How to Find Management Consulting Work (Even When the Economy Is Down)
The economy is like waves of an ocean. Sometimes, it’s easy and manageable, but sometimes, things get out of anyone's control and all one can do is hope for the best.
However, there are certain aspects of the situation that you can control to ensure that the odds are in your favor.
Fortunately, as a management consultant, you are probably already used to facing and solving difficult business-related problems. For this reason, your chances of making it through choppy waters are higher than compared to other professionals.
In this article, we will discuss how a freelance management consultant can find new projects when the economy is down.
1. Understand the Value You’re Providing as a Freelance Management Consultant
When the economy is down, the usual response of businesses is panicking. A lot of companies go into the ‘contraction’ mode instead of ‘expansion’ mode. Due to this, downsizing occurs, equipment gets sold, outlets are shut, and employees become anxious thinking about their uncertain future. Even at a time like this, businesses might hire new staff and freelance management consultants if they can prove that they can bring value to the company.
In fact, economic downturns might be a great opportunity for freelance management consultants because a lot of companies face complex issues during recessions and pandemics, and as a consequence, they need expert advice to solve those problems. It’s your job, as a consultant, to figure out how to provide value to a business that hires you. For example, if a business’s sales are down due to lockdown restrictions, a management consultant could help them create an alternate product distribution strategy to keep the revenue up.
2. Let an Online Consulting Platform Find Clients for You
The freelance consulting marketplace has made it a heck of a lot easier for freelance consultants to find new work consistently. Trying to find clients yourself, especially when businesses are downsizing, can be very challenging. However, if you sign up with an online consulting platform, they can find new clients for you. It’s simple, if you’re a qualified and experienced management consultant, you can apply to be a part of the talent pool of an online consulting platform, such as Consultport.
These consulting platforms are constantly visited by businesses who are actively looking for freelance consultants. Which means that if a project comes up that you might find interesting, the online consulting platform will contact you, and if you’re ready to take on that project, you’ll be introduced to the client by the consulting platform to discuss more details. How convenient! This method of finding clients didn’t exist a few years ago. Thanks to the rapidly growing freelance consulting marketplace, it’s not only possible to be a freelance consultant, but it’s also easy to find high-paying projects.
3. Leverage Inbound Marketing
While you’re building your professional network or using the freelance consulting marketplace to find new projects, you should also devote some time to inbound marketing. Simply put, inbound marketing involves posting informative content that’s relevant to your niche. So, if you’re a freelance management consultant, post blogs, LinkedIn articles, YouTube videos, etc. that your target audience will find helpful.
For example, you could talk about how you helped a previous client decrease their operational costs. The title could be something along the lines of “How I helped X company decrease their operational costs by 25% within 6 months.” Maybe someone out there is looking for a management consultant to help them with cost reduction. They might read your post and contact you. And even if they don’t, potential clients from your own network or the freelance consulting marketplace might find your content useful when they are thinking about hiring you.
4. Use Growth Hacks to Scale Your Freelance Business
As a management consultant, a big part of your job is to solve complex problems - whether they are your clients or your own. If the economy is down and businesses are scared to hire, then that’s a problem. But you cannot fix the economy entirely by yourself. However, you could brainstorm some growth hacks to ensure that you keep getting projects consistently.
For example, you could focus on certain niches that are the most useful during an economic downturn, such as dynamic pricing, cost reduction, restructuring, cash management, etc., instead of sticking to the usual type of projects.
Another example of a growth hack could be changing your fee structure to earn maximum profit. So, instead of charging an hourly rate or a one-time project fee, you could charge your fee based on the value you are providing. For instance, if your cost reduction strategy helps your client save $100,000, you could charge 10% of that on top of your base fee and earn an extra $10,000.
When the economy is facing problems, companies need problem solvers. And that is exactly what management consultants do - they solve problems that businesses face for a price. First, you should truly dig deep into your own skill set and understand how you can provide value to companies. As long as you can provide value to a business, and that business is in a position to compensate you, the status of the economy shouldn’t matter.
On another note, finding companies who are in a position to hire could be challenging. That’s why you should use the freelance consulting marketplace to find work. It’s simple, send your profile to an online consulting platform, and if you qualify, they will find new interesting projects for you. In the meanwhile, you should keep posting online content and position yourself as an expert in your field. Last but not least, use your problem-solving skills to find new ways to scale your business, even when the economy is going through a sea storm.