smarterwork business consulting Expert Gavin Raphael has always been interested in the management consulting, research and analysis businesses. After arming himself with an MBA from Wharton, and with newly found entrepreneurial vigour, he decided to establish myself in this area. gavin was born in England, previously worked in Switzerland, and is now living in Richmond, Virginia, with his wife and three kids.
Name: Gavin Raphael
Company: Informativ Inc.
Occupation Senior Consultant
Based in: Richmond, Virginia, USA
SW: What’s the business climate like in Virgnia?
GR: Richmond, Virginia, is a quaint Southern city that was formerly the headquarters of the Confederacy. There is a healthy business climate here with several Fortune 500 firms located in the area (Circuit City, CapitalOne, Ethyl, etc.)
SW: How do you think the market for ‘at-a-distance’ business consultancy is developing?
GR: Depending upon the services required, it is certainly a fast-growing area. Some services are much more doable at a distance than others – hence the rapid growth in areas such as industry research, competitive analysis, etc. Other areas that require more on-site presence will obviously not grow at such torrid rates.
SW: What have been some of your most memorable contracts or Clients with smarterwork.com to date?
GR: I have participated in many different assignments across a myriad of industries. I had an interesting assignment with a start-up firm in Austria where there were some problematic language barriers to overcome. Other than that, all of the projects have gone smoothly.
SW: How does being a smarterwork.com Expert compare against other ways you normally use to find clients?
GR: To be totally honest, it is my most time-efficient mechanism for finding good and interesting assignments. Plus, the clients have all been easy to work with and appreciative of my efforts.
SW: Could you tell us a few words about your ideal project in business consultancy services? What kind of project would you most like to do in this category?
GR: I have always enjoyed working on business plans. I have aided in the creation of many plans in many different industries. An ideal project would allow me to partner with a start-up firm in the creation of a plan. The product would be of interest to me and the client easy to work with. Three years down the road the client IPOs and I ease into retirement with options in hand.
SW: Do you think the Internet is changing people’s working habits?
GR: Sure! People are working less and surfing more. Jokes aside, I believe that the wealth of information that is now readily available is making some people more efficient and others less. There is without doubt the tendency, with this amount of data, to engage in paralysis by analysis. On the flip side, better decisions can be made using pointed data feeds.
SW: Do you have any advice for people wishing to work in your field?
GR: When ‘working at a distance’, you need ensure that the communication lines between client and consultant stay open. It is very easy to be barking up the wrong tree when there is no client on-hand to review ongoing progress.
SW: What are your plans for the future?
GR: I do this work in my spare time – i.e. after the children are asleep and after my regular job is complete. I’d love to get to the point where I can commit myself to this enterprise full-time. It’s all a question of finding enough projects at the right price.
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