Project Management optimize

My early years in IT consulting: What I did and didn't do well

If you could do it all over again, would you do anything differently in your first few years as an IT consultant? Chip Camden answers this question.

TechRepublic member slconsultingsvc, who is exiting the employee scene to become a full-time IT consultant, asks:

So I am looking for advice from all the seasoned IT Consultants on here. What did you do right or what would you have done differently when you started up?

I think most of us who have been in business for ourselves for many years could come up with a few pointers -- the serendipitous good calls that made us say, "Wow, I'll have to do more of that," as well as the costly lessons that left their stinging reminders on our business backsides.

I've learned many lessons throughout my 18+ years of consulting; here are a few from my early years as an IT consultant.

What I did right

  • Lined up a big client before I struck my employee colors. The transition to self-employment is hard enough without having to worry about the pay. I was fortunate enough to land an ongoing gig that was nearly full-time right out of the gate, which allowed me to court other clients without exuding desperation. Many consultants find that it can take a year or more to build enough ongoing business to be self-supporting.
  • Settled into a profitable niche. I capitalized on my unique experience, which just happened to be in high demand among a modest number of software developers. My niche was small enough to avoid attracting competition from large consulting firms, but it was big enough to feed me. It still does, though I've since branched out into other areas.
  • Listened to my clients. I developed software for users for 13 years before becoming a consultant, so I knew that the most important path to success was to help make your customers successful. Listen to what they need, and figure out how to accomplish that in the way that suits them best -- not necessarily the industry-standard-enterprise-state-of-the-art way, or even the way that you prefer.
  • Gave out freebies. It took me a little while to learn that one, though. Free examples not only create a sense of gratitude and indebtedness, but they also demonstrate your abilities. A lot of my business comes from freebies.
  • Helped my colleagues with their careers. I often hooked my clients up with potential employees whom I thought would fit the job. I wrote letters of recommendation for people I worked with when they deserved one. I'd help circulate the resume of a good programmer who was looking for work. As a result, I got a few introductions to clients from friends whom I had helped.

What I would do differently

  • Put some research into setting my rates. When I first started consulting, I had no idea what to charge. I let my first big client drive that number, which I erroneously considered generous because it was considerably higher than my previous employee rate. I failed to take into account all of the additional expenses involved in self-employment, and it took me years to bring my rate up to something reasonable.
  • Get a lawyer to help me write my standard contract. My first contract was written by my client, which is usually not a good idea; I, at least, had the sense to dispute a couple of items and get the contract changed. For years, I worked many gigs without a contract before hammering out a good contract on my own terms. Not having a contract isn't a problem unless there's a dispute, and you need to have ground to stand on. Besides, having the terms in writing helps to set expectations, even if everyone remains amicable.
  • Refuse more business. I took many gigs in the early days that I had no business doing, just to get the business. Before you accept an engagement, you need to answer "yes" to these questions: (1) Can I really help the client? (2) Will the client pay me? (3) Is this my best opportunity for the use of that time? (Read all the reasons I list as to why you may want to turn down business.)
  • Get the entire story. I've always concentrated on the technical problems first and foremost, but I needed to pay more attention to everything else that can affect success or failure. What is the client really trying to achieve with this project? The problem they posed to you may not even lead to the best solution -- you may have been asked to solve the wrong problem. Who else has a stake in what you're doing? What would they like to achieve? Who benefits from killing the project?
  • Dedicate more time to improving my skills. Starting out, you feel like you need to bill every waking hour in order to get ahead -- especially if you're not charging enough. But if you just keep on solving the same problems over and over again, you'll eventually become irrelevant. It's only been in the last several years that I've set aside specific hours for pure learning, and it's really helped me to branch out.
  • Avoid paid advertising. I once paid out the nose for a big ad in Dr. Dobbs Journal and a full-page flyer distributed at JavaOne. I got so many phone calls that I could hardly put the phone back on the hook before it rang again. It led to a grand total of zero engagements. Most of the calls were people looking for a job or trying to sell me something. The very few who were initially interested in my services turned out not to be a good fit. I had cast my net far too wide. Nowadays, you can put up your own Web site, practice a little SEO, and let Google bring in your leads. You can put much more information about what you do on a Web page than you can ever fit in an ad, so your prospects can browse around and qualify themselves before they talk to you. You can pay for ads that drive traffic to your Web site, but I don't.

