As we approach the start of 2021, owners of consulting firms positioned for high performance are focusing on how to make it their best year yet. In what will be another year of unprecedented change for consulting businesses and their clients, having a robust plan for success is crucial.
In this webinar, Peter Czapp, co-founder of The Consultancy Growth Network, explored some of the key things for business owners to consider as part of their strategy. The session referenced our latest BenchPress survey of owners of consulting businesses, combined with case studies from businesses that are thriving right now. Here are a few samples of the helpful tips that Peter shared with our members during his session.
Think beyond 2021
Peter discussed a framework that can help consulting business owners to define what success looks like for them and build their business around these priorities. He went through the framework with our members, asking them to consider their personal objectives around income, lifestyle and assets. Peter emphasised that you should take a longer-term perspective in using this framework by considering success over the next three years – not only in 2021.
Seven key areas to consider for success
Peter identified and discussed seven key areas for defining success.
- Positioning – consider what the next stage is on your journey of defining a market niche where you can make you competition irrelevant.
- Pricing – three key tips for optimisation of this key component of revenue and profit.
- Revisit existing clients and consider revising the rates that you are charging them.
- Give three different pricing options when quoting to clients.
- Prepare to manage discounting requests from procurement departments. [We recorded a video of Marc Jantzen, our founder and one of our growth experts, which discusses discounting strategies in more detail.]
- Profit – set targets for operating and gross profit. These should be segmented to look for useful trends within your business. [We provide data on company-wide profit benchmarks in our latest BenchPress report.]
- Full sales pipeline – think about how to create a business that is oversubscribed so that you only accept clients and work that you really want.
- Culture – develop the right culture, which includes two key areas:
- Developing an appropriate organisational chart and structure that enables you to spend more time on building your business.
- Retaining your talent and ensuring your leadership style enables this.
- Your existing clients – generate revenue from these clients by creating effective account plans, pitching to them and generating referrals. [We have produced a review of 40 ways to grow your existing accounts which you may like to read.]
- Planning – spend time developing a clear vision of your future and have written objectives to achieve it.
There were insightful questions and follow-on discussions amongst our members after the webinar. The full recording of Peter’s session, along with recordings of our previous events, are available to members via the Growth Hub.
Article | Strategy and leadership
Ali El Moghraby
Head of Marketing
The Consultancy Growth Network