Consulting sucks! But don't panic, the future is here.
Ever wondered how the century-old consulting industry is falling apart, and why artificial intelligence and video games could save it?
It's a bold and bizarre contradiction - many independent consultants love and hate their profession at the same time.
Those in a If you're in a large firm , you enjoy the benefits of security and prestige. However it comes at the price of minimal flexibility. Once making theYou make the bold step to quit, start or join a small boutique firm or go independent, the challenge and refreshing notion of being your own boss can sustain you for a period of time. It's when you struggle to establish credibility and find new clients that the reality of being alone really settles in.
It's hard being on your own. That's where we come in.
Why can't there be a middle ground somewhere?
A few years ago, the HBR article Consulting on the Cusp of Disruption created a ripple effect of insightful discussions regarding the future of consulting. Everyone's been saying that consulting needs to be, will be, is about to be, disrupted…
Many consulting firms have been adapting their approach to include digital strategies, collecting and utilizing data more effectively, and adjusting their teams to flatten the conventional (and outdated) pyramid structures. Numerous startups have set out on a mission to 'disrupt' the industry by setting up online marketplaces and platforms where clients can post their projects, and freelance consultants bid to get the project.
But really, the big firms haven't changed anything major. So they work in more inclusive teams and use more insightful data. It's just the minimum that needs to be done to survive in the current business environment. 100 years ago, the team structures were suitable for the time, and the amount of data that was handled was more than enough.
The abundance of online platforms for finding contract workers is giving clients a lot of choice. Is that a blessing or a curse? Depends on your opinion on the matter, of course. Some people love all the choices available to them, and others long for the 'good old times' when you opened the phone book and had 3 options to select from. At any rate, the online platforms are just 'evolved phonebooks' or 'reversed phonebooks'.
Put yourself in the customer's shoes for a moment. You can either:
- Post your needs and expect an answer from an expert, or
- Be proactive in searching by screening people who have the necessary skills and contacting them.
That's it? Yes, that's it... When the customer finally comes into contact with the people from the phonebook, they don't know what to expect. A non-existent human relationship + little knowledge or confidence about the expert's' skills = a decision based on the price difference between the experts.
This model for consulting still sucks, because if you're an independent consultant, you still struggle to find new clients. Actually, it might have become more difficult for you to find new clients, since you might be competing with experts globally now!
We talked about ending 'dirty' consulting practices, and mentioned how today, it's not a one-man-show anymore. Some of the modern-day phone books have caught on to this idea and now offer '3-way calls' and connect clients to teams of multiple experts. However, this model still assumes three things:
- That the client knows exactly what kind of expert they need to help their organization
- That the consultants don't oversell themselves and their skills
- That the clients will be comfortable with hiring people that competed to get the project by offering a superior price to their competitors
In a world where the options for clients have become large firms (which are expensive and conservative) or online marketplaces (which are uncertain and risky), it is no wonder that many companies still turn to large firms. When it comes to important business decisions and strategic moves, it is better to pay more and get valuable insights and advice that will give a great ROI rather than skimp on advisory costs and potentially regret it later.
So what is the way out?!
The real disruption of the consulting industry is 2PS.
2PS is an intelligent and human online platform that takes only the good from both large firms and online marketplaces, leaving behind all the downsides.
1. Artificial Intelligence
2PS uses powerful artificial intelligence to understand client needs and suggests the relevant consulting services automatically. That means no need to write long and complicated project outlines that will be misinterpreted and ignored by applicants. Our algorithm is smart enough for you to talk to it in your own words.
With 2PS, you just say what your problem is, and we propose the services that you might be in need of. Then, you get a number of consultants in your geographic location that are able to provide those services.
2. Video gaming algorithms & referrals
We know that it can be tough to trust someone who you haven't worked with before. This used to be a rare case in the past - someone you know would suggest another expert that they think could be helpful to you, and that would instantly establish their credibility.
2PS takes this timeless concept of referrals, and turns it to a game for the consultants. Every time a 2PS consultant cross-sells services of another consultant to a client, they get a Sharing Point within the system. The more points they have, the higher up they are on the list among other experts offering the same services. The higher up they are on the list, the more likely it becomes that they will be suggested to clients when clients need their service.
As you can see, for 2PS consultants, it is worthwhile to refer a client to someone who is the right expert for their need, instead of trying to provide advice themselves. This ensures that consultants do not oversell themselves on our platform, and that you always have the right expert in front of you.
This is something that large consulting firms practice. Their consultants cross-sell each other's services, and actually, that is how most projects originate for these firms. Empowering independent consultants to embrace cross-selling instead of fearing that they will lose clients is something that creates more business for all consultants within the 2PS network, and ensures all clients get the quality consulting service that they deserve.
Basically, you get a proven expert in seconds, and if not, the system encourages that expert to refer you to the relevant person.
A replacement model, that's also an upgrade!
For consultants, 2PS is a good middle ground between the constraints of large firms and the struggles of independent work.
It's collaborative competition here. You win when you play nice with other consultants within the network. You don't need to lower your fees or hold on to clients because you're afraid of losing them if you share.
The greatest thing about being an independent expert is that you are your own boss. Great news! With 2PS, you still work the projects you want, when you want. No exclusivity agreements, and no unnecessary commitments.
Spend less time and money promoting yourself! We know that independents spend a large chunk of their time on admin tasks instead of consulting. That's why we are taking the cross-selling model of large consulting firms and applying it to an online platform. So instead of having to promote yourself within the platform to get new clients, you just endorse the 2PS brand, and play by the rules of the network. Our algorithms automatically reward you for doing the right thing!
At 2PS, your client will not be paying unnecessary overheads. It's like being an independent, really. You get to keep most of what your client pays, instead of giving an 80% cut to the man at the top of the tower. 2PS only keeps 15% of what your client pays, and that's partly transaction fees and partly marketing and sales investments.
Seems too good to be true?
Our new model may seem complicated, revolutionary, utopian… Or perhaps you're thinking, why has nobody thought of this before?
One thing we can say is, you don't know until you try.
The future of consulting is here, and we encourage you to give it a chance. We'll show you how this is the disruption that this industry needs.