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Help me understand billable hour expectations for people other than lawyers....

Help me with Web / IT consulting and billable time. Consulting firms make their money on billable hours - what percentage of a 40 hour work week needs to be billable for different roles within the company? [more inside]
posted by twiggy on Oct 24, 2007 - 7 answers

Need accounting software design with IT consulting in mind

I've been struggling to find accounting software, online or PC/Mac based (either will do) that is suitable for a computer consulting practice. I need to be able to handle the typical basic things done by QuickBooks, like invoicing and estimates, simple A/R and A/P reports, etc. But that isn't enough. I need to manage multiple bill rates on a per consultant/per customer/per job or work order basis. QuickBooks doesn't do that, and I've tried hard to find out how to make that work. Any advice, hive mind?
posted by Merdryn on Oct 3, 2007 - 3 answers

Research topic to impress job interviewer

What research topic should I do if I want to impress a future job interviewer to get into technical/business consulting or even project management sometime down the track? [more inside]
posted by gttommy on Sep 29, 2007 - 8 answers

I know we need income distribution rules in writing. What does the writing say?

How to divide up a company amongst 3 people when 2 people will be doing most of the work for the first 6-12 months. [more inside]
posted by andifsohow on Sep 27, 2007 - 10 answers

I'm waving the fee and want you to know it!

[ConsultingFeeFilter] My fee schedule outlines rush-fees, I have a new client that should officially be charged the fees for some recent work. I am not going to charge the fees and want them to know that I am giving them a pass this time, what is a good way to tell them that I am waving the fees because they are a new client and want to build our budding relationship, but make it clear that this is a one time deal? More Inside.. [more inside]
posted by Fuzzy Dog on Sep 24, 2007 - 20 answers

Help me choose a CMS, find stores for a green laptop case, and how/where to build a buzz about it.

Quadruple your pleasure! I'm a newly minted green business consultant, and would like your help on four things: finding a CMS or blog system to create a website for my business, finding places where you think a green laptop case would/should be sold, blogs/social networks to get the word out about it, and suggested protocol to approach said blogs/social networks. [more inside]
posted by healthyliving on Sep 24, 2007 - 12 answers

How do I get potential clients hooked?

I'm a software development consultant and am getting frustrated at the number of potential clients slipping through my fingers. I get a good number of interested leads through my website or through referrals (thanks guys) but the ratio of potential clients to paying clients is too low. What might I be doing wrong and how can I help gain these clients? [more inside]
posted by schwa on Aug 8, 2007 - 23 answers

Feasible? Or cuckoo? Where to begin?

My business idea...brilliant, or a waste of time? Have you, or your business, ever needed a service like this? Has any company you worked for ever employed anybody to do this? [more inside]
posted by jennyjenny on Jul 11, 2007 - 18 answers

Help me find a great solution for CRM and Project Management together

CRM / Project Management question: Help me find a solution for handling both CRM and Project Management in a seamless fashion (either via OpenAir / SalesForce, or a totally new solution) [more inside]
posted by twiggy on Jul 2, 2007 - 4 answers

How do I fast track my way into consulting?

How do I fast track my way into consulting? [more inside]
posted by gttommy on May 27, 2007 - 8 answers

IT contracting: gracefully refusing runner-up opportunities?

If you are a programmer who works on contract, how do you gracefully deal with an excess of opportunity? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 5, 2007 - 5 answers

What is required for "ethics consulting"?

I hear that sometimes businesses and other institutions hire "ethics consultants". Does anyone know anything about getting into ethics consulting or the actual day-to-day activities in ethics consulting? If not, has anyone seen an ethics consultant in action at a company? [more inside]
posted by ontic on Feb 12, 2007 - 4 answers

Thoughts on consulting: Hell or just Heck?

Thoughts on consulting: Hell or just Heck? Despite the headline, I'm interesting on hearing both negatives and the positives. It's that time of year again where people freak out about getting their BA and then embarking on the Great Hereafter, and somewhere in this path, the mutterings of 'consulting' are heard. Weigh in, AskMe. [more inside]
posted by lilithim on Jan 3, 2007 - 14 answers

W-9 Form for Canadian Residents

Do I need to fill out a W-9 form if I live in Canada but do consulting work for an American company? [more inside]
posted by blue_beetle on Dec 6, 2006 - 3 answers

Uh, I can't talk to you unless you pay me.

