So you think you’ve got what it takes to be an IT consultant? How do you really know for sure? You’ve got the training and experience under your belt, but how much is it really worth out in the marketplace? You’ve always been an independent person, and you’re ready to go out on your own. But would it be a good time to take along a partner?

If these kinds of thoughts are going through your mind, The Computer Consultant’s Workbook might be a good read for you. If you’re just starting out, or even if you have been doing the consulting gig for a while, Ruhl sets out to put the consultant’s mind at ease from the first self-evaluation to the closing on that bid you were fighting for.
Janet RuhlTechnion Books 1995277 pages, softcoverISBN: 0964711605

Are you ready?
In the first chapter, Ruhl asks a series of questions that help the reader determine whether it’s time to become a consultant. A series of worksheets will help you narrow down your choices. These help to determine:

  • the avenue of consulting that’s best for you.
  • your best credentials.
  • who you need for a client.

Other worksheets in the book help answer these questions:

  • How do you put a value on your work?
  • How do you figure out your starting expenses?
  • Should you be an employee, independent, or work through a broker?

Some IT consultant musts
Ruhl also explains how clients use consultants to offset a limited budget, save money on benefits, or just to have a scapegoat. No matter what the reasons, consultants are in demand, and there are plenty of them out there. You are in direct competition with people who have many of the same credentials and experiences that you do. So what’s the best way to play this game, and win?

Ruhl focuses on this question throughout the majority of the book. She suggests four specifics steps to succeeding as a consultant:

  • Knowing how to find your clients
  • Knowing how to win the contract
  • Knowing how to negotiate the contract
  • Knowing how to satisfy the customer

The fact of the matter
It is important to know everything you can about consulting before you begin your journey. This workbook will serve as an excellent guide. You’ll also find information on:

  • How to make your business more secure.
  • Everything you ever needed to know about the payment system.
  • Codes of ethics.
  • Tips on negotiations, promotions, and networking.
  • Facts about proprietorship, partnership, and incorporation.

Has The Computer Consultant’s Workbook been a help to you? Are there other books you read before making a decision to become a consultant or that helped you become a better one? Give us your thoughts by posting a comment below or sending us a note.