Jim Quigley, former global CEO and now senior partner at Deloitte, once said that professional services firms have simple fundamentals. He said it’s all about talent, clients, and teaming up to bring them together so that value services can be delivered.
However, professional services businesses manage people, who are rather unpredictable. That doesn’t mean your success and the way you run your business should also be unpredictable. As part of a professional services firm, you can achieve steady success as well as growth even when you have to face variability and uncertainty when managing your services. Here are seven ways to make your firm more successful.
Have Reliable Clients
There are many roads to success, but if you do not have clients none of it will matter. You need clients who like your work, make payments on time, and spread the work around.
Know Your Niche
David Maister, the author of 'The Anatomy of a Consulting Firm', categorized professional services. He says everything you do in your company will vary depending on what services you are providing. To connect with and serve your clients in the best way, you should understand how you fit into their plans.
For example, are your clients looking for interaction and trust? If yes, you need to employ people who have these qualities. But the person may not be of much use in a firm whose success is based on repetition and efficiency.
Share Your Competence Free of Charge
Articles, speeches, seminars, assessments, networking, or free training – any kind of activity where you can demonstrate your competence will likely generate inquiries. Proving your value to potential clients before asking them for money always leaves a good impression.
Build Your Business in Good and Bad Times
Your results are going to be limited if you look for them only when you are in need. You need to generate new clients consistently, so that you are never in a position when you will need a client. Note that when you need clients, you may not always attract the best ones or get deserving rates.
Keep Your Clients Happy
Are your customers thrilled with how you work? Have you received rave reviews about your work? If you haven’t, earning them should be your new focus.
Capabilities for Servicing Clients Well Should be Consistently Strong
While you may agree that business development has to be consistent, you may not agree that hiring and training of client service staff should also be consistent. When your business development is successful, you will generate work. When there is more work, you will need people who can deliver services. But when this team is not developed, you will have to take time away from business development to look at it. Successful firms have struck a balance between business development and talent development.
Hire from the Bottom Up
Hire people from the bottom, train them in your process, and then promote them. Invest in development and training. It should be given the same importance as service delivery, otherwise you might tend to ignore it.
About the Author: Bob Wolff is an accountant-turned-Channel Manager at BQE who helps to offer consulting and software solutions for BQE customers. He likes to share his business expertise here on the blog whenever he can.