I’ve been so busy these past few weeks that I didn’t take the time to write and publish new articles. This sometimes happens when you’re the “chief cook and bottle washer” at your company, and have to prioritise tasks accordingly.
It’s tough sometimes being an independent IT consultant and solo-practitioner. It’s even tougher when many prospects are only interested in hiring the large consulting companies and vendors.
Most prospects make the argument that those large consulting companies with their large workforces can better serve them because everything does not fall on one person. They see it as a safer investment.
Plus no one could be fired for hiring Accenture, Fujitsu or IBM, right?
As an independent consultant though, I can offer you several advantages that those large firms cannot.
1. You are already dealing with the top person
If there is additional work to be done, or if there are problems that need to be resolved, you don’t need to talk to anyone else to get a resolution. I don’t have to “take it to my manager” or you don’t need to “talk to your sales associate”, I have the power then and there to make the decision.
How much will this speed up implementation and completion of projects?
2. Your project has the oversight of my entire firm
Your project is not lost among several engineers and projects within a firm. It has my oversight and my focus. Executives don’t have to wait for a monthly report (if one exists) to see what projects are running behind or need adjustment; I’m already on it.
What will this mean to your peace of mind?
3. Your satisfaction is in my best interest
One bad service (or even terrible service) may not ruin a large firm’s reputation, but it can surely ruin mine. As a result, I go out of the way to ensure that my client’s work is done well and they felt that they got the value they deserved.
I’m not trying to fill my sales quota, or trying to get the top salesperson award. I want to ensure that you get the best solution and best service so that you’ll want to come back for more and tell all your friends about me.
Would you like to be more satisfied with the outcomes of your projects?
4. You’ve built a relationship at all levels of my firm
The person helping you implement the solution, is the same person who helped developed the solution, and the same person who worked with you from the beginning helping determine what you needed. No sales associate came in to understand your needs then an engineer came in to design and implement the solution. I am there throughout and fully understand what the solution means to you and your business.
As such, there is no disconnect between sales and engineering, where you’ve been sold a solution that engineering can’t live up to. If I ever promise you the moon and stars, it means that I can deliver it.
Wouldn’t you rather have a partner interested in your success, rather than just be thought of as a customer?
As a former Fujitsu employee I will say that some of my co-workers there were some of the best in the field. I learned a lot about working in the service industry from working there and I’m truly grateful for my time spent there.
There are advantages and disadvantages to working with any consultant – big or small. Perhaps you may consider working with an independent consultant next time, preferably me, but there are lots of great folks out there all willing to serve you just as I am.