry

• Trade Shows

• Education

How to Get Started

Hair Ventilation:

If you plan to make wigs, the first thing you must learn is how to ventilate hair. Hair ventilation is the process of attaching individual strands of hair into a wig cap base or netting. It will take time and patience to master the new skill, but once it is learned, you are well on your way to becoming a MASTER WIG-MAKER!

Making Custom Wig Caps:

Learning how to create custom wig caps is also an essential skill. Many people choose to wear conventional wigs purchased from the local beauty supply, while other people seek a more customized look. Conventional wigs take the "One Size Fits All" approach and customized wigs are designed to suit each client on an individual basis. Being skilled in making custom wig caps will make you very marketable because your high-end clients and business professions will want a wig designed that looks very natural and not "wiggy".

The most popular type of wig on the market today is the Lace Front Wig. It is in demand because the lace around the perimeter of the wig is extremely thin and the hair looks as if it is growing directly from the scalp.

Wig Application:

Installing the wig unit is very important and you must be familiar with different installation techniques. All clients are different and one technique may work for one, but not for another. Make sure that the unit is secure and does not shift.

There are many resources available to learn the art of wig-making. Take the time to invest in your new skill by reading a variety of books, viewing instructional DVDs and practicing the many techniques.

Source by Michelle Bea

How to Be a Successful National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Member: How to Be a Professional Corper

The NYSC scheme is an avenue for corps members to acquire useful skills, knowledge and abilities. These skills are acquired through seminar, training, workshops, symposia, colloquium, etc. organized by the NYSC in conjunction with other organizations. These life-changing activities are one of the most profitable aspects of the NYSC scheme.

From the orientation camp, every corper will be given opportunities to acquire skill and information that will be very profitable in life. Speakers, professionals and practitioners from various fields will be invited to educate corps members on how to maximize their service year. Life after service year will also be discussed. Some community development service groups like: Nigerian Road Safety, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Millennium Development Goal, Humanitarian / Welfare Group, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes Commission. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Red Cross. Etc, will also be invited to give specialized lectures. Their operations, goals and objectives will be disclosed. Corpers will be persuaded to join any of the CDS groups. It is compulsory that you must be a member of at least one CDS group. At the end of the service year you will be given membership certificates, which are very useful after service.

Apart from the above benefits, there is another silent but celebrated privilege of the NYSC scheme that will make you self-dependent, self-employed or gain employment before the end or after your service year. The NYSC always partner with various professional bodies in the quest to make youth corps members self-reliant. These professional bodies train and equip corpers with necessary skills to make them successful. Throughout the process of lectures, seminar and examination corps members are fully empowered. These prestigious bodies are nationally and internationally recognized. The importance of these professional trainings and certificates are innumerable.

Although these professional bodies offer world-class services, their fees are very affordable. You may not believe the cost of acquiring these training and certificates. The reason for the reduced fees is that these professional bodies are aware of the allowance of corpers, and they know the importance of corps members to national development. A typical example is the Institute of Strategic Management Nigeria. This Institute is one of the brains behind my successful writing and speaking career. Its courses on entrepreneurship opened my eyes to profitable business opportunities in the Nigerian environment. They offer comprehensive services, and I can testify that their lectures and reading materials are of good standards. The fee was very affordable. Non NYSC members pay a very high fee to acquire this professional certificate.

So many professional bodies exist, take advantage of the reduced, priced and acquire professional skills and certificates. You might never have the opportunity again.

Most uninformed corps members perceive these professional trainings and certificates as waste of time and resources. They believe it is irrelevant. A wise man said that "no knowledge is a waste." As an engineer you need managerial and administrative skills, even a doctor needs it, in fact, everyone that dreams to be a self-employed must acquire these skills. A social scientist or a management graduate needs technical knowledge because diversification is necessary in the business or employment market. Let's briefly discuss some of the benefits of becoming a professional corper.


