The concept of seeking advice is thousands of years old. However, until the 20th century, the consulting industry didn’t exist. Back then, only a few businesses could afford to receive expert advice. Fortunately, with the rise of technology, many companies now have the opportunity to seek advice from an expert.
Due to the rise of independent consulting firms, more companies are now considering hiring a freelance consultant instead of a traditional firm. In this article, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of both hiring a consultant and letting a big firm handle the project.
Benefits of Traditional Firms
Traditional firms typically hire only the best of the best to fill their teams. Many have long histories of success working with big-name companies. However, they can be expensive, and your experience may not feel very personalized. Nevertheless, these are some of the primary strengths of working with a traditional consulting firm.
1. Proven Track Record
With a proven track record, traditional firms can sell their services to potential clients at a higher level than a freelance agency. This is because they can show their clients how their work has performed in the past and how it has benefited their existing clients.
2. Effective Teamwork
Having a team that has previously worked together can help speed up the start-up process and give the potential client the assurance that the team members will work seamlessly together. Especially some of the top firms have a reputation to uphold, so you can trust the team they send you will work together seamlessly.
3. Brand Recognition
For some, this can be a personal security measure, as a firm that has a reputation can provide a guarantee that a given decision or solution will be approved. Brand reputation is powerful!
Benefits of Choosing a Freelancer
Freelance consultants come with their fair share of benefits as well. With more freedom and more time to pour into each client, for many businesses, going with a freelancer is an excellent option. However, without as strong of a track record, it can be risky to go with a freelancer. Here are the top benefits though.
1. Stronger Working Relationships
Unlike large corporations, freelancers are expected to put their best foot forward in order to build their brand. This attitude can be very beneficial to business owners as it allows them to see their potential. Freelancers know their career depends on the quality of their work, so they’re more likely to prioritize positive relationships with their clients.
2. More Freedom of Choice
Unlike traditional consulting firms, freelancers can provide you with the ability to choose an individual consultant for your project. They can also go through the profiles of several individuals and choose the one that fits best for your needs. At larger consulting firms, you’d usually just get assigned to whatever team has time for a new client and is equipped for the project.
3. Lower Price Point
Before you sign a contract with a freelance consultant, make sure that you have the opportunity to negotiate the fee structure. Usually, a one-time fee or an hourly rate will be the most reasonable option. At a larger firm, rates are usually standardized, so negotiation isn’t an option.
Although it’s beneficial to hire a freelance consultant, it’s also important to consider the pros and cons of going with a larger consulting firm. For medium-sized and small businesses, freelancers may be more effective and affordable. However, for large companies with a lot at stake, the well-established methods of a larger firm might introduce less risk.