Spring Conference 2020 – Building a sustainable, valuable business
When we launched The Consultancy Growth Network, we never imagined we’d be delivering our first conference online. But on Tuesday April 21st we welcomed our members for a day of virtual presentations, break outs, videos and interactive sessions.
Despite the shifts that Covid-19 is forcing us to make in our lives at the moment, the conference held on to its purpose of helping members take a longer-term view of their businesses. We focused on how they can build a firm that is both sustainable and valuable. And how they personally can last (and enjoy) the journey.
As Dom Moorhouse, one of the network’s expert advisors and our primary speaker for the day, pointed out at the start, “value is important even if you’re not on the road to a sale. Viewing your consulting business through the eyes of an investor is about giving yourself future optionality.”
The fundamental components of value
Dom used his personal experiences of building and selling Moorhouse Consulting and of being a mentor, NED and angel investor, to explain what the fundamental components of value are in a consulting firm and how to improve them. His caveat, though, was clear: “Value is irrelevant unless you are delivering visible value to your clients”.
Amongst many other things, Dom talked about the significance of being profitable, about why productivity is so important in professional services, and about how leverage also impacts value. “The biggest sin in professional services is under-delegation,” he said. “Typically, consultants at a senior level hold on to too much. So give plenty of thought to your optimal leverage level and feed this into your business planning.”
The Equity Growth Wheel
Bruce Ramsay, from Consulting M&A, one of the network’s specialist advisors, led our interactive workshop that allowed, in real time, the members to review their business’s performance against eight key value levers. Reiterating Dom’s point, Bruce began with a reminder: “The value of what you do and what you do per se are two very different things.”
The discussions between Bruce, members and advisors during Bruce’s session and in the Q&A afterwards proved how useful it was for people to score themselves. Topics included managing relationships with procurement departments as well as the c-suite, what constitutes intellectual property in the context of value, and the importance of establishing robust sales and marketing processes.
Look after yourselves
One of the day’s break out sessions covered a topic close to both Dom’s and my hearts, and that is how to look after yourself on what is a tough journey – even without a global pandemic thrown in. The candour expressed by members as they shared their techniques for maintaining their energy, passion and balance when things get tough proved what an open and supportive community the network is creating.
As we wrapped things up, and breathed a sigh of relief that the technology (i.e. George ‘IT’ Berrington) had met all of our (pretty high) expectations, we were delighted to receive feedback from members including “today was exactly why I joined”, “extremely helpful and really productive” and “really good sessions – provocative and educational”.
Thank you to everyone who joined us. We have two webinars coming up in May and our next event is on 4 June. More details on all of these are available here.
Article | Network news
The Consultancy Growth Network