In the fourth instalment of a ten part blog series, SAP ERP Consultant and Author Isard Haasakker guides us through his tips on how to have a successful career as a freelance IT consultant.


 

consultants-expand-your-skillsetDo you want to learn a very effective strategy to expand your SAP knowledge that is proven and fun and immediately rewarding? At the same time, are you seeking cheap and fast and pragmatic advice to increase your market value. Look no further. Take control of your career and increase your job security.

Many years ago I had a chance encounter with Richard, one of the top project managers available. He convinced me that even businesses making huge profits can still go bankrupt when they neglect their cash flow. The importance of cash flow applies to everyone, so pay all your bills on time to fuel loyalty. Ask your supplier which customer they prefer: few big customers paying too late or many small customers paying on time. Reliability on receiving cash will be a crucial influencing factor how to run your business.

The stewardesses are preparing the cart with food and drinks when Richard asked me what business I would start when I won the lottery. That got my imagination in full overload. I made a mental list of all my hobbies, favourite sports and leisure activities. Then he asked me what I would need to learn to run such a business.

So the payment receipt of the customer invoice is the most important event in any business. The next step is to identify all processes that have a direct impact on this event. Quickly I was identifying selling, buying, planning, storage, paying tax, meet legal reporting requirements and strategic decision making based on historical data. In a nutshell, you can’t run a business without accounting and accounting remains pointless without logistics.

You now have the short list of capabilities you need to acquire to become an integration consultant. Making this leap will make you more recession proof as you find it easier to compete in a crowded marketplace.

Richard always falls back on the core events within a business, which in normally a variant to the core processes you find everywhere. He then seeks consultants who are able to test planning, procurement, sales, basic legal accounting practices and basic internal reporting requirements. That is the secret in building a team that is not stuck in silo thinking, ensuring that proper discussions on proper levels are automatically guaranteed. The more quality interaction between knowledgeable team members, the more likely that you reach your deadlines and deploying solutions that are fit for purpose.

If you want to prepare yourself to survive in a more competitive marketplace, then dare to promote yourself as a “Jack of all trades” instead of a “one trick pony”. Starting that transformation can be daunting. You could get lost in where to start. Richard suggests to start small. Learn easy tricks to ensure that you can start and finish business processes, avoiding a mess of unprocessed transactions. At the same time, observe the core transactions that take place in any shop and you know the basis what you need to configure in your fictitious company.

Employers know that 60% of their workforce is looking for a better job elsewhere. They should offer multi-skilled employees the opportunity for job rotation and horizontal promotion to persuade them to stay. Still, being seen as a “Jack of all trades” is less favourable than a “one trick pony”. It is your task to demonstrate your employer and client that you can do much more than the tasks initially assigned to you. Ofcourse Richard has some ideas how to achieve that, which is linked to another “soft skill”.

 

isard-haasakkerIsard Haasakker

Author of the book “Make F.I.T. Your Purpose”.
Introducing the Fast Implementation Track™ for SAP ERP.
Deploy on time, within budget and fit for purpose.
Read the first chapter for free!

Watch out for the next instalment from Isard’s blog series, and make sure you don’t miss out on all our latest blogs by subscribing to our mailing list below!

If you’re a freelance IT consultant looking for your next project get in touch.

Previous Blogs in this series:
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 1: Boost Your Value
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 2: Manage Your Time
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 3: Learn to Juggle

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