"Our business is your success."
Are you looking to build your career; to grow your business? Do you want to associate with a team of proven professionals?
If you are interested in a career as a freelance consultant, we want you to call us!
We offer our consultants a branded umbrella to help you build and sustain your business.
We are looking for professionals from all industry segments and functional disciplines who have 25 years of corporate experience, having achieved Senior Level Management status. Do you have experience building and leading significant business units? If so, we should talk!
The Freelance Paradigm Is The New Normal
In 2001 I read Daniel Pink's book, Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself. That publication was timely as I had recently begun my career as a free agent, focused on Executive Search. Mr. Pink was spot on when he predicted the growth of freelancers in the workplace, as this trend has continued unabated. By 2020, Freelancers are expected to account for 40% of the workforce. His thesis validated my decision to exit the Corporate World to start my business.
A lot has been written about the number of millennial's and younger professionals who have taken up freelancing as a primary career choice or to augment their incomes. Many of these people are focused on SEO writing and graphics design to aid businesses in their digital marketing efforts. Many Freelancers are engaged in the development of digital Apps, and of course, a large component of freelancers are in fact Uber drivers. A number of online services, like Upwork.com and Fiverr.com, have been formed to connect freelancers with customers.
By 2006 some of my clients began asking for help with significant issues that could be addressed in a short time frame. As their needs did not require full-time equivalents, I was asked to find consultants or freelance project managers. I took on a few assignments myself. I recognized the value of free agents at that time, but I still didn't see it as a trend that would reshape my practice. In fact, my Executive Search practice was in high gear. However, it was a trend that was accelerating as I continued to see more demand for freelancers,
Finally, in 2014 I recognized the full importance of this trend and decided to make a more strategic move into this arena. I got together with a group of freelancers to develop a plan to better capitalize on this opportunity. We branded ourselves as In The Black Partners, drafted a business charter, established a logo, built a website, and provided email capabilities. Our strategy is to focus on small, emerging companies and established mid-cap brands, who need help with strategic issues across the enterprise.
The fundamental issue for most freelancers is devoting time for business development while managing their current projects. It is often been called the feast or famine cycle as new projects are not generated in a seamless manner to replace completed projects. Most people are very good at performing the work they were hired to do, however, marketing and business development is generally not a strong suit. Our mission is to provide an umbrella for freelancers to work together under a common brand to defeat the "feast or famine cycle."
The other issue facing freelancers is the need to leverage one's time to expand their income potential. One of my colleagues, I call him "Old School," often complains that he cannot take on new work because he has exhausted his available time. I remind him that he needs to develop someone to take over his lower value-added tasks or subcontract some of his work. He would retain responsibility for quality control while making better use of his time. He will limit his income potential if he doesn't heed my advice. This is another benefit of an affiliation with In The Black Partners as we have talent which helps our consultants build their revenue beyond that which they could achieve on their own.
As we work to expand our cadre of consultants, we look for Baby Boomers who find it difficult to reconnect with the corporate market in a capacity that matches their backgrounds. They are talented former senior-level executives who have had solid corporate careers and still want to make a contribution. With this level of talent in place, we are able to provide our clients a breadth and depth of capabilities to address their strategic issues across the spectrum of the enterprise.
It wasn't long before we found ourselves in the classic time management trap where we were so busy working on our existing projects, that we didn't have time to focus on building our team. So this year I set a goal to focus on recruiting freelancers to join our growing network. I remain convinced that this strategy is aligned with the New Normal. As more and more companies become comfortable with a blended workforce that includes freelancers working alongside full-time employees the opportunities will continues to grow. Freelancers need support to help them build and manage their businesses. It is a win-win-win situation.
Jim Weber, Managing Partner