As academic positions become more competitive, many anthropologists are exploring the possibilities for creating their own consulting businesses. However, entrepreneurship is not a topic usually taught in graduate anthropology programs. In this article, two anthropologists provide advice on starting and operating a consulting business. The purpose of this article is to acquaint the budding professional with the basics of starting and operating a small business based on the skills, educational background, and experience of a professional anthropologist. The first part, Small Business Start-Up, describes the process of creating a business, from conducting a self-assessment to developing a plan to promote your services. The second part, Operating the Small Business, provides several frameworks for delivering good consultant services, from understanding the consulting process to an introduction to project management. Anthropologists are trained in data collection, analysis, and interpretation. We may also receive instruction on research design and how to conduct fieldwork and research. Our anthropological training in observing and understanding the beliefs and behaviors of groups, as well as seeing things from the client's unique perspective, gives us an edge as consultants. Our training helps us work in other cultural settings, and to work with different groups and subgroups. The authors emphasize networking as a fundamental promotion strategy that can take place at professional meetings (local, regional, or national) or with community organizations relevant to one's business (organizations, foundations, or coalitions). This article includes several useful websites for start-up topics and for networking with other anthropologists.
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