You want a consulting firm that funnels more profit into your pockets with less time and stress. One key to that happy result is easy, in theory, but the details may be a bit murky. This article provides more clarity and direction.
In case you didn’t hear, we lost one of America’s sales geniuses recently. A silver-tongued, deal-maker whose enticing language, smooth delivery and mastery of negotiation awed millions.
Yes, I’m talking about Monty Hall.
In honor of Monty, let’s start this out with a choice. We’ll go on the honor system here: I’ll offer a few options and just trust that you’re dressed up as a giant cantaloupe.
Which door do you choose? (Hover your mouse over one door.)
If you chose door #1 or #3, you’re probably itching to make a deal for door #2. Obviously, you’d like the high-profit, low work consulting firm. How do you win that prize? Two more choices:
Still, you may be wondering what to systematize and how to actually make systematization work at your consulting firm. The six steps below will give you a running start.
Step-by-Step Directions for Systematizing Your Consulting Firm
Step 1: List every aspect of your consulting practice that would benefit from having a template, or checklist, or sample or guideline you could follow.
Step 2: Transform that list into a series of folders and subfolders on a system that your whole team can access. For instance, you could host this on Google drive or Dropbox or some other shared system
You could use the following list of folders and subfolders as a starting point:
- Business Development
- Marketing Materials
- Writing/Speaking Templates
- Presentation Assets
- Client Management/Experience
- <Folder for each type of client and/or project>
- Presentation Assets
- Deliverables Examples
- Models & Frameworks
- Approaches, Project Outlines & Timetables
- Spreadsheets, Formulas & Macros
- Personnel Management
- Contracts & Legal
Step 3: Populate your folders with whatever materials you currently have in place. Don’t create new materials yet.
Step 4: Choose one or two subfolders per quarter and fully flesh them out. Think through what a best practice would be. Search for the best examples of your own work and ask other consulting firms if you can mimic their systems.
Step 5: Add tags to every document. No matter what type of document you add to your file system, you can add a page or paragraph or slide or worksheet on which you can type descriptive words. For instance, you might add the tags “Client experience,” “Kickoff,” “Email,” “Relationship building,” and “Information request” to your standard project kickoff email.
This step makes your best practices much, much more searchable.
Step 6: Task your administrative assistant with constantly asking your team, “Is there a template, form, or checklist you could use for this?” You should hear that question every time you type an email, craft a presentation, or tackle an administrative task (just to name a few).
Let’s make Step #1 even easier so that you jump start your path to the grand prize consulting firm. Answer the following question in the comments section below:
If you could systematize one element of your consulting practice that would make it better, faster, and/or more profitable, what would you choose?
Text and images are © 2019 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.