Women In Consulting: Best Practices In Consulting: Recommendations from Women In Consulting Annual Survey

Best Practices In Consulting: Recommendations from Women In Consulting Survey

Now in its 18th year, the information from the Women In Consulting (WIC) Best Practices Research Report: Recommendations for Successful Consulting has been used by scores of consultants as a source for insights on what drives success for their consulting businesses.

The recommendations are from a professional survey, that takes an in-depth look at the state of best practices across consulting firms. All consultants, including those beyond the Women In Consulting community, are invited to participate in this confidential survey.

All survey participants, as well as Women In Consulting Standard, Premier, and Executive members, receive:

  • A free copy of the survey report when it is published
  • Membership into a Community dedicated to discussing how to put these best practices in place
  • Access to a complete overview of the results in video format
  • Exclusive access to interviews with consultants who have used these best practices and reveal their successes and challenges.

The launch of the 2021 survey was April 30 and we collected information from respondents through May 31, 2021. Check out the 2021 final report here (must login as a member to view), sharing the results in detail with our community at webinar review events. 

Women In Consulting Members may access all of the previous years' reports, community access, and interviews here. 

To purchase the 2021 18th Annual Best Practices in Consulting Research Report, click here, login, and complete the form. 

  • Women In Consulting Standard, Premier, and Executive Members: Included with membership benefits at no charge
  • Women In Consulting Basic Members and Partners: $75
  • Nonmembers: $110

It’s hard to believe how many years Women In Consulting has run our consulting best practices survey. Over the years, it’s offered interesting insights into the evolution of consulting businesses, such as revenue and profitability trends and fees, consulting expertise and specialties, business structure and operations. These in turn help our Women In Consulting community and beyond gain critical insights in how to streamline operations and drive growth of their consultancies.” 

Ellen Grace Henson, Marketing Mechanics
WIC President, 2017-2019

Research Scope

The survey asks detailed questions about strategies and tactics consultants used to more effectively manage and drive growth for their businesses in the previous calendar year. These include:

  • Total revenues, fee types, and profit
  • Challenges faced
  • Best practices to generate new business
  • Use of social media and online marketing
  • Number of subcontractors used

Wisdom from Respondents

“Network with a Passion.” 
“Word of mouth is everything. Never burn bridges or leave a bad impression."
"Be direct. Be honest. But be respectful.”
“Value people. Clients, vendors, freelancers... it’s all about relationships.”
“I can trace about half my income last year to WIC in some fashion or other
(referral, direct subcontractor, etc.)”

Special thanks to Women In Consulting 2021 Committee Volunteers

Theresa ShaferSKMurphy, Inc. (Project Manager), managed the project timeline and hand-offs; facilitated team communication, and fine-tuned project timing and deadlines for key tasks throughout the length of the project. 

Jen Berkley JacksonThe Insight Advantage (Survey Programming Training/Documentation), has been involved since Women In Consulting first began conducting this research. Jen helped define and document the flow, integrated the survey strategy into the survey document, and coached new team members on survey programing, survey status updates and reporting, and data cleanup. 

Ruby Choi, Student, University of California Irvine (Survey Programmer), not only programmed the survey, provided QC for the survey, and provided the team weekly status updates on participation during the collection period, Ruby also performed the data cleanup, created data tables, and provided data used in the verbatim analysis.

The Women In Consulting President Kathryn GorgesEssential 3 Marketingplays an integral role in the Best Practices Research project, from start to finish. Kathryn facilitates strategic decisions regarding the survey and report distribution/sales, ensures that all project roles are filled, provides additional QC to the survey questions and mechanics, creates the survey promotion emails, analyzes verbatim comments for trends, reflecting findings in slides and speaker notes, and then co-presents the results at a webinar and creates the President's Message introducing the report. findings.

Gabriela MartínezTexto Graphic Design (Graphic Artist). This is the ninth year Gabriela has been responsible for layout and design of the final report, including creating all the charts, formatting the report, and QC for consistency with the presentation slides and materials.

Nancy NelsonHR Prose (Partnerships), took the lead in getting the word out to our partners and external association contacts about participating in the survey and access to the report findings when available in the fall of 2021.

Teresa SchnabelDELPHI Consumer Insights (Analyst), assisted with the survey QC, analyzed data tables for trends, reflected findings in slides and will co-present the findings with the Women In Consulting President. 

Ginger Weeden, Set In Motion Marketing & Media (Marketing, Proofreading, Social Posts), took the lead on promotion of the survey through social channels, creating graphics for the various platforms, boosting posts to encourage participation throughout the collection period and afterward promoting the member benefit of access to the report findings and the advantage to nonmembers in purchasing access; preparing a press release is also something Ginger will assist with preparing.

And, last, but not least by any means, are the three special volunteers who previewed the survey prior to launch and helped the team fine-tune the survey and recommended updates in flow and mechanics of it. Many thanks to Chako Ando, Cando Advisors; Kay Paumier, Communications Plus; and Norma Watenpaugh, Phoenix Consulting Group, for your contributions to the project!