Let me tell you the experience that i came through when i was in the shoes of a consultant the first time. I was at the age of 20 when i got my first client. It was a very short project. My dad worked in a govt. organization and he had good terms with his boss. That means i got the project because of contacts. In service business contacts helps you a lot. One client refers you to the next one and next one refers you to the other next.
My dad's office was looking to create a govt. report. The report will include his office efforts in safe gaurding office buildings from fire hazards. Recentely a govt. building caught fire in another state, so the head office was seeking the steps my dad's organization was doing aganist fire hazards.
The solution was to create building drawing of all the buildings and indicate where are the fire exits, where are the fire stations and other fire fighting instructions located in the buildings. My work was to finalize the fire locations, the fire exits in the buildings and depict in building drawing of the complete 3 buildings which were having 2 floors each. The image of the building is shown above. Although all the three buildings are nor captured in the photo, but it will get you the view how much work was involved. Wondering how was i able to create building drawings, well i am a B.E in Civil enginneering. :-)
Lessons learned in the process.
Stakeholder: Maintain the list of the stakeholder & there expectations from the assignment. What they are looking from you. It can be done by talking with them, meeting with them.
Deliverable: The deliverables were 7 building drawing sheets.
Timeline: Make sure you deliver in time. Set the expectations right first hand and deliver on time.
Fees/Cost: Let them know how much it will cost them for your service.Agree on the price & the payment modes. Whether you want it lump sum amount, Time and material or any other convienent method you both mutually agreed upon.
Deliverable options: If you can provide two options to choose, for the stakeholders it would be great. When we provide options to the cusotmer to choose from then they feel they are in control and repsond more positively.
Walkthrough: Provide a walkthorugh of your work, make them understand your point. Sell your work & move to the payment options.
Well i told you the major chunks of a consultant works. I agree there are many other things that goes in to this profession. Hope this post will ignite sparks to pursue this type of work and make some real money in this business.