Your consulting firm exists to help others. You solve your clients’ problems and alleviate the symptoms plaguing them; you help them achieve their aspirations and exceed their objectives.
Serving others isn’t enough, though. You probably also have a strong yearning to grow. Consultants, as a rule, are personally and professionally growth oriented.
Hence, even if you don’t set your consulting firm’s sights on attaining more of the “big three” (revenue, profit, chocolate), set other growth goals to make 2023 a fulfilling year for you and your consulting firm.
Improvement is important too, of course.
You can improve your customer experience (as scores of readers noted in this article), utilization, offerings, client satisfaction, and culture, to name just a few areas.
But those aren’t growth.
Growth means more or bigger in some way.
And your consulting firm’s likelihood of achieving your growth goals increases dramatically if you clearly identify the goals and prioritize them.
Action Step: Set between two and five growth goals for your consulting firm for the coming year.
To help you, my team and I quickly identified over 20 potential growth goals for consulting firms. Some are complementary to each other; others, not so much. None are high in calories!
Below are just ten of the growth goals we identified.
10 Growth Options for Consulting Firms
Number of projects x Average fee
Total revenue − Total expenses
Number of Clients
Total number of “logos” or buying points
Size of your “tribe” or total awareness of your consulting firm
Average Project Size
Total revenue ÷ Number of consulting projects
Average Client Value
Total revenue ÷ Total number of clients
Total size of delivery team (employees and identified contractors)
Breadth of your consulting firm’s skill sets.
Impact on the World
Total number of people directly affected by your work
Number of vacation days
(for owners and/or all staff)
Which growth dimensions are you prioritizing for your consulting firm this year?
Please share in the comments—your goals will inspire others. (And feel free to add other dimensions—I did leave out quite a few.)
Text and images are © 2023 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.
My growth goal is to add 1 additional partner this year. The more rewarding work I’ve done over the last few years has been when partnered with another team/group/org that has strengths I don’t, and I bring something to their table too. I plan to do this be focusing more effort on connections and conversations.
That’s an inspiring growth goal, Bill! Partnering with others is the underappreciated star of a growing consulting firm. It helps in every aspect of the consulting model–winning engagements, delivery, infrastructure strength and strategic health.
I’m very appreciative that you shared your goal, Bill, and kicked of the discussion!
David, would you consider narrowing your capabilities or narrowing your industries served as a form of growth? Like, growth in your firm’s focus?
Great question, David. Yes, focus is SO important that it’s fair to consider “more focused” as a more category. Some strict definition people might take us to task if they find out, but as long as we keep this between the two of us, I think we’re good! 😉
My request: by midway through the year, update me on how “Growth in Focus” is working for you as a goal. Are you achieving it? What’s the impact?
Thank you for the provocative question, David!
My growth goals are:
1. To maintain my consulting revenues while moving to a 4 day week.
2. Keynoting fewer times (max 12 appearances) at a higher rate.
Perfect, Jerry. Growth in time off and growth in fees/appearance. Those sound like two outstanding goals for the year. Very attainable too.
I’m glad you shared, Jerry–your goals will inspire others.
My goals for the year around around increasing my market presence with the release of my first book The Chief Customer Officer Playbook and the introduction of a few new capabilities related to the concepts and visibility that will hopefully come from the book. Thanks for this list. It is a great way to think about my business growth.
Congratulations on the book launch, Rod. That’s the culmination of a lot of work on your part. Expanding your market presence is an outstanding growth goal for the year. Keep me apprised of how you’re faring as the year progresses.
I bet other readers are going to recommit to their book launches now that they’ve seen your goal. Thanks for sharing!
Good points! One additional growth option is to increase margins by using top-tier offshore talent to provide additional capacity or supplement skill sets.
Steve, you’ve offered a valuable “how” to support three of the growth objectives noted above: profit, capacity and capabilities. Thanks!