Laura Burford

Founder of Laura's Consulting Guide at Laura Burford Consulting

Entrepreneurship and startups

Education: Rider University - Rider University
West Chester, PA, USA

Biography

Laura Dallas Burford is an author, YouTube video creator, and storytelling speaker who focuses on educating her audience on what it takes to succeed as a consultant. Laura is a strategic advisor for business consultants. She is known for Laura’s Consulting Guide, an online educational platform which is home to her signature program, Consulting Mastery: A Path to a Sustainable Business and her proprietary framework, The Consultant’s Blueprint. Her book, Project Management for Flat Organizations, was one of ten 2013 Small Business Books of the year.

Prior to starting her own IT management consulting business in 2002, Laura was recruited by the CEO of a Fortune 100 company for a start-up international consulting operation, worked 10 years for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and worked with or consulted to multiple Fortune 50 companies. As a consultant, she has led large multi-million-dollar business and technology related initiatives, established new businesses and consulting organizations, and built project management offices.

Passion

Helping entrepreneurial women and men create and scale their own successful consulting businesses. Why I do it? I’m tired of seeing business professionals with top notch experience and expertise struggle to achieve their dream of being their own boss. I want to see them get busy doing the right things-things that help them SOAR and live life on their terms.

Featured Video

I am willing to travel

More than 100 miles

When it comes to payments

I sometimes get paid for speaking

Topics

management consulting women entrepreneurship entrepreneurship consultant consulting business consulting starting at 50 small business startups project management marketing and sales online learning youtube finding your niche leveraging your niche women in business women in tech women in technology technology freelancing and entrepreneurship freelancing business and technology sales and marketing relationships sales training relationship selling relationship management womens advancement empowering women virtual speaker information technology womens leadership

Best Story

I say I was lucky when I graduated from college. It was during an economic downturn and jobs, of any kind, were hard to come by so I was elated to be offered a management training position with Sears, Roebuck, and Company. At the time, their program was one of the top in the retail world. However, I didn’t last long, not because of them, but because of me. I was simply bored. So, after not quite two years I moved on to General Electric (GE) and when asked to join their financial management leadership program, agreed.

The two programs were very different. One program followed a very hands on tactical approach while the other program was strategic in nature with focused classroom discussions. But it was these two programs that influenced my future decisions and actions because I learned three invaluable lessons that I hadn’t learned in college.

The first lesson was no one culture is the same and no one culture is better than another culture. It is important to ensure an organization’s culture is right for you.
The second lesson dealt with the importance of breaking down silos and intertwining of people, processes, and technology for overall success. Software applications were just starting to infiltrate business operations and many business people, technical or not, overlooked the impact of technology on the everyday person. Believe me when I say I have my share of funny, and at times sad, stories to tell.

The third lesson and one I try never to forget is the importance of understanding the strategy, the why, behind a tactic. So often people are taught how to perform a task but no one takes the time to explain why which can result in mediocre work and at times failure.

Variety being the spice of life and being bored, I moved on from GE within five years into my first consulting position but I’ve never forgotten the three invaluable lessons.

I wish I could say there were no more lessons learned but there is one more and this might be the most important lesson of all – Life happens! Life throws you curve balls. Twin towers collapsed resulting in a layoff. A physical fall resulting in major injuries and definitely unplanned time off. Family members faced with life threating illnesses resulting in a shifting of priorities. Brilliant ideas that weren’t quite brilliant; well, not everything works out. What I learned is the importance of patience. This means going with the flow, being kind to yourself, and picking yourself up and moving on but also remembering other people also are thrown curve balls. Be patient and kind to them as well.

Four great life lessons are never to be forgotten and and aspects of each can be seen in every article I write, video I create, speech I give, educational program I design, and client with whom I work.

Example talks

That's Awesome! Be Yourself to Create Clients!

Are you looking to get more and better consulting clients but not sure how? What if I said the difference between connecting with the right people and acquiring clients comes down to a consultant being themselves.

This hour presentation is for the business consultant who has experience and expertise, is looking to create clients, and doesn’t want to come across as salesy. Throughout the presentation real-life scenarios are discussed.

The presentation discusses:
• How to establish credibility and trust
• Five (5) actions to engage with a client
• Perfect your process

Walk away with at least one idea to implement immediately and an outline so that you can create your own process to help connect with clients that you want to work with and who want to work with you.

