Building More Cost-Effective & Efficient Consulting Practices

Recently the Minister of Finance declared that Government Departments will need to become more lean and mean and make do with what they have.

This “freeze” is bound to affect consultant income. Times are going to be tough and Government are certainly going to be cutting costs and re-evaluating consulting relationships and contracts.

Professional Service Providers are going to have to do the same. Re-evaluate their practices and how they do things.

In this process there are two approaches that can be followed:  

  • Focus on what to cut or reduce or,
  • Focus on what you need to do to continue doing well.

426123_96981711The key to consistent success is to “Work smart, work efficiently and constantly deliver results to customers.”  

In 1984 I was in a situation where I joined a new organization, when after one week with the company, the CEO asked me in a meeting, so “What extra value are you going to add. I started rambling about my tasks, when he said, “No – no that is the minimum, what extra do you have to offer”. I have never forgotten that lesson. That’s sound counsel, regardless of the economy.  

So, here’s some advice that could help you with name recognition and your own reputation externally and internally in a tough economy.

Re-examine your Core Value Proposition – What made you successful in the first place? Sometimes we start to focus on turnover and forget about the small things, such as the personal attention to detail that made the practice successful in the beginning.

Stick to your knitting but embrace New Principles. Teaching an old dog new tricks is possible. Learn better, faster and more efficient ways to do things. My secret weapon – Reading the daily tips from Lifehacker.

Balance innovation and your past successes. Stay relevant. Constantly review your service offerings. Is it still in touch with customer needs? Along those same lines, an internal or external service provider needs to stay relevant. If you constantly prove your value, you’re more likely to remain a partner in the business”

Think and sell strategically and tactically. During a recession, value is going to be more deeply examined; clients are going to demand that you add extra value.

How do you do that – attend my new and revamped 1 day How to Market and Grow a Consulting Practice workshop on the 10th December in Johannesburg.

As we all know, perception is everything. Do you treat all people with respect? Not just senior management! Relationships are built at all levels. Often senior management will turn around and ask junior staff members about their perception of you. What would you like them to say?

Market, Market, Market yourself. In the book “High Income Consulting” by the late Tom Lambert, the author had the following to say: “The so – called window of opportunity is open only briefly as an organization’s priorities change. When a potential client recognizes the need for services which you supply, yours must be the name they know. Your marketing, therefore, must be CONSISTENT and INDIRECT, aimed specifically at making you well known to ALL your prospective clients”.

To be a recognized name means that you have to find methods that will work for you in the long term and in the short term, using vehicles ranging from public speaking engagements to suitable audiences to being listed in directories.

The lesson is clear. You should find ways and means to ensure that yours are the name customers remember when that window of opportunity arises.

Social Media has now become the preferred tool of choice in this strategy. Learn more on how to best market your consulting services using many different approaches and techniques on the 10th December.

Register now and avoid disappointment.