4 Things I Learnt About The Consulting Industry In 2015
Professionals are always looking for ways to improve - especially when it comes to business. So, as we start out in 2016, consultants all over the UK will be reviewing the year gone by with the aim of putting a better foot forward this year.
Following suit, I've created a list of the top four lessons I learnt from my time working with my clients in the consulting industry this year.
Will my lessons from this year resonate with you?
1. Not all that glitters is gold.
Yes, consulting firms report growth and, yes, opportunities are plentiful right now. With this in mind, I learnt to focus my new business efforts in 2015.
This helped me avoid running myself ragged, pitching and prospecting.
Drawing proposal documents from a central data source is one way of saving time and has helped me increase my outreach to clients.
With some of the legwork automated, 2016 should be less hectic.
2. Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity.
An old business adage, but one that is perhaps only starting to hit home now that fees have started to recover.
Sure, it was tempting to feel optimistic as revenues increased last year. But we almost had to find out the hard way that what's important is turning hard earned income into well-deserved cash.
I'll focus on increasing margins in 2016 - the profits will follow as a result.
3. Retain and gain when it comes to staffing
Consultancy firms faced recruitment issues in 2015. But when you consider it costs in excess of £30,000 to recruit a new employee, then it's easy to see why many companies are focusing as much on retaining the people they have as finding the new employees they desire.
By setting measurable, profitable and aspiration performance targets our workforce, we succeeded in optimising the potential of our team. This practice also helped us build employee loyalty by maintaining professional morale.
With staff output maximised, and with more people staying on board, we should already have the human resources we need to make 2016 a success.
4. It pays to practice what you preach
Consultants find themselves at the mercy of, and also benefitting from, the macro-factors affecting global businesses.
For instance, the 'chaos' created by digitalisation means demand for services has never been higher.
Yet, on the other hand, consulting practices are now having to rethink their own stance on technology to maintain that competitive edge.
Find out more about the trends and challenges in the Consulting Indsutry and how to make 2016 your firm's year for growth in our Consulting Industry Snapshot 2016.