What does "Free Consulting' Mean?

Business Process Modeling Techniques in Softwa...Image by Ivan Walsh via Flickr

I want to say a few words (about 1000 really) on giving away consulting following the re-opening of the Free Consulting Offer

Obviously giving away what you do is never going to make you rich. In fact studies have shown that things which are ‘free’ are not treated with as much reverence as things which are paid for. So why would anybody give away anything for free? Well the easy answer is ‘To allow folks to try it and see’.

It’s a similar model to the one which hundreds, nay thousands, of software manufacturers work off: You download some of their stuff, try it out for a while (either fully functional but limited in some aspect such as saving completed pieces of work, or hobbled to allow a majority of things to be tested but not everything) and then either you like it enough to buy it or you don’t.

This isn’t the open source model where you an have the software fully functioning and at no cost. This is ‘try-before-you-buy’ware. If you are serious about using this tool long term (i.e. after the trial period) then you need to start dishing out some wonga (That means ‘paying for it’ in the venacular).

The free consulting offer is similar in nature. As a potential customer you get the opportunity to try me before you end up paying anything. It is a chance to evaluate me, my company, my ability to work with your organisation, and to determine if you think I bring value to the table. Conversely it is an opportunity for me to determine whether I feel your project or proposal is set-up to succeed and if I can add value to it by my presence. Usually one or both of these things will occur. In which case you, as a customer, can then look at what is being offered and determine whether this is something you wish to invest in.

Working with a company such as mine is an investment - on both sides. You will invest time and effort in understanding my methods and deciding if we are compatible in a working environment. In return you want, presumably, a reliable resource that can help ensure your project will stand a better chance of being successful, or completed, or accepted than if you didn’t invest that commitment. I will invest time, energy and skill in understanding your needs, proposing solutions and helping implement them. In return I want a customer who I am going to work well with, who I can help to be successful and who I then hope will pass on word of mouth to other companies and recommend me for future work. Occasionally the answer to that is going to be ‘No’. Which is the whole reason for doing this with no commitment on either side.

There is a catch to this though, and it comes with the comment I made above about “things which are ‘free’ are not treated with as much reverence as things which are paid for”. Obviously if we are both going to the trouble of spending time, energy and commitment in working together for a day, we need to understand that this is to be treated as a ‘proper’ day’s work. It’s not ‘Some guy’s come in on a freebie let’s give him a load of stuff to do’. You have to imagine that you are actually paying for my time even though you aren’t. In fact depending on how far away you are from my home base you could be paying something anyway as I will still need travel and other expenses reimbursed. But generally as long as you and I are clear about what we are trying to achieve, you have a definite objective for me, and we are both clear about what success looks like, you should be able to get a lot of value out of a days free consultancy from me

What kind of consultancy do I offer?

Well let’s imagine you are thinking of outsourcing some of your work to a third party. It could be a department or a function or just a block of work you don’t particularly see as being core to your business. Prior to doing this you will need some sort of understanding of what that function/department/work actually is, what the steps are that are involved in it and what, exactly, you wish to outsource. This will involve some process discovery and documentation. I can help with that.

Or maybe you’ve decided that you are needing to find some efficiencies in your existing workflow and want to start by documenting your current state process map. I can help with that.

Maybe you have already done that and are looking to understand what changes will need to be made to create your future state? I can help you with that.

Maybe you are looking at bringing in a tool to help with your BPM project. I can help with that.

Maybe you’re completely lost, you know you need to do something about your processes but don’t know what, I can help with that.

Or maybe you are right in the middle of a major project and just need some extra resource to help in documenting, or interviewing, or designing or any of the other project related items. I can help with that

Perhaps you’ve implemented a BPM system and need somebody who can come in to design and code the automation part of the software: Sorry, you’re out of luck - I don’t do that!

Are you looking for a fully fledged project manager to come in and take your project by the scruff of the neck and push it forward to completion? Well I used to do that, but not anymore. You probably need to look somewhere else for that

So the summary of all of this is that I have a specific skill set which I am happy to come and speak to you about. I won’t try to fleece you with claims of ‘Yes I can do that, no problem’ when clearly I can’t, for the same reason as downloading a piece of video editing software that doesn’t actually deal with High Definition video is not useful if HD editing is what you want to do. You’re not going to end up buying are you?

So contact me at the details above and let’s see if we can do some business.

Reminder: 'The Perfect Process Project' is still available. Don't miss the chance to get this valuable insight into how to make business processes work for you.

Click this link and follow the instructions to get this book.

For more about me check out my "About Me' page

All information is Copyright (C) G Comerford

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