Business Consulting Certification – A Business Consulting Career


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Business consulting, also called management consulting, is a career field that is becoming more popular with strategic planning consultants, finance consultants, business associates, supply chain management consultants, business analysts, financial analysts, process improvement consultants, and risk management consultants. Consultants work with company leaders in a variety of areas, including strategic planning, process efficiency, communications within the organization, and more. Though it is not a regulated industry in the United States, many client companies are beginning to hire for certified consultants over non-certified ones. Consulting certifications can be earned through a training course and qualifying exam.Some traditional universities and college offer degree programs in management consulting but these are usually thousands of dollars and take years to complete. In contrast, business consulting certification training courses can cost under a thousand dollars and be completed in less than six months. The most flexible format for these courses is an online format. This flexibility allows students to keep their full-time jobs while pursuing the business consulting certificate. Lecture videos, study guides and memorization aids are all used to help students learn the fundamentals of business consulting. Theses guides and aids assist in preparing the students for the qualifying exam, increasing the success rate on first-time test takers.

Good business consulting certification courses also teach the best practices in the field of management consulting. Students learn how to structure consulting assignments most effectively. Client garnering and retention are addressed. Good courses also train their students in consulting delivery models and service line management. Marketing considerations, such as branding, are also considered. An overall view of business consulting as a business helps students confidently build their own consulting companies if that is their wish. However, some students are entry level workers for a consulting firm and simply want to advance in the company they already work for. Training courses are beneficial for both kinds of student.Management consultants are in the business of increasing efficiency and productivity. However, making a business more efficient does not mean cutting out integrity. Business consulting certification training courses also teach the ethical and legal compliance issues in the consulting business. A less than reputable business name is a very difficult thing to overcome, so it behooves students to start out and stay strong in high business ethics. After passing the certification exam, business consultants can add the certification credential to their business cards, resumes, and websites. Some courses even offer resources and support after the completion of the course to help ensure continued success.

What to Look For in an SEO Consultant Before Hiring

If you want to increase traffic and sales for your online business, then hiring an SEO consultant might be the solution. These people specialize in search engine optimization; keep up with the latest trends in search engine modifications, website optimization, and internet marketing. There are a ton of consultants that want to do business with you and start working on your site right now. But what should you look for in an SEO consultant before you close a deal with one?

The right personality

We’re not looking for a salesman with a charming smile here. We’re looking for an SEO consultant that doesn’t go over-the-top with selling himself. “10,000 customers in a month!” sure sounds like a great deal, but a good look at SEO should already tell you that it’s an impossible guarantee. You should also look out for consultants that “guarantee” you things. A consultant that’s too much of an optimist will likely disappoint you in the end. We’re looking for a realistic one with a good head on their shoulders and a good business attitude. That type of consultant will give you results that you’re likely to hear about on a regular basis and keep his mind on optimizing your business.

The right know-how

Basic knowledge on SEO will help you a lot with finding a good SEO consultant. It’ll help with asking the right questions which will land you the answer to the question, “Does this guy really know what he’s talking about?” SEO means keeping up with the trend, knowing what your target customers want to see, and getting you more traffic that increases the chances of getting more customers. Your consultant should know how to do all that specifically for your business.

Synchronized outlook

A top notch SEO consultant should know how to work what you want to happen to your website into the current search trend, and tailor your website into something that will achieve your business goals. He can also advise on a compromise if you, a person that doesn’t have the same expertise as he does in SEO, have ideas that just won’t work with the current trend. In short, your consultant should be able to work with you without pulling maverick moves on your website like it was his own while pulling traffic and customers in at the same time.A good portfolio

Looking into your SEO consultant’s background will do you and your business a great service. You can ask for a portfolio upfront and an experienced consultant would already have one ready for you. It’s always results we’re after in the SEO business, and you’ll want a consultant with a good background if you want good results.

The right price

It’s easy to work scams into this type of business, so you need to beware prices that are either too high or too low. A good consultant will give you a reasonable price for your reasonable demands and produce good results out of it not only for the profit (although that’s a huge part of it, since they’re still running a business after all) but also as another great addition to their portfolio for their future customers.

Consulting Agreements – Key Provisions

Consulting agreements are commonly used by businesses today. Consulting agreements can range from one page to 20 or more pages depending on the subject matter of the agreement and whether other agreements between the parties are included or are incorporated by reference. This summary will discuss in more detail the terms of the Sample Consulting Agreement form and the legal rights and obligations created under the agreement, as well as provisions that could be adapted to specific circumstances and arrangements.

Provisions of the Agreement and Duties and Obligations Created

The consulting agreement is an agreement between a consultant and a client that wishes to retain certain specified services of the consultant for a specified time at a specified rate of compensation. As indicated previously, the terms of the agreement can be quite simple or very complex. Below is a discussion of the more important issues to be considered in every consulting agreement.

Scope of Work, Time, Compensation

It is important that the agreement for consulting services outline the specific services to be provided. Often a consulting agreement will contain an exhibit that lists the services expected of the consultant. This list can then be amended if necessary without the need to amend the entire agreement.The time period in which the consultant is expected to complete his or her task should also be included in the agreement if applicable. Depending on the situation, the consultant may be expected to devote a specific number of hours per week or per month to the project, or may charge a flat fee when the services are more specific in nature. The hiring company may wish to include a “hold-back” provision alerting the consultant that a certain amount of the compensation will be withheld until the consultant has completed the task. Obviously, the inclusion of a hold-back provision and the amount that is “held-back” are often points of contention and should be negotiated.

Term and Termination

The term of the agreement is typically quantified in months or years. Most likely it will coincide with the compensation schedule. The client should also protect its interests by allowing it to terminate the agreement under certain conditions. Typically these conditions are (1) breach of confidentiality or non-solicitation provisions of the agreement, or (2) illegal activities that affect consultant’s performance under the agreement. Without this right to terminate the agreement, the client is obligating itself to the consultant even if the consultant has taken actions contrary to the client.

Copyrights and Data

The consulting agreement should address the use of the consultant’s work. Some agreements allow the client complete use of the physical product delivered by the consultant and may not include an assignment of copyright on the assumption that the consultant will want to retain the copyright. The best position for the client is to get complete ownership of not only the tangible documents that the consultant prepares, but also the copyrights to those documents. However, the consultant may demand considerable more compensation to assign this right making it impractical. It is very important, however, for the parties to clearly understand their respective rights relating to not only the physical documents but the copyrights as well.

Conflict of Interest; Non-Solicitation

Clients should consider including a non-competition clause in the agreement, at least for the term of the agreement and within the market area of the client. Any non-competition clause must be reasonable to be enforceable. Most consulting agreements also include a statement that the consultant will not solicit the client’s employees for at least the term of the agreement.

Miscellaneous Provisions

After spending considerable time negotiating the services to be performed, the compensation, the ownership rights to the work product, etc. it is often easy for parties to neglect the miscellaneous provisions that one typically finds at the end of the agreement. The parties should always pay careful attention to what law will govern the agreement, how disputes will be resolved, and, probably most importantly, the assignability of the rights and obligations under the agreement. Typically, the rights and obligations are not assignable since the client is hiring the consultant because of the consultant’s specific expertise and the consultant is agreeing to perform the services only for the client. There may be situations, however, where an assignment may be necessary, i.e. the client merges with or into another entity.Summary

Consulting agreements are frequently used in today’s business world and vary in complexity from simple, one-page documents to very complex, 20+ page documents. The terms detailed above, however, should be considered as basic requirements for any consulting agreement. With the key terms detailed in a written agreement, the parties will have reasonable expectations about services to be performed under the agreement and the consequences if those expectations are not met.