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Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of The Society for the Advancement of Consulting, LLC - Issue #35: August, 2006

Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of the Society for Advancement of Consulting, LLC
  • Reading the Wall Street Journal (or similar publications): Read the headlines on every page. If you know an article interests you, read it at the time. If you're not sure, read the last paragraphs first. If you believe you may need it for some work or writing, tear it out, MARK on it the exact date, and put it in an appropriate folder or calendar.
     
  • If you sit in a bulkhead row on an airplane, no one can put their seatback in your lap, especially useful if you have a large lap top computer, and vital if you're not in first class.
     
  • If you can, lower the register of your voice when addressing a small meeting. This provides more authority and confidence. Never end a declarative sentence on an "up" inflection, as if it's a question.
     
  • No matter how expensive the suit, if it's wrong for that time of year (heavy material during a hot summer), then it's still going to be inappropriate.
     
  • Blue Cross does insure one-person corporations, meaning a solo practitioner and his or her dependents. The payments for their top coverage (Coast to Coast) would be about $10,000 or so a year, but it's probably not a bad buy in this health market.
     
  • If you don't like a fee, interest rate, or charge on your credit card bill, contact the company. They will reverse charges (e.g., late fees) nine times out of ten if it's not common for you, and will reduce interest rates about half the time if you threaten to take your business elsewhere (and your business is considerable).
     
  • At mid-year, it's a good idea to send a summary of your financials to your tax accountants, so that they can intelligently plan what you need to accommodate for taxes at year-end and next April. It's not too late to do that now.
     
  • Do not buy large volumes of brochures, presentation folders, products, catalogs, etc., even though you'll be told that the discount for larger volume is significant. Anything that lasts you more than a year is bound to become obsolete before used up. In this business, change and reinvention is normal. Don't be trapped by huge inventory.
     
  • Are you sending out at least one press release a month, and preferably a week? Not only does this keep you name in front of clients, it raises your change of media exposure and increases your visibility on search engines. This is one of the cheapest, effective forms of "viral marketing."
     
  • Most records need to be kept a maximum of five years. Plan to toss anything six years old. Your accountant can give you a list of how long to keep particular records (e.g., expense reimbursements two years, tax returns five years, etc.).
 
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