"Fair Trade" Consulting
At 2PS, we believe in playing fair. We keep our service fees to a minimum, charge our clients the rate for their country, and give our consultants the fair wage they deserve.
We've all heard of fair trade coffee, bananas, chocolate or handicrafts.
In a nutshell, a 'fair trade' product means that by buying it, we are supporting the rights of the workers or producers that are marginalized in developing countries, as workers are paid a fair wage for their labor. This model promotes sustainability around the world, as it allows counties to develop their own economies.
Here's a crazy idea: what if the term 'fair trade' was applied not only to fresh produce and certain commodities, but to professional services, such as consulting?
The concept is simple. Any organization around the world that needs help can get professional advice at a fair, local price.
The trick is globalizing this concept to allow professionals from any part of the world to assist organizations in any part of the world.
It is no secret that firms in the 'developed world' have the privilege of having easy access to professional services, compared to many businesses in the 'developing countries'. Why? Mainly because of the costs currently involved in getting professional services. Many businesses, especially SMEs in countries with a weaker economy, cannot afford to pay consultants.
Let's imagine that a financial consultant from a German firm works with a startup in Egypt. What happens? Does the consultant get paid the Egyptian wage for their services or the German wage? There is an issue here - the startup can only afford to pay their local price for the service, while the consultant has a family to feed in the German economy. Obviously, neither party wants to 'give in', and understandably so.
So, what can we do about this situation to make global advisory services accessible to all organizations around the world?
The answer isn't option A or option B. There is actually a secret, ingenious, option C. The answer is in overhead costs. Most consulting firms take a larger sliver of the cake than is given to the consultant doing the work. Minimizing these overhead costs can solve all sorts of issues, including the problem of economic differences between countries.
Moreover, imagine if the German consultant did not have an exclusivity agreement with their firm. What would happen? They would be able to take on only projects they are interested in, not just what the firm tells them to do. They would be able to take on multiple projects, with multiple clients, working more hours than a firm would typically give to a consultant. This gives them the financial freedom to work on projects they are really interested in, even if one specific project pays less.
Now, the startup in Egypt can pay a reasonable price for the advice that will help them grow their business, and the consultant in Germany can get their fair wage.
Welcome to the age of fair trade consulting.