Back to the List

How to Grow Your Consulting Firm NOW (not later)

If you’d like to shake the rust off your consulting firm and jump-start fast moving progress, shift your gaze from the lofty peaks that will take years to ascend to a nearby hill you can crest now.

Most business vision exercises are farsighted. They create plenty of clarity around a long-term vision, but the near-in details remain fuzzier than a laundered rabbit.

Perhaps you’ve worked hard on your mission and your five-year plan. Or, you may hold a grand, sweeping vision for your firm. There’s nothing wrong with those, but I haven’t found that farsighted vision exercises reliably spark revenue or profit growth in consulting firms.

Nearsighted vision exercises, on the other hand, can jolt any part of your consulting practice into higher gear: revenue, profitability, productivity… even enjoyment.

Nearsighted exercises temporarily sideline the long-term view and, instead, focus on what’s right in front of you. You pinpoint what you should do over the next…

…Three months.

…Three weeks.

…Three days.

…Three minutes.

Of course, you have to check that your near-term actions won’t cause long-term damage to your client relationships or your consulting firm. I trust you to run that test before implementing any nearsighted tactics.

Over the next couple of weeks, try out the following, Nearsighted Vision Exercise:

Nearsighted Vision Exercise

Below are two, close-in goals, each of which is followed by questions. Your task is to consider the goal then answer the questions.

Nearsighted Goal #1: Generate half your typical, annual revenue within the next three months. That revenue must be from existing clients only. What, if anything, is in the way of you achieving this goal? How will you achieve it?

Nearsighted Goal #2: Generate 25% of your typical, annual revenue within the next three months. All 25% must be from new clients. What, if anything, is in the way of you achieving this goal? How will you achieve it?

The answers to the questions in this exercise generally aren’t obvious or easy to formulate. You’ll have to apply some mental elbow grease.

However, astute readers will notice that if you nail both nearsighted goals, you’ll book 75% of your annual revenue in only three months, and if you repeat your performance every quarter, in one year you’ll triple your historical revenue.


For example, I worked on this nearsighted exercise with a boutique consulting firm in the D.C. area. They doubled their revenue… then doubled it again.

What about you? Can you refocus your vision to the near term? Be bold and share below one tactic you’ll bang out over the next three months to grow your consulting firm.

  1. Jeff Griffiths
    November 8, 2017 at 7:54 am Reply

    Thanks for this David – very timely, as we’re trying to do exactly this; it’s one of the keys to running a consulting BUSINESS as opposed to running an occasionally well-paying consulting “HOBBY”, which unfortunately is what I’ve been doing for about 15 years. I think that as consultants we tend to get bogged down in the ‘elegant vision and strategy’ rather than focusing on the actual steps in execution that will help realize it. Or we get bogged down in delivery – and often (as you’ve pointed out in other articles) that’s stuff we should really be outsourcing or delegating. Thanks for setting us straight (again)!

    • David A. Fields
      November 8, 2017 at 8:44 am Reply

      Long-term plans lack the oomph to transition you from hobbyist to professional. As you suggest, Jeff, to make the switch you have to power yourself past the immediate humps. That takes short-term [nearsighted] planning and execution. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

    • John Keenan
      November 8, 2017 at 9:38 am Reply

      Great feedback Jeff. Nearsighted plan? You mean I have to take action now? No, I’d rather procrastinate by working on my longer term plans……

      • David A. Fields
        November 8, 2017 at 9:44 am Reply

        Funny comment, John! And insightful. Long-term planning often is thinly-veiled procrastination.

  2. Bill Zipp
    November 8, 2017 at 11:46 am Reply

    Hey David. I think you mean “rarely spark” and not “reliably spark” in paragraph three. GREAT article!

  3. Bill Zipp
    November 8, 2017 at 11:48 am Reply

    Oops, sorry. Misread the doesn’t. Doofus. Again, GREAT article!

    • David A. Fields
      November 8, 2017 at 12:55 pm Reply

      Dang double negatives. Thanks for the reminder on one (of many ways) to improve the writing and clarity of these articles, Bill.

  4. Mark Vieno
    November 8, 2017 at 12:45 pm Reply

    Hi David, thanks for the newsletter. I think I’ll resurrect my own newsletter as a way to tackle both goals. I noticed that you seem to send one each week. Have you found this to be the optimal frequency? Any advice on newsletters?

    • David A. Fields
      November 8, 2017 at 1:01 pm Reply

      Interesting question, Mark. On the corporate side, my newsletter went out every once in a while on an unpredictable schedule. I found that to be very effective because receiving one of my newsletters was surprise treat. My consulting audience is much more fragmented. The weekly approach seems to work well.

      Keep in mind that producing good content every week is a challenging endeavor. A few weeks is easy. Hundreds of weekly articles is not.

      Thanks for posing the questions, Mark.

  5. Henrietta Poirier
    November 15, 2017 at 5:51 pm Reply

    Hello and thanks for all the laughs, and great, useful, practical and actionable advice 🙂

    • David A. Fields
      November 16, 2017 at 6:56 am Reply

      If you’re smiling while you work, enjoying your profession and making progress, you’re where you’re meant to be. Sounds like that’s the case for you, Henrietta. Thanks for posting a comment.

Leave а Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prev Article

A 5-Step Plan to Get More Leads for Your Consulting Firm

Next Article

The Perfect Consulting Deliverable


Subscribe to receive insiders’ access to information and resources that will help you grow your consulting firm.

Note: By subscribing you are confirming that you have read and agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. You are also confirming your consent to receive emails from David about his articles, programs and recommendations.

Firm Type