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Monthly Newsletter for the Rochester Professional Consultants Network - February 2023

A monthly newsletter from the Rochester Professional Consultants Network.

What Do Solo Consultants Do?
(And would I want to be one?)

(This is part two of an excerpt from an RPCN flyer used at display tables, meetings, conferences, etc. For Part 1, click here. For Part 2, click here.)

Part 3: This article completes a three-part series about things to consider when becoming a solo consultant.

How Might Consultants Serve Clients?

     Depending on a client’s situation, consultants might help them to:

  • Define problems and find causes.
  • Identify potential solutions.
  • Make informed decisions.
  • Strategize, plan & implement action.
  • Achieve & Evaluate Results.

I’ve referred to the consultant helping a client do these things, rather than the consultant doing them. However, depending on clients’ needs, consultants might perform a wide range of roles (advisor, mentor, planner, facilitator, designer, hands-on implementer, and/or project team leader). This is one reason why it’s difficult to arrive at a specific definition for a consultant.  (One of my “favorite” titles is “Used Car Consultant.”)   

Helpful Personal Characteristics for Solo Consultants

  • Outgoing and assertive enough to contact /call strangers to discover if they need your help (or refer you to someone who might).
  • Able to develop collaborative, trusting relationships with prospects and clients.
  • Organized and disciplined enough to: Deliver on time; keep promises; maintain records; do paperwork; etc.
  • Persistent & Patient enough to: devote the time needed to start and market your business; develop prospects into clients, adapt your service to clients’ needs; to become profitable.
  • Willing to learn and keep learning.

Avoid Pitfalls & Misconceptions

     Don’t fall for these myths:

  • “Clients will find me. I’ll just list my credentials on my website, LinkedIn, and other social media.” (No! Become an Active marketer)
  • “I’ll impress them by talking about my skills.” (No! Ask about their situation, then listen)
  • “I'm a solo business, so I don't need a startup strategy or marketing plan.” (Duh)
  • It won’t take much time or effort. (No! It requires much more than most employment. And, don’t forget money to live on during start-up).

Solo Consulting can be Rewarding

  • “I'm my own boss.”
  • Independence & flexibility of action. “I did it my way”
  • Pride of ownership & accomplishment.
  • Paid what you’re worth.
  • No layoffs (But, you always need new clients).
  • Build a reputation and a business.
  • Helping others achieve their goals.
  • “Be All You Can Be” (self-fulfillment).

Networking with Consultants & Associates

Whether a startup or experienced, “get out of the office” (in-person or virtually) to build connections with clients, consultants, and experts. Also, sharing experiences and advice keeps you learning, and helps you combat the isolation of a solo business. (RPCN is a good place to start).

Life Balance

Respect your personal life. Take breaks from your business to stay healthy and sharp. Solo Consulting can be an exciting and challenging career. I wish you success.

Bob Lurz

Enhancing Human Capital
Lunch & Learn Updates

EHCSM encompasses a comprehensive ‘Human Capital Management System’ that was designed to help large corporations implement better employee management practices than traditional HR. But what about independent professionals and solo-entrepreneurs who do not have direct employees?

Last Month's Lunch-n-Learn

In January we honored requests from our attendees that we show how various concepts of the EHCSM system also relate to solo entrepreneurs, small businesses, consulting practices, etc. We started by performing a “compare and contrast” against large corporations, and observed similarities around how independent professionals collaborate with clients, vendors, supply chains, sub-contractors, etc. throughout a project; in essence, describing a micro-business environment.

We then broke down the concept of a micro-business (or virtual organization if you will), into… who is in them, how one communicates throughout, and, more importantly, how one communicates, develops, and communicates the values and goals of the micro-business to all those involved in its success.

We found that the ideal communication methods can vary rather significantly. While an individual will leverage associates and other service providers for their particular technical expertise, there are significant benefits for individuals to incorporate EHCSM concepts that will enhance their own people skills.

Upcoming Lunch-n-Learn

Feb 16th, 2023 – “Managing Business Relationships as an Independent Professional“ Facilitated by Bob Manard

In February we will continue this discussion and take a deeper dive into business relationships -- even if you are going it alone. If you’re a freelancer, gig worker, or some other kind of solopreneur, you may sometimes find yourself dealing with others as if you were an employee in a larger organization. You may even need to be more skilled at managing relationships than a typical employee would be since the people you interact with can change on a regular basis. At our next lunch-n-learn, we will help you to identify the skills you need to be effective and successful in your chosen path.

RPCN’s Enhancing Human CapitalSM Lunch-n-Learns are held [via Zoom] on the third Thursday of every month 11:30 am – 1 pm ET. Please join us for the next event FREE of charge. To get more information about EHCSM, please see, or email the EHC team.

Blogging for RPCN

RPCN has had an ongoing alliance with Eastman Business Park (EBP) since 2016. There are a variety of businesses at EBP, which fall primarily into the following categories:

  • Energy Storage
  • Food & Beverage
  • Bio-Materials Processing, including Fermentation Processes
  • Chemical Manufacturing
  • Plastics Manufacturing
  • Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing
  • Photonics

In order to read descriptions for each of these categories, please go here.

RPCN has many members who represent a variety of industries too. That is why we are a good alliance partner for EBP.

Various RPCN members have written blogs on many different topics to share with EBP management and their tenants over the years. We share our blogs through the publicly available EBP website (Blog) and their tenant portal.

As far as contributing blogs, click here for the suggested parameters.

You may also check out the types of blogs that have already been submitted to EBP by clicking here. This spreadsheet lists each of the blogs we have written between 2016 and now.

