[ale] consulting climate?

Jim Kinney jim.kinney at gmail.com
Mon May 6 10:57:48 EDT 2019

The modern co-op is the LLC-partnership.
Yes. Large groups want to use only large groups. Small groups are
intimidated by the large group consultant team. I was looking for a way
to have a virtual front office to masquerade as larger to chase the
longer term contracts when I did consulting.
I enjoyed being the "does everything" IT dept. I frequently sat in with
the owners as their contract CTO/CIO person and helped steer the IT
side of their business. I was very clear about the potential conflict
of interest in my role and made certain they understood the why of a
purchase and not just the dollar amount approval. 
This could work in a more modern setup with primary and secondary
support and a virtual office with live office admin. There are services
that can do phone answering for multiple business names and route calls
based on rules.  I don't know if such a thing exists for sales.
The big disadvantage with being the small shop is "the wearing many
hats" eats time where as the external paid services eat cash. Have to
find the balance of diversity of abilities and single-capability shop.
On Mon, 2019-05-06 at 09:44 -0500, Neal Rhodes via Ale wrote:
> My reply may be a bit late; been out of the country with nothing but
> a cellphone.
> We are retired after running a 2 person consulting company as a S-
> corp for decades.   I don't understand the legal arrangement you
> describe as a "co-op".
> We had a specialty within Unix/Linux - Progress Database development
> and admin of turnkey systems.   Still, we found that there is a size
> issue - large corporations do NOT contract with 2 person firms - they
> contract with large body shops.   Most of our business was with firms
> under 100 people.  Larger body shops have marketing people.
> Also, large corporations expect you to have your own Worker's Comp,
> Liability Insurance, have ISO-something audited financials, and
> various hoops which are costly/time-consuming.
> We did several long gigs with large clients that initially engaged us
> through a body shop, then we went direct after 6 months and cut the
> body shop out.  (with no ill feelings)
> Our specialty was scarce and in demand - I am skeptical on whether
> local firms would be willing to get past their gag reflex on a small
> contractor if it was for generic linux work.
> OTOH, if you get a local client, and are omnivorous, it can work.  In
> our early days, we'd do whatever the client needed.  Yes, I put in
> the server and the manufacturing software and database.   But if they
> needed a terminal on the loading dock, yes I'd get on a scissors-lift 
> and pull Cat-5 through the factory ceiling 40 feet up and terminate
> it and check the terminal worked.   As long as it made economic sense
> for the client, and we made our hourly billing rate,  we'd be their
> one-stop shop.  They saw our "no finger pointing - we don't leave
> until it works" as a positive value.
> I would do it over again to avoid commuting, be able to raise
> children, have the S-corp pay legitimate rent for the basement
> office,  etc.  But running an S-corp is a non-trivial amount of work.
> regards,
> Neal
> On 2019-05-02 09:56, maddog via Ale wrote:
> > Ever considered forming a co-op consulting service?
> > It allows for greater coverage of skills and people rather than
> > "lonewolf".  Share fixed expenses.
> > You can start off small (just you), and pull people in as you see
> > fit.
> > md
> > 
> > Sent from Xfinity Connect Application
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: ale at ale.org
> > To: ale at ale.org
> > Sent: 2019-05-02 8:50:18 AMSubject: [ale] consulting climate?
> > Guys,
> > I might find myself out of work soon, so I'm thinking of what to do
> > next. Iused to run a consulting business years ago in New Orleans
> > and enjoyed itquite a bit.What's the perceived climate these days
> > for a Linux freelancer onthe northeast side of town (though I
> > wouldn't completely rule out a good didin Cobb)?
> > _______________________________________________Ale mailing 
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James P. Kinney III

Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you
gain at one end you lose at the other. It's like feeding a dog on his
own tail. It won't fatten the dog.
- Speech 11/23/1900 Mark Twain


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