Now that I'm consulting, how can I gracefully tell colleagues that I'm not going to give them free advice? [more inside]
posted by arielmeadow on Oct 26, 2006 - 19 answers

Getting rid of a bad client

How do I gracefully get rid of a client with whom I don't want to work any more? [more inside]
posted by Doofus Magoo on Aug 23, 2006 - 24 answers

How should I handle this sticky job situation?

How should I handle this sticky job situation? I was offered a job, declined, have worked as a consultant, and now they hired an executive and charged him with tasks I would have been doing had I taken the job. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 22, 2006 - 10 answers

How do I come up with an hourly rate for a contract programming job?

I need to come up with an hourly rate for a contract programming job, and have no idea where to start. [more inside]
posted by mcstayinskool on Jun 29, 2006 - 12 answers

Starting consulting in the UK

Where can I find consulting contracts/agreement templates specific to the UK? [more inside]
posted by ukdanae on Jun 28, 2006 - 3 answers

How to find a Freelance PHP Programmer?

Where can I go to find a reliable freelancer to do some PHP programming for me? [more inside]
posted by bleucube on Jun 19, 2006 - 14 answers

What rate should I charge a nonprofit for web & db development work?

I'm looking at taking on a freelance consulting project for a nonprofit in the SF Bay Area that involves creating web interfaces to a SQL Server backend. This would be my first non-voluntary (i.e., >$0) freelance project. What rate should I ask for? [more inside]
posted by treepour on Jun 9, 2006 - 8 answers

I have the power...now what do I want?

What's the best way for me to structure going from being a full-time, on site employee to a half-time, offsite one? [more inside]
posted by fuzzbean on Apr 12, 2006 - 3 answers

Growing a computer forensic investigation business

How can I grow my DC area computer forensic investigation business? [more inside]
posted by procrastination on Mar 29, 2006 - 10 answers

Case Interview Tips

Case Interview Tips. I'm applying to several business analyst/consulting jobs that require a case interview as part of the screening process. I've never done one of these and I'd like to hear your experiences with them. [more inside]
posted by sciurus on Feb 14, 2006 - 7 answers

One Good Job Deserves Another

How can my housemate turn down a job offer he's verbally accepted? So my housemate (not me...I wish) was offered a job this fall at Bank of America after doing an internship in cash equities sales there last summer. He verbally accepted it but hasn't submitted the signed contract yet. While he liked what he was doing he wasn't completely smitten, so this winter he interviewed for other jobs at various firms and today landed a job as a consultant at Bain. How can he gracefully get out of the BoA job without pissing too many people off or facing potential sanctions? [more inside]
posted by reflexed on Jan 27, 2006 - 30 answers

AppleScript + Consulting = Profit?

I was laid off recently and want to use my knowledge of AppleScript to do some consulting. I have a meeting this week about automating tasks for a local newspaper, but am uncertain how to bill such a project. [more inside]
posted by the biscuit man on Jan 22, 2006 - 1 answer

Can I got back to school and have a life at the same time?

How can I cut my work hours in half and have my pay scale down accordingly? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 30, 2005 - 10 answers

Marketing Guru

Any actual, personal experience with famous "Marketing genius", Jay Abraham? Or do you know somebody who actually used his consulting services? [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Nov 25, 2005 - 7 answers

Zen and the Art of IT Diplomacy

Help! I'm so very stressed out. How do I convince my luddite of a boss that our office desperately needs a regularly scheduled IT person? I even have a perfect person in mind. [more inside]
posted by abbyladybug on Nov 9, 2005 - 12 answers

Why should I lose money if you needed to reschedule at the last minute?

Should I bill clients for scheduled appointments they missed? [more inside]
posted by Wild_Eep on Oct 24, 2005 - 26 answers

select count(hours_billable) from day where status between idle and working;

Ethics in billing IT hours: I'm not 'working' but I'm not 'not-working'. How can I bill for my time? This is a lot more than just being on-call. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 13, 2005 - 18 answers

Should I create a business?