  • Note that some blogs were submitted monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly. That is due to EBP’s requests for frequency changes over the years.
  • We also had a break in the submission of blogs between March 2020 and March 2021, due to EBP’s management implementing an austerity budget during that time. NOTE: RPCN does NOT charge for the blogs it supplies to EBP, however, EBP’s third-party partner who posts the blogs does charge EBP.

We’re always in need of new blog submissions from RPCN members. Please consider writing a blog for our Eastman Business Park (EBP) and its tenants. This is an opportunity for you to share your knowledge and also highlight your skills and talents that can help EBP’s tenants with their businesses. Submit your blogs to Thank you!

Did You Know? 
Subscribing to the RPCN Newsletter or Event Emails

One of the menu items on the RPCN website is News. Clicking on it will take you to a page where there is a description of how to subscribe to both our monthly Newsletter and the Event Emails, provided for each RPCN event.

What better way to keep on top of what is happening in RPCN than to receive our newsletter and email announcements of upcoming events?

Of course, if you are a member of RPCN, you already receive the Newsletter and Event emails on a regular schedule. But, as you know, we are always trying to increase our membership, and having non-members subscribe to either or both notifications could be the incentive for non-members to join RPCN.

The subscription process is easy and selective. Below the initial text on the News page is a green Subscribe button. Clicking on it brings up a simple form. All that is required is a Name, Email Address, and a choice of subscriptions, Newsletter Event emails.

Choose either or both, hit the Subscribe button (yes, another one), and that’s it. You have subscribed. Congratulations! Of course, you can unsubscribe at any time).

So, when you are talking to others about the benefits of joining RPCN, first make sure they take a look at our website and then go to the News page. Have them push the right buttons, fill out the form, and pay the Membership Fee. Then, congratulate them on being the latest member of RPCN.

It would certainly be worth the effort!

Steve Royal

RPCN Video

Watch the introductory video here.

Upcoming RPCN Events

Visit the RPCN website for a list of all upcoming events.

Technical Forum
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, February 3, 2023
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

Demystifying the Cold Call
Presented by Dana Abramson
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, February 10, 2023
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Enhancing Human Capital Lunch N' Learn: Managing Business Relationships as an Independent Professional
Thursday, February 16, 2023
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Business Forum
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, February 17, 2023
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

RPCN Board Meeting
Everyone is welcome to attend.
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, February 17, 2023
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. 

Income Tax Outlook 2022-2023
Presented by Rich Newman
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, February 24, 2023
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Help Wanted


RPCN looking for a volunteer to be Secretary who would take minutes at the RCPN board meetings, which are held on the third Friday of the month at 10 am. These Board Meetings are hybrid so the Secretary can attend either virtually or in-person. If interested, please contact David Finger, RPCN President,

Assistant Treasurer

We are looking for an Assistant Treasurer. If you have knowledge, experience or a background in accounting, you would be an asset to the Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN).   

The Assistant Treasurer would assist the Treasurer in preparing required periodic financial reports, a budget, an audit, and otherwise back up the Treasurer. Some knowledge of QuickBooks is helpful. Many consultants may have these requirements. Full training will be provided by the current Treasurer. This would be a way to use your skills and talents to aid the RPCN.  

If interested, please contact Frank Crombe, RPCN Treasurer, 585-255-0837.

Book Recommendations

Mark Fling, our VP, has made some book suggestions for consultants and business owners:

Discovery-Driven Growth
A Breakthrough Process to Reduce Risk and Seize Opportunity
By Rita Gunther McGrath and Ian C. MacMillan

The Trusted Advisor: 20th Anniversary Edition
by David H. Maister, Charles H. Green, Robert Galford

Whatever It Takes: Master the Habits to Transform Your Business, Relationships, and Life
by Brandon Bornancin

Case in Point 11th Edition: Complete Case Interview Preparation
by Marc Patrick Cosentino

Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise
by Peter Block

The Consultant's Handbook: A Practical Guide to Delivering High-value and Differentiated Services in a Competitive Marketplace
by Samir Parikh

Ask Powerful Questions: Create Conversations That Matter
by Will Wise and Chad Littlefield

How Clients Buy: A Practical Guide to Business Development for Consulting and Professional Services, 1st Edition
by Doug Fletcher, Tom McMakin

The McKinsey Mind: Understanding and Implementing the Problem-Solving Tools and Management Techniques of the World's Top Strategic Consulting Firm
by Ethan Rasiel, Paul N. Friga

Edison Workshop Series -
Call for Volunteers

Would you like to help city kids learn about entrepreneurship ?  Bob Manard is assembling a team to teach the basics of business to students at Edison Tech High School as they prepare for careers in a wide variety of industries, including Automotive Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Culinary Arts, and Digital Marketing.

Let’s join together and give these kids a head start as they begin their journey of entrepreneurship, whether it’s helping their family business, joining a startup, or starting their own.

If you’re interested in this opportunity to give back to the community and help some kids in need, contact Bob Manard at

We want your news!

The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item to for inclusion. 

Melanie Watson, Publisher 
Diana Robinson, Copyeditor

The deadline for submitting material for our next newsletter is the 21st of this month.

Request from the Editors

When submitting material to be included in the RPCN newsletter, please:
1. Send the submission TO and not to individuals.
2. Include the words “For RPCN Newsletter” in the subject line. (Some people send articles to ALL RPCN members themselves, and it is often difficult to distinguish those that are being circulated independently from those intended for inclusion in the newsletter.)

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