Becoming freelance consultant : our 5 tips for success



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The diversity of roles that consultants can have in organisations is what often attracts young people to the consulting profession. A consultant often has the opportunity to have access to a wide variety of assignments in a single year, or even to share his or her daily life between different functions for different clients. But beware, it is important to train well from the outset and to evolve in a framework that gives access to solid knowledge, both in terms of knowledge and interpersonal skills, before considering a freelance career... Is this a guarantee of future success, or just a guarantee of a foundation of fundamentals that will make it easier to stand on your own two feet?


So what should you do to be best prepared before setting up your own business?


It is important to choose the organisations in which you start your career. A young consultant must be able to benefit from solid training, fed by exchanges and advice from experts within the company's network. Furthermore, starting in an organisation that allows one to be trained in different tools and to acquire useful and valued skills (such as learning different information systems, learning behaviours to manage customer relations or initiation to project management, etc.), is a real plus for the rest of one's career. Finally, the more the company is recognised on the market, the more it gives access to a wide range of projects in various sectors; the consultant can thus learn about many subjects, often quite specialised, while being coached by senior staff. Learning a rigorous work method and the quality of deliverables are the hallmarks of these large firms. These are solid foundations for tackling complex situations more serenely.


The temptation to go freelance is sometimes strong, especially in a context where the working life is in total evolution, and where the desire for independence is becoming more and more attractive. But be careful not to underestimate the level of demand that the consulting career implies, before taking the plunge. Being a consultant automatically puts you in a position of knowledge, with very high expectations from your clients. Having been confronted with several types of environment, both on an operational and human level, allows you to approach new situations with a greater sense of perspective. Moreover, a consultant with several years of experience in good firms is generally more quickly, or even immediately, operational. They know how to adapt to all types of situations, because they have often already faced them in the past, and this is also what makes them an added value, which is greatly appreciated by clients.


Be careful not to underestimate the international dimension of your profile. A very good level of English is often a prerequisite for access to many assignments, especially the most interesting ones. But mastering other languages also gives you a profile that is generally more open and able to listen, capable of adapting to different cultural environments, which are regularly encountered in the transformation projects of groups with a global reach. The ability to communicate in several languages makes it possible to be a real facilitator, as the various stakeholders have no barriers to expressing their questions. In this way, many situations can be unblocked. Finally, knowing how to decode attitudes and reactions, often linked to cultural differences, helps to avoid misunderstandings and to make projects run more smoothly.


At FocusTribes, we are convinced that the strong values of Commitment, Excellence, Trust and Collective are a guarantee of quality and added value for our clients. The success of projects is directly linked to the ability to unite stakeholders. Clients must be able to count on committed consultants working hand in hand with the teams. The qualities of listening, empathy, and the ability to defuse the slightest conflict, while remaining results-oriented, are essential. And it's so much nicer to work with nice, positive people every day!

At FocusTribes, we make a point of carefully selecting all our community members on these criteria, via a proven accreditation process. Our community is also international in scope and this is another of our strong values. Our teams are trilingual (French, English and Spanish) and we can address projects in many countries, which is a real asset in the market.


Last but not least, maintaining and nurturing relationships is key. Satisfied former clients are your best ambassadors, and you need to initiate regular contact, even after your assignment is over. Being a freelance consultant means that you have to deal with a range of issues on your own, from administration to sales, while being 300% committed to your client. It is therefore crucial to surround yourself with the right partners, and if you don't have colleagues, to join a community of independent consultants to share your questions and good practices. This is why we, former independent consultants ourselves, founded FocusTribes. To be a kind of base for freelance consultants, a place to exchange and share but also to support and advise in all the stages of the freelance life.



Abdoul, a supply chain and logistics project manager consultant for 15 years, has been a freelance consultant and member of the community for 5 years. Here he talks about his collaboration with FocusTribes for a client in the industry sector. In particular, he confirms how much the collective dimension of the FocusTribes community has helped him build and develop his career.


My name is Abdoul Oumarou. I am a consultant in information systems on supply chain and logistics topics for about fifteen years. I started my career in 2007 at Accenture where I spent eight years. After that, I moved to Capgemini where I spent two years before starting my own business.


I am currently working with FocusTribes on a project to implement and deploy an SAP S/4HANA solution. It is an international project. More specifically, I am working on issues related to purchasing and procurement, so we are helping our client to deploy a global solution for these issues.


What I really appreciate about FocusTribes, is the community spirit, the fact that we can exchange with consultants, whether or not they are on the project we are working on. It's very important ! It allows you to exchange with experts, both during events as well as during exchanges via the network. So I think it's something very important in the development of a consultant's career.


At FocusTribes, we build lasting relationships with our members, and do our best to provide them with value-added projects and special attention through events and training. This allows them to increase their skills and to develop a space for quality exchanges between members of the tribe.


If you want to know more, please contact us via the link below:


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To read more: 

- 6 essential soft skills for a good independant consultant

- Freelance consultants: how to stop feeling isolated?

How to grow professionally as a freelance consultant?