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Consultants: brainstorming challenge

 
#1 Consultants: brainstorming challenge
17/06/2011 16:06

Mik

Hello consultants,

To begin with, few words about myself:

I am originally Hungarian. I made the mistake of discontinuing consulting my clients and leaving them behind for a management position in Sweden. It was actually a good step to take but I very much regret having dropped my clients.

That was early 2009. The time has come to move on and within a few months I will land in UK. I intend to reestablish my consultant career. I am not sure what it will take to restart but I intend to make it.

The meantime I started a website offering online consulting, training and management services (www.e-managementconsulting.com). I think it is a brave thing to do knowing well that every client I had in the past came through personal contact or referral. On the other hand I also know from actual practice that nearly everything can be made to work on the internet that worked in person. So I took the challenge.

This is what I would need your ideas or brainstorming about:

How could you imagine your successful consultancy business development actions be applied through the internet?

It is a brainstorming challenge, every input is welcome.

Mik

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#2 RE: Consultants: brainstorming challenge
18/06/2011 19:43

Arby the Manager to Mik (#1)

Mik,

I took a look at your website. It's a brave effort - and I wish you all the best, however you need to put some more work into it.

1) After browing 10 minutes on the site, I have no idea what you - or your company - does. Are you strategists or technologists?

2) The website is full of spelling mistakes ("lessions", "sais", "it's" when you mean "its", "wether", "busines", "Europian") which makes it seem extremely slapdash and unprofessional. OK, so you're not native English, but if you expect me to hire your firm's services, I expect either you can spell properly in English, or you are resourceful enough to hire someone to check your language.

3) Be careful of over-selling yourself and damaging your credibility. Your website makes you sound like a fully global consultancy. Global means literally global. Global means that if a client calls you from Beijing, you have guys who you can send out. Do you have the ability to travel to every country being of Hungarian nationality? Can you offer a truly global service?

4) Mentioning your fees is a big no no. Not only does it provide your crucial corporate information to your competition, but they are ludicrously low! You are pricing yourself at 1000 USD per month? So 50 USD per day? That might be enough for a student in Hungary, but it's laughably low! It reinforces the perception that you are a 1-man outfit who prices himself low because he delivers low-quality work. Boutique consultancy is not a case of "buy one, get one free" - it's about offering market-level fees for your work. In your case I laughed and closed the website.

Overall - as your website is your major selling point - it needs to be drastically improved. You need to rigorously assess yourself. What can I offer? What are my USPs? Am I really a global consultancy?

Good luck - just my 2 cents

Arby

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#3 RE: Consultants: brainstorming challenge
19/06/2011 07:33

Mik to Arby the Manager (#2)

Hi Arby,

Thank you for taking the time and looking at my site and the issue.

What you wrote is straight and I appreciate it.

What I need is exactly this kind of exterior viewpoint.

Mik

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#4 RE: Consultants: brainstorming challenge
19/06/2011 07:35

Mik to Mik (#3)

Arby,

I for sure will work on the points you mentioned.

Something else: Do you have suggestions about online business development?

Mik

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#5 RE: Consultants: brainstorming challenge
19/06/2011 15:14

Mik to Mik (#4)

Arby,

As I said I have found what you wrote helpful.

I have already removed the prices page and I will recalculate our prices.

Now, the services my consultancy is offering are delivered through the internet. It takes usually 1 or 2 longer consulting sessions a week, either by a chat application or Skype. It takes 1-2 hours plus homework, preparation for the consultant. (The first month of the 12 is different, it is more busy.) Per your experience what would be acceptable pricing? What would reflect quality? I have spent majority of my time with developing and piloting the services so I am pretty sure the quality is there.

About the typos, misspellings: There is no excuse for typos. I fix it.

About the "global or not global" question: We are delivering through the internet. It means that the services are available globally. We are also prepared to travel anywhere upon request of the client. I have a pool of consultants that I can train and delegate the work to. They are familiar with the administrative technology and solutions that we are licensed to deliver so we are ready to handle big traffic.

The whole thing is in the start-up phase, thus the amount of clients are missing. I however would like to position ourselves as global and grow big. What do you think about it?

We have our first clients but the challenge is still how to get the consultancy known? How to get it trusted through the internet? Any input is welcome on this.

Mik

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#6 RE: Consultants: brainstorming challenge
23/06/2011 12:15

Mehran Ramezani to Mik (#1)

Hey Mik,

I also took a look at your website and I was very impressed.

I wish you all the best and good luck!!

Mehran

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#7 RE: Consultants: brainstorming challenge
25/06/2011 14:48

Mik to Mehran Ramezani (#6)

Thanks Mehran,

It's nice to hear a good opinion.