What lessons did you learn from your early consulting experiences? Share your thoughts in the discussion.

About

Chip Camden has been programming since 1978, and he's still not done. An independent consultant since 1991, Chip specializes in software development tools, languages, and migration to new technology. Besides writing for TechRepublic's IT Consultant b...

58 comments
Netwizzard
Netwizzard

It's a big step 'going it alone', is there any help or advice for a 1st timer looking to start his/her own I.T. Business ? I'm in the UK, so it may differe form other countries

billparis
billparis

Very good insights. It is amazing that some large, second-tier consulting firms do not apply them. if you are interested on some, very good insights I recommend reading David Maister's series of books on professional services ("Trusted Advisor" is the best)

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

The biggest lesson is probably developing an understanding of what you need to be profitable. Just surviving isn't worth the trouble; you can get that with a 9-5 cube job without the headache and personal risk. Skip pretty much covered this, but it should be repeated: Assume that at least 1/4 to 1/3rd of your work-week will not be billable hours. I spend a remarkable time on accounting chores, maintenance, and personal study & skills enhancement. Also remember that you have to factor in overhead and all the other expenses that an ordinary employee takes for granted, like insurance, vacation & sick time, taxes, etc. From the outside, it looks sweet to be able to bill >$100/hr, but after you pay your overhead, insurance, taxes, and what-not, many are surprised to find that they aren't living any better than they were when they were making $20/hr. Oh, and you are saving for retirement, right? No matter how much fun you think this is, you can't do it forever.

sysdev
sysdev

I have been a data processing consultant for 33 years and I have seen the 'good, the bad, and the ugly' as the years have passed. I would add a few things that work for me and some that didn't work so will. I do not disagree with anything in the article, but add things like be flexible. Things change. Be open to both direct client contrcts and subcontracting. The worst problem I see in this business is that many of the people who are recruiting (both consulting companies and end user clients) have violated the 'Peter Principle' (If you do not know what that is, a brief description is that people will tend to rise to their level of incompetence and then stop). The job needed is frequently not what was first asked. I have a really firm rule - if I have been introduced to a client through a consulting firm and (sometimes years later) the client contacts me directly, get a written waiver from the consulting firm prior to signing a contract with the client. If I see something being done incorrectly by anyone (even the client) at the client's site it is my responsibility to say it (or write it) to the client ONE TIME ONLY AND THEN SHUT UP. Many (most?) clients do not know the difference between a consultant and a contract programmer. It is a big difference. The consultant can do programming, but the contract programmer should never do (probably cant do) consulting. If the client (or consulting firm) does not fulfill our agreement(s) either written or oral, I tell them that I WILL sue. In 33 years of consulting, I have never actually had to file suit. Just telling them you will works most of the time and having your attorney call their attorney works the rest of the time. I have had clients who felt that they could get away without paying my fee have their own attorneys inform them that they cannot do that. Always keep a log. I used to do it on paper, but it is a lot easier now with a laptop and a word processor. Log everything that the client, you and anyone else says or does (good and bad) on a daily basis. Yes daily - you won't remember everythin at the end of the week. This one item has saved me tens of thousands of dollars. If I see a better option than the client, I will inform him/her once orally, and then confirm it by writing (email is great) and then shut up. It is the client's money and the client's decision to make. Have I helped the client make the right decision? Yes - hundreds probably thousands of times. 'The client is always right' is true and not true. The client is frequently wrong, but after you make your comment or suggestion, you ABSOLUTELY MUST do what the client decides short of things like jumping out a window. If the client is doing something wrong or illegal, tell him and DO NOT FOLLOW HIM. This really saved me hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some (probably most) clients are nice and agreeable. Some are competent some are not. Help them if you can and let them take the credit with their superiors. That's what you get paid the big bucks for. Many of the client's personnel will feel that you are challanging their position. Make it clear to everyone when you see this (and you will if you are competent yourself), that you have NO INTEREST in taking their job. Always let them get the credit for whatever happens. Attempt to shield them from the bad things and they will be happier. Be agreeable and help them - skill transfer from you to them is a really good idea. Be friendly with them, but do NOT be their 'FRIEND'. Listen (and log) to everything that is said both good and bad - about you or others - you will be glad you did. If the client suggests things that are 'out of scope', make sure it is in writing. If the client changes what is on the contract, get it in writing. I good spend the rest of my day doing these and believe me there are hundreds more, but this should be a start. Always be aware of possible consequences of your actions or inactions. NEAVER be an I TOLD YOU SO person.

