Well, here we are at the end of another year. For my final expert article of 2014, I want to move on from last month where we looked at exit strategies and concentrate on your strengths and weaknesses, important factors to consider when developing a business.
Building a “best practice” sole practitioner consultancy is challenging but ultimately rewarding. Building a multi-consultancy practice is even more challenging.
I’ve created the following “wish list” of questions to help you consider your areas of strength and weakness. All of these factors contribute to a thriving multi-consultant practice, but many of them are applicable to sole practitioners as well:
- Are revenues steadily increasing?
- Are profits steadily increasing?
- Are the clients desirable and high quality?
- Can the practice demonstrate understanding of client requirements?
- Is repeat business generated?
- Is there a quality marketing machine?
- Is there a quality sales machine?
- Is there a quality delivery process?
- Do relationship reviews take place and is action taken as a result?
- Is there a culture of personal development and continuous improvement?
- How loyal are consultants?
- How many clients are considered trusted partners?
- Are there effective partnerships and alliances in place?
- Can the firm display technical excellence?
- Are communication and listening skills strong?
- Do the consultants display business acumen?
- How responsive are the consultants?
- Is revenue spread across an acceptable range of clients or concentrated on one or two?
- Is there a high dependence on one consultant (re. both sourcing and delivering work)?
- Is the consultancy offering countercyclical?
I encourage you to consider this list in a moment of calm and identify three priority areas for improvement. Whether it is you, or you plus others, it might make the difference between you just surviving, and actively prospering.
It may also help you decide what type, or types, of people you need to complement your skills, talents and experience, and improve your responses to the above list of questions.
If you think you are struggling at all in any of these areas and aren’t sure how to improve, feel free to contact me.
So, that’s it for 2014 it seems! I look forward to sharing more of my expert articles with you over the New Year and hope you will continue to enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them.