5 Diet Plan Saving Tips !

Guilty and frustrated from cheating on your diet plan? These diet plan saving tips will keep you on track!

It’s nine thirty at night and you have followed your new diet plan perfectly to a tee all day. A pizza advertisement comes on the commercial break of your favorite show and you notice it is close to your next mealtime.

Up to the kitchen you go to eat your next meal. When in the fridge pulling out your nicelyprepared diet plan meal,Guest Posting you notice some left over Fettuccini Alfredo your wife or roommate brought home. Sure looks good you think as you catch a little bit of saliva about to drip on your shirt!

“Just a little taste won’t hurt my diet plan,” you justify…

“ I’ve stuck to my diet plan all day……”

A little taste and before you know it you tell yourself the extra carbs and calories will be a good boost to your workout tomorrow!

An hour later your gut is stretching and Indigestion plagues you from cheating on your diet plan!!

“I should have stuck to my diet plan!” is going through your head as you lay down to have nightmares of a fat ass! “Tomorrow I’ll stick to my diet plan “, you chant in your head!But you fall from your diet plan only a day or two later!

The occasional stray from your diet plan can really add up!And billboards,tv’s, radios and people are everywhere pushing fast foods and junk to sabotage your diet plan!

Here are five diet plan saving tips to arm yourself against the onslaught of the Cheating War!

Diet Plan Tip #1 – Eat Slowly – Take your time when you sit down to eat.

The chances you will stuff yourself or overeat diminish and you will reach the point of satiety much more quickly if you eat slowly!

The more you are satisfied with what you have eaten the less likely you will continue to think of food. That chocolate Black Forest cake won’t be as tempting either!

Diet Plan Tip #2 – Have Delicious Meals That Fit Your Meal Plan Prepared Ahead Of Time.

Having meals prepared ahead of time makes it convenient to eat according to a plan and on schedule.

You can make it more convenient to stick to your diet plan than it is to eat that bag of candy by having your diet plan meals prepared and available when it is time to eat– and when you gethungry.

Diet Plan Tip #3 – Get Used To Eating For Your Purpose Instead Of For Your Taste Buds.

Satisfying your taste buds when you get the urge to gorge down a Big Mac will never develop a healthy, lean, muscular physique! Keep in mind you are eating to develop a lean, healthy muscular physique every time you open your mouth! The temporary taste satisfaction of a jelly-filled donut will be gone real fast but the empty calories you just devoured can defeat a whole day’s worth of bodybuilding effort!

Diet Plan Tip #4 – Be creative with your cooking to make sticking to your diet enjoyable.

Ideally, with proper preparation and some reciperesearch you can create delicious mouth watering meals that meet your diet plan criteria. Learn to cook. Employ spices from other parts of the world. India and China are twocountries with interesting choices to really spice up your diet plan. When you don’t have to force feed yourself with your nose plugged the chances are much higher you can stick to your diet plan more easily!

Diet Plan Tip #5 – Drink Water.

Drinking water between meals can help to reduce your hunger pains temporarily by giving a sense of fullness. For those of you that sabotage your diet plan munching here and there,keeping a water bottle with you wherever you go can really help.Just sip away when its oral satisfaction rather than hunger driving you.

Making the Most of Your Year

Making the Most of Your Year By Christy Geiger, Business and Life Strategy CoachDo you find yourself amazed at how quickly the months pass? Do you find yourself in a small panic over all you know you

Making the Most of Your Year
By Christy Geiger,Guest Posting Business and Life Strategy Coach

Do you find yourself amazed at how quickly the months pass? Do you find yourself in a small panic over all you know you have to do and how little you feel you are actually accomplishing? Join the crowd! We live in a busy world where our time, priorities and energy are constantly challenged. The reality is that there is simply not time for everything and we don’t have enough energy to complete everything. Bummer, I know! If only God had created the world with 8 days in a week or 30 hours in a day…. sounds good? Maybe, but really we would just quickly absorb that time too and be in the same spot.

