I've been living an SQF life now for about 12 years, first as one of the first SQF Auditors in the US and then I changed hats and went into SQF Consulting and we've been running our consulting business for the past eight years.
Our primary work is helping food, food logistic and food packaging company to develop entire SQF documentation systems and many times that also means working with companies that don't have even a basic food safety management system - so some projects take a bit longer than our average 3-4 weeks.
We are then avaiable thru our eConsultant program to help the companies during their implementation phase.
We've gotten to work with some really terrrific people and companies and have been involved in complete turn-arounds, long term (from the ground up) assignments of 4-5 months at a time on-site and also provide companies with specialized consulting on Keto, Non-GMO and Gluten-Free - plus some other areas where we never thought we would go, but did after extensive research.
Now, being an SQF consultant and running your own business can be exciting and sometimes terrifying at the same time. We do quite a bit of non-touch work, meaning the entire development from start to finish is done entirely off-site at my office without me ever stepping inside the company - this is done via video, emails, phone calls, DropBox, etc.
In the beginning 100% of our work as on-site and we normally had a full development to handle about every 45 days at somewhere between $20,000 and $35,000 depending on complexity, size of company, SKU's, how good or how bad things were, etc.
Fast forward years and we handle a development project about every 6 months, with other consulting work normally, but not allways filling in the gaps. And interestingly enough, as we have progressed we actually found ways to streamline our work and this resulted in lower pricing to our clients.... because there is a LOT less stress on a consultant when you don't have to spend 24 hour days traveling, dealing with dirty hotel rooms, bad food and the grind of travel in general.
I've always looked at this work as being a God send, I am a very good SQF Consultant, we size things up quickly and always exceed our clients expectations -
But, there is a problem that I have been grappling with for the past year and it has to do with inconsistent income.
It's wonderful to get bank wires for $25,000 at a time - however, unless you have these bank wires coming in on a consistent basis, you get into a situation of what many call in this industry - Feast and Famine!
We can go upwards of 6 months without a development contract -- that means that last bank wire needs to cover that 6-8 months with a buffer.
Feasting is great when there is money in the bank - Famine is bad, when there is little in the bank.
This leads me to ask a question here ---
Is there such as thing as long term contract SQF consulting work available, that would provide consistant monthly income - with or without benefits.
I am so very tired of the roller-coaster world of consulting.
We are very much interested in learning if this is a possibility that can be done from our home-office with either zero or just a few flights here and there.
If anyone out there that has read thus far is with a company (or owns a company) that could use an excellent SQF Consultant (I can do other things too) on a long-term basis - please let me know.