Want a Successful Consulting Business? 4 Steps to Start A Successful Consulting Business

Did you know one of the most important actions a consultant can take to ensure their success is often overlooked? That action is defining with clarity their Why, What, Who and How. You might hear them referred to as a consultant’s Focus, Ideal Client, and Point of View. I call these aspects a consultant’s Business Core. The reason a Consultant’s Business Core is so important is just about every decision and every action a consultant takes to build their business relies on the clarity of the definitions.

The presentation discusses:
• Definition of Your Focus, Ideal Client, and Point of View
• Relationship between Focus, Ideal Client, and Point of View
• Validation of your business core to establish balance and eliminate conflict
• Leverage your business core to develop credibility and build your business

Included in the presentation are real-life examples, easy to do exercises, and access to downloadable handouts.

Walk away with a better understanding of how the consultant’s focus, ideal client, and point of view can improve overall business performance, enhance client relationships, and increase consultant confidence.

Three Key Strategies to Create the Best Consulting Clients

Have you been creating a weekly newsletter or YouTube videos but you feel overwhelmed and stressed out? Maybe you are spending hours posting on social media with limited responses to your posts? The only result you know is you are not getting the clients you want and need to survive.

If this sounds like you, go back to the basic approaches. There are three basic approaches to attract clients, often referred to as the active awareness building strategies, that every consultant should hone: Targeted Outreach, Strategic Networking, and Referrals.

This hour minute presentation is for the consultant who has experience and expertise but is unsuccessful when it comes to getting the clients they want. To help explain the the three basic approaches, a real-life example is used to explain the three basic approaches.

This presentation discusses:
• Connecting, Getting Known, and Nurturing relationships
• Three Strategic Approaches: Targeted Outreach, Strategic Networking, and Referrals
• Incorporating writing, speaking, and social media

Walk away with a better understanding of the three basic approaches that every consultant should hone to get the clients they want and at least one idea to implement immediately.

OMG! Build Your Own Successful Consulting Business from Scratch!

Have you recently started your own consulting business and afraid? Have you been working as a consultant but you’re struggling and frustrated? Maybe you’ve decided that the time is right to chart your own path and have the freedom to make your own decisions, but how?

Do any of the scenarios sound like you?

This 45 minute session is designed for business professionals, consultants, and freelancers who have experience and expertise and realize that building a consulting business is not a hobby. It is for the person who understands consulting success requires taking a big picture view of consulting as they implement the right tactical actions.

This presentation discusses:
• a blueprint that a consultant can use as a starting point for their business and
• practical steps that a consultant can implement immediately.

Walk away not only with a blueprint and practical steps but recognize common, and avoidable, mistakes. No matter where you are on your consulting journey, position yourself to Build Your Own Successful Consulting Business from Scratch!

Innovate You: The Entrepreneur Within (Presented at PMI 2019 Global Conference)

The world is rapidly changing thanks to emerging technologies, improved communication, and the rise of the independent project professional. These changes have necessitated a mind-shift and innovation. For project success, independent project professionals and organizational leaders must to work together as partners, communicating continuously, and thinking like entrepreneurs. This presentation explores the knowledge and skills independent professionals and organizational leaders can hone to achieve success as well as innovative practices to implement.

At the conclusion of the session, the participants will be able to:
• Identify knowledge and skills independent project professionals and organizational business leaders need to sharpen.
• Define applicable innovative techniques to enhance collaboration and ensure successful delivery.

Business Consulting 101: A Fundamentals Workshop

One day you woke up and realized you were a consultant moving from one engagement to another. You shake your head, ask yourself how did this happen, and realize it is time to become serious about being your own boss.

This four-hour interactive business consulting workshop is for the person who
• has decided on consulting but has no idea as to where to start
• suddenly realizes they are a consultant, or
• is debating if consulting is a career path to pursue.

Walk away with:
• Actions you can immediately implement
• Handouts (workbooks and templates) to help you get started
• Consultant’s Blueprint format to help create your own plan
• New connections to share your experiences

Laura's Consulting Guide, www.laura'sconsultingguide.com, for more information.

Consulting Insight YouTube Channel

Videos aimed at helping consultants build their consulting business and several presentations are available on my YouTube Channel.

https://www.youtube.com/c/LauraBurford