Consulting ? Is it in YOUR Career Future?

Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
Re: Consulting – Is it in YOUR Career Future?

Congratulations with your decision to go out on your own.
I made the decision 25+ years ago and never looked back. :agree1:

I would go with 5M Services. I added Mother Nature (= Environment).
Your logo could be a graphics play on the 5 sources of variation:
Man-Machine-Methods-Material-Mother Nature.

Just an idea.

Stijloor.

"Man" may seem anachronistic to some, and there's one more "m": MONEY :tg:
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
Re: Consulting – Is it in YOUR Career Future?

"Man" may seem anachronistic to some, and there's one more "m": MONEY :tg:
I thought about the "man" part and was searching for equivalents. Um, People, process.... I wasn't able to finish the list.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
Re: Consulting – Is it in YOUR Career Future?

I have a question about naming a startup consultancy.

It's not rhetorical. I am set to start establishing a consultancy in which I offer services in management systems setup and auditing, human performance management, measuring results, balanced scorecards, and training. My focus is on organizations of all sizes and I eventually want to establish myself Corporate Social Responsibility in particular.

In addition my husband will eventually take part as an IT systems consultant for small business.

I have been thinking about a name for the business (for profit). I wanted to ask my friends here what they think about 4M Business Services with the tag line Man+Material+Machine+Management=RESULTS.

4mbusinessservices.com is available as a domain name. So is 4mservices.com.

Those who do not know me well can get to know me through my Stealth Quality Series articles. Since a name should communicate a brand I thought it might be helpful to direct you to them.

What is your opinion?
IMO:
A company name that needs a "tag line" to explain what it does is just wasted space on a website, a letterhead, or a carton label.

"Business Services" is so generic - a janitorial service is a "business service."

The name probably should be able to instantly identify what you do when you are a startup. Initials may seem cute and catchy, but IBM built its reputation as "International Business Machines" and customers and competitors began referring to it by initials before the official name change because it had already built its reputation.

You probably do not want to waste time and energy in advertising and promotion just to connect the company name with the service.

A giant consulting firm of long standing with hundreds or even thousands of employees can successfully promote itself as being capable and having the capacity to provide ANY consulting specialty over a number of sites, but most startups do better by establishing themselves as specialists in one niche (a field of consulting or a category of industry.) That way they don't dilute their energy or advertising and promotion money by trying to be "all things to all people."

:topic:

My machining company had its biggest boost came from a name change. We went from "Consolidated Products" to "The Machining Source." We no longer got phone calls meant for "Consolidated Printers" or "Consolidated Steel."

I wrote a little about the business changes we underwent in these posts.
Wes Bucey on an efficient shop - empowerment
(broken link removed)
Our primary change, though, was that we went from trying to sell to EVERYONE to dealing with only 3 niche industries.

We went from working with parts ranging from less than a half inch in any dimension and also with giant castings and parts where we needed a crane to move them
to
no part bigger than a human fist.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
Re: Consulting – Is it in YOUR Career Future?

IMO:
A company name that needs a "tag line" to explain what it does is just wasted space on a website, a letterhead, or a carton label.

"Business Services" is so generic - a janitorial service is a "business service."

The name probably should be able to instantly identify what you do when you are a startup. Initials may seem cute and catchy, but IBM built its reputation as "International Business Machines" and customers and competitors began referring to it by initials before the official name change because it had already built its reputation.

You probably do not want to waste time and energy in advertising and promotion just to connect the company name with the service.

A giant consulting firm of long standing with hundreds or even thousands of employees can successfully promote itself as being capable and having the capacity to provide ANY consulting specialty over a number of sites, but most startups do better by establishing themselves as specialists in one niche (a field of consulting or a category of industry.) That way they don't dilute their energy or advertising and promotion money by trying to be "all things to all people."

:topic:

My machining company had its biggest boost came from a name change. We went from "Consolidated Products" to "The Machining Source." We no longer got phone calls meant for "Consolidated Printers" or "Consolidated Steel."

I wrote a little about the business changes we underwent in these posts.
Wes Bucey on an efficient shop - empowerment
(broken link removed)
Our primary change, though, was that we went from trying to sell to EVERYONE to dealing with only 3 niche industries.

We went from working with parts ranging from less than a half inch in any dimension and also with giant castings and parts where we needed a crane to move them
to
no part bigger than a human fist.
All good stuff, thank you. :thanks: I have been thinking about just what to offer that's my own. It's actually kind of hard to settle on that but I have been going somewhere with the Stealth Quality thing, especially in understanding results. But I don't want to use Stealth Quality because it's something I have to explain. In fact, I want to leave out the word Quality altogether because it's mostly viewed as "fitness for use."

And there is the fact that my husband will eventually be offering his IT services.

Any ideas? I wanted to come up with something that communicates measuring value, or understanding results, but good names for that escape me.
 

Stijloor

Leader
Super Moderator
Re: Consulting – Is it in YOUR Career Future?

All good stuff, thank you. :thanks: I have been thinking about just what to offer that's my own. It's actually kind of hard to settle on that but I have been going somewhere with the Stealth Quality thing, especially in understanding results. But I don't want to use Stealth Quality because it's something I have to explain. In fact, I want to leave out the word Quality altogether because it's mostly viewed as "fitness for use."

And there is the fact that my husband will eventually be offering his IT services.