What do we do? There are 5 simple steps to create greater success by managing our time and getting things done in business and life that are important.
1.EVALUATE. What do I really want? Where am I headed? What am I doing now?
2.GET REAL. What is really important that will impact and support your long term goals the best? What is not important? What is distracting me? What is not really supporting my long term goal?
3.PLAN. What do I need to do to accomplish my goal? What are the KEY action steps? How will I do this? What schedule or strategy will keep me focused?
4.FOCUS. Who do you need to be and what structures do you need to have to accomplish this (mindset, attitude, accountability)?
5.MONITOR/EVALUATE. Am I doing little, unimportant things? Am I procrastinating? What is working/ what is not? How could I streamline what I am doing?

What happens with good intentions and goals…
Plans begin as ideas in our head; we desire to have or do something. The key to the success of the idea is a plan. You know the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Sometime our ideas will make it to paper in the form of a SMART goal and sometime not. If we do write a goal people sometimes we will create some action steps, but rarely do they take the time to thoroughly think through what actions are actually needed at each stage to accomplish the goal completely. Sometimes people will start planning and get overwhelmed at how much work it will actually take or get overwhelmed with the process and give up. Often our goals remain our dreams because we fail to carve out time to make them reality. A management tip is to create a plan from start to finish. With this plan, decide if you have the time, energy, resources and desire to bring it to completion. Next, estimate HOW LONG each task will actually take. It is common to underestimate how much time each step will take and therefore it never gets done. Remember, if you are going to add something to your schedule, you must also plan to say “No!” to something else to make time to accomplish your goal.

Step 1: EVALUATE…
To create an effective plan, begin with a careful evaluation. Most people are constantly evaluating their present state without much problem. We are constantly assessing, “What do I really want right now?” We look at things around us and talk about what we would like to be different in our life. We talk about our goals, New Year’s Resolutions, current intentions, etc. We often state them as fact and sincerely intend to accomplish those in our life. We see how they would make a positive difference and desire for them to happen. There is a small percentage of people who also evaluate the questions, “Where am I headed?” and “What will it take for me to get there?” Evaluation is a tool that allows you to anchor where you are now, determine where you want to go and create markers along the way to ensure you stay on course. Without a longer term vision, we tend to react to current situations, “I need to make more money, I need to lose weight, I need to get this business off the ground, etc.” This leads to wandering through life without focus or purpose. Evaluate the present and then also evaluate the future and what it would take to get there.

Step 2: GET REAL…
Then, get real. Does this fit in with where you are headed with your long term goals in your life? What is doing this going to get you? What is the cost (consider time, money, energy, emotional, etc.) Are you willing to pay it? If you do really want this, what is going to be important that you do? What is distracting you from making this happen?
Identify Key Result Items:
•Write exactly where you are headed and what this is going to get you.
•Identify what you will have to do and write that down.
•Identify what you will have to say “no” to and commit to 3 things you will have to stop to make this happen. Identify what this will “cost” and write down how you will “pay” for it. (This is not just financial, it may be something intangible like – COST: time with the family, PAYMENT: work later during week, but home Friday for dinner and family day all Saturday.)
•Identify 5 main distractions and how you can eliminate those.

Step 3: PLAN…
Next, plan what it will take to make this happen. You already have some Key Result Items from your Get Real Exercise. Take those and add to the list other ideas of what you know you will need to do to accomplish your goal. What are specific action steps you will need to take? Stop a minute and in your mind focus on your long term goal. See it in full and complete form. What is there? What are you doing? What do you notice about yourself and your actions? Now, in your mind walk backwards what did you do to get there? For example, if part of my long term goal is to have a thriving independent business, I may visualize myself in an office with the flexibility to be remote. Part of what I would need to do is establish an office, design portable systems, have a virtual assistant, have tools and resources for office work, etc. This becomes one Key Result Area: A functional Office. Then I walk backwards and plan steps I would have taken to create this functional office. Put dates on each broken-down action step and estimate what it will take to make each step happen (time, cost, etc.). Allocate completion targets accordingly.

