Log in

IEEE Boston 

consultants network

Consultants - How to make sure you get paid for your work

  • 24 May 2012
  • 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Microsoft Corp, 201 Jones Road, 6th Floor MPR-A, Waltham, MA


Presentation in PDF format

By Nathan O. Sokal, President, Design Automation
Suite 221 - 130-D Seminary Ave. 
Auburndale, MA 02466-2660, U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 (617) 641-2388

 Corporate restructuring and layoffs of engineers have been swelling the ranks of consultants.  Though probably prepared technically, many new consultants are not experienced in the business aspects of consulting.  This makes them easy prey for the small minority of clients who try to get work for nothing or avoid paying for services once rendered. 

In your consulting practice, you must accomplish four main tasks:

     • get the business

     • do the work

     • bill your client

     • get paid.

Many lectures, courses, and books are available to help you with the first two tasks; rarely are the third and fourth tasks discussed.  If you fail to get paid for your work, you are worse-off than if you had failed to get the business, because you have spent your valuable time doing the work, with no compensation.


About 95% of clients are honest, but the few dishonest ones cause enormous trouble.  Such problems are more likely to occur during hard economic times, when more clients might be tempted to save money by engaging in unethical behavior.

This lecture tells you how to increase the chances of being paid for your work.  It will include tips in the following areas:

     • ways to early detect problem clients so little time is wasted

     • innovative billing approaches to enhance payment from

cash-poor clients or those in economic difficulty

     • protection methods to improve collection opportunities

     • enforcement strategies to collect when trouble strikes.

This special presentation features an IEEE Fellow engineer with 62 years of engineering experience, of which 47 years were as an independent consultant.

Nathan Sokal was elected a Fellow of the IEEE, for contributions to the

technology of high-efficiency power conversion and RF power amplification.  He received the IEEE 2007 Microwave Pioneer Award “in recognition of a major, lasting, contribution … for development of the Class-E RF power amplifier.”

In 1965, Mr. Sokal founded Design Automation, Inc., a consulting company doing electronics design review, product design, and solving "unsolvable" problems, for equipment-manufacturing clients. Much of that work has been on high-efficiency switching-mode RF power amplifiers at frequencies up to 2.5 GHz, and in switching-mode dc-dc power conversion

Mr. Sokal holds eight patents in power electronics, and is the author or co-author of three books and more than a hundred technical papers, mostly in high-efficiency generation of RF power and dc power.  During 1950-1965 he held engineering and supervisory positions for design, manufacture, and applications-engineering of analog and digital equipment.  He received B.S. and M.S.  degrees in Electrical Engineering from the  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1950. He is a Technical Adviser to the American Radio Relay League, on RF power amplifiers and dc power supplies, and a member of the Electromagnetics Society, Eta Kappa Nu, and Sigma Xi honorary professional societies.


The meeting is open to the public.  No charge for Consultants Network members.  There is a $5 entrance fee for non-members.  Casual dress.

The Consultants Network meeting starts at 6:30 PM.  The meeting location is at Microsoft Corp, 201 Jones Road, 6th Floor MPR-A, Winter Street, Waltham, MA. From Route 128 take Exit 26 (Route 20 East or Weston Street).  Turn left onto Stow Street and then left again onto Route 117 or Main Street.  Drive back over route 128, and Jones Road is the second left.,+Waltham,+MA&hl=en&geocode=&mra=ls&sll=42.37596,-71.26972&sspn=0.012206,0.027895&ie=UTF8&z=16

Check the Consultants Network website for details and last minute information of our upcoming lectures series for 2011-2012

For more information, e-mail or; or contact the chairman Joe Sanroma at 617-429-7562. The Consultants Network website is at