Monday, January 4, 2010

Should I stay or should I grow now?

One of the major decisions an independent consultant entertains is whether to stick with a single, fulltime, lone-ranger client situation or focus on multi-person projects only. You can pursue both strategies at once if you have a flexible anchor client and are willing to work hard, but let’s face it, some leadership positions during intense project activity times require fulltime effort. So do some clients who may not have that level of need, but are only comfortable with that manner of working. So, should you take it/stay or go to pursue something bigger for your consultancy?

Some of the factors that should induce you to stay:

1. It is your business model – nothing wrong with that!
2. The client is local and you prefer your own bed
3. The technology to be used is an entry point to a career-enhancing opportunity
4. The prospect is an entry point into a career-enhancing industry.
5. The technology to be used is an entry point into a career-enhancing technology.
6. The client location is highly desirable, either from a personal standpoint or from a career-enhancing standpoint.
7. The application is an entry point into a career-enhancing application.
8. You see that the personal service you are providing can lead to multi-consultant services from your firm following this service.
9. The work is for a charity or a small firm doing good for society that you want to support.
10. Despite your best efforts following the direction of my book, you’ve been on the bench for longer than your comfort level

These are similar to the factors I present in chapter 7 of the book where I talk about when you would reduce your rate. This is no surprise since, for many, taking the lone-ranger situation is tantamount to reducing your (overall) rate by limiting your ability to grow multi-person projects.

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