dba88
dba88

I've been in the consulting business for 34 years. It was fun at the beginning... the first 15 years or so and fun making the money with SAP in the early years. But over the last ten years, it has become a nasty crappy business to be in. It became cut throat, off shored, Americans have been treated like crap, the H1B and L1 visa programs have gone way, way too far and have been seriously abused! All the chips are in the business basket, and to a much greater extent, have remained there. We still have no idea as to what intentions the Obama administration will impact the IT folks STILL without jobs!! Had I known this was the way things would turn out, I'd have said, "Nahhh!" to this profession.

slconsultingsvc
slconsultingsvc

Thanks for answering my original question in such vivid detail. I have been doing the on the side thing for a long time. I did nail that one big customer that will let me cut the cords so to speak soon. My niche may end up being the medical field that I am currently in. A working knowledge of HIPPA and how it interacts with the computer systems in a medical environment along with knowledge of EMR puts me in a position to capitalize on the EMR opportunities that I know are coming. I have already upgraded one doctors office already away from my normal job and the Dr. seemed to be pleased with my effiency compared to the last place that he had take care of his office. Rates I think I have in order because I have yet to see anyone even give a second thought to the rates that I have been charging as a guy doing it after hours and that has been a pretty decent rate that I have been charging. I am looking forward to the challenge of running my own business even though I hate doing the accounting. Like you said the tech stuff is the easy part.

jck
jck

I would have not attended college, or gone to a different school. Getting my degree was a mistake honestly. The university I went to was 100% Unix in their CS program. I had a job offer to go write Pascal in Oklahoma City at age 18 and by the time I finished school would probably have been peeling off about $50,000 a year in the early 90s back then. Oklahoma City wasn't a big tech arena and I could have gotten in good somewhere and been set for life. Everything Windows I have learned, I learned on my own. Taught myself VB5 and 6, VC++ 5 and 6, .NET, etc. Only problem is, I never got a comprehensive education on it because I learned it on the fly, rather than in 4-8 months of classes to teach me what all was there. But, I get by well. I can write applications even with the kids who had 4 years of .NET in university as well as do stuff that's non-MS too that they never learned. Hopefully, I can get my programming business off the ground and get a residual client base established so that the income is just a matter of small-to-medium system updates and customizations. My goal is to retire by 50, and spend 3-4 hours a day writing code 8 months out of the year.

santeewelding
santeewelding

You could just as easily have founded a church, learned along the way, and made a living at it.

santeewelding
santeewelding

That little of that had to do with consulting, per se. And I'm glad you did it that way. I was clucking and smiling all the way.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

I would suggest getting some Legal Representation and at the very least a Standard Contract to work from and modify as required, assuming that you want to make money and not just lay back and relax some kind of Business Plan is also vitally important and probably more so a Friendly Financial Institution to deal with. You don't want to be working your backside off just to pay Bank Fees. ;) Sorry but at the moment that's all I can think of unless of course there will be some kind of Partner you need a Legally Binding Partner Agreement to work from too. I'm not normal as when I setup this business it was to start semi retirement I didn't need to work full time and I couldn't afford not to work so I needed some Part Time Work to live and allow me time to spend with my Family & Play Toys. I was planning on only working a day or two a week and spending the rest of my time doing what I wanted to. Things didn't quite work out that way as I had 12 staff approach me on the first day and bring along a large list of clients. I'm now spending far more time at work and have even less time for my Play Toys let alone the family. :( Though over those first few months I did contribute an enormous amount of Money to my Bank to keep them in business as the setup costs that I had landed on me where completely unexpected. OH and you have to [b]Say No[/b] more often than actually accepting work. You need to do what is best for Potential Customers and yourself and you do need to understand that. ;) [i]edited to add[/i] Then there are the little things like Organizing Insurance Cover that you will need, a Business Name and Registration so that you don't get hit with any unexpected Government Bureaucracy. If you are planning to work from Home you'll also need to make sure what the the Local Bylaws are in relation to this and make sure that you comply with them all. You'll also not want to be owing money that needs to be paid regally and probably more importantly think about what type of work it is that you want to actually do. If it involves traveling you'll need a reliable and economical car and you'll need to assemble any Specialized Equipment ideally before you leave paid employment. After all you don't want to spend all available funds setting up the business and then go broke because you have no steady income. You'll also need a Tax Accountant so organize that before hand so you know what you'll be dealing with and what the likely costs will be. About the work you'll need to consider what it is and who to work for as for instance I do not do Government or Medical Work as they are slow paying and very hard to deal with. With Medical you need to be right all of the time as if you make a mistake it could cost lives which isn't a great pressure to place yourself under to begin with even if the money looks great. They also need things fixed [b]Now[/b] so you may very well find yourself in a position of needing to put off good payers to do something for someone who will take for ever to pay. At one company that I worked at we ended a Government Contract and where still receiving payments for work done 3 years after we finished that contract. If you are doing this yourself it's hard not to eat for a year or so and then be rolling in money latter. ;) Col

