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The Real Effectiveness of Independent Consulting Businesses

The Real Effectiveness of Independent Consulting BusinessesI've written at length about the differences between the world's best-known and largest consulting firms and the smaller, independent consulting businesses. I believe that both types of consulting practices are important, and each type of consultancy serves an important purpose. However, it's my contention that professionals who are interested in getting the most out of a consulting career are better served by choosing the independent path. Today, I'd like to share why independent consulting businesses are better suited to help small to mid-sized organizations, which make up the overwhelming majority of businesses in operation today.

#1 – A Quick and Effective Connection

Think of yourself as an independent consultant. You'll have the freedom to operate as you see fit without waiting for the wheels of the corporate giants to turn. You can use your knowledge, skill and experience to create and implement solutions to issues immediately, and you'll have the ability to make adjustments in real time.

Now think of yourself as the leader of a small or mid-sized business. If you need to make improvements or changes to keep your organization afloat, large consulting firms will simply not appeal to you – they move far too slowly to be effective for your type of business. What's more, larger firms are more interested in implementing proven solutions than they are in innovating.

What does this mean? It means that you'll be much more likely to make a difference as an independent consultant working with smaller businesses than you would be if you took a position with a larger consulting firm. It also underscores why smaller organizations prefer working with independents.

#2 – True Understanding

Small and mid-sized business leaders have the same goals as their counterparts in the world of big business. They want to experience success in the short term, but they also want to ensure that their endeavors can be executed effectively after they've decided to step away from the organization. For the most part, they also want to innovate and be seen as leaders in their respective industries.

In this competitive business world, leaders can't do all of this on their own, especially if their organizations fall into the small and mid-sized categories. As a result, they are hiring independent consulting businesses.


  • They know that independents will help them achieve short-term success more quickly

  • They understand that independents will gain a more accurate “feel” for the business because they aren't encumbered by binders full of standard operating procedures and policies

  • Trust can be developed more easily and quickly with an independent consultant versus a large consulting firm, thus giving leaders more confidence in possible succession plans

  • They know that true innovation comes from independent thinking – something they won't get from the more well-known names in consulting

#3 – Avoiding the Next Disaster

The global financial crisis of 2008 changed everything for just about everybody. In fact, if you're considering a career as an independent consultant, I'd be willing to bet that the recession has affected your career outlook considerably, influencing the path you're about to take.

As a survivor of the recession, you'll be able to help organizations that need the most assistance when it comes to avoiding the next disaster. Smaller companies need to be able to withstand the affects of factors that lie outside of their control, and they require innovative thinkers to help them do so. That's why so many small business leaders are turning to independent consulting businesses to help them navigate through a future that is still quite uncertain.

Making a Real Difference

Working as an independent consultant is not the ideal career path for everyone, but it's perfect if you're interested in making a real difference in the business world. Everybody knows about the household names in business, but the reality is that the smaller companies make the world go around. As an independent, you'll be able to work directly with the people who will shape the futures of their industries, and they'll be glad to have you, your experience, your talent and your knowledge working for them.


Are you interested in learning more about the advantages of operating your own independent consulting business? We can help! Download your copy of Buddy Hobart's eBook “Experience Matters” for free, and learn more about the nuts and bolts of working as a consultant by downloading your free copies of the Ex3 Matters Consulting Guides.