Why aren't more companies hiring independent consultants?
I'm noticing a trend as I'm bootstrapping my consulting business. There
are plenty of awesome software development gigs, but most of them are
I have nothing against full-time positions; they're great for people who
enjoy capturing a regular paycheck each month and don't like the sales
process. But I'm not sure I understand how hiring full-time staff benefits
the employer, especially in terms of cost benefit relative to hiring
results-oriented consultants to complete the same work.
Employees are paid for their time. No matter the enriching culture you
provide them internally, they have little incentive to be efficient aside
from the possibility they'll lose their job. Most employees do want the
best for their company, but their principal concern is the livelihood of
their families and their ability to live life on their own terms. Paying
an employee's salary for a year does not translate into results for the
business. I've spent months as an employee working on projects which never
made the company a dime because they were ill-conceived from the start.
I got paid and the company got nothing.
Consultants charge for the outcomes they produce. If you need a new user
interface for your web application, I'm going to spend a fair amount of
time asking you why you need it. I'm going to dig deep into how such
a move could improve your business fundamentals. I'm going to ask you
difficult questions that have more to do with sales, marketing, and users
than technology, infrastructure, or design.
When I send you an invoice, I'm going to tell you exactly the results you
paid for. If you're not satisfied, you'll get your money back.
Feeling pressure to keep your team members employed
because you know they rely on you for paying their rent? Hire a consultant
and you won't have that problem. I'm happy when you don't need me anymore.
Hopefully I worked myself out of a job and you can spend the money you
would have allocated to my salary on marketing to more users or innovating
in other ways.
There's a stigma abound that independent consultants are hawks looking to
scoop up a payday without providing real value in return. I want to debunk
that myth for good. Consultants are seasoned professionals who realize
they don't thrive in the employer-employee model. We want nothing more
than for you to succeed and to help you find the best possible path to get
there. Our business is not one of billing hours, but of optimizing costs.
We charge fees not based upon the time we spend, but based upon the value