Finding the right business format is a fundamental challenge for new consultants. Another is finding the right specialty. Thanks to the proliferation of technology, the range of potential specialties is enormous; network design, desktop publishing, and Internet training are just a few examples.
Established consultants make two unanimous observations. First, it's essential to stay on top of your specialty. Unless you provide the latest information and applications, your assistance isn't worth much. Second, be prepared to change with the market. Schilt, for instance, had to re-engineer his firm just a few years after start-up. "The case technology we had been focusing on was being replaced by client-server systems," Schilt explains. "We had to invest a significant amount of money to adapt to that change. It was a challenge, but one that allowed us to stay ahead of the market."