Consultants 500 Platform Connects Businesses with Professional Services Industry

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Amsterdam-based, Consultants 500 is a new marketplace for advisors where you can search, compare and review a wide range of business advisors. The platform connects businesses with consultants covering most business areas like Accounting, Tax, Consulting, Legal, Marketing, Recruiting and Web Design.

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We are getting ready for the future and we make the advisory world more transparent by sharing advisor’s specialization, their work and their clients’ feedback.

Former Big 4 consultant, Rufus Franck who was born in the US but grew up in the Netherlands, founded the startup. Rufus was inspired to create the platform by the fact that multiple freelance type of platforms were booming but no comparable platforms existed yet for the professional services industry. It was his experience that the professional services industry still operated in a very traditional way, whereby professionals are either hiding behind big company names or they are difficult to find because of the relative small size of the firm they are working for. In addition, the industry hardly makes use of wide spread technology opportunities and still operates in a non-transparent way, like the non-existence of personal reviews & ratings. From this originated the idea of Consultants 500.

On the site, clients can search for relevant experts across a variety of typical business services like Legal, Marketing, Accounting, Consulting or Recruiting. After comparing and identifying suitable consultants, the client can directly contact any consultant they want via email or phone and start doing business with each other outside the platform. It is the explicit goal of Consultants 500 not to interfere in any way clients and consultants do business with each other, because they know best how this should be done and how they would like to do this. As such, clients and consultants remain responsible for contracts, billing, payments and project management. We are only here to help finding the best person for the job, nothing else.

Our focus is on independent consultants, advisors, freelancers and companies and they all can create profiles on the platform. Unlike the traditional consulting and advisory industry, all registered consultants can receive ratings and reviews enabling other clients to see their performance. We believe transparency will be key for the future of the professional services industry. What has happened with reviews for restaurants, hotels, electronics, etc, is now happening to B2B services and clients start demanding it.

The site makes money via a monthly membership model. All profiles are free and visible for all visitors. Upgraded functionality is available for consultant / company profiles for which a small monthly fee should be paid. Clients’ searching for consultants is always free.

The main difference with the traditional freelancer sites and upcoming consulting platforms like Expert360 and COMATCH is that Consultants 500 does explicitly not take 10-20% of the consultants fees paid. Another major difference with the major freelancer sites is that they have commoditized part of the professional services freelancing work thereby putting enormous pressure on freelancer’s hourly rates, especially in the western world. However, the quality of freelancing services has suffered from this because when you pay nothing you will get what you pay for and nobody gains from this. Via the business model of Consultants 500 this is not likely to happen.

A recent study from McKinsey stated that digital talent platforms are set to revolutionize business and up to 540 million individuals could benefit from online talent platforms by 2025. These platforms have the greatest potential for high-tech and high-end professional service firms, both depending on specialized, expensive and hard-to-find pro’s. The traditional professional services industry will likely be radically different in ten years due to changing client demands, employee expectations, rapid technology developments and other external factors.

We are getting ready for the future and we make the advisory world more transparent by sharing advisor’s specialization, their work and their clients’ feedback.

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Rufus Franck
since: 02/2015
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