Benefits In Hiring IT Consultants

It’s really expensive to hire full-time employees especially if you’re just starting out. In most businesses, the mentality is that when you find a good employee, hire them part-time or full-time – no in-betweens. Although, this business model may have worked in the past, it will not always be the best strategy going forward. As our technology moves forward at a blistering pace, the need to streamline every business process is quickly becoming a requirement.

With the ways things are looking now, you need to take another look on how you conduct your business operations. Gone are the days where you can simply hire as many people as you like and ignore redundancy within your business. Today, with the use of technology, you can cut corners and still be as productive as you have been. Not only will reducing redundancy within your business cut operating costs, it will also make your business a lot more efficient.

First off, you need to get your business analyzed. You need to hire an independent entity to observe your company to point out any problems and offer solutions. The benefit to it is an external or independent entity will provide another perspective and will not be clouded by relationships with other employees. Basically, there will be no biases and prejudices when you go down this route. On the other hand, when you hire one of your staff to do business analysis for your company, he/she may already have biases and that can affect the way he/she sees things.

What you need to do is hire an IT consultant or a consulting firm with the main goal of making your business more efficient and more profitable. They do this by finding a way to reduce redundancy and find ways to make employees more productive. One example is by automating some of the menial tasks. This would cut work time by a lot. The time saved can then be used for other parts of the business. Another great thing about IT consulting service is you don’t actually have to hire them full-time. As with the job title itself, it’s just consulting. Only call them when you need them. It’s obviously cheaper than hiring a full-time employee. The resulting profit will surely be worth it.

Main Benefits of Hiring Independent IT Consultants

Apart from increased efficiency of your business, you will also gain an outsider’s point-of-view of your business. As stated before, an outsider will give opinions without any biases or prejudices – and this is good for your company. This will offer a new way of looking at your business and will open up new ways of improving it.

Let’s face it, many of the jobs we have are redundant and inefficient. Most businesses are not organized so they end up hiring several employees to do one single job. An IT consulting service company can get rid of these redundancies and use the extra work force to work on something more productive. Distributing your work force into the different facets of your business is the key to increasing profits while keeping operating cost relatively low.

Supply Chain Consultants

Supply chain consultants are basically people who provide chain and warehousing management solutions. They might also, and in fact often do, supply project management skills as well as solutions and often to a high degree of expertise.

They also aid in the management discipline of providing informed impartial advice to business enterprises in relation to improving the performance of their supply chains. Areas of expertise tend to typically include the disciplines of sales and operations planning, freight, inventory, and warehousing solutions.

Supply chain consultants will also typically have mathematical skills – often to a high degree. This core skill enables them to make a direct impact on the profit and loss of a company’s business by analysing how much product should be bought, and how much stored at any one time. This usually needs to take into account insurance costs and the cost that it takes to store a product per day before it can be realistically expected that the product be shifted onward through the supply chain – thereby making the company money.

Skills in logistical warehousing are highly sought after and consultants can and do spend many years perfecting these skills. For many companies. they are not in fact dealing with one product only but with many products at the same time and often in a seasonal market place. What makes sense to buy little of during the summer months, such as Christmas paper for instance, completely changes over the festive period when a company storing this can expect it to leave the shelf in the same week that it is bought.

Therefore its total unit cost is vastly different at differing times of year. Supply chain consultants are well versed in this kind change and are also able to handle the product base changing rapidly, depending on what it is that the company is either now producing or buying in.

Creating a Brand Identity As an Independent Consultant

Creating a brand identity is an important part of the process of establishing any business. A brand identity creates loyalty, inspires trust, and allows for ease of recognition of you and your services. A complete brand identity can be comprised of several segments, not all of which will be present in all circumstances. Evaluate the following components of a complete brand identity to determine which will play an important role for your business.