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

Five things I did well, and six screw-ups. But I made it anyway -- and so can you.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

For things like Service Agreements and so on which you can download free. However you should have any Legal Documents looked over by a Solicitor to make sure that they are workable in your country. However that being said most things are [b]Common Sense.[/b] Then there are the Peers here on TR who can be quite helpful if asked. ;) Col

verd
verd

Obama...will not do anything for IT except make things BAD or Worse

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

- Dealing with medical, make sure you have good errors and omissions insurance. - Re-check your rates. They should be about three times what you intend to take home. Good luck!

pwoodctfl
pwoodctfl

To sum it all up.....the IT consulting business is a business and you cannot ignore the business side no matter how talented you are. If you want to spend all your time DOING the work....go work for someone. If you want to own your own business, plan to spend at least 30% of your time, effort and intelligence on managing the business.

Kam Guerra
Kam Guerra

Yeah right mr internet hero. Calling BS.

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

... makes you a better Windows programmer. Do you do much with Unix or Linux servers?

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

If Chip had of founded a Church he wouldn't have to had worked as hard and he wouldn't be paying any Tax. See that is where he went so wrong. :D Col

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

Properly budgeting for quarterly tax payments is something I've only recently gotten completely worked out. I know what you mean about government work. My experience with medical has been good as far as promptness of payment, but then I'm separated one degree from the users. My clients are software developers, and their customers are in the vertical market.

biancaluna
biancaluna

These are all good, Chip, I like the "balanced score card". But can I add one more. I would have started planning for retirement a lot sooner. Let me explain - being self employed in Australia comes with some freedom to build on what we call superannuation. I would have started paying myself first a lot sooner and I didn't. IT and consulting is taxing, it can be emotionally and physically draining and we should acknowledge that. I can't do this full time until I am 67, which is the new official retirement age for women in Oz, well I could as you can't buy experience, but my brain chucks up BSODS every time I even entertain that notion. With consulting comes freedom, but there is also a risk you don't plan for your own retirement. This is part and parcel of the package, IMHO. Anyway, in a few years time I will be on a boat in the pacific doing consulting via satelite. We plan ahead for our clients, bout time we do the same strategic process for ourselves. Healer heal thyself. Planner plan thyself.

rick
rick

Many freelancers and small coding firms are looking at working with coalitions like pythonery.

