Your consulting firm faces many difficult decisions—times when you need to metaphorically draw a line in the sand and vow, “If we reach this line, we change directions” or “If we cross this line, we go all-in” or “Even if we draw the line in a circle, we will not smirk and call it a sand donut.”
Your clients must also draw lines in the sand, and identifying those will materially help you grow your consulting firm.
Your challenge as a consulting firm leader often is not whether to draw a decision line—but where to draw the line.
- At what point should you abandon an idea that hasn’t met expectations versus persist just a bit more to achieve success?
- At what point should you take the plunge to hire a(nother) employee versus use contract labor versus push your current team to work a bit harder?
- At what point will augmenting a process improve your consulting firm’s performance versus make the process unnecessarily burdensome?
- At what point should you focus your consulting firm’s limited resources on expanding inside current clients, which delivers high ROI and fast wins, versus finding new clients, which consumes more time and money while reducing portfolio risk?
Similarly, you prospects and clients need guidance on where to draw the line. That’s why they pay handsomely for benchmarks, gobble up guidelines and press your consulting firm for specific experience.
Clients often know the overall framework for a decision and the criteria on which to base their actions. Still, they’re stressed and seeking reassurance over when to flip the switch. Examples include:
- When to hire or to fire an employee.
- When to shut down a division.
- When to add a product feature, change pricing, shift markets, or include a team on an initiative.
Of course, when prospects are talking with your consulting firm, their most immediate decision is whether or not to hire a consultant.
Help them find that line too:
What’s the clear indicator of whether or not your prospects need outside help?
Take a bit of time and perhaps conduct some research to uncover the lines in the sand that your clients are unsure where to draw.
You’ll increase your consulting firm’s attractiveness and value immensely when you expertly direct the placement of those lines; when you offer your clients guidance on when and where to make hard decisions.
What are some of the lines in the sand you currently help your clients draw?
Text and images are © 2023 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.