Name. Every business should have a unique name, including independent consultants. Whether you choose to go by your own full name, your last name followed by a description of your services, or a completely fictitious name, you must choose a name that will be associated with your business consistently across all of your materials. Many consultants choose to either operate under their own name, or use their last name followed by “Consulting,” or another descriptive term for your industry such as “Smith Management Consulting.” It’s more common for groups of consultants to go by a fictitious name, such as “Peak Performance Consulting.” That being said, it’s completely reasonable for you to choose any option, provided that it’s consistent, and isn’t already taken by another business in a similar category. Before you decide on the name, consider that whether or not you want a website now, if you ever want an online presence, you’ll need the .com domain of whatever your business name is. So secure your domain name at the same time you make the selection of your business name. You can either park the site and worry about it later, or start the process of creating a web presence right away.

Email. Your email address says a lot about you, and can impact your professional image. [email protected] may not convey a professional impression, and the free email services like yahoo or hotmail often append advertisements to the footer of your email communications. Use your business domain to set up professional business email. If you can’t get a real business email account on your own domain for whatever reason, at least set up a neutral email from an ad-free service like [email protected].

Logo. A logo is a visual symbol that represents your business. Typically a logo will contain the business name, combined with an image that is somehow relevant to the services offered. Often logos can be as simple as the business name that always appears in a certain typeface, placed in a box or underlined. When choosing a logo, be sure to select something simple enough that it will still look appealing when very small or in black and white. Complex logos often don’t reproduce well, and the visual appeal may end up getting lost. Fight the urge to design your own logo. Unless you are a graphic designer by trade, the creation of a logo is best left to other professionals. Logo design services are only a few hundred dollars and can make all the difference in your business profitability. Before you finalize a logo, fax it to yourself, shrink it down to tiny size, and try looking at it in different formats to be sure it will still look good under distressed but unfortunately common business conditions.

Colors. Many businesses choose to associate with a certain color, or set of colors. This strategy allows the printing of the business logo on promotional products that match the company’s colors, which can allow for easier recognition of the brand. For example, a healthcare company that uses a certain hue of blue may want to have t-shirts and pens printed with the company logo that match the same shade of blue that is used on their brochures and other marketing collateral. Do some research about the color psychology that matches your brand feeling, and consult your logo designer on color palettes that will not go out of style. Again, as with the logo design, a professional can help you develop color selections that will convey the right impression.

Tagline or Slogan. A tagline or slogan is a short phrase often appearing with the business name on printed materials that helps to describe what the business does or evoke an emotion that you want to be associated with your business. Taglines can also be beneficial in differentiating your business from that of your competitors’ by pointing out key features and benefits of your services. Taglines should be short, simple and memorable. Taglines are meant to withstand the test of time, and should be designed to stand by your business for many years. Slogans, on the other hand, are often designed for a specific marketing campaign and can change as frequently as you change your marketing focus. Consider working with a professional marketing consultant to generate prospective tag lines and campaign slogans, and get feedback from valued business partners, colleagues, and associates.

Business Cards. Everyone needs a good business card. As an independent consultant, the cost difference between cheap business cards and high end cards will be almost meaningless over the course of a year – and yet that difference of $100 can mean deals won or lost. Have your logo designer make you a business card design while they are at it. Unless you are in a creative field, don’t try to get too innovative with the card. Remember that less is more – restrict your card to the basic contact information someone will need to reach you, and resist the urge to list multiple email addresses and multiple phone numbers. Put only the main number and main email clients should use to reach you – and remember to use a professional business email address. Avoid discount online printers, or at least upgrade for a thicker paper and perhaps the raised thermography lettering. Try to leave blank space – at least on the back – so that a potential client can write a note on the back of your card and remember who you are.

Website. Last but not least, a website. Sooner or later, you will need one, so make sure you registered the domain name you wanted from the start. Unless you are a professional web developer with very current design skills, you should not attempt to build your own site. It is not worth your time, and an outdated or hard to navigate site can hurt you more than it helps you. Don’t let a friend build your website either; unless they are a full time web site building professional, the site is likely to be outdated, hard to maintain, and less than user friendly. You also probably do not need a custom enterprise-grade site with all the bells and whistles. Use a professional web design and hosting package service – they are abundant, easy to use, and affordable. For a few hundred dollars, plus a hosting package, you can be up and rolling in mere hours with a professional, up to date, and user friendly web presence. Simply select a template, pick a hosting package, and use the online interface to enter the content to your web pages.

