Opportunity for Contractor
We’ve spotted an opportunity for contractor to cash in big time. A reader sent us the following.
I regularly read your posts around Freelancers and their stories and this time I have a question.
Now, I am nearing the end of a project and going to be renewed for an additional 3 months.
I have been told just today that when that happens I need to pass on my skills to someone else.
Credit Risk in Banking and Financial Services
My skill set is extremely niche working within Credit Risk in Banking & Financial Services.
The software/configuration tools are proprietary to company X and I know how to use the tools as I used to work there.
Needless to say the resource pool is extremely limited.
My worry is that, if I train someone else to do my job, am I putting myself at risk of additional and further competition.
Am I obligated to train someone else in this?
Should they not go to the supplier direct?
The majority of my team are contractors apart from the odd 1 or 2 permanent BA’s.
IT Contractor Advice
You don’t have to train someone else in the skills you have.
But then again the company don’t have to renew your contract for that three months (although they probably will).
You could agree but then try your best to hand on as few skills as you can get away with.
However, that’s all a bit negative, and, if you do that, you may be tossing away a major opportunity.
Contractors seldom think of the big picture.
Here it is.
The company has a problem.
Company has Skills Problem
This skill is proprietary to Company X.
They would consider themselves fortunate to have found someone with those proprietary skills.
However, they don’t have those skills in-house so they have had to hire you and other contractors.
They would like to have those skills in-house.
However, to get them they would have to send their staff on very expensive Company X courses – or get someone like you to pass on the skills.
Great Opportunity for Contractor
They have a problem – so you have an opportunity.
They want those skills inhouse – and you have them.
Instead of just renewing your contract and trying to pass on as few skills as possible in the new skill to whoever you are mentoring, why not put a proposal to the company.
Put together a programme where you give courses on the skill to their permanent staff.
Then you can follow that up by mentoring them.
This could put you on a different rate entirely.
Find out how much it costs to hire a Company X course for their staff.
You are talking £20,000 plus.
Even if they sent individuals on the course it would cost a few grand each.
Just going on a course isn’t going to get you to the level you need to be at to be able to use the skills.
That’s why contractors can never get contracts from going on a course in a particular skill.
Company Mentoring Programme Opportunity for Contractor
The company’s staff will need mentoring afterwards.
They could hire someone from Company X to do that.
However, that could cost a fortune and they may get someone with just a few months experience in the skills.
We’re talking at least a grand a day here, probably a good bit more.
You could do that though at a much cheaper rate.
Find out how much Company X charge for someone who would mentor their employees after the course.
Once you have found out what Company X charge for courses and for mentoring put forward a proposal that is much less that that – but much more than your current rate.
Cost Benefit Analysis
Do a Cost Benefit Analysis for them to show how hiring you at that much better rate will actually save them money.
There’s money to be saved by using you instead of COmpany X. And, as you used to work for them that’s what they are getting anyway – with the added bonus that you know your client company’s business and systems.
There’s no one that is a better fit for training and mentoring this company’s staff in the whole world.
Saving the Company Money – Opportunity for Contractor
There’s also the fact that if their permanent staff have the skills they don’t need so many contractors which will save them money.
Make sure that there isn’t just one course.
You could have a beginners’ course and an advanced course at least.
Other Companies Using This Tool
Now find the names of those other companies who use this proprietary tool and are probably paying through the nose to Company X for courses, mentoring and contractors (or Company X staff) with those skills.
Approach your client telling them how you could save them a load of money.
Now, you’ve got a business with more than one customer – and great rates.
So, there is another option, Jason, than refusing to train someone up with your rare skill.
You should present the proposal to the person who is the decision maker on this. If that is not your immediate boss make sure he, or she, gets a copy too.
Take him, or her, out for lunch, at your expense to discuss it.
Go for it!
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