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The Top 10 Things You Can Do in 2019 to Grow Your Consulting Firm

The whole year is open for your consulting firm to accelerate to new heights of success. Twelve full months of opportunity. How can you make the most of them?

The Top 10 Things You Can Do in 2019 to Grow Your Consulting Firm

10. Get on the phone

There’s a direct correlation between the time you spend reaching out to prospects on the phone and the health of your consulting firm’s pipeline.

9. Protect your “biz dev” time

Treat business development with the same respect as a consulting client—a client that demands time from you each week.

8. Start right, end right

Begin each week telling your team what you’re most excited about. End each week acknowledging your accomplishments.

7. Focus your energy

This week you can identify 12 tasks your consulting firm currently performs that should be outsourced. Find an external resource each month to take over one of those tasks.

6. Enhance your client experience

This week you can also brainstorm 12 improvements to your consulting clients’ experience. Ramp up one of the improvements each month.

5. Build relationship plans for your top clients

Who are the key players in your most important consulting clients and what are you doing to deepen your trusting relationship? Map out your answer to those questions every six months.

4. Raise your fees

Whatever you charged for a consulting project in 2018, raise your fees for the same offering at least 10%.

3. Budget for upskilling

Your consulting firm’s results won’t radically change unless you radically boost your capabilities. Whether you need to elevate soft skills, technical prowess, leadership strength, selling ability or something else, be smart: bring in an expert who can guide you to rapid improvement.

2. Fire your worst client

When you fire the client who adds the least value to your consulting firm, you’ll simultaneously feel relieved and nervous. Both emotions will energize you to find a higher-value replacement.

1. Your top tip?

My full list of tips for small consulting firms has, literally, hundreds of suggestions. The nine listed above jumped out at me for the moment, but I bet you know others.

What’s your addition to the list? What else will you do in the coming months to make 2019 a stellar year for your consulting firm?


12 Comments
  1. Terry Pappy
    January 2, 2019 at 6:41 am Reply

    Great top 10, David. Each one can have a specific strategy to implement, which helps it get done. That’s my ’19 focus: putting simple strategies in place around each improvement so the “how” can be more easily broken down into steps. Happy New Year!

    • David A. Fields
      January 2, 2019 at 7:00 am Reply

      1. Create a plan.” Great suggestion, Terry. Sounds like you’re setting yourself up for a successful year.

      Happy New Year to you too!

  2. Ruth P Stevens
    January 2, 2019 at 6:43 am Reply

    Outsource more of the chores of your day-to-day business (like bookkeeping) to free yourself up for more productive tasks.

    • David A. Fields
      January 2, 2019 at 7:02 am Reply

      Outsourcing, delegating and automating are the keys to accomplishing more with less effort. You’re right on the mark, Ruth. Thanks for contributing your thoughts.

  3. Kenny Jahng
    January 2, 2019 at 8:18 am Reply

    I would add: Publish. Extracting the I.P. of your “secret sauce” and teaching it through various media channels is one of the most efficient ways to position yourself as an expert (authority) but the more you do it in front of your prospects, it serves to increase trust in the end.

    • David A. Fields
      January 2, 2019 at 8:24 am Reply

      1. Publish” is an excellent 2019 habit for anyone committed to building thought leadership. Writing is one of the Five Marketing Musts, and it can absolutely be a huge boon to your consulting firm.

      Outstanding addition to the list, Kenny.

  4. Carol Williams
    January 2, 2019 at 2:18 pm Reply

    My number one is taking the “outsourcing” one step further – eliminate what isn’t essential to taking the business to the next level. It could be doing another review of your social media efforts and deleting those efforts that really aren’t showing results OR looking at your offerings and refining what you can bring to the table for your clients.

    • David A. Fields
      January 2, 2019 at 2:35 pm Reply

      1. Trim the Deadwood.” That’s a great idea, Carol. The same way that eliminating your least profitable clients creates room for better clients, cutting out activities that are ineffective creates room for more productive, profitable and enjoyable consulting.

      Stellar addition to the list, Carol!

  5. Kevin William Raum
    January 2, 2019 at 2:29 pm Reply

    David, I would add the following two items which I am implementing this year:

    1. Commit to having at least three appointments with prospects, referral sources, networking events or current clients for each week. My experience is that this needs to be done in a moving window of two weeks out.
    2. Create case studies that can be sent to referral sources, prospects, or current clients. These set out your bone fides and give them something to ask questions about.

    • David A. Fields
      January 2, 2019 at 2:40 pm Reply

      Two terrific ideas for improving your Business Development in the coming year, Kevin. Continually scheduling the next set of conversations with prospects, influencers, etc. pulls you forward every week and keeps the momentum high in your biz dev efforts.

      Case studies are also an excellent idea. In fact, you’ll see some support for your 2019 plan in this article.

      I’m glad you added your ideas to the conversation, Kevin.

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