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The Consultancy Growth Network

Game-changing insights and industry trends revealed at Consultancy BenchPress 2024

On 13 June 2024, the Grand De Vere Connaught Rooms in London buzzed with energy as over 150 consulting leaders, growth experts and specialist providers gathered for the highly anticipated results of The Consultancy Growth Network’s (TCGN) latest research, Consultancy BenchPress 2024. 

Based on data from nearly 300 independent consulting businesses with revenues of up to £50m, Consultancy BenchPress 2024 is the only extensive long-term benchmarking survey into the performance of UK&I boutique consultancies.   

Now in its fourth year, the report provides richer data than ever, revealing the insights, tips and tools to support the growth of ambitious founder-led consultancies. 

“A resounding success”

“As a consultancy owner I have to stop meddling and work more ‘on’ the business” 

The event showcased the latest findings from the report and underscored the critical role of benchmarking in achieving business excellence.  

This was a unique opportunity for consulting leaders to connect, learn, and collaborate, with attendees saying, “It was a resounding success, we got such valuable insights and actionable strategies.” 

Attendees gained a renewed sense of purpose and practical tools to apply the survey findings within their boutique consultancies, paving the way for future growth and success. 

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Peter Czapp, co-founder of The Consultancy Growth Network, presented an in-depth analysis of the survey results, exploring critical Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as profit and revenue growth, sales and marketing performance, technology, and environmental and social impact.  

A lively Q&A delved deeper into some of the report findings, including the hot benchmarking topic of remuneration and a debate around how consulting leaders can move away from working ‘in’ the business to working more ‘on’ it. 

Six key insights

 “This has given me the focus areas I need to set the right direction” 

Revenue growth returns to normal – around two-thirds of consultancies grew revenue last year. Given the level of uncertainty in the economy, this was quite the achievement. 

Big profits have become rarer – the number of consultancies making an operating profit of more than 30% has almost halved. Now only 13% hit this benchmark. 

Consultancies are very reliant on their owners – if the majority shareholders left, 65% of consultancies would reduce in size or go out of business. Only 17% would grow. 

Selling is the endgame for most – over half of consultancy owners plan to sell their business, with 68% hoping to do so for a sum in excess of £5m. 

Strategy is king – the most profitable and fastest-growing consultancies spend more time on strategy than the rest. 

Focusing on equity value drives performance – consultancies that have fully woven the Eight Levers of Equity Value into their growth strategy outperform those that haven’t. 

Lively panel discussion and Q&A 

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In a wide-ranging and animated session that hit home with many of the audience, a panel of ambitious consulting leaders shared their stories and perspectives on the survey results. Panelists addressed some of the stay-awake challenges highlighted by the report, such as how to operate with purpose, manage their time as a leader, make money and build a forever business.  

Roundtable collaboration 

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Breakout sessions brought together smaller groups to discuss the survey findings with their peers. Facilitated by TCGN’s team of experienced growth experts and specialist providers, these roundtable discussions encouraged debate and the exchange of best practices. Practical learning and implementation strategies for attendees to take back to their businesses and set in motion. 

In good shape for the future 

“We need to really focus on the strategy of the business”

Marc Jantzen wrapped up the event by encouraging consultancy leaders to harness the survey results to drive continuous business improvement. He reiterated TCGN’s commitment to supporting consulting businesses in their efforts and encouraged everyone to make full use of The Consultancy Growth Network’s resources to shape their future.  

Marc expressed the hope that Consultancy BenchPress 2024 “inspires boutique consultancies to work ‘on’ their business in parallel with working ‘in’ it, develop their transformation plan to grow their business profitably and create choices, whatever direction they choose in the future”.  

Many attendees stayed on to attend the inaugural Consultancy Awards, a sold-out event organised by TCGN to celebrate and recognise the achievements of consultancies in the UK and worldwide.  

Download the abridged Consultancy BenchPress report here. 

Members of the Consultancy Growth Network can access the full report via the Growth Hub

Article | Network newsBenchmarks and assessments

Written by

Amy Rashbrooke

The Consultancy Growth Network