Step 4: FOCUS…
Now that you have your plan flushed out and in place, who do you need to be to accomplish this? Going back to your vision of your completed goal, what mindset and attitude did you have throughout the project? How did you do this? What schedule or strategy kept you focused? What systems of accountability did you have in place? What kept you on track and focused? One of the most common errors people make is IF they get their plan complete, they begin work and get caught up in the rush of life again and start reacting and forget about their plan. When you created your plan you were looking at the big picture. When you are working in the trenches of life, you are limited to see what is in front of you, unless you stick to the plan. There is nothing wrong with evaluating and refining your plan as you go, but only when you are looking at it in perspective of the whole picture and not the short term moment. The story is told about the caravan crossing the Sahara desert. The desert was barren and large. Many parties got lost crossing the great plains as they could not see their destination over the horizon. A team went in and put in markers for travelers to focus on as they crossed so they would use each marker as a point of reference until they could see the city. This allows many parties to cross the treacherous desert in the most direct and efficient path. This is your plan. Plan it well, establish milestones to focus on, trust them and stay the course!

Step 5: Monitor…
Step back occasionally and evaluate what you are doing. Go back to step one. How are you doing? What is working what is not? Are you on track or off course? Make adjustments to get on track, re-design what is not working to new solutions and refine the plan in area that would increase efficiency or results toward your goal. Keep your long-term goal in mind and check to make sure your short term goals are supporting the long term goals. Notice your behavior. Accomplishing big goals is hard work. Plan first and keep your eyes on the pre-set short term goal that position you to reach your bigger vision.

Bottom line…
None of these strategies are rocket science. The challenge is to maintain the discipline, focus and clarity to implement these basic strategies. Evaluate your long term goal, be realistic, plan, set structures for focus and have check points to monitor. Invest your time in your plan and maintain the course once it is set. If you are serious about these goals, take action today. Insure your success by developing an accountably system for yourself. Hire a coach as your strategic partner to run with you. Find a buddy in a similar situation. Whatever it is, build environments to support your vision. Take the time to plan and design structures for success and you will see a difference! Here’s to you and your success! Have fun!

Emergency Preparedness for Large Events

Do you have an emergency preparedness plan in place to protect your business and employees from the disruptions that may occur due to a large event? Large events attract numerous attendees and increase the corresponding odds of a dangerous occurrence; therefore, having a well-constructed crisis management plan is imperative to responding to and managing incidents that may arise.

Do you have an emergency preparedness plan in place to protect your business and employees from the disruptions that may occur due to a large event? The upcoming Democratic National Convention in Charlotte,Guest Posting like all large events, will attract large gatherings of attendees and increases the corresponding odds of a dangerous occurrence. Communication may be difficult and transportation may be next to impossible – therefore, having a well-constructed crisis management plan is imperative to responding to and managing incidents that occur under these conditions.

During the NATO Summit 2012, authorities and surrounding businesses struggled to contend with the disruptions deriving from protests, threats, transportation blockades and communication problems – are you prepared to respond to these occurrences during an upcoming large event?

Below are several key steps to take into consideration when creating your crisis management plan.

Make a Crisis Management Plan: Use Your Crisis Team

Form a special event planning committee and try to use your established crisis team as much as possible, as these individuals have worked together before, so it should be easier to create a crisis management plan for the large event. You may, however, need to bring in outside personnel for help (e.g. head of security or property managers). The team should have a leader, and you may want to use your emergency preparedness team leader for this position, as they are already trained in the event of crises.

Begin planning for the event immediately and stay on track. You may want to create a timeline to ensure that planning and implementation is unfolding as necessary to stay on time.

Local and State Involvement

Interact with local resources as soon as possible. Local resources will be able to provide you with assistance that will help your office run smoothly, as they know the lay of the land and are in a better position to offer assistance with event planning and emergency preparedness. These resources may include committees, local security, police officers, firefighters and more.

Meet with these individuals and invite them to contribute input on your crisis management plan. They may be able to offer advice that you would otherwise not have known to plan for, such as rules that must be enforced during the event, transportation blockades that might occur and potential security problems. Working with local resources will only serve to strengthen your event planning and emergency preparedness strategies, ensuring that you will be on the same page during a crisis.

Probability and Impact

When you’re planning for a large event, two types of occurrences may happen: the event itself, with higher-probability but lower-potential for risk, and smaller events spurred from the larger one, which are lower-probability but have a higher-potential for risk (e.g. emergencies and protests). Successful event and emergency preparedness plans will prepare for both occurrences. Remember, your crisis management plan should address both the event and your hard-working employees who must still maintain business as usual during this time.

