A3 Environmental Consultants has developed a free tool for people buying and selling freelance environmental consultant’s services. If you click here, it will take you to our switchboard where you’ll find a link to the ArcGIS map.
The ArcGIS map is stored behind a mandatory login. We do this to prevent scammers and spammers from having the email addresses, street addresses and phone numbers of the freelance environmental professionals information. The map is free, we want you to make good use of it and hire those freelancer environmental writers, engineers and consultants as often as you can. If you’d like to know more about the program and the philosophy driving it, please read on.
Competition & Secrets
Let’s be honest; all the big environmental consulting companies in this country have a list of freelance environmental consultants which they use to extend the footprint of the services they provide to areas where they have no employees. Off the top of my head I know for a fact that Partner Engineering & Science, CBRE, EFI, and AEI all use indy environmental contractors. I know, because at some point in the recent past we’ve worked for all of them. We’ll call these guys the “Big Buyers” of freelance environmental consulting services. If you want to get on their list of 1099 , it’s really easy, just call them. If you’re a buyer of indy contractor services you will find nobody on this planet will share their super-secret list of indy contractors.
Because then they have to compete with you on the exact same projects. Why would they want to tell you who their good people are?
There’s another layer of players in the Freelance Environmental Consultants space. They are the “Big Brokers” of freelance environmental consulting. CEG Assessments and Blue222come to mind. They also have lists of freelance environmental pros. They keep these lists secret and keep the buyers of these services from the sellers of these services because they make a markup on putting the two together.
There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just a business model. I’m an entrepreneur and I respect the good work that the middlemen perform.
Philosophy of Sharing
A3E is a little different though. Alisa, also known as “Boss Lady”, got her start in business as a freelance environmental professional. So we have nothing but love for the Indy EP. Through some skill, talent and a ton of hard-freaking-work, she turned that into a 13 person consulting firm here in Chicago in 6 years. The first office of A3 Environmental Consultants, once she left the spare bedroom in her house, was a place called Fox.Build in St Charles Illinois. Fox.Build is a makerspace and coworking facility where all the tools and space is shared among the members and entrepreneurs. It’s kinda like a college dorm but for entrepreneurs. It’s a community atmosphere where you can’t help but catch the bug of wanting everyone’s entrepreneurial pursuit to take over the world. We also didn’t have any secrets. We’d do whatever we could to help you succeed, even if you were our competitor.
The Great Plague of 2020
Last year A3 Environmental Consultants did one thousand environmental consulting projects.
We are not huge but we are not small. We also had a problem. First, we flew to all our out of state projects. Flights, rental cars, parking, per diem, and the sheer time burden was expensive and we knew that at some point we’d have to find a different way to get the job done. Then, COVID struck and we were done flying. Things were looking grim when we started to hear that 1099 (freelance) contractors were dying for work. It was looking grim for them too! We started collecting names, email addresses and street addresses for Environmental Professionals (EP) who we could rely on. We had some help from our pals at Quire and ERIS. Next thing we knew we had 240 names in our directory.
We immediately found we couldn’t manage the list, versus where our project was. It didn’t take long for us to have the marvelous Sarah Clark who is our CADD / GIS professional build us an ArcGIS map. At that point we could drop in a project zip code and find the closest resources to the project.
What Are We Trying to Accomplish?
We realized that if someone didn’t do something to provide our freelance friends with enough money to survive, they’d have to go get jobs and wouldn’t be available for our projects. For a small environmental company with a nationwide footprint, not having our 1099 EP roster would break our business model. We also don’t want to get back in the airplanes and fly, no matter what happens with COVID going forward.
For the Indy EPs, we could easily see that they were being squeezed on the prices they could charge because Big Buyer and Big Brokers of environmental consulting were doing their best to maximize profits. We needed a way were the EPs could charge whatever they wanted, up to what the market would bare, for their services. There would be no middleman to pay for the privilege of working in their chosen field.
What’s In it for A3 Environmental Consultants?
We’re not even kidding. That’s all that’s really in it for us.
I do, however, expect the number of contacts on the map will grow and we will weed through the good and the better providers of freelance environmental consulting services. I imagine we’ll be able to easily do a project anywhere in the nation and at some point we’ll be a solid competitor for Partner Engineering & Science.