ChipN
ChipN

Chip Canden's comments are spot-on IMO. I ran a consulting team at a large company, and then was employee #3 at a small start-up prior to starting my company. One of my biggest initial mistakes was underestimating the effort required just to run the business. I would spend 50-60 hours billing, and then 20+ hours running the business. The best things I did early-on was to bring-in free assistance (business banker, insurance expert), use professionals in a cost-effective manner that made sense (accounting w/routine filings, payroll, legal to review contracts I had writte), and bring-in a part-time office coordinator to free me from the more routine tasks (such as reviewing all mail, managing contracts and related documents, invoicing, reconciling accounts, paying bills, etc.) Another thing I did early-on is create a formal business plan that I reviewed every six months (this helped me grow, and later my team reviewed with me). This focus actually helped my business be more agile, identifying opportunities and discontinuing efforts that were not paying off. When I started the company I knew I didn't want to be a one-person show, so I hired a HR expert to help create an employee handbook, standard policies and procedures. This really helped as we started growing. A big concern for me was when we started being pulled into other areas by our customers. It showed that they trusted us, but I was concerned about billing for areas that we were not expert, and becoming jacks of all trades but experts of none. We addressed this by being up-front with customers about skill sets, providing short-term discounts while we got up-to-speed, and not promoting these other skills on our website. This provided balance and also increased our breadth of knowledge. Advertising was a mixed-bag. Yellow pages ads and many magazine / specialty directory ads were expensive and ineffective (or generated interest from the wrong audience). Eventually we spent money on our website (passive marketing, but provides information and helps develop credibility), glossy brochures (about $5K to create, ~$2/each, but made us appear much larger than a 12 person company), and Google Adwords (I tweaked the keywords and prices almost daily, and we had great results). Investing in white paper development also proved very helpful. We invested in training, R&D, and were willing to try new things. That is somewhat unusual for a small company, but it helped us improve and find ways to differentiate ourselves from the competition. This was money well spent. My biggest failing was not taking my own advice in the end. There was a company that wanted to acquire us. I looked at M&A consultants and felt that the $25K to $50K they would have charged was excessive. In the end that would have either saved my business (having me walk-away from the deal months earlier), or would have led to the sale of the business. This was a painful and expensive mistake, but one that is easily avoidable. BTW, below are links to some of the things mentioned: http://www.comp-soln.com/services/ http://www.comp-soln.com/DR_brochure.pdf http://www.comp-soln.com/whitepapers/ Cheers, Chip Nickolett

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

... from the discussions on consulting topics. There's a lot of real world experience among the readers here.

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

If you work for the government or are a government contractor, the Obama legacy will likely be very good for you. If you work or service and industry that is politically favored or otherwise survives, increased regulatory complexity is likely to be good for those who manage to stay employed. But if you rely upon small or emerging businesses, look out.

MikeG3b
MikeG3b

Please keep politics to yourself. This is not the place for discussions like this.

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

The only thing I'm sure we'll get from Obama is change. Whether that's for the better, for the worse, or a mix remains to be seen.

jck
jck

I don't know if it takes 30% of the time. Maybe 15-20%, including doing the phone calls and all. I'd say the biggest part of business (besides the actual work) is keeping up with what's current. You never know what is a real innovation from Intel, AMD, Asus, etc., til you get to read about it and see how it works. Nonetheless, starting a business here where I live isn't an easy task. Too many retired folks who are hard to convince you deserve their money. If I lived somewhere that people couldn't "live" without their tech, I'd probably be on my own by now. That's why a move out of this area is in my future...both for personal and professional reasons.

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

$50K for a programmer today isn't outrageous at all. Back in 1990 it probably bought you a very senior person, though.

jck
jck

I don't do tons of administration, but I have administrated SCO Unix and BSD Unix. Plus, I have 2 full-time Linux boxes at home and 3 that dual boot to Linux. The Unix programming...didn't do anything for my Windows stuff. Everything was command line text terminals. Our CS dept chair was sort of obtuse about things, and refused to let PCs in his labs with MS software...even though we could emulate graphics terminals for about 1/5th the cost of an X terminal at the time. At work here, all but one of our servers are Linux. I'm learning all the intricate programming stuff from the guy that's been here about 10 years now, and hope to learn all the server and DB administration stuff he knows too.

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

... knowing what I know about the game. But there are some things that even I won't do.

santeewelding
santeewelding

I held off. Now, I can't resist. On your face to the world, front door, front page, or frontspiece of your site, you announce: "Call today to see how your company save money and achieve higher success." I used your search facility to find, "Spelling Commander", but it returned nothing. I think the other Chip damns you with faint praise. You are -- what? -- emulating Nigerian scammers?

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

TR is famous for branching off into political discussions (for lack of a better word). Why stop now?

jck
jck

There are lots of jobs, and TONS of people with certs, AS degress, etc. Of course being one of the worst markets in the country too, people who couldn't get tech jobs took to working in other things holding sometimes 2 or even 3 jobs. I'm pondering a move. I found out that a segment of where I used to work is hiring for a job of which I have 75% of the requirements. Knowing how low talent is right around where I live, I might just inquire and see what my chances are. But yeah, the market still is flooded with tech people here...even after the housing crash and people losing their butts in that.