Large Event Planning

Your emergency preparedness plan should address the massive amount of people that will disrupt the infrastructure of the city. These items include:

Commuting. The commute will be brutal during the event, as the city will likely experience a high traffic volume from attendees. Address high travel times in your crisis management plan, and outline alternate routes to and from your work, or shift work hours for your employees to make sure that they do not have to travel at peak hours. Calculate how many attendees are expected at the event and be flexible, as employees may have to work from home if the event is near the office. Additionally, stay in touch with local resources in order to maintain up-to-date emergency preparedness information, as you need to be among the first to know if you won’t have access to certain streets due to blockades or unexpected accidents.
Internet Usage. In addition to high traffic on the roads, your crisis management plans should address potentially high internet traffic. The internet may slow to a crawling pace around your area while visitors use smartphones and other wireless devices. Work with the appropriate personnel to determine peak and non-peak hours of internet usage during this time. Schedule important conferences at non-peak hours so your employees don’t have to struggle with lower bandwidth or dropped calls. Your emergency preparedness plans may even include not planning any important meetings during the event at all, as communication may be difficult, and some individuals may be late or unable to attend.
Disruptions. Your emergency preparedness plans may also address disruptions caused by an event, which can last longer than the event itself. For example, a week before NATO 2012, the city of Chicago was disrupted because important diplomats were arriving; additionally, the torch relay for the Olympics is held in the month of May, but the actual Olympic Games are held in July. Plan for these types of disruptions ahead of time in your crisis management plan, and be prepared to address how these may also disrupt the city’s infrastructure.
Smaller Events – Protests, Emergencies, Terrorism
These events, spurred by the larger event, are mostly uncontrollable by you, but must still be addressed in your crisis management plan. A comprehensive emergency preparedness plan includes strategies to tackle these types of crises, including spontaneous protests (some of which may occur in front of your office building), terrorism, emergencies, and disasters, such as fires and flooding. Be sure to:

Interface with security and local authorities. If you’re worried about security, meet with property management and local and state authorities to learn about the types of resources they may have available. If you do choose to hire an outside security company, make sure that the company is experienced, has strong credentials, and is willing to work with outside authorities to ensure that your office is as safe as possible. You need a contact point for your crisis management plan – if you hear that there are protests occurring outside of your office building via a message from the company or a newscast, you should have a crisis leader in place who will call your contact point to figure out the next steps to take in your emergency preparedness plan.
Work with property management to assess the safety of your building. Plan ahead and have extra security in place at your office, if the event is nearby. Plan who is and who isn’t allowed into the building, search for alternate entrances and exits, and be prepared.
Plan for the unexpected. During large events, take extra emergency preparedness precautions and treat everything much more seriously. This includes bomb threats, suspicious packages – anything out of the ordinary. If you see something that seems wrong, say something about it. Be on extra alert during this time, because the probability for risk is higher than normal.
Practice Your Crisis Management Plan
As the large event draws nearer, you will want to practice your crisis management plan. Either practice it internally or have an outside company conduct an emergency preparedness tabletop drill to ensure that all individuals involved know what to expect. During this drill, conduct tests of your emergency messaging system. Make sure that the message begins and ends with the phrase “This is a test,” so that employees are aware that it is not a real crisis. This is the time to test your emergency messaging system, as you will need to know that it works – and how it works – prior to the actual event.

During the tabletop drill of your crisis management plan, address all event crises that may occur. Additionally, comprehensive emergency preparedness plans should include recovery planning. Determine who makes the decision about when business should return to normal and speak with all members of the crisis team (e.g. executives, security, property managers, etc.) to ensure that everyone is on the same page in regard to crisis management plan execution and recovery.

Local authorities are generally very responsive and, if they have personnel available, are usually willing to participate in the drill for your crisis management plan to provide you with valuable emergency preparedness input. They can tell you if they already have resources in place and where, and they can also let you know if they are otherwise occupied during this time.

Moms Try Small Business Internet Consulting

The Internet has evolved into a melting pot of various types of business activities, no longer the exclusive domain of e-commerce sites and business-to-business portals. The convenience, speed and absence of geographical limitations promote new ways of doing business such as small business internet consulting.

Anyone can consult from home (or anywhere they want!) — and on a shoestring budget. Stay at home moms, offline professionals, retirees, and the unemployed looking for regular sources of income make good consultants as most of them will have already acquired valuable skills that can be drawn upon.

The following tips will help you start your small business internet consulting venture:

Draw a list of possible clients

A good place to start marketing your services is in your network. Take out your mobile phonebook, email address book, view your social networks and start listing down names of people who may need your services or who may know someone they can refer. Start sending out brief announcements of your consulting business to them and call on people to follow up referrals or proposals. Create sales offers

Keep your sales letter simple and end it with an offer that your prospects simply can’t refuse. You need not be a good copywriter to craft a moving offer letter if you can find simple copywriting systems to teach you how. A proven technique that produces incredible sales fast is to define and narrow down your target market and direct your call to action to them.

Adopt a system for generating leads

Finding new clients should be an ongoing activity for your business even when you already have a good number of clients. Generating leads continuously can take care of gaps filled by client attrition or boosts overall income with minimum effort. There are systems developed by experts in lead generation which you can learn to do for your business.

Maintain your mindset

Most people start a small business internet consulting company with a passion that burns out quickly after monotony has set in and when they start to take the recurring consulting income for granted.

A genuine desire to help others keeps you motivated to constantly improve your service to clients, without which you may lose touch with them. Remember that in any recurring sales business, it is cheaper to maintain current accounts than to create new ones.

Take the time to setup your business correctly from the start and it will reward you with a dream lifestyle for many years to come.

How Business Development Consultants Can Help New Businesses Succeed

It can be difficult to start a business, especially without professional help. Business development consultants can help new business owners with a variety of important tasks such as brand development and writing copy.

Business Plans

Every new enterprise needs a strong and realistic business plan. A good plan will help a business succeed, but it can be difficult to create a strong plan without the help of an expert. Development consultants can help new companies create a detailed, professional plan that establishes realistic goals, forms a proper mission statement, and decides what marketing methods to use.

Budget

A consultant can also create a budget for a business. All companies need a budget to make sure that they do not spend too much and put themselves in debt. A new business can’t afford to be in serious debt because they didn’t plan out how much they would spend for the year. Moreover, running a business is a difficult endeavor, and creating a budget can be a time-consuming, complex process. For instance, a company that makes baked goods will have to figure out how much flour, sugar, and other ingredients they will need and how much it will cost. Prices could increase over time, too.

They must calculate how much they will have to charge customers so they can get the money they need. A development consultant has the experience and skills to help businesses create a detailed budget. With a proper budget, these can avoid disasters.

Marketing

Marketing is an important way for any company to advertise their products and services. Marketing can also give businesses the exposure they need. There are many different marketing techniques to choose from, some more effective than others. New ventures that are trying to decide how to market their products and services can be overwhelmed by the many different techniques available. Furthermore, some of them might spend their entire marketing budget on one technique just to find out it wasn’t the best method for their business.

A business development consultant has the knowledge and experience necessary to find the best methods to use, and they can help companies market very effectively and stay within the allotted marketing budget.

Brand Creation

New enterprises need to create a memorable and appealing brand to increase their customer base. It can be difficult to design a unique and professional logo as well. Business consultants know what customers like, and they can guide companies to create a memorable brand. They’ll make a legible, attractive logo that a firm will be able to use for a long time.

Writing Articles

Most businesses will need to have articles written for anything from brochures to websites. Having professional articles shows clients capablity and ability to deal with them in a professional manner. Articles with several spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors can cause a company to lose many potential customers because these unprofessional pieces of writing will make customers believe the business is not trustworthy or capable. A development consultant can help these create professional articles and advertisements.

When starting an enterprise, a proper business plan and budget is needed, and a strong marketing strategy must be created. An appealing brand and professional articles are also necessary, and business development consultants can help start ups with all of this and more.

What is the Importance of a Scorecard Consulting Service?

Having a balanced scorecard is a good managerial tool for your business. This is because it can help your managers or executives to keep track of the company’s performance. And since a lot of companies have been able to prove its functionality, there are even some non commercial businesses that have started to use it. The list involves the government and some non-profit organizations.