One of the cardinal goals of these professional bodies is to raise professionals who will take the world economy to the next phase through the establishment of profitable small and medium-scale businesses. Their entrepreneurial and managerial lectures equip corpers to face the challenges of small and medium-scale enterprises and emerge successful. You will learn how to identify business opportunities and how to cheaply tap and execute them. The various means of capital generation and the practical steps to access these funds is one of the lectures I will never forget. These professional bodies offer vibrant and interesting lectures that will lead a young entrepreneur to the top.

Statistics have shown that only 50% of small businesses are still trading after their first three years from the initial set up. Most failure is attributed to lack of administrative, marketing and managerial skills. These skills can be acquired cheaply through professional training. I sold close to seven hundred copies of my books within one month through personal sales. It was possible because I acquired profitable management skills from various professional bodies. They offer practical courses that you can never acquire from any higher institution.

Majority of both national and international organization when recruiting a membership of professional bodies a criterion for employment. In most recruitment forms, there are always provisions to fill the professional bodies you belong to. In some cases, the vacancies are limited to only applicants who possess a certain professional certificate.

Do not deprive yourself of a lucrative employment opportunity only because you fail to utilize an opportunity to acquire a professional training. Nigeria has millions of unemployed graduations, with just a few jobs available. Only graduate with a niche can grab these limited employment opportunities. 'Go the extra mile', empower yourself and employers will beg for your service. Your curriculum vitae will even speak for you when you have acquainted various training and certificates, they will send for you immediately you possess the skills they want. Professional training gives you an advantage over other applicants.

I secured my first job immediately after service without undergoing any aptitude test or formal interview. The owner of the firm was a Fellow of a professional body in which I am an associate. When I discovered that, I told his assistant that I wanted to see his boss. When I introduced myself the only question he asked was; can you do the job? And I said yes, that was all. I was given the job while other applicants continued the employment process just for formalities.

The training, lectures, seminars and reading materials offered by these professional institutions are sources of uncommon knowledge. As an entrepreneur you need knowledge to outshine your competitors, and a worker must possess special knowledge to attract promotion and increase in earnings.

In addition, acquired knowledge can lead to the establishment of a profitable business enterprise. You can become a consultant with your professional skills and certificate. Immediately, you are inducted and certified, you are allowed to start practicing. You can establish a professional firm where businesses will come to seek professional advice, and you can make good money from consultation.

Currently, I am a management consultant, entrepreneurship expert and professional debt collector. I am qualified to carry out these skilled tasks because I am a member of Nigerian Institute of Management, Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria and the Institute of Debt Recovery Practitioners of Nigeria.

Information is the only tool for development. Anyone who does not value information will become obsolese. The world is moving, and things are changing every day. Your skills and professional knowledge must be updated regularly to enable you to compete favourably in the business environment and in the corporate circle. Membership of a professional body is a sure means to modernize your skills and knowledge.

Professional bodies always engage in diverse research. This leads to innovative discoveries and mind-blowingventions. Members also engage in brainstorming sections that always produce solutions to challenges facing their profession. The only means of accessing this information is to be a member. They also organize seminars, workshops, exhibitions, meeting, etc., to acquaint members with the current trend in the profession. You can never be outdated as an active member of a professional body. They also give professional advice to members to enable them to bypass business or corporate challenges.

All you need to succeed in life is meeting the right people at the right time. Your professional body can link you to people that can lead to your advancement in business and other endeavors. During professional body meetings, you will meet successful business executives and professionals. Most of them are very influential in the society; they can connect you to a job, contract, business opportunities and even a political appointment. Nobody is an island, so you must interact with the right minds to succeed.

It is very important to state that the more you associate with successful people, the greater your chance of becoming successful. You can stand on the shoulder of some senior college and make giant strides. All you might need to become successful might be a call or a recommendation letter from a prominent citizen.

It is possible to enroll and grab as much as three professional certificates within the one-year service period. Just choose any professional body of your choice regardless of your course of study, because no knowledge is a waste.

Please grab this opportunity now, lest, it may be difficult and expensive to acquire such certificates at the expiration of your service year.

Source by Anyaehie George Kelechi

Dramatically Reduce the Cost of Using Outside Experts

I am talking about consultants, accountants, ad agencies, design houses, lawyers, creative people, and anyone who is not on your staff but who you periodically pay to provide you with some sort of service. Your goal must be to reduce and control your costs incurred in conjunction with the use of outside experts while maximizing your results.

