What consulting firms hire contract consultants for temporary or short term projects?
I am a business consultant and leadership coach who obtains referrals, but I also find that linking in with consulting firms that hire temporary or short term independent consultants, is also a vehicle to use.
What firms do you know contract consultants?
Thanks for starting this discussion.
I am a Project Management Professional working primarily in the Life Sciences industry. Just started my practice in 2011 after over 20 years as an employee of various companies.
I did spend some time searching SIC codes for companies that might hire consultants and approached some of them with an introductory marketing letter. Not very successful thus far.
Looking for any names of firms related to that industry that would hire independent consultants like myself. Thanks, Brian http://www.linkedin.com/in/brianpiperpmp/
The large charities also hire consultants, to help develop organisational strategy, as well as financial. They also hire consultants when carrying out widescale ICT review and strategy.
I think the answer would vary quite a bit based on what you mean by business consulting. Since you mention leadership coaching, are the services you provide focused on management excellence in the HR realm for talent retention, etc?
I dont witness this practice very much. As Mike said, its a pricing stack issue. You have to get to the clients directly.
And establish a partner network, work with them intently and be certain direct synergies are present.
Example contractors need engineers, they get a favorite partner and they both trade business. There is always more business to be had in a strong partner network, because all of the partners are prospecting for clients and or projects. OR THEY SHOULD BE> !
We routinely engage other consultants, engineers, architects, appraisers, surveyors, etc. for job specific tasks. Using this model (Protean Corporation) we are able to essentially have staff available at higher skill levels than we would be able to carry as employees. To do this effectively takes significant time and relationships (we have been doing it for over 20 years). All are treated as corporations or ind. contractors.
Bernadette: thanks for asking about the way larger firms subcontract consultants. As a communications/leadership consultant, I found the responses very helpful. I'm glad you asked this particular question. Chris
Every size consulting firm has a significant portion (30% to 70%) of their projects and functions outsourced to independent consultants or subcontracting companies. Seek out and find a match of services, values and client base and approach those consultancies who are reputable, are loved by clients, who pay fair fees and who pay on time as promised.
In Europe at least Highland Group, ManTec, IMR, Proudfoot and Celerant use temps. Try those. :-)
IMPAc used to use a lot of contractors, but I am not sure how active they are nowadays.
My experience is that most middle market firms provide subcontract opportunities for skills not available within the firm. But a personal relationship with the firm developed over time is required.. The best door opener is to introduce the firm to a potential client (s). Everyone reacts to back scratching.
It certainly is a good business model as long as you manage it appropriately. Just remember no matter what happens You are the one that is responsible for the outcome good bad or indifferent.. it becomes your job then to manage well and to stay completely in the loop. There are many large and small consulting firms that use this model.
This is a very widespread practice. Two ways I have done this:
1. I may get a contract that is bigger than I could handle by putting together a team of sub-contractors to handle various phases. I'm prime contractor and responsible for the work. All payments come through me. The subs will get from 50% to 80% of what I bill for their work, depending on how irreplaceable they are.
I've also done this the other way, where I was the sub on somebody else's prime contract.
2. As a small consulting firm, we (my wife and I) are essentially a virtual company. We farm out many essential functions to a wide variety of other consultants and professionals. "Professional services" is the second largest overhead item on our P&L.
The big issue is pricing. How much do you mark up your sub when you bill your client for their services? My rule of thumb:
-- If it's your employee, you must bill for at least 3 times what you pay them.
-- If it's a sub-contractor who works under your aegis, bill for 2 times what you pay them. It's hard to get many consultants to agree to this, but look for those who will--if you want to make a profit.
-- If you're handing off a piece of a project to a top-level consultant who will essentially work independently, and take responsibility for their own work, then you may negotiate a lower mark up, but you should get at least 25%
-- If you're just referring work to another, maybe 5 or 10%. Or maybe nothing. I would rather have a return referral than a tiny referral fee.
Law firms often hire contract consultants for overflow or to cover expertise that they might need on a particular case. I used to be a leveraged buyout lawyer and we often hired part time consultants for particular deals. For example, if there was a highly regulated industry and we did not have the expertise internally, we would hire a contractor. Also, I know many smaller firms that hire contractors when they get more deals or larger deals than they expect and cannot cover the workload with their internal staff.