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#387: Sharpen Your Practice Focus

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Over the years, my practice has evolved and it seems like I am doing a little bit of everything. I feel like I am drifting and need some method to better target my preferred market. Aside from the stock ideas in every book on marketing, do you have any innovative ideas that can help me sharpen my focus in my practice area and region?

Although I don't know anything about your location or practice area, one suggestion might help you get focused on your market. Treat articles in the business section of your local newspaper and in your industry's journal as opportunities for you to develop mini case studies. Here are two ideas.

First, for each article about a company, industry, event, or trend, write 3-5 sentences on a note card of exactly how you would address the issue and provide your consulting services. Whether you are in marketing, logistics, human resources, communication or leadership, define how you would bring value to the company mentioned or a company affected by this trend. After a few weeks of this, compare your cards to find the common themes. Which services are you most confident and enthusiastic about providing? Which ones didn't you have much to say about? By the way, you now also have several dozen leads for prospecting in your local market.

Second, see if you can find a few colleagues to go through the same exercise. After a month, compare notes on how you would each have addressed these situations. Just like Harvard Business Review cases, where several managers comment on a case, your answers may vary from those of your colleagues. At a minimum, this will require you to defend and refine your approach to client service. At best, you and your colleagues may have just come up with a team approach to take to a company that has the problem you have just collectively "solved."

Tip: You don't have to figure thisout yourself. Include your colleagues in your approach to better understand your practice and market opportunities.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  market research  marketing  practice management  your consulting practice 

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