So if you’re going to sack 80% of your clients, then make sure you spend the time figuring out how you can create unfeasible value for the remaining 20% so that they stay with you, pay you more, and you’re both genuinely winning out of the relationship.
And if you’re going to stop building your own website, which you’ve been spending half your days on, then make sure you spend that time you’ve liberated on improving your proposition or on actually going out and winning clients. Meaning the harder, deeper, and more focussed work.
Because the reality that those writers rarely discuss is this – for so many consultancy leaders, especially those leading consultancies that have hit a plateau, those 80% tasks are a comfortable procrastination space. Those 80% tasks, tasks that create less incremental value or are better delegated or outsourced, provide a space that protects the founders or owners from doing the real work and finding out that it’s hard, or that their proposition sucks and needs redoing, or that no one wants to buy what they have and there’s no business. Or, heaven forbid, that one partner has been using the 80% as a hidey-hole while another has been doing the real graft of making the business better.
So if you happen to be one of those business writers who plans to regurgitate another one of those business-help articles telling business owners to hand off work to PAs, VAs, web developers or accountants, don’t paint the picture that the job’s done once they’ve done that. Have the intellectual honesty to tell them that doing that is the easy part. Tell them that once they’ve done that, they then have to start doing the really hard work of building their business.
And that once they’ve removed those procrastination crutches, they will face a harder task than creating their website or doing their accounts. The task of actually creating more value to build their business on.