For a friend, "I run a small computer consulting business on the side in my spare time. I have a bit over two dozen clients and do regular work for a handful of them. My question is, does it make sense to go thru the process of creating a business? What advantages or disadvantages would this give me? How much would it cost? Any other uggestions/ideas/comments/etc.. would be great! Thanks!"
posted by k8t on Sep 5, 2005 - 5 answers

freelance- no taxes? no way!

I have a question about risk and ethics in freelancing- computer programming and web design. [more inside]
posted by pissfactory on Aug 29, 2005 - 13 answers

What's a good gift for my newly employed friend.

My buddy just got hired, right out of university, by a big-shot consulting firm. What's a good, cheap gift I can give him? [more inside]
posted by sid on Mar 18, 2005 - 18 answers

Hey programmers? Any experience on switching from full time to consulting?

After 5 years working my full time corporate programming day job I'm almost ready to give up the security to spend the majority of my time on exciting non-profit open source projects. But for various reasons I want to keep the corporate job on a consulting basis. Any advice on how to negotiate going from full time to part time? [more inside]
posted by lips on Mar 16, 2005 - 6 answers

Invoicing smack down!

I'm new to the consulting world AND my mind has erased anything practical it might have learned in college accounting courses. My client is really slow to pay me, and I want to start charging them interest for overdue balances. My google-foo is failing, I can't seem to find any bookkeeping tutorials that tell me how to calculate this (daily? weekly? how much?), or even how to format/word it on my invoices. Can anyone either tell me how to do this, or direct me to an appropriate web resource?
posted by Kololo on Feb 28, 2005 - 6 answers

Specifying what we expect in an internet tech consulting agreement

I'm trying to build a consulting agreement for a internet technology research and development project. The deliverables are basically a functional spec and an architecture proposal. Does anyone have any experience with this type of engagement? How did you measure the quality on the deliverable? Where do you draw the line between what's acceptable work, and what's not?
posted by lilboo on Dec 9, 2004 - 3 answers

Work Phone

My consulting business has gotten busy enough (knock on wood) to warrant not using my personal cell phone number as the first line of communication. What I need is a service that creates a local phone number, has a customizable voicemail system that can fwd to my cell, office, whereever.

Is there such a thing, or should I just get a second cell phone?
posted by omidius on Dec 6, 2004 - 10 answers

Search Engine Optimization?

My company retained a consulting firm to improve our search engine placement, but our web site is no longer showing up in Google searches that it definitely should. I believe the consulting firm screwed up royally by adding this line of HTML to our home page:

[the more, she is inside] [more inside]
posted by alphanerd on Jun 23, 2004 - 17 answers

Small-business Web Design

When my company discusses web design service with potential clients, they generally *always* balk and get ornery about the cost. Most of the time, we're working for small businesses, so understandably, $5-$10k is a substantial chunk of change for people to shell out. We don't get upset when we lose bids for being too expensive because we've always been taught that compromising our rate is not the solution... you simply can't meet everyone's budget. That being said, we turn away enough people who expect websites to cost $500-$1500 that I think there might be a market supportive enough to create solutions for. [come inside, won'tcha?] [more inside]
posted by Hankins on May 13, 2004 - 37 answers

Medical Reimbursement Plan - what does the IRS require?

I've recently started a company, structured as a 'C' Corp, to sell my consulting/contracting services. One of the reasons I'm working as a 'C' corporation is so I can have the company pay all medical expenses. I've read from the web and various IRS publications that as long as the Medical Reimbursement Plan is offered to all employees equally (no problem there) then it can be paid for by the company and written off on the corp taxes. But in order to make the MRP legit what, other then limiting medical expenses to those listed as acceptable by the IRS, do I need to do? Special records? Outside plan administrator?
posted by dirtylittlemonkey on Apr 6, 2004 - 3 answers

Freelance Copy Editing

Freelance Copy Editing- my wife is hoping to make some money on the side with her mad English skillz. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by COBRA! on Feb 3, 2004 - 12 answers

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