So many of the people I mentor wish they had done more preparation while they were still in a corporate role.  Today, on the Forums of Million Dollar Consultant(tm) Alan Weiss, there was a thread on this topic.  I was inspired to create a list of the things that would be most helpful to people contemplating a jump into independent consulting. 

Actually, a lot of this advice is pretty relevant for anyone trying to build their own professional reputation, inside or outside a corporate role.

Alan added one more, which is probably the single most important thing to do before launching:

Make the First Sale…To Yourself!


25 Things to Do Before You Launch Your Solo Consulting Business

1. Get out more…expand your professional network 
2. Define your target market
3. Develop Intellectual Property—write, speak, teach where you can
4. Build a contact database of everyone you know who would be interested in what you’re doing
5. Update your LinkedIn Profile and be sure you’re linked with everyone you know
6. Collect endorsement quotes
7. Clarify your value proposition
8. Start a blog
9. Develop a “write every day” habit
10. Write an OpEd piece
11. Volunteer to “help” your PR department with quotes and talks
12. Get a mentor who’s done it already and succeeded
13. Hoard cash, so you won’t be stressed when you start
14. See if you can try a consulting project while you’re still working
15. Invest in professional development
16. Find a community of peers
17. Find people who meet your affiliation needs
18. Get a dog
19. Buy the best office equipment you can afford
20. Get a business card
21. Build a simple website
22. Find out the legal requirements for practicing in your town
23. Get counsel from a lawyer
24. Meet with an accountant
25. Read some books…start with Alan Weiss!