Excellent and very practical course. I'd highly recommend this to any thinking about starting their own consulting business."
Excellent course! Anyone that is serious about starting a consulting practice can go from an idea to launching a successful practice in six weeks."
For the price of a decent meal this course provided the tools to start a business that can feed you for the rest of your life."
I believe this is one of the most outstanding classes I have ever completed and I have taken many of them. The value for the fee is unbeatable!. Excellent organization and knowledge--my congratulations to Bill Flood. And a great thank you for offering such an in-depth class on-line. I look forward to taking more."
I really enjoyed the course, especially the discussions between classmates and the instructor. The information received as a result of this class has helped me get a great start on my consulting practice."
Thank you Professor Flood for a fascinating business course. My favorite part was that it was designed for the lay person. It did not bog down the student with overbearing chapters and lengthy lessons. It is very direct and to-the-point. I never thought a business course could be so much fun!"
The course covered a very good range of material, all useful. The instructor/assistant was very good at answering all submitted questions, and did so quickly."
This course has been a valuable resource for me and an excellent value. I came into the class skeptical about whether I could manage as a consultant and came out more confident that I probably could do so. The discussion sessions added additional insight for me. The extensive web site links were also very beneficial. This has been a very enriching experience for me."
This is an outstanding course that provides the student with a framework for launching their own business. The lessons and assignments are extremely practical and they easily engage the student in the process of developing a blueprint for their business. The quizzes are designed to provide immediate feedback so the student can readily determine why they may have missed a specific item and then study the material in order to learn what the correct response should have been. The links to supplemental materials are quite comprehensive. I can't imagine how this course could be improved upon. It's outstanding just the way it is."
This was a very good course for someone who is just pulling together thoughts on starting a consulting practice."
Course Code: sc1
In your first lesson, you will learn about all of the characteristics of running your own consulting business. You will have the opportunity to take an entrepreneurial career test that will help you determine if owing a consulting company is a good decision for you. You will also discover alternatives that will allow you to offer your consulting services without the issues associated with self-employment. You will discover how to lay the foundation for success as a consultant. Then you will learn to recognize the prospects of independent consulting and explore 20 of the most common fields. You will meet some successful consultants in various industries to discover how they started and grew their businesses.
In this lesson, you will work through a series of exercises designed to help you pinpoint your area of expertise. You will read two case studies about consultants who, after assessing their skills and backgrounds, started practices quit different from what they originally envisioned. Then you will begin taking steps toward actually creating your consulting firm. You will learn to set concrete goals and how to use them in your strategies for attracting clients.
In this lesson, you will learn how to craft a fundamental business plan, and learn how to use a basic planning template to develop the business plan for your individual company. You will learn how to research the marketplace to uncover clients’ needs and discern how other consulting practices operate. You will also work on establishing your pricing structure and determine what specific services you will offer. Then you will learn about the eight physical steps you will need to follow to start off right. You will examine issues related to licensing, legal construction, naming your business, and choosing a business-card style that will get you noticed.
In this lesson, you will explore the financial aspects of your company. You will begin by developing a series of budgets for various stages of your company’s growth. You will create a complete start-up budget, and then forecast your ongoing expenses for one year. You will then estimate your gross income and use the income and expense figures to estimate your potential profit. You will learn about billing and several options that can help you cash flow. Then you will discover how to correctly identify the kinds of customers who want or need your services. You will learn to use two market analysis tools: demographics and psychographics.
In this lesson, you will learn how to select advertising forms that will best reach your customers. You will use a marketing plan worksheet to detail which forms of advertising you will use to reach each type of client. You will learn about the major difference in strategy between marketing to a consumer clientele and a commercial clientele. Then you will learn about the seven basic components that comprise your record keeping system. You will discover which kinds of records you should keep for management and tax purposes. You will learn about the calculations you will need to perform and how to read the financial condition of your company. Then you will practice these computations using real-world scenarios.
In this final lesson, you will learn the basics of business tax deductions and how to estimate your business taxes. You will discover how to work with your accountant to properly plan for tax time and help minimize your tax obligations. Then you will learn about dozens of resources that can provide you with assistance as you build your business. You will discover information about government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as local organizations that exist to serve entrepreneurs like you.
William Flood is a small business consultant, speaker, and the owner of Horizon Business Services, a small-business training firm. He has conducted training seminars for over 15 years, reaching over 35,000 students. Mr. Flood has extensive experience working with home-based businesses in such diverse areas as mail order, consulting, import/export, e-commerce, and real estate investing. A dedicated entrepreneur, he regularly works as a volunteer counselor for the Maryland Small Business Development Center, and was nominated in 1991 for the Small Business Administration's Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Mr. Flood holds a master's degree from the University of Delaware.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.
Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.