There is a good reason that consultancy is now a $250 billion (US) growth industry: companies and businesses across the world are employing external consultants like never before.
And it is for this very reason that more and more consultants are quitting corporate life and setting up on their own.
So, what is Driving this Demand for External Consultants?
Numerous factors are at play here, but in the end, it all comes to down to cost-effectiveness. Simply put, it is cheaper to hire a consultant to perform a specialist task, or to solve a particular problem, than to keep a team of professionals on the payroll.
Let us look more closely at the reasons companies and businesses are turning to external consultants for help:
Reason #1—Lack of In-House Expertise
Not all organisations have the in-house skills to deal with the ever-changing needs of their business. In this situation, many turn to expert consultants to resolve problems or complete projects that are beyond the scope of their personnel.
Reason #2—They Need a Temporary Skills Boost
At times, a company may want to launch a specific project which requires the services of an expert. With many consultants launching go-it-alone agencies, there is no shortage of skills available as close as a mouse-click away.
In situations like this, consultants, in essence, serve as highly-skilled temporary employees.
Reason #3—There is an Urgent Time Factor
The company is up against a tight deadline but it just doesn’t have the resources to complete the project in time. The answer: Call in the ‘ghost-busters’—the experts who can quickly rally around and get the job done.
Reason #4—The Need for an Outside Eye
The problem has existed for months and no one is able to cut through the differing opinions to reach a workable solution. In this case, a business needs someone who can view the issue objectively and take the tough decisions that no one else is prepared to countenance.
This is when the consultant, who has worked with numerous companies and has probably faced similar situations in the past, can add an invaluable perspective to a seemingly intractable problem.
They arrive as quickly as they leave. Consultants can be brought in for short-term projects. When the project is completed, the contract ends and the consultants head off—no fuss, no severance pay, no obligations.
Consultants work with a variety of companies and industries, and in the process inevitably gain fresh business ideas and learn new problem-solving techniques. This cross-pollination often allows them to see solutions to problems that have eluded staff members.
A Note of Caution
If you are considering breaking out on your own as a consultant, you are probably motivated by such attractions as increased financial rewards, being your own boss, and working flexible hours.
With demand expected to increase for the services of independent contractors due, inter alia, to the reasons listed above, you can be pretty certain that you will find enough work.
But before you take this big step, be sure that you are suited to the independent consulting game.
Once you are clear in your mind that this life is indeed for you, get going! There is plenty of demand for your services.
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