I have a lot of colleagues who head up small or solo consulting practices. Between them, they are President, Principal, Managing Partner, Chair, Executive Consultant, CEO, CXX (any number of "creative" titles), or no title at all. Does any of this matter?
These titles are important in a large firm to differentiate between various management and executive jobs. It helps outsiders know which roles and responsibilities an individual has. HR departments use these to describe a job to applicants. Inside a firm, it helps define accountabilities, and who gets what size office. Certainly if your business is related to the Internet or marketing, there has been an arms race in creative job titles
For a solo consultant, this boils down to what your ego needs and what makes your mother proud. It really doesn't make any difference what you call yourself. Clients are hiring you for your expertise, perspective, skills and behaviors, not because you are CEO or President or Grand Poobah. I've heard more than one client express some disdain in reaction to a consultant whose business card reads "CEO and Chairman" when they are a one-person firm. Tip:
Call yourself whatever you like, but know that it is mostly for your own benefit. © 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA