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New Post 3/6/2011 6:47 PM
User is offline KJ
243 posts
6th Level Poster


Re: Going freelance 

 

Claire,
 
The companies I’ve worked for are valued at $500M and more. Most of my longer term contracts (2-3 years) have been with larger companies ($2-3Billion and more). These larger companies tend to have a “track record” of using consultants and contractors. The smaller companies I’ve targeted are subsidiaries of the larger ones; and thus what’s good for the gander (the group) is good for the goose.
 
Some industries use more contractor services, than others. The finance industry is one, but the market is over crowded. I’ve targeted Manufacturing/Logistics Firms in the past and recently Utilities (water, gas and electricity). BA should be domain agnostic, except the “buyer of services” dictate some domain knowledge. I stay clear of ads that want specific product knowledge (ie, ‘should have SAP MM knowledge’); these are more system analysis.
 
Also watch trends in the market place. Companies are still recording and mapping business process. Its good to have some specialised knowledge of some process Tools (UML-activity and BPMN) and methods. Acquaint yourself with some end-to-end business processes. E.g. Order-to-Cash (Sales), Purchase-to-Pay (Purchasing) etc.!
 
Lastly, “follow the smart money”. Notice what the big-4 accounting firms are doing; also what the big product vendors are doing. The companies they target are the ones that should be on your radar as well. Most of the time, these large consulting/product firms deliver BA stuff (eg. a bunch of UseCases) that the client/subject matter experts may not have the sophistication to validate; hence it provides you great opportunity to “work” on the client side.
 
So in a nutshell, target larger companies with your generalist BA , domain and some process tool knowledge. As an independent self-employed consultant you’d be wise to consider ‘following the smart money”.
 
Warm regards,
K.

 

 
New Post 3/7/2011 1:26 AM
User is offline Kimbo
454 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Going freelance 

Hi Claire,

I can understand your desire to work locally in a smaller company. I think your training skills and technical writing skills may be of interest to a smaller company. They are probably less likely to have that skill in house. It may be hard to find them though.

I recently had a contract in a small start up and enjoyed it tremendously. Easy commute, office near the beach and interesting work. The thing about smaller companies is that you need to be prepared to do whatever they throw at you and you need to work quickly cause they are very results oriented. Contracts may be for shorter periods as well. I'm massively generalising of course.

To get the job you may need to go out and find the company yourself. I schmoozed the MD of that small company for about 2 years before they hired me. Perhaps you could create some marketing material based on your skills and spruik them around your area. Try business networking groups or hire a telemarketer (or phone yourself). Not very helpful, sorry, but if you can afford to spend some time looking, you may be on to something. 

Go for it, I say. To hell with boring corporate work.

Kimbo  

 
New Post 3/7/2011 10:01 PM
User is offline KJ
243 posts
6th Level Poster


Re: Going freelance 

When youre a self-employed consultant, its good to brush up on some business knowledge as well. I've found the book The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber  to be very usefull!

Answering some of the old questions: Whats my market; Why would  people buy from me; what do I deliver and whats my growth strategy.

Again, I'm not associated with M.E. Gerber at all!

warm regards,

K

 
New Post 3/8/2011 9:41 AM
User is offline ClaireBA
9 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Going freelance 

Thanks K.  This reponse has really set me in motion as to whom and regards the what.  I'm now busy doing market desk research (proper!) as you have given me LOADS to go on.  Thanks so so much. 

Best wishes

Claire.

 
New Post 3/8/2011 9:47 AM
User is offline ClaireBA
9 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Going freelance 

Kimbo

Thanks for your feedback with smaller companies.  It really has made me realise there are two different markets out there potentially for me and I need to be a lot more visible for this.  I am going to research the various networking groups that are based locally.  There are so many!  And thanks about the telemarketing option.  I have recently given it a little thought as there is an business enterprise which is government funded for quantitative research help, but is only £50 per hour for specialist help.  I may well use them initially to understand what the local market wants.  I'm also going to try to understand the regulations that small companies may need nowadays - eg SOx and see if there is a need for help with this.

I am so jealous that you managed to find a post working near the beach!  It's just not the same in East Anglia!

Regards Claire.

 
New Post 3/8/2011 10:12 PM
User is offline Kimbo
454 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Going freelance 

 Claire,

One of the joys of living in Sydney. Speaking of East Anglia, I lived in Cambridge for 10 years. Great place.

If you're looking for a good telemarketer, I can recommend Jan England from England Marketing. She lives out on the edge of the Fens somewhere. She has a website. The wife and I used her in a small business we had and I used her to find me contracts when I lived in England. I know she has a website.

Good luck

Kimbo

 
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