Soon you’ll be set up with a complete business identity as a professional consultant, complete with name, logo, business cards, and website. After that, it will be up to you to breathe life into your new brand identity by providing memorable and high quality professional consulting services.

How Do You Pick the Right Technology Consultant?

How do you pick the right technology consultant? It is not the kind of party game that is going to catch on with your family at Christmas, but it is a pastime that could decide your success (or failure) in crucial aspects of your business.

Take the public sector, where £2bn a year is spent on employing consultants and agency staff in Whitehall. A Cabinet Office study showed that it cost an average of £100,000 a year to employ each consultant and at a time of constrained public spending, over-expenditure on non-permanent workers will not be tolerated.

Things are no simpler in the private sector. One recent report suggested that there are now half a million management consultants globally (see further reading). Finding external expertise is never easy, but how do you pick the right needle from the consultancy haystack in such cost-constrained times?

More specifically, what expertise should you look for and what guidelines and services will create consultancy that works for your business? Your selections should be based around four guiding principles: knowledge, partnership, commitment and experience.

First, look for a consultant that understands the technology you are about to implement. Do not simply employ the same consultancy every time. Each job has a different requirement and the non-permanent nature of contractors should give you the option to be choosy.

Then make sure you look for a service team that will be able to work with your existing in-house team. There is no point upsetting trusted permanent staff by contracting ‘know it all’ external experts who actually know very little.

Also pay attention to the breadth of a particular consultancy’s service offering. Big is not necessarily best and you should concentrate on the firm that will be able to provide a long-term commitment across crucial areas, such as design, migration and deployment.

Finally, trust experienced service providers and always select a firm with best practice references. Advanced Business Solutions is able to boast more than 512 man years of experience and over 100 specialists across various consultancy teams, for example. It is this kind of expertise that can mean selecting a consultant does not have to be a painful process.

Importance of Hired Professionals for Lead Paint Removal

Learn about lead paint and its hazards, and why lead paint removal companies are important.

Lead paint was a very common material used in construction from the early twentieth century,Guest Posting all the way up to when it was banned in the 1970’s. With the passage of the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, lead paint was to be phased out of use, and by the end of the 1970’s completely banned for any consumer use. Homes built prior to the ban, however, would almost always have been painted with some form of lead paint, therefore making it a health hazard for anyone living in those homes and looking to renovate. Lead paint removal is an important task that protects the health of workers and homeowners and should only be performed by professionals to ensure it is removed completely, and safely.

Lead Paint Removal

Before any sort of renovations or construction happens on a home or business that was built before the 1980’s, it’s always a good idea to have the building inspected first for lead paint. Calling an EPA and OSHA certified lead paint removal service is the best course of action to get current paint in the building tested so that work can go forward in a safe manner. If lead paint has been detected, then the removal service can get down to work removing the lead paint safely and disposing of it in a way that is environmentally friendly, and follows the local, state, and federal laws.

Lead paint removal is more than just scraping paint off walls, because lead paint, when chipped, can become airborne as particles, and be inhaled. Lead paint that is inhaled can affect the mouth, throat, and lungs, and result in lead poisoning. It can also cause lung, throat, and other cancers to develop over time. Lead poisoning over time can shut down organs, cause fertility issues, and damage the brain, especially in children, so it must be avoided. A professional lead paint removal company will either attempt a wet method of paint removal, keeping the paint constantly wet so it can’t become airborne as particles, or a dry method using a negative air pressure isolation area and fully removing painted materials. Either method requires great care, and must be done while wearing full PPE, goggles, and HEPA respirators.

Don’t Just Hide Lead Paint

Many homeowners may think that just covering lead paint can prevent any issues that can come from it, and while this is a temporary solution, it’s not good enough. Just covering the paint leaves the problem for someone else, or you in the future, and worst case, the paint can still get chipped or damaged and end up harming someone.

Hire Lead Paint Removal Professionals

Due to the hazardous and toxic nature of lead paint, it’s important to always hire an EPA and OSHA certified and trained lead paint removal professional company to remediate lead paint from a building. Through proper removal of lead paint, workers and homeowners can rest assured they will not suffer any adverse health side effects when it comes to construction and renovation.

Notes for Particle Board Used for Furniture

What should be note when particle board used to make furniture.

