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books about consulting business

Together with another 2 guys, I own a small consulting business. We do custom software development using Java and .NET.

I would like to grow this business to 10-20 employees, and maybe more.

Can you recommend a book about doing this, and especially about finding larger projects (which seems to be the problem right now)?

Thank you very much!

Max Thomas
Saturday, August 02, 2003

http://www.dorsethouse.com/books/soc.html

"The Secrets of Consulting"

Joel Spolsky
Saturday, August 02, 2003

http://www.peripatus.gen.nz/Books/ManProSer.html

"Managing the Professional Services Firm"

Joel Spolsky
Saturday, August 02, 2003

Thank you, Joel.

Does anybody have a good book title related specifically to custom programming firms (preferably in the Internet age)?

Max Thomas
Saturday, August 02, 2003

Max Thomas wrote, "...custom programming firms (preferably in the Internet age)."

Why would you want to read any of those type of books?  The formula for growth within a typical Internet age type of firm was simple.  Come with a business plan and find VCs who would fund your growth.

IMO, you should be reading books (similar to the ones Joel posted here) that discuss how to grow your business slowly.  This usually means hiring a good rainmaker (someone who can sell) or partnering with businesses which provide complementary services.

One Programmer's Opinion
Sunday, August 03, 2003

> Max Thomas wrote, "...custom programming
> firms (preferably in the Internet age)."

> Why would you want to read any of those type
> of books?  The formula for growth within a
> typical Internet age type of firm was simple.  Come
> with a business plan and find VCs who would fund
> your growth.

I didn't mean crazy books about how to fool VCs into giving you money.

I did mean that, compared to 20 years ago, software development has evolved, methodologies have evolved, the way of doing business has changed, etc.

So, I wouldn't want a book written 20 years ago, but a modern book.


> IMO, you should be reading books (similar to the
> ones Joel posted here) that discuss how to grow
> your business slowly.  This usually means hiring a
> good rainmaker (someone who can sell) or
> partnering with businesses which provide
> complementary services.

You are perfectly right on this one.

Max Thomas
Monday, August 04, 2003


I'd recommend "Million Dollar Consulting" - which is about how to make $1 million as an independent, single-person consultant.  (You can still hire administrative staff and use a lot of sub-contractors to "feel" big.)

I'd also recommend doing a lot of searches on the Ars Digita story (what -not- to do).  Along the same lines, you could buy a copy of the "in search of stupidity" book that joel is hawking.

regards,

Matt H.
Monday, August 04, 2003


PS: ArsDigita was awesome.  Somehow, it got all screwed up.  Somehow, I think Greenspun had a hand in the screwing up of it, but I'm not convinced either way.

regards,

Matt H.
Monday, August 04, 2003

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