Free-agents and natural enterprises are better value

Note: Some may consider this post as overt self-advertising, as I’ll explain why you should hire me, or my free-agent colleagues, instead of a name-brand consulting firm.

Many free-agents are also natural enterprises, not encumbered by the need for constant growth. I’ve worked as a sub-contractor on bids from large corporations who need my skills for a specific project. It’s usually good work for me, but in many cases I could have put together a team of free agents for a much lower cost and a more effective (in my opinion) project. However, most large corporations and government agencies write their requestes for proposals (RFP) in such a way as to exclude small operators, thinking that they are mitigating their risks.

I have been on both sides of the fence, having written, evaluated and responded to RFP’s, and can say from my experience that free-agents provide good value. I have to agree with the advantages of using a natural enteprise that Dave Pollard lists:

  1. Personal relationship (knowledge, trust, partnership, friendship, even love)
  2. Customization (really have it your way)
  3. Local just-in-time service (responsiveness)
  4. Superior innovation
  5. Low pressure (since supplier is not dependent on growth for survival)
  6. Reciprocality (mutuality, flexible pricing)
  7. No corporatist costs to pass on (huge management salaries, huge margins to achieve 20%+ ROI demanded by shareholders, massive advertising, marketing, transportation and packaging costs)
  8. Resilience (reliability in the face of economic or other crises, due to superior improvisational capacity and focus on effectiveness rather than more vulnerable efficiency)
  9. Quality and durability (no crap from indifferent Chinese factories)
  10. Appeal to altruism (supplier is good to its people, its community, its environment, and good for the local economy)

Take for instance my marketing costs – hosting fees for this website and some of my time, compared to the expensive advertising of large consulting firms (Item 7).

In today’s internetworked world, you are no longer engaging a lone consultant working on his own, but an entire network:

Network

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