But there are some companies which are afraid to use the BSC since they do not know what to do with it. This is understandable as a lot of earlier companies started out without much knowledge of the BSC. And in order to understand it, they hire the help of an expert to give them scorecard consulting. Aside from understanding what a BSC is, these experts can successfully implement the framework into your company.

One of the biggest reasons why the BSC has been invented is so business owners can know the factors that help in achieving the success of their company. Through the BSC, businesses are able to know that the success of the company does not only rely on its financial results. This is because there are a lot of other factors which can help lead the company to success.

This is especially true if you have a large company. Since you are obliged with numerous issues to deal with, it is important to remember that everything matters. As such, you can still make a selection on what lagging and leading indicators you should choose. What this means is that you can measure your business’ performance through these indicators. These factors include financial, internal business procedures, innovation, learning, and even your own customers.

If you find it hard to create a BSC, a scorecard consulting service can be a great help to you. Chances are, you don’t know how to measure your company since you will be biased. By getting the help of a consultant, you can have an external outlook on the things you cannot see. The consultant will then help you with this and will also determine a program that your company should follow.

There are several ways scorecard consulting services can help you. One of them is to change your BSC completely. This is because there are some instances where you already have a BSC but you think it is not working. By getting the expertise of the consultant, you can get help in creating the BSC.

Another way a scorecard consulting service can help you is to improve the indicators which have already been set up in your BSC system. If you already have a BSC and you feel that it is not working, there may be something wrong with how you have implemented the BSC. This is particularly true if you do not know how to understand the scorecard and have made a self-assessment.

By getting a scorecard consulting service, you can get a fair look at how your company is currently doing and what things need to be changed. In doing so, you can realize that achieving your business’ long term goals is actually possible.

The Advantages of Getting the Best IT Consulting Services

Today’s companies do not run merely on reliable people with high levels of expertise. Today’s companies run efficiently with the help of the latest technologies designed not only to update business implementation but also to make operations smoother and faster. To do this, companies avail of the best IT consulting services, to help them make informed decisions regarding how to best use the technology they have on their hands.

IT consulting services are all about how companies plan, prioritize and manage their business activities and operations related to strategic use of technology. Every small, medium or large organization invests in IT consultancy not only to get the most out of their IT infrastructure but also to maximize their investment. Companies who were struggling with their IT services before, now find that they are able to get the exact kind of help they need to accomplish all processes concerned with their current and future IT needs. And since most companies these days operate on software infrastructure and applications, getting the best IT consulting services is not a choice, but a necessity.

IT services also have extensive experience and exposure due to the many companies they assist and would therefore be in the position to give out “best practices” though it may be limited to specific situations. In addition to technology implementation, they may be also able to assist in change management assistance, developing coaching skills and strategy development.

So what do you get with the best IT consultation? For one, you get in-depth industry knowledge because expert IT consultants can give you tips and advice on how to deliver better services and products to your clients. They also have in place stable systems and proven methods of operation that are designed to conform to a company’s needs. They also provide enhanced communication that gives both employers and employees access to essential data or information needed to run the company efficiently. While the Internet offers information for free, IT services make sure that you have the same level of access to information while at the same time, making sure that information from your company database is kept private and secure.

This also ensures the company enjoys better productivity since employees have easy access to valuable information. They also do wonders with your inter-office relations with business partners because they make sure there are no server errors on your websites so that important emails may be sent and received in time and on time.

One of the things companies want to avoid most is downtime. While it is unavoidable, it can be prevented when you avail of the best IT consultancy because they are able to immediately pinpoint your system problems and fix them quickly so you can get back on your feet in no time.

And lastly, hiring IT consulting services saves you money because it eliminates the need to hire IT staff who you have to pay even if they don’t do anything the whole day. With a consulting service, you pay IT consultants only for services rendered and still be assured that you will be able to provide excellent service and maintain customer loyalty.

How to Choose a Legal Marketing Consultant

While, in the end, legal marketing success is very much dependent on the actions of the attorneys (or firm) involved, there are great benefits to working with an outside consultant. Not only can a marketing consultant bring you the latest ideas in the industry, they can help you focus, get you on track and put systems in place to help you create a marketing habit that will become part of your daily life. They can help you build the business relationships you need to grow your practice.