Particle board is a environmental friendly board,Guest Posting which has a wide range of raw materials and affordable price. Also particle board are popular in furniture making field.

1. Beauty

Choose a color similar to the house environment , which will meets the requirements of daily use and decoration.

2. Application

It is easily affected by the environment since it is wooden. We need to deal with it according to different application areas to avoid long-term environmental impact of the product.

3. Structure

The structural is very important, and it is necessary to test during manufacturing process and select mutually matching fixing parts, which is safety and long time service.

4. Edge banding

It is necessary to do edge banding, which makes beautiful and advoid scratches.

ZMADTO Plywood Co.Ltd. is focus on construction plywood & wood formwork product. Our factory was established in 1993 and covers an area of 240,000 square meters with an average daily output of more 30,000 pcs plywood. Besides, the factory has more than 200 advanced equipment. After years of continuous development, it has become a leading company in the international wood formwork industry and exported to more than 20 countries around the world.

Do You Want Blinds Or Do You Really Want Interior Shutters?

Shutters or blinds in Sydney, which is better for your home? This is a question that many homeowners ask themselves when they are remodelling their homes. The answer will depend on what you want to achieve with the window treatment in each room of the house. Blinds are less expensive than shutters, but also less stylish and more common. Interior shutters are more expensive than blinds, but can be customized to fit any style or décor needs.

What are blinds and what are interior shutters

Blinds are window treatments made from slats of fabric or wood that can be opened and closed. Interior shutters are window treatments made from panels,Guest Posting which open and close horizontally on hinges, just like a door.

Blinds give homeowners more control over the amount of light they let in through windows because there is no frame around them. They also offer privacy. Interior shutters such as plantation shutters in Penrith, can offer privacy too because the panels don’t have a frame around them and they open and close like an actual door or window shutter would.

Blinds are less expensive than interior shutters, but also come with fewer options for customization (e.g., colour selection, style). This makes blinds more difficult to match with existing décor styles unless they are neutral colours. Interior shutters are not only more stylish overall, but they can be customized to fit any design needs homeowners may have, including matching other window treatments already installed throughout their home.

Shutters are very expensive because of the customization options available. They also need to be custom made, which can take several weeks for them to arrive at your home once ordered. However, shutters are virtually maintenance free and will last you a lifetime, whereas blinds like roller blinds in Sydney homes, require regular cleaning in order to look their best over time.

Examples of shutters include PVC Plantation Shutters, which are beautiful and perfect for homes in warm climates, since they’re made from a synthetic material.

Why do people choose between the two?

Choosing between blinds and shutters can be very difficult because both are great window covering options. Examples of blinds include roller shades, which provide good light control and can be customized with a wide range of colours or patterns to fit your home’s décor. Blinds have become very popular with homeowners because they are less expensive than shutters; more affordable on the pocketbook.

Some homes use plantation shutters for all the windows in the home but there are many homes that choose between just using them on some windows. Blinds can take a little longer to open and close but this isn’t usually too much of an inconvenience for most people.

The pros of choosing blinds over interior shutters, or vice versa

Choosing blinds can have many benefits, including:

They are generally more affordable than shutters.
It is easy to clean them and they look great over time as well.
You can customize the slat you would like for your window since it does not need an entirely new one if you decide that you don’t want the blinds anymore.

The cons of choosing interior blinds include:

They can be more difficult to clean.
Cannot block out light completely and may allow cold air in during winter months.
Interior blinds also require drill holes to hang on your wall or window frame which might cause damage over time.
They don’t last forever but will wear down after years of use requiring replacement along the way whereas shutter slats won’t break easily at all.

The pros of choosing interior shutters include:

They are generally very attractive with different styles available to suit most any home décor.
They offer a luxurious feel in addition to keeping out light during certain parts of the day.
Shutters are extremely durable and last for years to come.

The cons of choosing interior shutters include:

It is important that you choose quality material (not cheap plastic) so these will not break after a short time period like some cheaper brands might do.
They are also very expensive, so they are not always the most practical option for every homeowner.
Some materials like wood may not be ideal for wet areas because they can warp.

