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Explained: Freelance consulting projects

by Sarah Webster May 13, 2018
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There is an ever-growing demand for a ‘flexible workforce’ in businesses and professional services, with a need to bring in specialised and generalist skills into an organisation at short notice to address business-critical activity. The ability to do this through a contingent workforce model offers several benefits to businesses.

The Consulting team at Freshminds, which sits within the wider Projects division, manages a network of high-calibre freelance strategy/management consultants and industry experts who we place on short to medium term interim and project opportunities with our wide network of clients. These consultants range from Associate up to Director level from leading consultancies, and industry professionals who have cross-sector, strategy and operational expertise. Having quick access to such a top network of talent is a valuable tool for businesses, during the recruitment process.

Q. What’s in it for businesses? 

A. Speed and Quality.

For businesses, the appeal lies in the ability to solve an urgent problem with high-quality talent that can be sourced quickly. Organisations may suffer from capacity constraints and the appeal of getting a trained consultant with a proven track record can often take the pressure off recruiting a permanent member of staff. 

Businesses can also benefit financially as the option to hire a freelancer can be a cost-effective method of achieving the results they need in a time effective manner. 

Projects can range from providing individuals for ad-hoc support on a case-by-case basis or building a bespoke project team to take on an end-to-end project from concept to delivery, Freshminds Consulting team is able to offer a tailor-made solution for each client’s needs.

Q. What’s in it for freelancers?

A. Flexibility and Diversity.

A lot of our freelancers want additional time to work on their own businesses or initiatives, and so freelancing gives them the opportunity to work on projects to fit around their own deadlines and needs. 

Projects also give consultants a chance to work with different businesses and sectors whilst utilising their consulting skill set. All of our consultants are extremely driven and enjoy challenges, such as solving a business’ key growth and operational challenges. The opportunity to work with extremely impressive clients enables them to develop and exhibit their skills whilst establishing excellent working relationships. 

Working on a day rate provides consultants with high financial rewards for projects and many of our consultants consider freelancing a way to save financially for impending MBAs or funding their own start-ups. 

Q. Who are our key clients?

A. We are sector agnostic however, we have a strong client base in Retail and Consumer, E-commerce, Private Equity and their portfolio companies and Financial services. We also work with 12 out of 13 top management consultancies.  

Q. What are typical projects?

A. We work on a range of projects, this can vary from corporate strategy including growth, M&A and due diligence through to operational and implementation projects alongside innovation roles.

Projects include:

*  Go-to-market & growth strategy

*  Due diligence & M&A advisory

*  Digital strategy & transformation

*  Operational improvement

*  Portfolio turnaround  & transformation

Q. Where does Freshminds come in?

A. The Projects division at Freshminds is separated into two departments: the Research Analyst team who work with those in their early career from 6 months to 4 years of commercial experience, while the Consulting team focuses on anyone who has worked in a strategy consultancy or been trained in strategy.

The Consulting team manage the network of consultants by developing relationships with the freelancers through regular meetings and events. We pride ourselves on meeting every consultant who joins our network so that we can provide advice to clients based on functional experience and the correct cultural fit. This is particularly important when we create a shortlist for a project. Our Client Consultants manage and build close working partnerships with our clients, and as we have met all of our consultants initially, we are able to create a shortlist very quickly and to very high standards when we receive an urgent project. 

A project snapshot!

Freshminds worked on a project for a leading mass media company with a newly formed strategy team who were looking to develop their five-year growth strategy for one of their leading publications. Key tasks were to conduct a comparative analysis of three sectors where the publication was looking to enter and to produce a financial model to analyse the performance of those sectors. The key deliverable was a Powerpoint deck to be presented to senior management summarising the findings.

We placed one of our star consultants who had worked with us on a number of assignments over the past two years - they possessed a blend of consulting and M&A experience and were able to complete the project successfully. Since then they have been asked to return to the company twice more to work on other strategic projects. 

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