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#453: Grow Your Consulting Practice Efficiently

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I really want to grow my consulting business, but I never seem to have time to get to all of the ideas I have. As a result, some of my best ideas were overcome by events and are not longer viable. How do I make sure this doesn't happen?

Although few consultants would admit this, it happens to almost all of us. We are a creative profession, always thinking of new ways for our clients to increase business, reduce costs, leverage resources, make an impact, and innovate. Of course we come up with more ideas about our own business than we can use. However, this doesn't mean we should let the best ideas dissipate because we "didn't get to them."

Two issues are important to address: what you do and how you do it. First, pull out your five year plan (you do have one, don't you?) and confirm that it is still relevant. Next list all the ideas you have been thinking about to grow your business, alter your mix of service offerings, or change the way you run your practice. Describe each in terms of how it ties to your business objectives, and get rid of those that do not directly lead to your objectives in the near term or require resources you do not have. Finally, define what resources are required to implement each strategy and assure effective results. This should reveal which strategies are nonstarters and which ones are winners.

Second, decide how you are going to implement these business changes. Each day is a wasting asset. Make it a priority to make a conscious change in your business each month or quarter. How can you cluster these ideas together so they leverage each other? What resources do you need to implement them? Do some of them cause you to rethink your five year plan? Are there other people or companies you need to make these happen?

Tip: Balance planning and implementation, but do not wait for an annual planning session to make regular conscious improvements in your business.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  practice management  your consulting practice 

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