Why hire an employee when you can rent one?

imageLeveraging on “Are we better off leveraging experts?”, this is a question a US consulting firm caught my attention with this week when they followed me on Twitter  In their web site they asked “Why hire an employee when you can rent one?” Their message pitched to sell their value also just makes so much sense as it goes to the very heart of the issue.

This small firm, called Kettle River Consulting, with its unlikely yet instantly recognizable self branding name,  grabs readers well with some clever well placed business basics. One is a challenge they suggest you chew on to “Make Your Server Room Get Along with Your Board Room”.

In their offering on managed services, they present their  case to engage with a compelling argument that the cost is less than staff costs of full-time employees.

They expand this by saying,

Some companies hire one team to write their application and another to maintain it.

The latter team is instantly at a disadvantage, because all of the knowledge of the business processes and the application itself resides with the software developers.

A second drawback might also be personnel-related. To manage an enterprise application, a company needs the continual services of talented developers, database administrators and network operations staff.

If these were all full time employees, the cost of running the application could become burdensome.

When I looked more into Kettle River Consulting, also at twitter.com/KettleRiver, it seems it was founded on an opportunity to delver real customer service that so many others in reality only have in their mission.

According to their site KRC, as they also refer to themselves, was started when an a German marketing firm, who had previously acquired a US software business, then changed direction and decided to close it. This left stranded many long-time and loyal clients with an ongoing  need for the expertise they had relied on for many years.

Another perspective of this company shows up in the “Favorite Quotes the KRC Team have on their profiles; such as,

  1. Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.
  2. Data outlives the application in nearly every business.
  3. Don’t fear technology, use it to make your life better

I enjoyed reading the KRC site and learning from them on how to be humble and still look very professional. This very human looking company makes so much sense and one I would definitely feel I would like to deal with if I were a local to Minnesota.

This firm albeit small teaches by example some big and valuable lessons for doing business from its equally small yet famous area located in the southwest corner of Carlton County.These days of course with communications being so good even in the Asia Pacific regions, they could ofcourse be local and help others in need on that side of the world.

Here is something else i found out.  The Kettle River area of Carlton County Minnesota, was settled by a large concentration of Finnish Immigrants in the years leading up to the First World War and the influence of those immigrants is still noticeable even today.

Every August the town hosts Ma and Pa Kettle Days, an annual festival that includes a pancake breakfast, parade, a Miss Kettle River pageant, a mud bog on Saturday afternoon and street dances on Friday and Saturday night. . (if you want to learn more on Kettle River my source for this post was Wikipedia)

3 thoughts on “Why hire an employee when you can rent one?

  1. @Mike Leo


    I was impressed by your model. Maybe you have something that people like IBM should take a note on. Churn and burn models do work but who needs them?

    What you aspire to and achive is what we seek too for our consulting custimers. We believe attention to maintain quality service and relationships for the long term costs nothing and it is wonderful you can achieve in the he way you do.

    Congratulations and best wishes

  2. Thanks for the kind words about our company. We feel our model is different than rent-a-body shops because we develop relationships with our clients that last years. Some of our clients comment that they have known our consultants longer than most their own employees.

Leave a Reply