Guys, I intended to start this thread to get some good ideas - or any ideas - about online consultancy business development. That is how to approach companies through the internet to build up a good relation, trust and converting them into clients.

Can anyone help me with this?

Mik

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#8 RE: Consultants: brainstorming challenge
26/06/2011 14:54

baykus to Mik (#1)

Hi Mik,

First off, good luck with the start-up!

Having said that, I'm going to be honest with my critique.

The following are what went through my head when browsing your site (of course I am a consultant myself, so a potential customer may not share these views):

- I've got no idea what expertise you actually offer - your suggested areas of knowledge are way too broad to be credible for a single person, unless you've got a good 15-20 years of consulting under your belt

- The one proof of your experience is a graph offered with no context

- You have a "partner organisation" deal, which is just weird to me. Are you a consultancy or a franchise?

- This is strengthened by your being part of ABS, which could be a valid and selective institution, but at first glance looks like a certificate mill

- Your toolbox appears to be based on WISE, i.e. L Ron Hubbard's / scientology. This is not a religious dig, but I sincerely doubt many non-scientologists are going to be looking to use this toolbox

To sum up, in all honesty, your site looks like a one-man shop with a few years' experience trying to appear as a much larger / experienced company.

This is not meant as an attack. This is what I think when I see your site, and I hope my feedback may be of use.

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#9 RE: Consultants: brainstorming challenge
26/06/2011 21:28

Mik to baykus (#8)

Hi,

Thanks for the honesty.

I sum up what I have extrapolated from your feed backs so far:

- The main selling point is the website. I need to improve that.

- You can't see what my consultancy is delivering. It is too broad an area, it is lacking in a specific USP or specific USPs. (I fix it. Currently I am developing a franchisee management system for franchises and will refine it together with certain franchises as part of a consultant post graduate program. It is my USP that I specialize myself on. I will develop something more specific for my consultancy as well that I can train other consultants in. Then I need to find a simple but good way to communicate it on the website.)

- The site is lacking in proof for experience and competence. (i.e. testimonials, etc.)

- You both got the idea after reading through the site that it is a one-man band. Which is currently true as all the traffic the consultancy has is handled by me. However I have consultants that I will feed with work as soon as the number of clients increase.

I have a few questions about the aboves:

- How do I demonstrate experience and credibility through the internet? What comes to my mind are testimonials, graphs, known companies who use this admininstrative technology. Is there anything else anyone can think of? (I got the point with WISE. I am trained in this administrative toolbox. I think the challenge is how to make it credible. I have learned this technology as it worked out for me very well. Or at least I can apply it with good results. It wouldn't be fair to omit it from the site.)

- What are those points that suggest it is a one-man shop? How can I fix it? As I said I am the "one man" but it is organized in a way that it can grow with the increasing amount of clients. So I would like to give an impression of a professional consultancy, not a consultant.

Any input is welcome.

Mik

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#10 RE: Consultants: brainstorming challenge
27/06/2011 10:02

Arby the Manager to Mik (#9)

Hi Mik

I did not actually realize that you are affiliated with the WISE methodology - something I did not notice on the site. Noticing it now, however, it does seem to explain some of the generalist aspects of the site. Whilst I don't intend to get into a debate on the merits of Scientology - it seems that your website is more geared to disseminating the business fundamentals of the Church of Scientology.

I would echo the words of the previous poster - that many, many leading organizations will not want to get involved with such a controversial methodology - much less subject their employees to it. Those that will be interested, will most likely already be known to you or your network.

Arby

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#11 RE: Consultants: brainstorming challenge
27/06/2011 15:39

Mik to Arby the Manager (#10)

Hi,

I am facing here something unexpected.

First of all I did not think that I will run into an issue of bad reputation. Now when we are already in it: Has anyone had any personal bad experience with a WISE consultant? I am wondering where this bad reputation is coming from.

I don't want to pretend stupid, I have also run into bad reputation on a rumor level. But what I have read and observed for myself did make sense and has worked. In Hungary and also in Sweden results talk. No client had a problem with it as long as we could get from A to B with the company. It is also true that I had/have clients from the small and middle-sized businesses, not the big or leading ones.

I know that the Church is using the same system of administration but I did not hang up on it.

Anyhow, what I intend to accomplish is to put together a USP or USPs for the benefit of the client. Pure consulting, and to get rolling. I am using my experience and my current knowledge. WISE admin technology is not the only thing that I am operating on. I have observed many successful solutions and ways of doing things in companies that I consulted plus I am enrolled on a post graduate consultant program as well.

So guys I really do not want to hang up this thread on this point.

Mik

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