How to decide which option is best for you

Choosing the best type of window treatment for you will depend on your personal preference, budget and lifestyle. If you have a larger budget for window treatments then interior shutters are the way to go as they can give you great insulation from warm or cool air seeping into your home during winter months. They also do a better job at reducing noise pollution if that is an issue in your area too. Plus, their high-quality material typically last longer than blinds meaning less replacements over time which will save you money in the long run.

Blinds are a great choice for covering up your windows. If you want to give your home an updated look, but don’t want the hassle of installing interior shutters on every window in the house, then blinds might be just what you’re looking for.

Local Safety Requirements for Pools

Did you know that many Australian states and territories have different requirements for pools? Did you know that there are safety standards in place to protect the people who use these areas?

Check with your municipality to find out if you need a permit for the pool

You can check from your local authority with regard to the swimming area that is being constructed on your property. It is very important to get a compliance certificate from the local authority once you have completed building a pool on a property which belongs to you. You can also check with them regarding any local safety requirements such as fencing,Guest Posting gate etc.

If you’re planning on building a new house and want to include a swimming area, it is important that you contact your local council before anything else, as they will be able to let you know if there are any restrictions or not. Getting a pool safety inspection in Sydney after construction is vital, so that you can apply for a certificate of conformity.

Make sure there are no cracks in its foundation

The pool foundation could have cracks in it which may lead to flooding if not fixed. Make sure that the foundation is solid and there are no cracks which could lead to flooding in heavy rain or storms.

Add safety features like fences, gates, and alarms

There are many required safety features that you need to take care of if you have a swimming area in your home. These include

Fences – Fencing should be at least four feet tall and not be able to trap a child’s head.
Gates – Gates should open outwards so that it cannot fall on people.
Alarms – Alarms are important because they will alert you if someone is in the water even when you’re not around. Make sure the alarm works properly because it could be dangerous if it doesn’t.
Main drain cover – the main drain should have a strong, secure grate to prevent accidents. This is especially important for hot tubs and spas because people can fall into these drains very easily due to their depth differences.
Make sure they’re up to code so you don’t get fined later on down the road by local authorities checking everything out before issuing permits. The good news is that doing a pool inspection in Sydney costs much less than what city officials will fine you, hence it’s worth getting done.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) – GFCIs save lives. The electrical outlet or junction box should be checked to make sure that the GFCI is properly installed and functioning. Equivalent devices can also be installed as long as they function in a similar way by preventing hazardous current from reaching people through water contact. This ensures safety for those who are around these areas, especially children, since kids like playing with outlets and such things at their age. This device senses any sort of electricity discrepancy between two points on an electric circuit which it then interrupts power flow if there’s one present so you don’t get electrocuted.

Install a filter system to keep debris out of the water

A filter system will keep the water clear of contaminants. It also helps keep the water clean and will prevent you from having to drain it as often. You should have your filter backwash once a week or more depending on how much dirt is in your water supply.

Keep an eye on children around pools

Whenever children are in and around the swimming area, you should be watching them carefully as they’re most likely to drown when unsupervised. You should teach your children about safety measures and make sure they know how to act safely around the water.

The most important safety requirement for pools is that there must always be at least one adult supervision in the area where children can swim. This means that no child under 14 years old can go into or near water without an adult present and watching them carefully. It’s best if this person doesn’t get distracted by other things like talking on their phone while supervising kids around water. Life rings and arm bands with air chambers are often used to prevent possible drowning accidents.

This is one of the reasons that alarm systems are important as well, because if a child goes into the area unsupervised, then the alarm will go off and let you know that someone is in the water.

Test your emergency equipment regularly so that it is always ready when needed

All your emergency equipment should be checked and ready to use when you need it. For example, your pool alarm system should be tested every day and the batteries of any lifesaving equipment such as a life ring or arm bands should also be checked to ensure they are full.

How To Modernize An Old House

There are many things that can be done to modernize an old house. Some of the most important steps include updating your roof, adding insulation and replacing outdated appliances with new ones. If you’re fortunate enough to have a backyard or front yard, then there’s no better time than now to plant some shrubs and flowers, or even create an al fresco dining or entertainment area by installing straight drop awnings in Sydney.

