For a change I was on the delivering end of a talk at this weeks Belfast Linux User Group (BLUG) event which explored some of the aspects of running your own business. The speakers were from quite different backgrounds and my slant was on Consulting and some lessons I have learned from doing that for over 15 years. I was struck by the fact that several of the same points came up between businesses – specifically finance, defining roles and responsibilities and preparing for failure before it happens.
The large audience was eclectic – with contractors – developers and people in other IT roles – and the questions were mainly around the practical aspects 0f starting and running businesses including client relationships. I found the other speakers very candid and direct about things they had done and in hindsight realized were wrong. A number of the topics I covered were around the role of a consultant and some practical lessons learned from dealing with different types of clients.
Afterwards I had some interesting chats which reinforced my thoughts that many people don’t take enough time to consider what impact starting you own business can have and the preparation and effort that you will have to put in. I hope that I balanced the negative aspects with the positive as I have found consulting and advising clients to be generally rewarding. It was a fun opportunity to speak to a spirited group of attentive listeners and I hope to get the opportunity to speak at another meetup in the not too distant future.