Talking Consulting and CircleSource with one of Tri Sigma’s Partners and Principal consultants Peter Halcomb.
We recently caught up with Peter Halcomb to talk about Tri Sigma and how they set about building a successful and sustainable management consulting business.
About Tri Sigma
With a strong human resource and now management consulting pedigree, Tri Sigma has worked hard to establish its niche, specialising in providing people management and organisational performance advice, solutions and tools, that help foster alignment between the organisation and their people.
Along the way, they’ve built an impressive client base across multiple sectors including federal and state government departments, publicly listed companies, not for profit organisations, tertiary and further education institutes, superannuation funds and SME’s.
Building a successful Business
But establishing and building a successful people and management consulting business from scratch has not been easy, in a crowded and competitive “consulting” market. To survive and flourish for nearly 20 years means they have been doing something right.
“Tri Sigma has got to the stage where the phone rings with clients seeking our services. That’s a reflection of the hard work we have put in along the way. But in the early days , the phone didn’t ring hardly at all. We needed to take on contract work for roles inside organisations to fill the void until we started to build our brand and reputation. That’s essentially how we started.”
Over time, consulting engagements began to trickle in. “As our networks evolved, consulting opportunities started to come in addition to our knocking on doors."
Peter says it’s rarely easy….
“In our space, pipelines of work do not just magically appear when you finish your last engagement. And engagements can be disrupted outside our control. Despite best laid plans, engagement schedules do change, client needs can be fluid, matters beyond our or our client’s control. You have to be flexible. At times, the nuanced reasons for change do not always allow fee variation. We then have to balance other client engagements and commitments, while still delivering at or above a client’s expectations. All part of the interesting world of consulting we choose to be part of, even after nearly 20 years.”
So, for those thinking about branching out from traditional employment roles to set up their own business, Peter has what he hopes are some useful tips.
“Don’t be too proud to take on small projects to grow your brand early rather than waiting for large consulting engagements to magically appear.
Carefully consider forming alliances with other consultants or complimentary [values and capabilities] consulting groups to enhance your offering. These cooperative structures allow all parties and especially the clients to leverage established consultants and their capability networks. It is also an effective resource utilisation opportunity that smaller firms and individuals rarely have access to. However, choose wisely, as it’s your brand!
Identify relevant supplier panels that you can get on to.
Always seek to exceed client expectations, as word of mouth is still your greatest ally.
Consider setting up your business profile on CircleSource? Say what? :-) “
On joining CircleSource
Peter and Tri Sigma were early adopters of the CircleSource platform, which Peter believes is a practical platform that in some ways is ahead of its time, in a crowded and competitive market. Peter believes CircleSource can help providers and clients find each other, easily matching expertise with need.
“in addition to being intuitive, The CircleSource platform is a great initiative, and it provides a single place for corporate businesses to easily find and engage the specialist business services and independent experts, like TriSigma, that they need. We can attach all our consulting team and partners to our Company profile and appear when businesses search for the services and skills we offer. It’s a free marketing tool and it costs us and our clients nothing to be members.”
“We have already benefited from the CircleSource platform in the short time we have been on it. We’ve been invited to pitch for consulting engagements for a number of different organisations that were outside our close networks and certainly not on our radar. More importantly, we have won work with a listed company we may never have had the chance to be in front of.”
Peter believes it’s transparency that makes CircleSource different to other platforms.
“With CircleSource, we know that if we are invited to pitch for work, we are dealing directly with the business who is buying the services. CircleSource does not get between us and the client like some other platforms. There are no lock in terms that force us to use the platform for ongoing work with the client and we deal with all our terms of engagement and payments directly with the organisation that engages our services.”
What about CircleSource fees?
“That’s one of the benefits of CircleSource, we can promote Tri Sigma’s brand and our consultants, trend in the marketplace (as we do more in the platform) and only pay a small % of the engagement value, capped at less than $1000, if we are successful and win the work! Its less than the cost of doing business development or any other form of marketing we would otherwise do.”
Learn more about Peter and Tri Sigma
Founded by Peter and his partners in 2002, Tri Sigma is a boutique people and management consultancy with 2 partners and around a dozen Associates and Alliance firms who together provide a diversity of solutions including; facilitating Strategy Development, Operations and Performance Consulting, HR Consulting, Reward and Recognition Design, Mediation and Conflict Resolution, Investigations, Leadership Development, Coaching and more.
To find out more about Peter Halcomb and Tri Sigma, click on the CircleSource profile below.