As always remember that there is no right answer when it comes to design ideas because most people are going to have their own personal preferences about what they think looks best in their homes based upon individual taste levels as well as budget factors involved too.

Replace old,Guest Posting outdated fixtures with modern ones

Replacing your old outdated appliances and fixtures with new ones can provide a big impact on your home. New appliances, such as Energy Star models, help to reduce energy consumption in the long run while providing you with high quality products that last much longer than their predecessors.

If you have an old shower head or faucet fixture in your bathroom, then there’s no better time than now to replace it with a sleek looking modern model. If these fixtures are corroded or damaged beyond repair due to age-related wear and tear over the years, then just go ahead and get rid of them entirely for all around updated look and feel within your house.

Replacing older windows is also important because they allow more sunlight into rooms which essentially brightens up homes overall. You can also add some nice modern looking window treatments to your home to make it look more modern, like the popular day and night roller blinds in Sydney. Curtains in Sydney made from brightly coloured or textured fabrics are also quite a popular trend among home owners.

If you want to make an old house look like a new one, then simply change out the flooring and carpet with something more contemporary looking. For example, if your home has really worn-out carpets on its floors throughout rooms of your house, then just replace them with hardwood or laminate floors for all around updated appearance within homes today.

Paint the interior walls a neutral colour to make them blend in better

Neutral coloured wall paints can really help to make old homes look modern. Painting the interior walls a neutral colour like white or beige will create an overall more clean and polished looking appearance that is very popular in today’s decorating styles.

If you want your home to really stand out, then simply add some art pieces throughout rooms of your house. Art can help give any space a contemporary feel which makes it much easier for homeowners to bring their designs together with all sorts of furniture and décor items. You could also experiment with adding different shapes into wall spaces within hallways or living areas too.

Add crown moulding around your ceiling for an elegant touch

Adding crown moulding around the ceiling can also help you to create a very modern look in any old house. Crown moulding is very elegant and it will turn the attention of everyone who enters your home right to the ceiling where they will admire how beautiful everything looks around there.

Install new wooden flooring throughout the house

Another option is to install new wooden flooring throughout the house. Wooden floors are a great way to modernize an old home because they look so much more elegant and stylish than what you would normally find in older homes, which is carpet or linoleum.

You can even get faux wood floors these days which are much cheaper and easier to install. The benefit of this is that you will save a lot of money, but still get the stylish modern look. Faux wood flooring requires only glue installation which makes it easy enough if you’re willing to try doing things yourself instead of hiring out work like this because then you will save all that extra money back on labour costs.

You can even take it one step further by installing hardwood floors in every room throughout your entire house for an even more high-end appearance. This really allows you to transform the way your home looks from outdated and old into something much nicer and modern looking.

Re-do all of your kitchen cabinets and countertops to give it a more modern look

New kitchen cabinets and counter tops can really spruce up the appearance of your kitchen and make it look much nicer.

Fix up any dated exterior features like doors or windows

Exterior features are what can really make a home look old and dated. Fixing up the exterior features of your house is one of the most important things you can do to give it a dapper look. You can even replace old fixtures with new ones which can make a world of difference.

You can even consider if you have the budget for it, a full home remodel which is really going to change everything about how your house appears on the outside as well as inside. You can upgrade all sorts of things including re-tiling or updating flooring, painting every wall in bright fun colours etc. This will take some time but it’s definitely worth it because once you’re done with this process, then you will have an entirely new looking house.

Top 10 Tips For New Consultants and Freelancers

It can take years to learn the inside tips and techniques for success in an independent consulting career. Certain industries may have insider secrets that can help you achieve success in a given field, and you should seek out a mentor who works in your industry that would be willing to help you learn the ropes. There are also some general best practices that can be applied across any consulting field to help you realize success.

1. Plan ahead. Develop procedures in advance, and write them down for future reference. You’ll be more consistent in your communication with your clients, and consistency is good in your clients’ minds, because they know what they can expect from you. Try to plan for different situations that could occur, and when the unexpected happens, you’ll be better prepared.