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

I used to live in the Pensacola area, and tech opportunities were definitely low there back in the 80's and early 90's. Lots of college grads with a CS or AS degree, few jobs. Not sure what part of Florida you live in.

nomad1848
nomad1848

There are people starting off fresh from college with no prior work experience making roughly 60k as coders at organizations in IOWA , I'd imagine if that's possible then places with higher cost of living averages would be paying out even more. It may be time to start looking for a new job.

jck
jck

My sister was programming at Hertz in Oklahoma City in the 1980s and making over $40,000 a year with less than 5 years experience. That kind of money was available because of 2 things: a) Computer people back then weren't a dime a dozen by today's standard, and b) Oklahoma City wasn't a tech mecca and paid a premium for talent. I don't know anything about Washington DC, other than I know it's expensive as can be to live there (I have relatives in Alexandria). But, I knew people as mid-level programmers in Oklahoma City working at companies in the mid-to-late 90s (people I went to college with) making $65k. In fact, people I knew classmates graduating from college and going to work for this communications company in Tulsa were starting at $38,000 a year in 1990. So, $50,000 was a reasonable pay for someone with 5 years experience. I would probably have been a tech lead or team lead at that point. So I'm no Mr. Internet Hero. Just someone who knows more about where I grew up than you do. Thanks for your insight though, and your spat of profesionalism there.

Kam Guerra
Kam Guerra

The Washington DC area isn't that great.

Kam Guerra
Kam Guerra

$50K today will get you someone with about 5-7 years experience.

jck
jck

it was just the first methodology that fully implemented encapsulation though. I did functional programming back when I was...15 or 16? Turbo Pascal was the big thing I used. Now, I'm 40. Dang...where does the time go?

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

Actually, the functional approach is more what I meant. Small functions that do one thing well and don't have side-effects.

jck
jck

I mean, I got introduced to OO in college, but that was by another professor who is no longer there who was a former programmer/scientist at Texas Instruments. He introduced me to Coad, Yourdon, and Booch. Although I think OO has its place (especially in code reusability), I think it's highly overused. Sometimes re-factoring a class (when its complexity reaches a certain level) becomes more hassle than writing it from scratch. Of course, I'd written Pascal for 2 years before I ever went into college. So, I'd always been one to write tons of functions to handle particulars and do their "own thing". College was okay. Would have preferred a little more diverse cirriculum. But, you can't always get what you want. ;)

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

The Unix idea of "do one thing well". Create small, discrete components that each have a purpose but can be combined in various ways.

rick
rick

I meant to gauge receptiveness among this community to a third party not just acting as a broker, but taking an active role ensuring client satisfaction - acting as an ombudsman and project management 'third leg'. Pythonery.com has progressed considerably from August. ExtraSourcing.com and .net are under development , and ProClique.com and .net are in development to provide private and community fora among the more sentient. Much more to come!

santeewelding
santeewelding

I don't look for you to take me seriously. I look for you to explain simple agreement between subject and verb.

ChipN
ChipN

I'm now sure who this santeewelding person is, but if you look at their profile (empty) and posts (mostly negative and/or unrelated, with a taste of SPAM to them), it is hard to take that person seriously. So, that is not the point of this post. The "marketing garbage" being referred to is on the home page of my old company, and states: "Our focus is on IT solutions that are business savvy. Every dollar spent should promote or support business goals. Innovation and strategic thinking, combined with an alignment of business and technology goals, increase your ROI and rate of success, and decrease your overall TCO." This was the foundation of our approach. We didn't assume that what the customer was asking for was the best approach. We worked with them to clearly define the scope and goals, performed a gap analysis, and then separated the fundamental objectives from the means objectives (often their pre-conceived notion of the only possible solution). We would define alternatives, look at various aspects of each alternative (which included alignment with strategic business goals), and then make our recommendations based of fairly sophisticated modeling and a comprehensive evaluation of the specific environment. Real stuff that added real value and made a tangible difference. That's why most of our customers were Fortune 500 companies, why we expanded to the UK, and why we had customers in over a dozen countries. Far more than just marketing, and certainly not garbage. Cheers, Chip

santeewelding
santeewelding

But what gets me is the agreement between the subject, "company", and the verb, "save".

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

I don't have that verbiage on any of my sites. For one thing, I'd never use "achieve higher success" -- marketing garbage.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Agile, you are not. I retain such as you. In your case, I turn the palm of my hand and let you fall.