Independent consultants are often very experienced professionals, who are weary of the bureaucracy seen in traditional consulting firms. They’ve made the decision to strike out solo and take control of their contacts and contracts.
The reasons why independent consultants win contracts
Consultant network Odgers Connect commissioned Source Global Research to survey 250 company executives based in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, to find out how the growth in independent management consultants is affecting the industry.
The results show that 40% of companies now use an even split of traditional consulting firms and independent consultants. And, with the work delivered by these freelancers worth £2 billion, the survey revealed four key reasons why companies are going with them over big firms.
48 per cent of top decision-makers said that flexibility is the biggest selling point that independents have over their larger rivals.
This is because the traditional consulting firms often struggle to give their clients the freedom needed to thrive in today’s fast-paced business world.
Companies look for new, innovative approaches to keep up with younger, agile competitors. This is a great fit for independent consultants, as companies look to tap into their skills when needed – without worrying about offering lucrative long-term contracts.
With organisations looking to scale back on costs due to heightened competition, 38% of decision-makers said that price was a vital motivator when choosing an independent consultant.
And a separate survey by Comatch actually revealed that 58% of independents are better paid in a freelance capacity than they were while working for a larger firm.
Organisations said that they often see higher quality work from independent consultants. 23% of executives put this reason as the primary motivator when choosing an independent consultant over a big firm.
More people are leaving employers to go it alone (there are now 4.8 million freelancers in the UK). In the case of independent management consultants, many have cut their teeth at the top firms and then decided to strike out on their own.
This means that they have the same skills and experience as the big firms, but added freedom and flexibility lets them focus and specialise in particular areas.
Ease and speed
The fourth reason why clients choose independent consultants is the speed and ease with which independent consultants can take up contracts. 20% of decision-makers named this as their top reason.
Because independent consultants are responsible for themselves, they need to work quickly and find contracts to make sure they get paid.
Clients often rely on wide-reaching networks and personal recommendations to find independent consultants, but matching platforms also provide increasingly easy access to top-quality people.