Growing a consulting or agency business is all about engaging in multiplicative activities. That means stepping out of delivery, not diving into accounts or ops, but focusing all your effort on how you can scale your sales, your delivery, and your culture. Here's a lot more detail on what that means in practice.
Are you worried that your technical or design skills have gone rusty since you started running your consultancy or agency? Rusty Skills Syndrome is more common than you'd think for founders and leaders of consultancies and agencies. Here's what to do about it.
You need a USP for your consulting business, right? Wrong. Consulting USPs are great if you naturally have them, but spending time creating one is a waste of time. Our advice - stop trying to create one if doesn't leap out at you, and focus your efforts on the things that actually make a difference to your clients.
Consultants can come across as real jerks. That's because oftentimes, we are. We often forget to be human before being consultants. There's a constant egotistical need to prove ourselves to be superhuman to our clients - as if our businesses depend on it.
Well, they don't. Be a consulting leader, not a consulting jerk. Here's a list of some of the most common howlers.
Consultancies and agencies often face the question of whether to let their consultants work from home between projects. Half-answers undermine work and fairness - the work doesn't get done as well as it could, and people end up not feeling particularly at ease with being at home. And the options enabled by technology end up being a distraction rather than an enabler. A simple set of guidelines is both humane and effective. And it needn't be that hard. Here's a starter to getting some guidelines…
One of the contractors you have on one of your projects turns out to be a superstar. You want to hire her. Except she's on a day rate you can't match in a salary. What to do?
I hesitate before answering this question, because there's one to be answered before that. Which is whether it is a good idea to hire her at all. Don't expect that a great contractor would always make a great consultant. There are some pretty fundamental mindset changes that need to happen.
Consultancies, agencies and all professional services firms need to be obsessive about talent acquisition and retention. In today's world, that extends to giving your staff a greater sense of meaning at work. Maslow said so!
Or, Maslow’s hierarchy and why employers need to get over themselves and provide meaning at work. Summary There is an increase in people’s expectations and needs for their work to have meaning, and their employers to be doing more for society than increasing the bottom line. This is not restricted to Gen Y – it increasingly covers all generations, even though it is commonly attributed to Gen Y. If you want to compete for the best talent, your company will be much more appealing…
Think company culture only matters in textbooks and for change management consultants? In the consultancy / full services agency I sat on the board of, it translated quantifiably to multiple 7 figures added to our bottom line. Add everything else I've not tried to quantify, and it could easily be four times that.
Whether a company's values go no further than a link on their website, or are rooted through the organisation, there's often one that ranks higher than the others. And usually, the company's leadership has little control over it.
Do you know what yours is?