Course Introduction

Jul. 14, 2020 by

Welcome to the Consulting Crash Course.

This course teaches how consulting works from a practical and legal standpoint. It covers topics like choosing your legal structure, accounting & bookkeeping, setting your rates, finding clients, and signing contracts. 

If you run a consulting / freelance business, or want to run one, this course is for you!

Course Modules

Introduction to Consulting
Start a Consulting Business
Consulting Pricing Strategies
Accounting for Consultants
Contracts for Consultants
How to Find Consulting Clients

How to Start a Consulting Business

Jul. 14, 2020 by

Welcome to the 2nd lesson in the Consulting Crash Course

In this section we're going to cover:

  • Business name & logo
  • Business cards & website
  • Choosing the business structure
  • Accounting
  • Bank accounts
  • Insurance

Before getting into it, I'm going to say right from the start that you technically don't need any of this stuff to start consulting. Finding clients and making money is the most important goal when starting your business. You can start doing business without business cards

Consulting Pricing Strategies

Jul. 14, 2020 by

Welcome to the 3rd lesson in the Consulting Crash Course

In this section we're going to cover:

  • various pricing models
  • how much to charge
  • payment terms
  • talking price with clients
  • handling objections

Pricing Models

There are various ways to set your rates and fees. 

The model you you should choose depends on your industry and experience. 

The main pricing models are:

  • Hourly - charge X per hour. This is the simplest strategy and probably what most clients expect.
Spend time consulting, not tracking time.


Accounting for Consultants

Jul. 14, 2020 by

Welcome to the 4th lesson in the Consulting Crash Course

In this section we're going to cover:

  • accounting & bookkeeping basics
  • using QuickBooks Online
  • finding an accountant
  • the process of getting paid
  • taxes and benefits
  • tracking business expenses

Accounting & Bookkeeping

Accounting & bookkeeping are related but not identical terms.

Accounting is the process of summarizing, analyzing, and communicating financial transactions to gauge the financial health of the company and report to relevant authorities (IRS, state).

Bookkeeping is the

Contracts for Consulting

Jul. 14, 2020 by

Welcome to the 5th lesson in the Consulting Crash Course

In this section we're going to cover:

  • Consulting agreements
  • NDAs or non-disclosure agreements
  • SOWs - statements of work
  • General contract advice

Consulting Agreement

It's important to sign a consulting contract so there are no disputes over billing and engagement. 

The main points you want to cover are: 

  • the client is hiring your business as an independent contractor
  • how much you should be paid
  • how often you should be paid

How to Find Consulting Clients

Jul. 14, 2020 by

Welcome to the 6th lesson in the Consulting Crash Course

In this section we're going to cover: 

  • ideal vs non-ideal clients
  • understanding your ideal client
  • how to find potential clients and work
  • closing a client

Ideal vs Non-Ideal Clients

This is very, very important. 

The clients that you work with will literally make or break your consulting business. 

If you consistently take bad projects with not enough money you won't be motivated to continue working on your business and

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Managing Consulting Projects

Jul. 14, 2020 by

Welcome to the last lesson in the Consulting Crash Course

In this lesson, we're going to cover:

  • what to do when starting a new project
  • what to do during the project
  • what to do when completing a project

Starting the Project

We've already covered alot around finding clients, negotiating price, and signing contracts in previous lessons.

As a review, here are the simple steps to start a new project:

  • Find the client and convince them to work with you.

Are You Crazy Busy?

Feb. 24, 2018 by

“Want to go out tonight?"

“I can’t. I’ve got to work this weekend. I’m super busy and have to finish X, Y, and Z before Monday.”

“Okay. How about next weekend?”

“Nope. I want to, but I still have to [rambles off todo list].”

If you’re in business, I’m sure you’ve had this conversation. You awkwardly dance your way around invitations and make up excuses for why you can’t give up your time.

Being busy is a good thing. It

Simple Isn't Easy

Feb. 17, 2018 by

Simple (adjective) - easily understood.

Easy - (adjective) - achieved without great effort.

Last week, I had a friend of mine say, “Why did you build a time tracking app? Somebody can copy it so easily. It seems so simple.”

I had to explain to her why “simple” does not mean the same thing as “easy”. Sure, many people can build a small time tracking application, but making it simple is actually the hard part. 


How Much to Bill Clients

Feb. 03, 2018 by

If you say business isn’t about money, you won’t be in business very long. Deciding how, when, and what to charge clients is very important for consultants.

Money is an indicator of how much value you bring in the form of currency. It’s not some evil thing that you should feel bad about. When clients are happy to pay, it’s a good sign that you’re doing your job well.

Here are some of our guidelines to think about when negotiating

Where to Find Clients

Jan. 20, 2018 by

In consulting, finding the right clients will literally make or break your business. 

Clients are the lifeblood of your business and getting the right ones is hard, so you’ll want a good process in place for finding and evaluating them.

Good Clients vs. Bad Clients

Not all clients are created equal. Just because you find a potential client, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good fit. Good clients actually build your business. Bad clients are a waste of time and

Top 8 Books for Consultants

Feb. 10, 2020 by

Reading is important.


A simple answer, ideas in = ideas out. 

If you consistently feed your brain good ideas, you’ll excel at coming up with good solutions for your business. Here are the top books we recommend for consultants.

1.) The Trusted Advisor

In today's fast-paced networked economy, professionals must work harder than ever to maintain and improve their business skills and knowledge. But technical mastery of one's discipline is not enough. The key to professional success is the

Is Bad Posture Killing You?

Jan. 06, 2018 by

As consultants, we sit A LOT.   

