What it Takes to Become a Successful Independent Procurement Consultant
Freelance procurement consultancy is an increasingly competitive marketplace. Increasing numbers are choosing to strike out alone as an independent contractors or consultants. Following the pandemic, as of June 2021 there are 4.3 million self-employed people in the UK. While the market for independent procurement consultant is a buoyant with the pool of independent consultants growing it is important to stand out and be successful.
When it comes to independent procurement consulting, we have a few tips that can help you along your way.
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It is important to know yourself as an independent consultant. Think about your why – why do you want to go freelance? Is it for a better work/life balance? Is it because you know you can earn more? Are you sick of corporate life? Figuring out your why will help you build the independent consulting career you are looking for.
You also need to consider your lifestyle. After all, going independent means you can build your career around your lifestyle so not considering this might hinder your progress.
Think about where you want to work – do you want to be at home or in an office? Some jobs may require one or the other or both. Knowing the right balance for you is important when choosing the right projects.
Know Your Niche
One of the mistakes you can make as an independent consultant of any kind, is to take on every job going just because you can. It is important to focus on jobs and projects that play to your strengths, where you can offer the client true value and that you can then use to market yourself once the project is complete. This will enable repeat business or scope for you to on-sell. Now this can be tricky in procurement because you touch on so many parts of a business but be clear about the value your experience can add.
Build Your Network
Any good independent consultant knows their network is their ticket to a new job. From your full-time procurement role or previous years freelancing (if you have them) you will likely have a book of connections that you can turn to when you need another role.
However, unless you continue to make new connections in the industry, your book of contacts will soon dry up. You need to keep building your network which is easier said than done, right? Platforms like Choix are the place to meet not only new clients but also new people, fellow independents and learn from each other . Not only can you find your next role, but you might find your next 5 as well as groups of people to go after bigger project work with.
Keep Learning New Skills
We live in a world that is constantly evolving and keeping up with trends is important. Whether that is refreshing skills you already have or learning new ones altogether. We don’t know exactly what the next big thing is, but we can be as prepared as possible.
As an independent consultant, keeping abreast of new ideas, the application of new technologies and understanding the best ways to utilise data is what is going to help you land your next project, and get the job right. Staying up to date will enable you to ensure your client has the very best advice at their fingertips.
Take on New Challenges
A big part of working successfully as an independent procurement consultant is taking on new challenges. From one project to the next you could be working across multiple functions within an organisation as well as across different industries.
A willingness to dive straight in with the confidence that you know you’re able to tackle the problem at hand is vitally important. It can be the most exciting part of working independently for most people, but for some might be a little daunting. With our community platform you can put your mind at ease by talking to other likeminded people, upping your skillset and preparing for whatever your next role might throw at you. Don’t forget, once free from an employer’s specific way of approaching a problem, you’re free to think radically and add true value to your client.
Be Willing to Put in The Work
Lastly, all of the above doesn’t mean much if you aren’t willing to put in the work. We’re sure if you are here reading this, you probably already have plenty of experience getting your hands dirty and putting in the hours to get a job done well. However, it is an important part of being a successful procurement consultant.
By signing up to Choix you can get ahead in your journey to becoming a successful independent procurement consultant. Our goal is to help you and help our clients – on our platform you can grow and learn with likeminded people as well as find your next procurement role….and the one after that!