Setting up as an Interim Manager

When setting yourself up as a career interim manager it is imperative that you are able to demonstrate the following:-

  • A successful permanent career in which you have proven your ability to achieve positive results at the highest level.
  • A limited company.
  • A minimum of at least £250K Professional Indemnity Insurance.
  • A day rate aspiration which closely reflects the clients evaluation of the role required to be performed.


Interim Providers
 and clients alike will be interested in what you have achieved in your permanent career as either a manager or director. In particular, they will look at your successes whilst leading or directing teams as this key skill is often required on assignment. They will also take a close look at your judgement, communication skills and ability to take an objective approach as these factors are critical to your success as an interim manager.

You should use your CV as your initial tool to market yourself. As an interim management provider we see literally tens of CVs each month and to be honest the standard is not always that good even when the candidate is actually very competent. Whilst there are many different ways of presenting CV’s we recommend you stick to the following rules:

  • Use a opening paragraph to summarise your core competencies and experience.
    • e.g. An Interim Manager with 10 years experience of operating at director level in operations and general management within the Aerospace sector.
  • It is very likely that interim providers will use keyword searches when looking for suitable candidates for assignments therefore it is sensible to ensure the most relevant phrases are present in your opening statement.
  • Do not write statements using adjectives such as ambitious, professional, experienced, excellent, etc because you are expected to have these qualities.
  • Try to keep your CV to 2 pages and ensure your include your work experience in the last 10 years of your career.
  • Choose a sensible font (Arial or Times Roman). The number of CVs we get which are actually difficult to read because they are written in ‘wacky’ fonts or italics you simply would not believe.
  • Don’t exaggerate your achievements – some CVs are simply unbelievable.
  • Identity two professional referees – ideally from companies where you have been on assignment.
  • Ensure you identify your sector experience clearly.
  • Identify the geographies in which you are willing to work.
  • List tangible achievements and be prepared to modify your general CV for each position applied for highlighting specific parts of your CV which are relevant to a particular assignment.
  • List your day rate expectations
  • Finally, ensure all of your professional qualifications are present if relevant.

It is possible to set up a limited company in only a few days for a very small fee. Specialist company formation businesses exist to help you with this process. We would strongly recommend that you also get advice from a qualified accountant to advise you on your directors responsibilities with respect to your limited company, IR35 legislation, PAYE/NI and VAT. What can appear to be a very daunting process can be handled quickly and efficiently if you do your homework first.

Most Interim Management providers will require you to operate through a limited company because it demonstrates you commitment to a career as an interim manager and also makes the contractual relationship simpler.

It is imperative that you take out an insurance policy to protect you in the event of litigation against you and your company. Whilst the likelihood of this happening is very small, this is one area where you need to be totally secure in the knowledge that you are covered just in case. Typical insurance cover ranges from £250K-£1M and premiums from £275-£500 per annum. Again there are a number of specialist insurance providers for freelance consultants/interim managers. We suggest you take advice from organisations such as the Institute of Interim Managers should you need guidance in this area.

As a general rule of thumb, day rate (the VAT exclusive rate you would charge your daily services out at) is approx.1% of the total package a permanent person could expect to receive if they we carrying out the role. Therefore a £50,000 permanent package per annum would equate to a £500/day rate for an interim manager.

It is imperative that you ‘pitch’ your rate appropriately. For example a small business employing 6 people is unlikely to accept a high day rate whereas a multi-national company may be willing to pay a higher rate. One rate does not fit all so use your common sense and be flexible if you want the assignment.