The number one question we are asked by prospective customers is why they should use our bench of resources versus a traditional consulting company’s. Below you will find a few advantages that we find our partners accrue when utilizing Free Agents…
- Time to launch can be reduced- Part of the rub with consulting engagements is the time spent with pre-engagement prep, including finding a service provider, scoping workshops, SOW’s, pricing, etc…When working directly with someone that has relevant experience, this portion of an engagement can be reduced greatly. Say good bye to wasted time creating and working through SOW’s and negotiating on price. Free Agents that have “done it before” should be very knowledgeable about an upcoming engagement, its potential duration, and of course their rate, allowing you to kick a project off in an expedited manner.
- On the job training can be reduced, if not eliminated- While not always the case, there are many consulting shops that will take on work without necessarily having experience in the specific domain. While this does not always lead to poor results, chance are high that the length of time needed to complete the task may be increased due to the need to “study up” or “staff up”. In our experience, Free Agents are generally quick to walk away from work that is not necessarily in their “wheel house” as time is precious and there is no time to “just figure it out” during an engagement. Additionally , poor performance or results can tarnish reputations very quickly, so many are interested in maintaining focus, sticking only within their specific specialty/domain.
- Engagement Duration can be Reduced-Since the majority of our Free Agents do not take on work with out having previous experience, this can greatly reduce an engagements duration. Specifically because individuals that have relevant experience to the problem at hand can generally hit the ground running, adding value almost immediately.
- Teams can be built according to project need, versus your service provider’s priorities (i.e. margin)- This is a tricky topic because most companies are in business, after all, to make a profit. Profit can come in all different shapes and sizes and be accomplished in a myriad of ways. In consulting, labor rate and bill rate reign supreme. As a result, consulting companies have a keen interest in keeping the labor rate as low as possible, all while billing as much as the customer will allow. Margin pressure, therefore can be a real motivator to bring on team members that may help with a specific margin objective, but may not be the highest performing resource. So, the priorities of the customer and service provider can and are often mismatched, resulting in the consulting company saving margin at the risk of missing project deadlines. Utilizing the service of a Free Agent can solve this issue as the price of the resource(s) is generally much more transparent. Side note- this scenario does not happen across the board, but does exist and companies looking to bring on consulting firms should be aware.
- Costs can be reduced- Directly related to the aforementioned is project cost. The quicker a problem can be solved, the less expensive the engagement typically is. This can be true even when paying a premium per hour or per project. Don’t let inexpensive rates fool you as there is generally a trade off (e.g. cheap rates can mean longer time to closure and end up costing more in the end). Paying a premium for work that is done right the first time can often save money and time.
Bottom line- It’s best to keep an open mind when faced with mission critical projects as there are scenarios which are better suited for either approach (i.e. Free Agents or consulting companies) and sometimes a blend…If you have a question on which engagement model works best for you, please do not hesitate to reach out.
About the Free Agent- The Free Agent utilizes a vetted bench of battle-tested experts that work directly with companies in hyper-growth. Simply put, we provide the right strategic experts at precisely the right time in order to accelerate results. If you are interested in learning more, or joining our vetted and curated team, please do not hesitate to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org. We live and breathe the gig economy and are always interested in a dialogue.
Beau Billington- the founder of the Free Agent, a consulting company immersed in the strategic-layer of the Gig Economy-