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Cakilack 07-29-2016 10:11 PM

Technology Consulting Venture - Experts Needed
I have been in the MSO (Multi-Service Operator) industry for the last 12 years. I have a strong background in engineering and business communication sales. I have managed an IT network for the entire region of Media personnel, and most recently I have consistently been the highest gross sales revenue generator for our organization the past 8 years in my division. With a lot of recent changes in my organization (buyout) our company is beginning to make a lot of transitions that could limit my abilities for the company as well as my potential income for future years. With all this in mind I am beginning to research independent communication consulting. My most valuable experience is the ability to assist national aggregators as well as large entities connect dozens of locations with Metro-Ethernet services, Consolidated billing, and advanced communications systems. This includes voice, data and site to site connectivity for all communications. I work with several large clients who rely heavily in the virtual environment for their business operations. I would like to network with individuals in this industry beyond my current network of C Level Executives, Sales and IT professionals.

Being that fishing and boating is my number 1 hobby, I obviously frequent this site a lot. I have a lot of respect for the community in THT, and have learned a lot from reading here over the years. With that said, I wanted to reach out and see if anyone here is in the field of Communication and Technology consulting. Honestly, I could use the feedback from anyone in a consulting role to help educate me on considering this venture. I am very strategic and I do not wish to walk away from the great job I currently have. With a wife and a 2 year year old daughter depending on me I have to be proactive in protecting our livelihood. If our organization changes in such a way I am unable to use my talents to produce for our needs, I will not hesitate to do whatever I have to in order to utilize my experience to provide for our family.

I am located in Eastern North Carolina and the ability to find a competitor to work for is just not an option. Our competition and other entities that operate here just cannot facilitate the level of income I have been so blessed to obtain. I truly do not mean to come across as arrogant, however I am confident I have a lot to offer businesses in my region. I truly believe my time would benefit companies far greater than the cost of not allowing someone of my caliber to engage in their business decision on technology and communications. I work beside Telephone, IT and other Consultants every day and I am confident that I am far more experienced than the majority of the local organizations I would compete with. My close professional network includes some of the largest data, communication, technology and data center providers in the country. The resources I am able to leverage and have the ability to partner with is the sole reason I am considering exploring this option. It has taken many years of sacrifice in my personal life to obtain the level of success I have tasted. Like so many of you that own your business here I do understand that entreprenuership is not easy at all. As a matter of fact I know that it is much harder, and more difficult than most jobs would ever demand of an employee. In my current role I am the R&D, Sales, Support, Project Manager, and Advisor for my clients. Due to the many hats wear I feel I am skilled to take the Consultant role on.

With all this said, there are a lot of things I am not aware of. Mostly due to the fact I do not currently run my own business. I currently have the backing of a 25 Billion dollar organization behind me. The ability to spend 180k on a job is easy when justified to a company of this size. Especially with the margins I produce on return of investment. Not to mention the benefits, 401k, Insurance etc, etc, etc........

So what say you wise men on THT, what do I not know and what should I do to continue my research in this field?

caltexflanc 07-30-2016 04:29 AM

I am also in Eastern NC and in the consulting business specializing in consumer electronics and wireless.
25 or so years ago, when I was closer to your age and family lifestyle, I was also in a consulting firm as a partner. My first reaction would be to point you towards the latter at this stage in your life.

If you are interested in talking PM me and I'd be happy to walk you through the pros and cons of the lifestyle both as part of a larger firm and as a solo operator.

crazybeard 07-30-2016 05:13 AM

Try getting some side work first and see how a couple contracts go. That's a very complex service offering and while you say sales I'm getting the feeling it is inside sales to existing clients. Finding a new one and closing that sale may be significantly different and the sales cycle may be long.

LI32 07-30-2016 05:37 AM

I can't offer an assistance or advice on the work you do or how viable consultancy is in that field.
What I can offer is advice on from the perspective of a partner in a business that makes its money as a consultancy and in reviewing mid-sized ($100m to $5b) businesses that are either being bought or going public.
Work as a consultant is mostly cyclical, when the economy is good and big business is making money, consultants do well, but when they pull back consultants are the first to go.
To weather the ups and downs with a family and lifestyle you want to keep, you will need a pretty large cash reserve - maybe 2-3 years of expenses.
You also need to figure out if the consultancy will pay enough to be worthwhile - between having to absorb your own medical, pay both sides of SS & Medicare (including HE), the loss to income taxes hitting hardest at higher incomes and having to deal with the ups and downs - the consultancy better at least double your salary, otherwise I doubt it will be worth it; and even then with the increased hours you will inevitably work, tripling you pay might not seem like a great deal.

gf 07-30-2016 05:58 AM

Your concerns about going out on your own are well founded. I would suggest looking at opportunities with consulting firms that offer similar services. That would include big firms like Accenture, Sapient, E & Y, as well as smaller, boutique firms.

I work for a small (140 people) national project management consulting company. My total compensation is a bit less than I could make on my own as an independent consultant during a strong economy. However, the company is well established and very well run with a deep pipeline and these are the important elements in the event of an economic downturn.

I'm 50 with 2 sons in college, so my situation may be a bit different than yours. At this stage of life, I am more concerned with stability and minimizing risk than I am in the potential of a big - but uncertain - payday.

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