After a dozen years in business, our consulting firm is well regarded and we are considering our long term exit strategy. We do have a good client list but are not sure how we can create value if we decide to merge or sell the business.
Intangible capital is what professional service providers have to offer but few recognize how to turn that into an asset they could sell directly or parlay into something of value. Think about what you have to offer a client. Is it your winning smile or is it the possibly unique and probably proven approach you bring to solve their problems? Is it the good feelings your clients have when you have completed your work or is it the lasting value you created through your methodologies?
What you bring of value is the ways you use knowledge, judgment and technique to turn problems into solutions, and to create value out of potential. But keeping these only in your head creates three problems. First is your inability to explain or pass them along to others to leverage your time (you do want to scale your business don't you?). Second is your inability to improve their effectiveness through testing and validation (you do want to improve your service to clients, don't you?). Third is your inability to present your intellectual property in a format that someone is capable of understanding and willing to buy (you do want to show the full value of your efforts, don't you?).Tip:
You have intellectual property that you don't realize. Start writing down the scope, sequence and content of your methodologies. Start with your current or a recent project. Flowchart the steps in the engagement and draft one-page descriptions of the challenge, approach, resources, required, solution deployment, risks and mitigation, solution, and sustainability steps. Each time you start en engagement, review these methodology descriptions to plan your work. Each time you finish an engagement, evaluate and refine your methodologies. Over time, you will produce a tangible asset you have been creating throughout your consulting career. © 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA