A: I HAVE FOUND THAT SETTING UP A CONSULTANCY is like setting up any other business — know your product (specialty, expertise, network), your market (industry, functional area), and your goals (income targets, time limits), and develop a strategy and plan to deliver the goals. My goal was to enjoy the things I could not do while working full time and staying connected and doing interesting work. I choose carefully what I agree to do, and I’m willing to say no when the fit is not right or time is not available. I thought that not “owning” the issues directly in consultancy would be a challenge, but, in fact, I have found that my focus on fewer companies and deeper relationships allows me to own my client strategies and add value beyond the primary consulting requests.
Jim is the former VP for vaccine and biologics technical operations for Merck.