2. Develop a marketing plan and stick to it, even when business is booming. The number one trap new consultants fall into is the feast or famine syndrome. You should certainly make adjustments to your marketing strategy if something isn’t working, but you should dedicate a certain amount of time and energy to consistent marketing efforts on a daily or weekly basis, even when business is good. While it’s true that you will experience ebbs and flows in the amount of business you have coming in, you can take steps to ensure that your cash flow is more consistent than not. By following a marketing plan, you’ll be sure to continue your efforts even when you’ve got more business than you can handle. Don’t fall prey to the idea that you shouldn’t market your services because you can’t take on any more assignments. When your current pipeline of work dries up, you’ll wish you had spent that little bit of time on marketing your business a few months back!

3. Always continue your education. You’re an expert in your field, and you’ve got the experience and talent to follow through with what you promise your clients. But there is always something you could be learning, whether you’re studying new ways to make your business run more efficiently, new developments in your field, or new skills altogether. You’ll keep your mind sharp, and you’ll always be able to offer your clients the most current advances and knowledge available. Attending special conferences and seminars in your field can also be tremendously valuable networking to build your pipeline of future projects.You could also add to your repertoire by learning a new skill that complements your existing services, which can help differentiate you from your competition and may help protect your business during downswings in the economy.

4. Develop a niche. You should always work on building your skill set, but becoming a specialist in a niche area, or becoming known for a particular quality of service, can put you in high demand among the businesses that need your expertise. Being a specialist can enhance your brand identity, and can also help differentiate you from your competition. While you tailor your services into niche areas, be sure to keep your foundation strong, and keep an eye on the marketplace to make sure the niche you select won’t make you vulnerable to obsolescence.

5. Save yourself time and money by using a portable employer of record. Many successful independent consultants and freelancers utilize the services of a portable employer of record. These companies handle invoicing and collections, which can take up a significant chunk of a consultant’s time. Working with a portable employer of record also eliminates the need to set up a formal business entity, and simplifies the tax-management and record-keeping process. Think about what would make the most sense for your particular situation; would your time be better spent doing billable work for clients, or does it make more sense in your case to handle invoicing and collections on your own? When shopping for a firm to support your back office, be sure to ask a lot of questions and compare different options.

6. Always have a signed contract in place. Even if you’re doing work for an acquaintance, it’s very important to have a contract. Your contract should clearly explain the scope of your project to avoid any confusion and any potential disagreements down the line. Be sure to outline the limits of what your project includes, what your client is responsible for completing or providing, the timeframe, your fees, and payment terms. Don’t sign bad contracts, and don’t let anyone tie you up with non-competes clauses that would keep you from being able to accept future projects with another client.

7. Practice patience and understanding. You’re a consultant, an expert your client hired to help solve a problem. That doesn’t mean that they will always be willing to take and follow your advice without complaint. Chances are, at some point your solution for one of your clients is going to require a significant amount of work, change, or money on their part, and they may question your advice. It’s the nature of business — not every client or customer will be the most pleasant to deal with — but it’s part of your job to learn to eloquently handle difficult situations while leaving everyone satisfied. In addition, be prepared for the possibility that in your client’s office culture, consultants and freelancers may have a less than favorable reputation. Be as graceful as possible — this is the tradeoff for not having to put up with the office politics of a traditional work arrangement.

8. Ask for referrals. One of the easiest ways to get new clients is from a recommendation from other satisfied customers. Advertising and marketing has its place, but nothing beats a strong testimonial. In addition, plan to be able to showcase past successes to win new business. Get permission to mention clients, use them as references, or showcase your work for them in a portfolio or case study.

9. Learn effective time management. Building a successful consulting practice takes a great deal of energy and persistence. You will have to work long hours at times, and you may have to dedicate many more hours to a project than you originally planned in order to complete a job adequately. As you gain experience, you’ll learn to better estimate how long a project can take, but in the meantime, you’ll have to learn to prioritize, delegate when possible, and complete tasks as efficiently as possible. Use calendar or project management software so that you always have a grasp on what needs to happen, when.

10. Have fun! You went into business for yourself because you love what you do. Keep hold of that passion, and you’ll learn to overcome any obstacle that comes in your way. Your love of your career will show in your dealings with your clients, and in your finished work. That means satisfied clients, and greater success for you! Nothing can be sweeter than enjoying the benefits of waking up every day to a profitable career that you enjoy.