By Jason Atkinson, Managing Director, Russam GMS

There are over five million people in Britain who are self-employed and one of the boom areas of independent working is interim management. To market National Freelancers Day, we looked at the ingredients of interim management success. The main piece of advice we give to interims to think of themselves as a 'Serious Small Business' (SSB) rather than an individual freelancer.

The opportunities to work as an interim manager are growing. Our latest snap shot survey highlighted a 6.5% rise in demand for interims in the past year and the financial services; engineering and manufacturing sectors were particularly buoyant.

However, the market can be competitive with many candidates vying for the same roles. Successful interims must be armed with many great skilled, contacts and be prepared to market themselves in the same way as any successful business. This means defining their product clearly, focusing on getting work and networking to build contacts and pipelines. Most important is that they are great at what they do as this is the only way to really ensure a sustainable business.”

Here are my 10 best tips for people considering a career in interim management.

· Do your homework before deciding to become an interim manager - make sure it is the right career choice for you. Ask yourself what benefits will you bring to a client? What are your strengths? What are your needs? Is there a market for what you have to offer?
· Have a financial cushion before you take the plunge
· Talk to as many other interim managers as you can to get a good 'feel' for what being an interim is like
· Decide on your unique selling proposition and how you will target clients
· Prepare a business plan
· You will need a new CV and some interim providers like Russam GMS offer a dedicated CV service to support you
· Be flexible and ready to learn new skills
· Remember that as a serious small business you will have to do all the things a business owner would do including business planning & strategy, marketing, selling, accounting and IT
· Present yourself as a complete professional, meet and register with a couple of IMA approved Interim Management agencies as they will help you find assignments
· A "must do" is to attend the IMA Workshop (put on by the Interim Management Association) - a whole day eating, sleeping, breathing the world of being an independent professional

There has never been a better time to become an Interim Manager but there are important steps and considerations that can support success. On National Freelancers Day we want to encourage senior people to explore the opportunities in the market.