This CareerJournal article points how things to consider before making the leap to independent consulting. Some of the recommended questions:
- Are the skills you possess in demand, and do you have the experience companies will seek?
- Professionals with, say, more than five to seven years' experience are in greater demand, experts say.
- Can you handle erratic paychecks?
- How will you pay for health insurance and your retirement?
- Are you able to market yourself, even as you work on projects?
- Can you pay for the liability insurance some companies may require?
- Do you have financial security for soft spells?
- Do you like working independently? "It may sound really interesting and fun to set your own direction," says Mr. Morgan, "but you may be miserable doing that."
I'd add these:
- Do you manage time well?
- Do you have a network of marketing contacts?
- Do you know how you will market your services? [Don't plan on making cold calls if you hate making cold calls.]
- Are you able to walk away from possible projects that just don't feel right? [Make sure your values are centered.]
- Do you have strong presentation skills? [Not a strict requirement, but they help.]
- Do you have a specialty that will give you a marketing advantage?
- Have you considered the need for administrative support? [It's a major revelation when you toss something into your out-basket and no one picks it up.]
- Can you handle stress?
- Are you patient? [Are you prepared to present a great proposal and then not see the actual project begin for 12 months?]