Self-employed managers lead consultancy into new era

As larger international consultancy firms – such as McKinsey & Company, PwC or Deloitte – press for more and more of the market share, smaller organisations and self-employed consultancies are being forced to better their game


Working as an independent or self-employed consultant is the career choice for many professionals today. The option has much going for it, including the ability to provide specialised services while also handpicking clients. A successful independent consultant can command excellent rates that easily compete with the charges of consulting firms and they can even choose to focus on a niche market that he or she finds profitable. All in all, the prospects for earning a living as a self-employed consultant are very good.

By choosing to go independent, professionals with expertise in specific areas that businesses require can quickly become established without having to go through the trouble of applying and competing for the limited number of positions available in established consulting firms. An additional perk is that a professional who wishes to migrate from a career within a given industry can actually begin to build a client base before making the final switch. This can mean being able to maintain an income during the transition period, with experiencing little to no real hardship in the process.

While there is some perception that independent consulting is mainly applicable to countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia or the United States, the fact is that the use of independent consultants for financial matters, business administration and a host of other activities related to business activities is growing just about everywhere. Thanks to the ability to telecommute, it is even possible to work as a consultant for a client on the other side of the world, requiring only the occasional site visit. This means that even consultants who are based in Third World countries can easily build a wide client base and create a steady flow of income.

A common question concerning this business sector is how much the self-employed consultant can charge for his or her services. One approach is to find out what the major consulting firms; for example Churchill Management or Raymond James charge for similar services. Since these firms often provide excellent working conditions as well as benefit packages to their consultants, using them as the standard will help the independent consultant create a schedule of fees that is profitable, while also being competitive. In addition, taking into consideration the economic conditions that prevail in the area where the clients are based will also be helpful in creating consulting packages that appeal, while still receiving enough compensation to turn a profit from the effort.

When the idea is to become a self-employed consultant with clients around the world, understanding local laws and customs will go a long way toward gaining trust, as well as being able to make recommendations that are relevant to those clients. In addition, the knowledge gained when learning about that culture and economic situation in that country will also come in handy in terms of being able to produce future quotations that are competitive there.