Any ideas? I wanted to come up with something that communicates measuring value, or understanding results, but good names for that escape me.

Give it some thought and go with what inspires you and your husband. Let your heart speak. I value the feedback from Cove Members. Just be careful not to end up with a camel. You know what a camel is? It's a horse designed by a committee. :lol:

A catchy name. If your interested and potential Clients want to know more..they can go to your website. That will be your most important introduction piece.

Stijloor.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
Re: Consulting – Is it in YOUR Career Future?

Give it some thought and go with what inspires you and your husband. Let your heart speak. I value the feedback from Cove Members. Just be careful not to end up with a camel. You know what a camel is? It's a horse designed by a committee. :lol:

A catchy name. If your interested and potential Clients want to know more..they can go to your website. That will be your most important introduction piece.

Stijloor.
What about Value Added Consulting? Is that too goofy?

About 18 years ago my sister did a good job in naming her business Costumes, Period. She does (you guessed it) period costumes of all sorts. She does other things too, but that's her brand and she's really good at it.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
Re: Consulting – Is it in YOUR Career Future?

My husband suggests Sensible Solutions Consulting. I thought this was a good deal more dignified than Value Added Consultants.

I welcome any input because I view this community as a group of people who arguably know me better than I know myself. Let's think of this as a focus group. :thanks:
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
Re: Consulting – Is it in YOUR Career Future?

My husband suggests Sensible Solutions Consulting. I thought this was a good deal more dignified than Value Added Consultants.

I welcome any input because I view this community as a group of people who arguably know me better than I know myself. Let's think of this as a focus group. :thanks:

  1. Think about your market (What industries, what geographies?)
  2. Think about WHO within a company in your target market is the person whose attention you need to grab? [job title]
  3. What problem is he facing [that you can solve?]
  4. What can the title of your company say to convey the impression you may have the solution he thinks he needs?

Companies rarely hire outside consultants unless they perceive a need they can't [or haven't been able to] satisfy with inside people.

I want to reinforce the idea that consulting is a BUSINESS. It is not enough to be expert in the field of knowledge; consultants have to rack up some successes where value has been given to the client in return for the fee. Those success stories don't have to be for the consulting "business" for startups, but then the consultant him/herself MUST have some success stories to tell in order to sew up the engagement contract.

I know dozens of auditors (internal, second party, and third party.) They all know the Standard which they audit extremely well. Often, they have excellent observations for opportunities for improvement for the auditees. Sadly, all that knowledge and expertise rarely translates to working successfully as a consultant because the business part of consulting is so daunting.

I'm making a differentiation here between consulting and contracting just as I did in Post 1
Basics
First, we need just a few important definitions. Many folks confuse the terms “consultant” and ”contractor” and often use them interchangeably. Most folks I consider “consultants” probably will agree on the following definitions (If you do NOT agree, feel free to write a post detailing your reasoning.):

Consultant: An independent business person (or member of a firm of such business persons) whose primary value given is ADVICE or EDUCATION. This would include, but not be limited to, folks who advise about mergers and acquisitions and whether to add or delete product lines or enter new markets. It would also include on-site and off-site trainers of employees of an organization who come in to teach something not readily available from experts within the organization (Hazmat processes and procedures, English as a second language, etc.)
Contractor. In the sense we use here, a contractor may be completely independent or work for an agency, but he is essentially a temporary worker performing a job which would be handled by a full-time employee at an organization, but for a number of reasons which have nothing to do with this discussion (perhaps another thread?), the organization prefers the temporary status of the person fulfilling the function. Such temporary contractors include folks working as technical writers, inspectors, assemblers, internal auditors, statisticians, accountants, bookkeepers, typists, clerks, even at supervisor levels, like crew chiefs, quality managers, design engineers, process engineers, etc.

The primary difference for the purpose of this discussion is the contractor is bringing technical skill to the table, but rarely is he giving advice in planning or strategy or spending time training folks to do a task or learn a skill so he can move on to the next organization.

A secondary difference, but often blurred, is that most consultants get paid a fee for accomplishment that rarely has a direct connection to the number of hours worked or the number of pieces inspected or the number of documents written. Blurring may occur when trainers get paid according to the number of students who successfully pass a class. A consultant who comes in to help an organization achieve registration to ISO 9001:2000 may get a flat fee for educating and training the staff to be ready for a third party audit, with a bonus paid when the organization actually gets the certificate of registration. Such a consultant helps select the proper registrar, helps organization personnel write manuals and procedures, trains organization personnel to conduct a gap analysis and become internal auditors for continuing evaluation of the operations against the organization plan.

If the guy just comes in and grinds out a manual and a pile of procedures by himself in a little room, then turns them over to the organization without training the organization folks to do it themselves, the guy is really only a contractor – a technical writer for hire!
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
Re: Consulting – Is it in YOUR Career Future?

I do agree with the distinctions between consultant and contractor, but I feel sure most people don't pay a great deal of attention to it because a consultant who assists an organization in implementing a QMS could have done so if hired as a Quality Manager.

I would be doing that, plus 2nd and 3rd party auditing on contract, train in specific subjects, help people set up balanced scorecards and dashboards, and my husband would offer his IT services to include design, installation and even contract maintenance/security.

So I guess we're talking about business services because it's hands-on, but I don't know anyone who simply gives advice. Even here I supply a product from time to time.
 
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