How to Leverage Independent Consulting To Future Proof Your Business

Learn how and why you should leverage independent consulting as a way to future proof your business.

Industry and job market turbulence — most notably, over the last couple of years — have impacted businesses around the globe. These rapid and substantial changes have highlighted how critical a resilient and agile strategy is for every company and firm to maintain long-term stability when planning for the future.

To manage ongoing instability across industries, labor markets, supply chains, and more, your planning processes must be flexible, dynamic, and low-risk. An investment in independent consulting will help you achieve each of these resilient and agile business characteristics while also improving ROI and setting up for future success.

1. Start with agile business planning to understand talent needs. 

Leading businesses are embracing a new agile method of strategic planning to combat today’s market volatility. As your business sets specific goals for the short term, individual teams will develop a very deep and specific understanding of the needs for every project or initiative you plan on rolling out.

This knowledge is ideal for working with external talent because it allows you to hire based on the characteristics and traits your goals require. For example, your business goals may require someone with a specific amount of prior work experience in a certain industry. Or maybe your hiring needs are based on budget constraints, and a flexible contract is a priority. Once you’ve gained an understanding of your specific talent needs and the parameters you need to work within, you can then hand-select the expert who joins your team.

2. Hand-select specific independent experts who fulfill those talent needs. 

A key benefit of fulfilling your business needs through independent consultants lies in the fact that you’re truly hiring an individual. For decades, working with consultants through traditional consulting firms would often mean getting support from a consultant who is considered a generalist. Typically a partner at the firm assigns consultants to various projects across different clients based on their bandwidth. 

The downside of this method lies in both candidate experience and interest. A consultant might let leadership know they prefer to work in certain business areas but they will often get placed on jobs based on their availability and the availability of the other consultants at the firm. Additionally, as the hiring organization, you have little control over the amount and type of work experience of the consultant.

However, when you have the opportunity to interview and hand-select your consultant, you’re able to bring on an individual who meets your exact talent requirements and can effectively execute the work you need to be done. As a result, your business will see better deliverables and business outcomes faster.

3. Address labor market fluctuation with that independent talent.

By considering your talent needs and then hand-selecting your consultant, you also immediately address labor market fluctuation and the potential of receiving subpar deliverables.

Today’s top talent seeks autonomy and flexibility when it comes to their jobs and work-life balance. Recently, we’ve seen thousands quit traditional roles at major corporations and firms for independent consulting and contract-based jobs that allow them to focus on the projects they’re most passionate about, establish a work-life balance, and get paid their market rate. Rather than making a full-time hire for a position that may not actually require a full-time employee and worrying about retention, hire an independent consultant to implement flexible and agile business practices focused on project outcomes. 

Working with an independent consultant also means you’re hiring talent that is both well-versed in, and passionate about, the areas in which your projects exist. Oftentimes there is a strong sense of pride and personal investment that independent consultants feel about the work you’re hiring them to complete. This is beneficial for you because data shows that when someone feels passionate about their job, you’ll see better results and stronger deliverables. Their work is not a reflection of a 100K+ person multinational conglomerate — their work is a reflection of their personal effort and expertise.

4. Adopt this method across your entire enterprise to improve ROI. 

In today’s turbulent and rapidly evolving business environment, it’s important to constantly examine your bottom line and the various factors that impact it. Today’s economic climate also highlights the importance of focusing on time to value as it relates to your bottom line. When working with independent talent, there’s visibility directly into your bottom line related to expert rates and project outcomes. 

For example, when using a strategic freelance marketplace like Catalant, you gain visibility into an expert’s work experience and their rates. This transparency is key when understanding the impact a consultant brings your team and business as a whole. It shows you exactly how independent consulting has the power to give you the same end product without the overhead of hiring a full–time employee or working with a major firm. This is especially true when you roll out an agile strategy supported by highly-skilled independent talent across your entire organization, instead of an individual project. In doing so, you’ll see the direct correlation between independent consulting improving time to value and greater ROI at scale across all of your strategic work.

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