When working with 1:1 clients at Innovate to Success, the first question that I normally get when people embark on their own business growth plan is “Where do I find the spare time to do it as I’m already busy enough as it is!”.
Well, 9 times out of 10, most IT Consultancies that I work with are busy in their day doing “stuff” and have totally lost the focus on working on “Revenue generating tasks” and physically planning out how they are going to increase income from a strategic point of view.
When you set up a business, the first plan is to start getting income in and clients through the door. Then you get to a point where about 18 months in when people are busy working IN the business (i.e transactional tasks – doing stuff) and not working ON the business. (Strategic direction of the business)
This normally involves people doing lots of things that don’t really contribute to the growth of the business and these small tasks don’t serve you, the business needs and also don’t add massive value to your clients either. The reason for this is that you have been focused on delivering for your clients, which is a good thing, by carrying out certain tasks and projects and because you don’t want to let them down, you just agreed to do it and this distracts you the main PURPOSE of your business.
If we go back and review the ancient Pareto’s Law (Pareto Principle) or the 80/20 Rule, some of my biggest clients gains in business performance have actually come from stopping doing things that don’t add value. These are quite simply distractions that chew up your day.
We get people to focus on actually doing less work and less activities because quite simply a lot of their activities that they were currently doing don’t serve them and they also don’t serve their clients either. What happens is the It’s the good old endorphin rush of doing stuff because it makes you feel good kicks in and you feel like you have had a good days work rather than actually taking the business a step forward by increasing your company’s assets, customer service, client portfolio, and sales pipeline.
The process of doing less is actually quite scary because you think that by doing less you’re actually going to be regressing the business and the business will start to shrink. This is absolutely not the case! In fact the polar opposite will happen.
When you focus on what really matters to your business and where that next £1 is coming from, where that new client is coming from, or the new product or service you are developing that you can then resell with no extra effort, this reinforces the need to get it out there than get it perfect later.
So today I have three Innovate to Success Golden Nuggets that will help you focus on thinking about your own growth plan to help you and your IT consultancy by actually doing less work and they are:
Nailing Your Niche
The first step is to really identify and know your NICHE, what work stream your clients are in and to understand WHY you are the expert to be solving their problems. Do you align their ultimate needs with your solutions? Review all of this and once more carry out an in-depth exercise with your team to see how widely spread out your services, then link back to your niche. Once you have done this then tighten up your marketing message so that you resonate to your client better when you’re talking, presenting or marketing to them.
The second Golden Nugget is about delivering world class Customer Service. Just because they are buying from you today doesn’t mean that they will in the future. You need a plan. So, if you are providing a service desk, do you provide a top quality service desk support to them? What can you offer that makes you different from your competitors. If you are providing software solutions, do you provide additional package of software, hardware, and support to make you to Go-to business? Go back and review your niche and review your client’s needs, double check that there’s an alignment between the services and the solutions that you provide, and what your clients ultimate NEEDS are, then deliver service to match!
Make It Different
The third tip is about what makes you really different from your competition! What is your USP (unique selling proposition)? Everybody says to me “We are really good at customer service.” or “We are great at supporting our clients.” but everybody does that and it’s very vanilla and really not at all tangible. If you were to say that you are involved in your client’s overall business strategy and you have aligned your deliverables with value adds in terms of reporting or helping them meet their KPI’s, then all of a sudden you then start to become different and unique. So here be really critical with your own organisation’s culture and your people and dig in to why are you different, why is it no-brainer to come to you rather than somebody else. Be ruthless here and very self-critical!
There you have it, three great tips that if deployed as part of your overall growth plans will make a big difference in your business performance. I guarantee that if you tighten down on your niche, have a good internal look at how you actually serve your clients and what makes you different to make you resonate with those clients, then you will very quickly and significantly start to do less work, (become more focused) earn more money, (clients will buy more from you as you will build rapport quicker) which will in turn add massive value to your IT Consultancy business.
As with everything when growing your IT/Tech Business its all about small steps and ensuring that you have a structured and connected Growth Plan.
At Innovate to Success we use our very own tried and tested Drive for Business Model to help you market your IT Business. This helps you understand the day by day steps that you need to take to sustainably grow your business and increase your profit margins. Check out my LinkedIn Introduction video on my profile to learn more about the model works and why we should connect on LinkedIn.
I hope you enjoyed this Blog and if you want more like this, then check out my other Business Development Related Content specifically for IT / Tech based Businesses. Alternately if you want to have a quick chat about how the Drive for Business Model can help you and your IT Business then click HERE to book a call.