If your job relies on a computer, clients depend on you to be stationary. Initially, this isn't a problem.  However, after a year or two of consulting, your body will start to shout at you. 

Most of us fall into habits that cause bad posture without realizing it. Slouching in your chair or leaning forward to view your screen are natural tendencies that will cause problems in your lower and upper back. Sitting

Our ONLY Blog Post in 2017

Dec. 31, 2017 by

Happy New Year!   

As 2017 comes to a close, I realized that we haven't written a single blog post this year. In case anyone is wondering, we do still blog and we are still building the best software for consultants to track and bill their time.

The reason we haven't blogged is because we are a small business too!

When you don't have 50 employees to do the work for you, you have to roll up your sleeves and do

Perseverance - The MOST Important Quality of Entrepreneurs

Feb. 17, 2020 by

Perseverance (noun) - persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Perseverance in entrepreneurship is necessary if you seek success. 

The hardest part in entrepreneurship isn't finding the initial spark. It's a few months in (or even years), once you realize your business isn't moving as fast as you want it to.

Every entrepreneur has a day where they are launching. They think, "This is it, I'm about to kill it. I'm finally going to start bringing

Local Coffee Shops > Co-working Space

Mar. 26, 2016 by

If you are running a tech business, you can work purely REMOTE. This means you are working from home, in co-working space, or in local coffee shops. I argue that local shops are the best option for these 5 reasons: 

  1. They serve you food for the same price - Co-working space can cost around $20 bucks a day. This serves 2 when you go eat at a local cafe. You can get 2 coffees, 2 breakfast sandwiches, and a nice

Don't Solve Problems You Don't Have

Mar. 16, 2016 by

Don't create work for problems you don't have. Stay focused and ONLY work on things in the critical path to making your first dollar!

 It is really easy to ask yourself 'what if' questions all day. 'What if someone uses our product like this?' This thinking is dangerous for startups because it can pull you away from your main goal, MAKING MONEY. When you start running a business, everybody and their brother wants to give advice. It is up to

From Intermediate to Advanced

Feb. 04, 2016 by

This blog is inspired by a talk I gave at SD Ruby. It was specifically meant for software developers, but I think it applies to any trade. I like to keep things short and sweet, so here we go... 

How to Go from Intermediate to Advanced 

1. TEACH OTHERS - When you teach others, you cannot BS yourself. You can't teach someone the wrong information, so it makes you accountable for know EXACTLY how something works. Other people will

How To Get Your Team on HoursLogger

Oct. 02, 2015 by

Which Business Legal Structure Should I Choose?

Sep. 10, 2015 by

Super Secret Features

Aug. 23, 2015 by

How To Use Hours Logger

Aug. 22, 2015 by

How to be a Good Estimator

Jul. 31, 2015 by

The Brand Checklist

Jul. 25, 2015 by

Value vs. Cost Based Pricing

Jul. 25, 2015 by

Maximize Your Worth

Jul. 25, 2015 by

How to Run your 1st Successful Business

Jan. 31, 2015 by

As an entrepreneur, you don't run one business that's a homerun. You run many businesses that are base hits before your grand slam. Meaning, don't expect to run your first business and make 1 Million+. Entrepreneurs run businesses FOR LIFE. It's not a one or two time thing, it's a LIFESTYLE. Focus on small successes and they'll compound into large ones. 

So here is my advice on how to ACTUALLY run your first successful business. 

1. Run a service based


Jan. 11, 2015 by

It's one thing to hear "it's not about the money", from a mentor; but I CAN'T STAND when founders of start-ups tell me this. 

If you don't think it's about money ... you're not going to do very well in business. "Cashflow is the blood of a business. Your business WILL die without it." No one likes to work for free. For a few months, maybe. But years of working for free, just isn't feasible or very smart. Everyone needs…

How to walk away from $85,000/year

Dec. 10, 2014 by

So you want to quit your job and start a business? The upsides are great. Unlimited earning potential, the freedom to do whatever you want with your time, no boss telling you what to do every day, you can work in your pajamas if you want, the list goes on and on. Well, what’s stopping you? Unfortunately there is no magic recipe for success, but hopefully sharing some of my experiences along my journey as a new entrepreneur will inspire

Thoughts From a College DropOut

Dec. 07, 2014 by

I am Drew Haines, a 22 year old programming wiz. I'm an Electrical Engineering senior at SDSU and am 13 credits away from my degree. I like running businesses, programming web apps, and making money. Recently, I have been struggling with the idea of dropping out of school to purse my entrepreneurial endeavours in software. ###Reasons why school is NOT helpful anymore: 

1. TIME! - Engineering is a complex subject. It takes TIME to study, (if not, you WILL fail)…

Why software is the future of business - Programs and Automation

Nov. 10, 2014 by

Software should create value for a business in one of two ways. It should either: 1. Increase Revenue and/ or 2. Decrease Costs If your software cannot do either of these tasks ... it sucks as a business application. 

The decision to chose the software route was based on the ability to AUTOMATE things with programs. I cannot stress enough, the importance of this when it comes to business. It is 2014 ... and well into the age of technology…

HoursLogger is Attending RubyConf 2014!

Nov. 07, 2014 by

HoursLogger is excited to announce the team will be volunteering this year at RubyConf November 17th through the 19th at the San Diego Convention Center.

What is the International Ruby Conference?

"The International Ruby Conference -- more commonly known as RubyConf -- has been the main annual gathering of Rubyists from around the world since 2001. Focused on fostering the Ruby programming language and the robust community that has sprung up around it, RubyConf brings together Rubyists both established and

Spend time consulting, not tracking time.


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