Breaking News
Blog

Is Engineering Consulting Your Next Career Gig?

NO RATINGS
3 saves
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Daryl Gerke
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Hope you share some good stuff
Daryl Gerke   6/5/2014 4:23:55 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi Karen,

Good idea!  Yes, I've learned a few lessons the hard way - like how the bankruptcy laws work (that one cost us about $10k) and about "barriers to entry", along with a few more. I'll see about working some posts on those. Thanks.  

kfield
User Rank
Blogger
Hope you share some good stuff
kfield   5/31/2014 2:36:25 PM
NO RATINGS
@DarylGerke I hope that you are going to share some of the things you've learned the hard way being a consultant. While not in the same field, i did freelance work for a company and never got paid, it was a lesson I really learned the most difficult way!

jimfordbroadcom
User Rank
CEO
Re: consultant vs entrepreneur
jimfordbroadcom   5/30/2014 5:05:35 PM
NO RATINGS
Seems to help if the 2 guys have the same first name!  Like 2 Steves started Apple, 2 Henrys started Broadcom (my employer), and 2 Bobs started Linear Technology.  Am I looking for my other Jim?  No, I tried entrepreneurship and found it was business XOR family.  I chose family.  Next to impossible to do both well.

zeeglen
User Rank
Blogger
Re: consultant vs entrepreneur
zeeglen   5/30/2014 12:13:54 AM
NO RATINGS
@DU ...a team of two: a technical wiz and a marketing guy. Frequently the wiz even left at some point - annoyed of marketing, finance, organizational and so on themes. The company continued to flourish.

I once worked at such a company, but the wiz was ousted when his wife found out about his secretary and in a pique sold her shares to the marketing guy.  Without the wiz's technical leadership the company did NOT flourish, it went straight down the sewer pipe.

Daryl Gerke
User Rank
Blogger
Re: consultant vs entrepreneur
Daryl Gerke   5/29/2014 10:47:12 PM
NO RATINGS
Good advice!  If you only wiah to solve technical problems, running your own consulting business may not be a good idea.

On the other hand, if you want to try being an entrepeneur, starting a consulting practice is a good way to gain business skills, as you will be forced to deal with critical sales, marketing, and organizational issues. It worked that way for me.

Also, starting a consulting practice can be a good way to test the waters. Little or no startup capital needed, and you can quickly test your ideas.  I know of one very successful high tech company that started that way - first consulting first, then development contracts, and finally a manufacturing special systems.

Best wishes with what ever direction you choose to follow!

DU00000001
User Rank
CEO
Re: consultant vs entrepreneur
DU00000001   5/26/2014 12:53:47 PM
"...does consulting help one become a better entrepreneur...?"

IMHO - working as a consultant though not self-employed: NO

For the entrepreneur marketing, organizational issues etc. are much more important than expertise in the technical field.

Sad but true: longterm successful companies often started as a team of two: a technical wiz and a marketing guy. Frequently the wiz even left at some point - annoyed of marketing, finance, organizational and so on themes. The company continued to flourish.
On the other hand there is a long list of companies started by a technical wiz that failed when it came to tend to these themes.

If you're addicted to solving technical problems, the organizational issues might simply be annoying and distract you from solving technical mysteries.

wilber_xbox
User Rank
Manager
consultant vs entrepreneur
wilber_xbox   5/26/2014 2:57:00 AM
NO RATINGS
An entrepreneur has to be more deft skilled that consultant but does consulting helps one become a better entrepreneur because a consultant knows the field better and can bring out something new for a company? 

Daryl Gerke
User Rank
Blogger
Re: My favourite topic
Daryl Gerke   5/24/2014 9:54:50 PM
NO RATINGS
To Sanjib - Liked your "battle scars" comment! So how many years are enough to get started? It depends on how many "battle scars" you've collected.  For most of us, however, it probably takes at 5-10 years to feel comfortable enough with our technical skills to offer them as a consultant.

But you also need to develop your business skills (marketing, sales, administration) to make a consulting practice successful.This is where many new consultants fail - their technical skills are fine, but they can't bring in enough business. Incidentally, I treat the marketing problem as just another engineering problem. After all, as engineers we're problem solvers, right?

After starting a consulting practice, it may take a couple of years to feel successful. For me, by two years I felt pretty secure, and by five, I knew that the business would last (as long as I continued to work at it.) But the whole journey was fun -- much like any start-up situation. Best wishes as you explore consulting!

To Ahmet - Enjoyed your perspectives! Really liked "Consultancy is being independent" and "Consultancy is sometimes being odd" :-) 

To AZskibum - Yes, I agree with your difference between contract engineers and consultants. In fact, I'll be addressing that in a future post, along with "coaches" anc "counselors." 

If you don't like to market, contracting can be a good alternative, but at the price of some independence. I've known several engineers who have toggled between contracting and consulting during their careers with good success. 

To all - Thanks to all of you for your comments, and watch for the next post in a week or two. The plan is to post once or twice a month, and will include general consulting topics as well as "success stories".   

AZskibum
User Rank
CEO
Re: Please continue
AZskibum   5/24/2014 2:22:40 PM
NO RATINGS
I'm looking forward to reading more in this series and will have a look at your blog.

BTW, another often misused application of the title "consultant" in our industry is when it is applied to contract engineers. Yes, they bring specific expertise like analog design or digitial design, but in practice, they come onsite and work on a project day after day, right alongside the firm's regular employees. Simply getting a 1099 at the end of the year instead of a W-2 does not, IMHO, make one a consultant.

Ahmet.Aydemir
User Rank
Rookie
Consultancy from our own perspective
Ahmet.Aydemir   5/24/2014 7:53:36 AM
NO RATINGS

CONSULTANCY FROM OUR OWN PERSPECTIVE

CONSULTANCY is the trusted body to keep clients intellectual property in secure hands.

CONSULTANCY is clear view from at least from one aspect.

CONSULTANY is empathy for client.

CONSULTANCY is feeling responsible and taking the risk.

CONSULTANCY is sometimes being odd.

CONSULTANCY is being independent.

CONSULTANCY is  free from market lobby.

CONSULTANCY is local solution provider.

CONSULTANCY is free from all favors.

CONSULTANCY is first trying himself then asking from some one else.


 

 

A competent CONSULTANT is a great asset for client.

Developed countries attach great importance to CONSULTANCY and show utmost care selecting  the right one.

Corrupted institutions  can not fill CONSULTANT positions with deserved staff since they are not aware of importance of non biased knowledge



Page 1 / 2   >   >>
More Blogs
Remember the names of these test-equipment companies? Most are long gone, but a few remain.
Custom system-on-chip from parent company mCube enables Ten Degrees to tackle indoor navigation with higher probability of success.
Because most new products are based on previous ones, engineers and product managers must decide the importance of new features versus compatibility.
It didn't take long to find a score of vulnerabilities in my home entertainment, gaming, and network storage systems.
Vendors and analysts would have us believe that the Internet of Things is imminent. In fact, it will be years before the obstacles it faces can be surmounted.
Flash Poll
Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST
EE Times editor Junko Yoshida grills two executives --Rick Walker, senior product marketing manager for IoT and home automation for CSR, and Jim Reich, CTO and co-founder at Palatehome.
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed