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9 Quantum Leap Questions for Your Consulting Firm

You could answer a debate my team and I have engaged in: the best way to create a quantum leap in a small consulting firm’s performance.

Plenty of folks are chattering about how your consulting firm can survive or stabilize in the face of an economic downturn. I’d like to invite you to consider a much, much more ambitious goal in the near term for your consulting firm.

You may have been forced to rethink your consulting practice over the past few months. Many clients have canceled or postponed consulting projects.

Prospects may not be responding to your typical business development approaches because they’re uncertain about the future.**

You can, and should, refine your marketing and slightly rejigger your offerings to make them more attractive and less risky.

Those efforts are like adding an extra handful of chocolate chips into your chocolate chip cookie mixture. The extra sweetness can modestly bump up your consulting firm’s business in the immediate term.

As long as you’re altering your consulting firm’s recipe of offerings, approaches and messaging, though, why not consider dramatic improvements?

Now is the perfect time to engineer a quantum leap in your consulting firm’s performance.

But how?

That’s where our internal debate cropped up and you can weigh in with your opinion.

If you choose just one of the quantum leap questions below, and invest a bit of time, finances and creativity into answering it, you could metamorphose your consulting firm into a piping hot chocolate souffle of revenue, profitability, productivity and/or enjoyment.

9 Quantum Leap Questions for Your Consulting Firm

Opportunities Leap: What could you do, in terms of marketing, to start conversations with 10 times as many prospects as you spoke with last year?

Awareness Leap: What could you do to ensure 10 times as many prospects recognize your name or the name of your firm?

Partnerships Leap: What relationships could you cultivate to receive 10 times the number of leads from partners?

Referrals Leap: How could you generate 10 times as many referrals from your current clients?

Fee Leap: What could you offer (or create or address) that warrants a fee 10 times as high as your previous, highest-fee project?

Capacity Leap: What staff configuration could handle 10 times as many projects?

Velocity Leap: What systems could enable you to deliver your current offerings in 1/10th the time?

Efficiency Leap: What changes could result in you producing high-value deliverables with 1/10th the labor?

Fulfillment Leap: How could you ensure everyone on your team spends 1/10th as much time working on tasks outside their signature strengths?

Please contribute to the debate. What question will you answer to transform your consulting practice?


20 Comments
  1. Luca Zanna
    May 27, 2020 at 6:21 am Reply

    Thank you David for the very insightful article.
    With the current speed of technological change, the Efficiency Leap is very promising!

    • David A. Fields
      May 27, 2020 at 8:02 am Reply

      Totally agree, Luca. Artificial intelligence tools, for instance, can eliminate weeks of work from a project while enhancing your output. Savvy consulting firms are jumping into these tech-enabled waters with both feet.

      I appreciate you adding your insight, Luca.

  2. Dave
    May 27, 2020 at 6:55 am Reply

    Nice article – good things to think about in terms of shifting perspective. But what really has me puzzled is the double-asterisk after “…uncertain about the future”? I’m looking for the accompanying explanation!

    • David A. Fields
      May 27, 2020 at 8:09 am Reply

      Hmmm… I bet the chocolate-covered espresso beans that are supposed to automatically fall onto your keyboard after you post a comment also didn’t appear. Dang!

      The pop-up function seems to fail on some browsers or devices. The ** pointed readers to this related article: Two Issues Your Consulting Firm Must Confront to Win Projects in Uncertain Times

      I’m glad you asked, Dave. Technology’s great when it works.

      • Lee Jones
        May 31, 2020 at 1:59 pm Reply

        I’m glad he asked too. It never occurred to me to hover over the asterisk (but it works). I always just looked near the bottom for the ** and explanation, like in those historical paper documents (and in my book). Glad to know this. And thanks David for all your good info.

        • David A. Fields
          June 2, 2020 at 6:32 pm

          Yeah, hover text is the new footer. Or something like that. I’m glad it worked for you, Lee!

  3. Kenny Jahng
    May 27, 2020 at 8:48 am Reply

    Good challenging questions! First I am going to ask a modified version of this to my team and see how they answer.

    There are two things we started but need to double down on: using Mike Michalowicz’s Ckockwork methodology. And second, productizing / standardizing our solutions. While I’m sure custom work will continue to happen, I’m realizing that by not defining the ideal work product (the standardized set of solutions) for clients to self-select at the front end, we open the door to custom first, trying to manage the conversation to the standardized offerings. Vs. starting with the standardized offerings and choosing to widen the proposed solution with more control of the conversation.

    • David A. Fields
      May 27, 2020 at 9:10 am Reply

      There are pros and cons of standardized solutions, and it sounds like you’re heading toward the right balance, Kenny. Standardized “modules” or building blocks that you can assemble into a tailored solution can be very helpful, as can some pro-forma, core offerings from your consulting firm.

      Regardless of how rigid or flexible you make your offering, you can absolutely systemize, automatate and streamline the back end, and that’s a path to 10-times growth.

      Thanks for sharing your approach as a case study, Kenny.

  4. John Ennis
    May 27, 2020 at 11:21 am Reply

    One tool that has helped us leap forward on our productivity is Loom. (Loom.com)

    Myself and my team use it all the time now for me to explain things to them that I’m delegating or for them to explain what they’ve been working on, without us having to meet.

    • David A. Fields
      May 27, 2020 at 11:28 am Reply

      There are a number of screen capture tools that work well and allow you to record a voice over. Loom is one. We’ve also used Jumpshare and, for more complicated stuff, Camtasia. Of course, screen-sharing meetings via Zoom or a similar offering are also fantastic.

      Thanks for adding your suggestion to the conversation, John!

  5. Michael R
    May 27, 2020 at 1:06 pm Reply

    Love the 9 questions and I will add a #10
    Leadership Leap: How does my leadership have to transform to create and lead a 10x Quantum Leap in the firm?

    • David A. Fields
      May 27, 2020 at 2:21 pm Reply

      That’s a brilliant addition to the list, Michael. Wow! Definitely a question all of us who lead consulting firms need to ask ourselves (and our teams). Thank you for contributing your smarts to the conversation.

      • Eric M
        June 2, 2020 at 6:11 pm Reply

        That is a brillant question. One we all need to ask and reflect upon.

        • David A. Fields
          June 2, 2020 at 6:34 pm

          Absolutely, Eric. Thanks for voicing your support of Michael’s smartness.

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