Imagine how fun this would be at your consulting firm: you and your colleagues launch every day with a towering pile of valuable gifts that will make the hours more productive and effective.
You can have that.
In fact, you, personally, can create that scenario.
Well, one of you can. (See below.)
The Three Yous (and the Three Firms)
Past You is the person you were every moment before now. Past can’t untaste that moldy malasada. Too late.
Future You is the lucky consultant who’ll be wearing your clothes, working with your clients, and speaking on behalf of your consulting firm tomorrow, next week, next year and beyond. (Future Firm is your consulting firm in the future.)
Today You is you right now. Primed and poised to win consulting engagements, deliver massive value to clients, and, importantly set the table for your consulting firm’s future.
Today You is uniquely qualified to stack the odds in your favor going forward.
Your investment into a handful of activities now will yield enormous dividends for your consulting firm in the future.
The list of ideas below is a starting point, and I look forward to reading your additions.
The 7 Greatest Gifts You Can Give Your Consulting Firm
Little Black Book of Capacity/Demand
When you’re already drowning in consulting work and another client is ready to sign is not the time to start looking for subcontractors.
Similarly, when the well has dried up is too late to look around for “friends” who could steer consulting subcontracting work your firm’s way.
Today: Locate and nurture resources you can tap for swing capacity and swing demand. Track those people in a “little black book” that Future You will use.
Emergency Exit Maps
Hotel rooms have little maps that show you how to get to the stairs because in the chaos of a fire, the elevators are reserved for first responders and you may not be thinking straight.
You can’t anticipate every eventuality. (Did anyone other than Bill Gates plan for a global pandemic?) However, you can consider what you’ll do if a critical activity blows up, and you can sketch out directions to assist Future, Panicked You.
Today: Create an emergency exit map (a.k.a. Plan B) for each of your consulting firm’s most important initiatives and systems.
Most consultants use an old-fashioned phone call preparation machine that works like this:
Input– Time reviewing past conversations and wracking your brains about possible topics.
Output — Anxiety.
Replace that awful machine with Conversation CliffsNotes
Today: After each conversation with a contact, jot down the key points and topics you’ll need during your next conversation.
Stamped-in-Steel Decision Guide
Making decisions absorbs time and energy and can spark arguments among members of your consulting team.
However, when your consulting firm can refer to clear and consistent decision-making criteria, arbitrating future choices will be a breeze.
Today: Ensure you have a well-defined, written, easy-to-access compendium of your strategy, mission, vision, values and current priorities.
Handy Dandy Backup Files
When Future You accidentally deletes 12 chapters of the book you’re drafting or your assistant mistakenly overwrites your consulting firm’s contact list, (s)he will be ecstatic that Today You set up comprehensive backup systems.
Today: Back up your files. Seriously. And ensure you have a reliable, up-to-date system for recovering any file that’s deleted at any time.
Gift-Wrapped Business Development Meetings
Chasing consulting prospects that have gone dark drains your batteries faster than a triple-decker electric pizza oven.
Your business development efforts will run smoother when your calendar is filled with agreed-to, pre-scheduled meetings.
Today: Always, without fail, set a specific date and time for your next conversation before you complete your conversation with a contact or consulting prospect.
Every day you may encounter dozens of people who could assist you in the future. They’re colleagues, prospects, partners, subcontractors, vendors, consulting clients and more.
Will they happily respond when you reach out and step up when you need them? Yes, if you’ve invested in your relationships with others.
Today: Be nice. Respond to anger with grace. Generously offer value. Treat those you encounter with respect. (Everyone. Not just people you think will help your consulting firm.)
Those are just a handful of benefits Today You can provide for Future You and your consulting firm. I bet many others come to mind.
So, before, you start building the gifts outlined above, Right Now You can help out Future Readers by sharing an idea below.
Text and images are © 2022 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.