How to avoid legal problems in consulting

via GIPHY I posted a newsletter recently entitled “When Clients Don’t Pay”. I got a lot of responses in email, which is always encouraging. I’m happy to know that folks are reading and getting something out of my ideas. One colleague suggested that I modify my last point about going to court. He suggested that …

How best to do discovery in cloud & devops engagements?

via GIPHY Customers reach out to me asking to do implementations, that is architecting applications, deploying code to the cloud, optimizing, tuning, and automating all the things. Join 38,000 others and follow Sean Hull on twitter @hullsean. But there are also a portion of engagements the require an amount of discovery. Some of that is …

Why I ask clients for a deposit

Join 25,000 others and follow Sean Hull on twitter @hullsean. 1. It indicates both parties are serious A common refrain when discussing terms of a project, and reviewing statement of work – “when shall we get started?”. The answer should be, “I’m ready to get started anytime you like. Would you like to use paypal …

When You're Hired to Solve a People Problem

Also find Sean Hull’s ramblings on twitter @hullsean. A good five years ago I worked for a firm in online education. Among various products they provided through their website, they were struggling with a process to get content churned out more quickly. The bottleneck was slowing down their business, and limiting the new products they …

When Clients Don't Pay – Consulting War Stories

Also find Sean Hull’s ramblings on twitter @hullsean. It’s a cold cold winter out there, so as they say you need money to keep the lights on? Yep, that’s true whether you’re a small business or a consultant. Everyone has to pay their bills. Or do they? It’s an unfortunate fact of life in business, …

Going Solo for Fun or Profit?

Sara Horowitz has serious chops. Independent herself, she started Freelancer’s Union way back in 1995. Back then it was tougher as a freelancer. Through her great efforts, we’ve all benefited. So when I saw she’d published a guide called “Freelancer’s Bible”, I was quick to grab a copy. And the book doesn’t disappoint. I wish …

You're Too Young To Be My Boss

About a year ago I engaged with a firm to do some operations work on their site. They provided services to colleges and universities. When they first reached out to me, they were rather quick to respond to my proposal. They seemed to think the quote was very reasonable. I also did some due diligence …

Beware the client

Recently I was searching Google for “startup consultant” to see what I might find. I came across this article by John Greathouse titled Beware the Consultant. No self-respecting, hard-working consultant would sit back and take hits without defense, so in true poetry slam style I thought I’d write a quick retort. Beware the Client… The …

Consulting essentials: Managing & Completing Engagements

This is the second in a series of three articles on Consulting Essentials. Read the previous post, Consulting essentials: Getting the business Communicating well and knowing when to step in or stand back is the linchpin of successful consulting. Some people have natural charm. If you’re one of these people you’ll find consulting is definitely …

Consulting essentials: Getting the business

Over the years, a lot of people have approached me asking how to become a tech consultant. What do I need to do to get started? How can I take my first step? I also hear from managers and CEOs that have asked how I got my start, and how I keep the business running. …