Remember, lawyers, accountants, consultants, etc., are like anyone else in every other profession. From the local auto mechanic to the doctor at the hospital, some are very good and some are very poor at what they do. Some are ethical and some are not. I have met many socalled experts that were excellent and others who I could describe in no other way than say they were incompetent.

After what you may think, letters after one's name does not guarantee they are good at what they do. The only thing it will guarantee is that you will pay more. Whether or not it will be worth it is another matter alike.

You must verify qualifications and you must check out these people carefully and completely. You should not just worry about wasting your money on their advice, you also must worry about the cost and implications of following their advice. This could be far worse than any money you lose on their fees. The damage resulting from bad advice that you have followed could be irreparable.

With this said, let me also point out that when worked correctly, the right "outside experts", can indeed be an invaluable asset to your company.They can bring a new perspective to your organization. They can provide you with the expertise you need and when you need it, without having to have this type of talent on staff year round. They can be a tremendous source of input and ideas. They can do things you may be unwilling or unable to do. The key here is to use the right people, at the right time, for specific purposes, under the right arrangement.

The very first question you should ask is – "why do you need the outside expert?"

Any use of outside experts must be cost justified. All too often, consultants and other "outside experts" are used to shift responsibility from an internal party to an external party. In other words, you are paying someone outside of your company to do what someone inside your company should be doing. Every single relationship your company has with an outside expert must be very carefully and frequently scrutinized. Ask the questions and seek ways not to justify the relationship, but to justify not having the relationship.

Pay them for results.

When you are working with an outside source who claims to be able to help you sell more, improve productivity, improve quality, improve your bottom line or somehow benefit you in a fiscal manner, you should be thinking of a contingency relationship and not an hourly or project rate. The exception to this would be if you are absolutely positive that it is in your best fiscal interest to do otherwise.

A contingency relationship is when someone works with you in exchange for a portion of the profits generated from their efforts. An hourly rate or project rate is paid to the outside expert regardless of any success or failure that results from their rates. If their efforts result in unmet expectations, they still get paid. Yes, of course, their efforts could result in a much higher rate of return than the amount you paid them. But in most cases, would not it make more sense to ensure that they have a more vested interest in the success of the project?

Also think how fast an hourly rate can add up. At $ 150 to $ 500 per hour it does not take long to run up a very high bill. Think of all the meetings and wasted conversations. Think of all the time you are charged that you can never verify was ever spent on your behalf. All the risk is on your side of the ledger.

If a sales trainer comes in and tells you he can increase your sales by 20%, great. But if he is so confident why would not he be willing to earn his fee out of the net profits generated from this 20% increase in sales? No increase, no cost to you.

If you do work with someone on contingency you must be fair, you must be honest, and you must agree on a course of action that you follow through with. To do otherwise would be unfair and unethical. The outside expert's income would count on these things. If what he has proposed works he is entitled to your honesty and his or her fee.

I am not a believer in putting any type of outside expert on retainer. I prefer to pay for their services only as I need them.

I have never known anyone who felt they saved money by paying a monthly fee for services they may or may not even need. Use them and, pay for them, only when you absolutely need them.

Negotiate lower rates from your outside experts by offering a long term association.

For example, I was able to get my accountant to lower his hourly rate by 25% and to hold it at this rate for two years by agreeing to review other accountsants for at least two years as long as his work continued to be satisfactory. Think of this as a form of volume discounting. This strategy saved me over $ 5,000 per year without costing me anything in the area of ​​service. Rates are not set in stone. Think of the rates of outside experts as list prices. We never want to pay list prices.

Ask for a lower hourly rate.

See the above strategy. The rate they quote you is the asking price. Without exception, when I have asked for a lower rate from an outside expert I have received one. Do not tell them what you want to pay. Rather, tell them you are hoping to establish a long term relationship and you would like a rate that reflects this.

Why should you pay the same hourly rate as someone who walks in off the street?

From my accountant to my lawyer, this has worked theby saving me tens of thousands of dollars per year.

Source by Derrick Welch