Building a Successful Consulting Practice


Introductory| Novice, Competent
Sunday, October 27, 2019
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
CM Credit Hours: 7 




Consulting appears to be a great career – lucrative, flexible hours – why wouldn’t everyone want to be a consultant? There are difficult decisions to be made before making the leap into consulting or prior to expanding. This session will outline key considerations allowing the participants to determine if this is the right path for them. The speakers will offer lessons learned to supplement what the ‘books say” and offer ideas for implementing processes designed for growth. Marketing techniques and ideas for using multiple marketing platforms including social media and public relations will be shared. Staffing models will be discussed regarding sole proprietor, subcontractors, and part-timers. Small group work will include vision, business plan, and marketing plan development. This session will give participants a guide to getting started, ideas on running a successful consulting business, and improvement tips for those with an established business.

*Registration includes breakfast & boxed luncheon.

**Please note: power strips will not be provided at each attendee's seat; however, charging stations for laptops will be provided in each course room. 


Upon completion, participants will be able to:

  • Identify key decisions prior to starting an independent practice.
  • Develop a successful business and marketing plan.
  • Organize a staffing plan.
  • Formulate an integrated financial plan.
  • Recognize some tricks of the trade.


  • Introduction and overview
  • What it takes to get started
    • Professional skills
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Business skills
  • Business plan
    • What services to offer
    • Pricing
    • Competition
    • SWOT
  • Implementation
    • Culture
    • Onboarding
    • Processes/Procedures
    • Project Management
    • Personnel Management
  • Quality Assurance
  • Marketing
    • Getting clients
    • Customer retention
    • Online presence, social media and other outlets
    • Ideas and tips for best results
  • Financial Considerations
    • Project budgets
    • Projections
    • Expenses
    • Cash flow
    • Invoicing
    • Accounts receivable
    • Salaries
    • Profit sharing
  • Other Considerations
    • Staffing
    • Growth
    • Benefits
    • Insurance
    • Office
    • Equipment
  • Next Steps

Transfer of Knowledge

Instructors will evaluate participants’ understanding of the materials presented based on:

  • Group activities and discussion

Learning Aids

Participants should bring a laptop or tablet/iPad with them to the course.​


Your Instructors

Dianne Grote Adams, MS, CIH, CSP, CPEA, FAIHA
Safex, Inc., W​esterville, OH

Dianne Grote Adams is a Board-Certified Industrial Hygienist, Board-Certified Safety Professional and Certified Professional Environmental Auditor in Health and Safety with more than 40 years of experience. 

Dianne has comprehensive environmental, safety and industrial hygiene experience. She has conducted audits, trained management and ES&H professionals, coached ES&H staff and mentored other women business owners. Her recent audit experience includes contractors, engineering consulting firms, manufacturers and distribution centers. 

During her career, she has conducted or supervised hundreds of industrial hygiene and indoor air quality surveys, written and reviewed compliance programs, and developed and presented hundreds of employee and management training courses, webinars and workshops. Dianne has presented monthly EHS webinars for the Ohio Manufacturer’s Association for the past four years and the Safex monthly webinars for the past three years. She has spoken at the BWC All Ohio Safety Congress on multiple occasions, as well as at the Capital Area Safety Council and the Greater Columbus Safety Council. She has been a key instructor for the AIHA’s Fundamental of Industrial Hygiene and Beyond Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene since 1999. 

Dianne is active in the community. She is serving her second term on the board of Cristo Rey Columbus, a college prep high school for economically challenged youth, and serves as the Board Services Chair. She is also on the AIHA Conference Program Committee. Dianne completed a three-year term as a member of the AIHA Board of Directors in 2014; during that time, she served on the Finance Committee and the Executive Development Committee. Dianne is a member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), American Academy of Industrial Hygiene (AAIH) and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). Prior to her current volunteer activities, Dianne was on the Ohio State University Environmental Health Science Advisory Board, the advisory committee for the Ohio University Industrial Hygiene Program, the Otterbein Alumni Council, the AIHA Local Section Council, the AIHA PSTFII Task Force, the All-Ohio Safety Congress and the Central Ohio AIHA. 

Dianne received the Special Alumni Achievement Award from Otterbein University in 2018 and in 2017 she was recognized as the Distinguished Fellow Award by the AIHA. Safex was recognized as the Small Business of Year in 2019 by the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce. Past honors for Safex also include the 2014 Conway Family Business Center Community Engagement Award and the 2013 Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service. In 2010, Dianne received the “Ohio Keys to Success Award” sponsored by the Ohio Department of Development’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business Division. In 2007, Dianne was the proud recipient of the Builders Exchange “Meg DeWerth Industry Impact Safety Award.” In 2005, she was one of five “Change Makers” to premiere in the June Columbus Business First Women in Business Supplement. Dianne received the Central Ohio Local Section of the AIHA “Industrial Hygiene Award of Excellence” in 2003 and the "Outstanding Industrial Hygiene Award" in 1992, In 2002, she was a finalist for the Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year”. She was named to the Business First "40 Under 40" Business Leaders in 1993.

Since 1992, Dianne has been the President of Safex. Prior to Safex, Dianne worked with Abbott/Ross Laboratories, ChemLawn Services Corporation and with the Ohio OSHA Consultation Program. Dianne was an adjunct professor at Columbus State Community College from 2008-2010. 

Dianne received a BA in Life Science from Otterbein University and a MS in Environmental Health/Occupational Safety from the University of Cincinnati.

Nate Burgei, CSP, CIH
Safex, Inc., Westerville, OH

Nate Burg​ei is a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) and Certified Safety Professional (CSP) with 9 years of experience. 

At Safex, Nate’s primary role is conducting gap assessments, evaluating employees’ inhalation exposures and facilitating health and safety training. His project experience has included steel mill and chemical manufacturing exposure assessments and industrial and transportation facility gap assessments. He is a member of the instructor team for Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene and Beyond Industrial Hygiene Fundamentals as well as Safex’s OSHA recordkeeping, silica and other health and safety trainings. 

Prior to joining Safex, Nate worked as a Compliance Safety and Health Officer for OSHA and for the Office of Worker Safety and Health for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). During his time at OSHA, conducted inspections in a vast range of industries and gained experienced in hazard recognition and hazard abatement. He was involved in accident investigations and recordkeeping special emphasis inspections along with other enforcement activities. While with the Office of Worker Safety and Health, Nate managed the safety and health program, conducted non-enforcement inspections and coordinated the recordkeeping program. 

Nate’s continuing education includes industrial ergonomic evaluations, aerosol monitoring and analysis, indoor air quality and IH sampling and hearing conservation and engineering controls. 

Nate is a Safex team leader and recently completed the first level of the Conway Family Business Center Leadership Development Program. While with the DOL, he received two Secretary’s Honor Awards for his work with a fire recovery team and a large-scale asbestos abatement team for the DOL. 

He holds a BS in Biology from the Ohio State University.

Michele Blaney
Safex, Inc., Westerville, OH

Michele Blaney has been a member of the Safex team for sixteen years. She develops strong client relationships, gets energized by meeting and landing new clients, coaches Safex consultants on marketing efforts, enforces the strong core value culture at Safex and spends her free time watching her boys play sports. 

As a member of the leadership team, Michele supports the Safex commitment to continual growth and success by implementing marketing strategies that include multiple mediums including face to face networking, website traffic, social media, emails and traditional methods of mail and phone calls. 

She is the Team Lead for the administrative support team that keeps the inner workings of the business moving forward enabling consultants to complete billable work on time and on budget. She is a primary player in planning Safex team building events, coordinating professional development for staff and engaging employees during monthly office days and staff meetings. 

Michele graduated with a BS in Marketing and Communications from Otterbein University.​