As a marketing consultant for over 25 years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful colleagues, and of hearing stories from clients around the globe about their experiences in the legal marketing field. My take? It’s all about finding the right consultant for you and matching not only personalities, but goals, strategies and even energy. Below are my best tips for hiring (and working with) a legal marketing consultant.

Do your research. Google them. Read their blogs. Order their books. Get to know their ideas and strategies. This may all sound like common sense, but you would be surprised how many potential clients come into my office with no knowledge of my repertoire. If you’re going to take advice from someone, know who that person is and how he or she gets their points across. Do you like their tone? Does what they preach make sense to you? If not, keep looking. Remember, you’re entering into a relationship.

Look into their background. Do they specialize in legal marketing or marketing in general? How many lawyers or law firms have they worked with? While they don’t need to have a J.D., it is a good rule of thumb to stick with people who have strong knowledge of and experience with attorneys and law firms. Marketing attorneys isn’t the same as selling cars or other consumer products, it is a category all its own. It’s about nurturing and building relationships. Furthermore, you may want to look at the types of firms the consultant has worked with. Someone who specializes in large firms may not truly understand the needs of a solo practitioner, and vice versa.

Evaluate their services and relationships. Look into exactly what it is you’re getting for the money. I offer clients the options of both branding (with an in-house graphic design studio) and consulting, as I believe they work hand-in-hand. Others may see themselves only as coaches. Still others may offer public relations or advertising services as part of their firm. Think about what you need and how all aspects of marketing work together. If they don’t offer a service you think is important, ask them if they have outside companies they work with regularly. My own firm has solid relationships with everyone from PR firms to printers-and because of that I can often not only offer clients special deals but also oversee those additional aspects of their plan firsthand.

Listen to what they’re asking YOU. Every client is different. Each has their own way of handling marketing and business development depending on who their clients are, what they’re comfortable doing and where their interests lie. Before embarking on a plan, your consultant has to know you inside and out. In your first few meetings listen carefully to what they’re asking you. Are they asking the right questions to understand your daily business life? Are they delving into your clients, your referral sources, and your hobbies and interests to see where growth can be accomplished? Or are they simply skimming the superficial?

Monitor their discretion. While you should always look at samples of their work (especially with regard to branding and positioning or website development), think carefully about how much these consultants value discretion. Do they have a list of clients readily available? Do you want people to know that you’re working with a consultant? Most good consultants would be hesitant to name names without the consent of their client, but be sure to take stock of the information they hand out willingly when it comes to their other clients.

Go with your gut. As I mentioned above, you’re entering into a relationship, and as with any relationship… you have to trust your instincts. Beyond the pitches and the samples and the strategy-do you LIKE this person? More importantly, do you TRUST this person with your business development future? If not… walk away. You must be completely open with your consultant… comfortable collaborating and discussing your everyday business life. You have to be willing to commit to taking advice and guidance before you can enter into a successful partnership.

Overall, hiring a legal marketing consultant can be a great boon to your business development. They can train and guide, strategize and even act as an adjunct CMO when you need one. They can motivate your staff, objectively evaluate your systems and practices, and oversee and execute programs and ideas that you may never think of. They can make your marketing and business development life easier. But simple as it sounds… it all comes down to choosing the right person.

One last piece of advice? Once you find the right person, give it time. I would say at least six months to build, formulate and nurture a strategic plan and get it going. Consultants aren’t magicians… they need time and effort from clients to help you see results.

Start Your Own Consultancy Business

Starting your own consultancy business isn’t as hard as it sounds. All you have to do is have an idea, a field of specialism and the gall to get up and do it. Experience is one of those things that you build up along the way. As long as you know enough about your chosen field to be able to answer any practical questions and to be able to solve your clients business problems as and when they arise, and provide solutions you’ll be able to go it alone as a consultant.

There are so many opportunities out there to be taken yet most people let them pass by. Why? Some may think they haven’t got what it takes; some don’t consider themselves experts and others simply find it too much hard work. Each and every one of us has a talent that we can specialize in, whether it’s gardening, cooking or sewing to programming. Yet starting a consulting business is far from people’s minds and is one of the most lucrative ways of drawing on your expertise and creatively making use of your skills.

