A startup usually starts off small, but with the right combination of input/work, effort and strategy your consulting business can grow from a hobby into a thriving agency that potentially employs other people too. In an increasingly digital world, there are now far more opportunities and methods that can be used to scale your business. But having the right combination of information and execution plan can be the difference between success and failure. Below are a few tips that we’ve compiled for you to consider in your own businesses.
Flexible Approach To Pricing Projects
Consider how you currently price your work for your clients. Do you tend to price your work and time and effort involved (i.e. hours)? This is the most common approach to pricing for consultant starting out on smaller pieces of work. This is quite effective and efficient for smaller pieces of work especially where there is some uncertainty around the desired end product (i.e. unknown solution to a problem). However, when consulting agencies scale up their volume of work and begin working with larger clients, they may need to adjust their pricing model. Larger organization prefer to work on a fixed price model – also known as value pricing. A fixed price model ensures that work will be completed for an established set price up front – it gives the client a guarantee and a sense of security. This is a preferred model in larger projects that may be complex in nature. There are several reasons why this may be preferred method for larger organizations including budgetary and forecasting (where approval for funding may be required from board level etc).
Build A great Management Team And Design Internal Systems
One of the ways we often recommend in our coaching programs to our consulting agency clients to scale their business is to hire help in areas of their business they identify weaknesses in. Entrepreneurs have a natural tendency to want to do everything themselves in their businesses. But hiring the right people with specific talents in areas they are personally weaker in is one of the best ways to accelerate growth. Furthermore, this frees up the business owners to focus on areas that they are strong in, including strategy to drive the business forward.
Invest In Cutting Edge Technologies: Cloud-Based Systems
Often investing in cutting edge tools and technologies can reduce operational time and effort, streamline processes, and reduce costs. This frees up cash resources for investment in other business development activities. Cloud-based technologies and systems is an example of such a solution. The main advantage of cloud-based technologies is the cost savings and reduction in operational overheads. Furthermore, cloud makes information more accessible on demand anywhere, on any type of device and at any time.
Consider a case study of one of our former clients Emerge SEO Adelaide – a digital marketing agency that went through such a transformation to cloud based technologies for their business. By migrating from conventional desktop/laptop based applications such as Microsoft Office to Google’s suite of cloud based services, they saved thousands of dollars in licensing costs. It also enabled better collaboration between geographically dispersed team members by using Google’s free cloud based service offerings. They have also begun to use crowd sourcing as a method/mechanism for hiring freelance workers to perform small pieces of internal work where they do not have the expertise in house. For example, they previously created all their video marketing material in house. This was a time consuming activity as video creation and editing was not a natural strength of the agency. They now outsource this work to crowd sourcing platforms such as fiverr and Upwork which has yielded a substantial reduction in time, effort and cost.
Below is an example of a piece of internal marketing material (video) that the agency had created for them using a crowd sourcing platform. We wanted to display this as an example of the quality of work that can be produced out of these platforms, and to hopefully encourage more of you to try crowd sourcing as a solution. As you can see the work is of a high standard and can be customized and tailored to your unique individual business requirements.
– Winegard & Listern