Yes it’s a popular field to go into but there are so many areas which you could specialize in, it is nearly impossible to saturate a niche market – and potentially very lucrative for would-be business owners. The consulting industry is worth billions globally and a good consultant could earn up to £500 per hour depending on the field of expertise, location and credibility.

Many people enter the consulting field from all different backgrounds and easily find their niche. If you are ready to become your own boss and set yourself free from the 9 – 5 slave trade then start by following the few simple points below to get started.

BUILD YOUR REPUTATION BEFORE GOING IT ALONE
Spend a little time in your niche helping others establish their needs. i.e. if you are going to be a business consultant start by helping local, small businesses get on their feet. Don’t charge for your time initially, as word of mouth and a good reputation will serve you well in gaining new clients. Always remember that any expertise that you have gained in your field is not wasted, if you put it into practice what you know by helping others.

PARTNER WITH OTHER BUSINESSES
For some, building their company or brand name is of utmost importance, they can’t see themselves credible without it. If name recognition is more of an issue than expertise is for you, start by looking for a local and established company to partner with. This partnership will allow you to build your name, define your services and reach clients that you wouldn’t ordinarily have access.

MAKE A CLEAR DISTINCTION BETWEEN YOUR SERVICES AND THOSE OF SIMILAR COMPANIES
One of the most important things to remember when setting up a consulting business is that it is important to call yourself a consultant from day one. So many people do not set themselves up as consultants from the beginning which means that potential customers may not find you or your services credible once you start to call yourself a consultant. Be very clear about the services that you can offer, if you offer business consultancy, don’t advertise non related services to your customers or on your site. If you start off calling yourself anything else than a consultant of XXX services from the start, your potential customers will be confused as to what you are all about.

Make sure your business and your services are clearly defined. If you want to reap the full benefit of being a consultant and for what you are offering, you must only see yourself as a consultant. Consultants earn more money than contractors or a freelancers, it’s as simple as that.

If you are interested in starting up your own business as a consultant make sure that you invest in yourself first. Nothing in this life or industry is rewarded by inactivity. Learn as much as you can, do as much as you can and revise what you’ve done on a regular basis. There’s always room to grow and expand and that’s where you will grow in expertise and confidence. It’s also how you will find your customers, from the need to grow.

Management Consulting Jobs – A Great Career

There are many great advantages to management consulting jobs. They involve a lot of travel, a lot of meeting new people, and a lot of new challenges. Management consultants are highly skilled in an area of business, have great interpersonal skills, who are adventurous and want a fulfilling and lucrative career.

The management consulting field is not regressing with the current recession. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this is one of the fastest growing fields in the country. Many companies are opting to contract out to management consulting firms to take the place of the executives and managers they are laying off. Although the hourly billing is usually higher with a consulting firm, it can be relatively cheaper than the additional employment costs of having a full time employee, for example providing health insurance, dental insurance and vacation days. On top of that, using consulting firms reduce the cost of overall human resources infrastructure. Additionally, management consulting firms are more merit-based and usually provide a better historical track record than individual employees in a given area. If a consulting firm isn’t performing, they can easily go on to the next one. If an employee in the same area is not performing well, as the movie Up In The Air shows, it can be a lot more difficult and costly to fire or lay off an employee than to fire a consulting firm.

Working for a management consulting firm can be very exciting and refreshing, especially for those who have worked in a traditional employment setting. In addition to the opportunity to make a lot of money in management consulting jobs, they have a lot of perks that normal traditional jobs do not have. Traveling is one of these fun components to this type of job. In Up In The Air George Clooney plays a character who travels extensively as a management consultant that flies around the country to fire people on behalf of companies. Some consultants travel so much that they spend more time on the road or in the air and in a different city than they do at home. Additionally, some consultants don’t even have a home. They travel so much that it’s unnecessary. They just live in hotel rooms out of their suite cases.

Management consulting jobs are also good for those who get bored easily. If you’ve never been able to hold down a job for more than a year, not because you don’t perform well or because you constantly show up late to work, but because you get so bored you have to get out of there, then management consulting might be for you. Most consulting contracts never last longer than 2 years and consulting engagements can be as little as a couple of hours of offering advice. You are constantly doing new things, in new places, with new people.