Being a consultant is an interesting position when you think about it. For your firm to be successful, you have to help other businesses grow and thrive. If your projects don’t deliver, then you can’t build your business.
Because consulting is all about finding solutions to problems, you must develop a system for identifying issues and helping your clients overcome them. If you’re not careful, however, you could wind up doing more harm than good, which means that your practice will suffer as well.
Carey Rome is the founder of Cypress Resources, a highly successful 7 figure consulting firm. Although Carey started as a CPA, he quickly discovered his passion for helping businesses grow and thrive. We picked his brain to find out what it takes to be a better consultant, and here’s what we discovered.
Advising vs. Executing
Another interesting aspect of consulting is that it can be such a temporary position. You come in, look at the problems a business is facing, draft a proposal, and then leave. For so many consultants, the beginning is really the end for them. Once they create an action plan, it’s onto the next client.
At its core, there’s nothing wrong with that approach. However, if you want to build long-term success for both yourself and your clients, you need to be involved in the execution of your plan as well.
There are some tangible benefits to adding execution to your offerings. This is where you can really grow into a 7 figure consulting firm. First and foremost, your clients don’t have to outsource the project to someone else, meaning that you can stay on until the work is finished.
Another benefit of helping execute your action plan is that it enables you to see things from a different perspective. It’s easy to offer solutions when you’re not the one implementing them. All too often, consultants will draft a proposal that won’t address the underlying issue, meaning that clients will be back to square one afterward.
Building Relationships vs. Chasing Revenue
If you’re just starting your business, it’s easy to scoff at this idea – build value for your clients rather than chasing a paycheck. When you’re worried about cash flow and the health of your business, it’s hard not to focus on the monetary side of things.
However, if you really want to grow to a 7 figure consulting firm, you need to understand one critical principle. Consulting is all about relationships. Not only will building a rapport with your clients help with your firm’s reputation, but it will lead to more and more work. In our experience, those who are in this industry to get paid are usually the ones who’ll stall out. Clients can tell when you’re not invested in their success, and they’ll find an alternative as quickly as possible.
The other reason to build these long-term relationships is that you can create a more stable foundation for your firm. When you’re working with the same clients for years instead of months (or weeks), you don’t have to worry about where the next opportunity will arise. According to Carey, this practice will ensure that you still get calls, even when disaster strikes. Overall, it’s a smarter financial strategy to focus on value and reliability than charging a specific amount.
Broadening Your Scope into a 7 Figure Consulting Firm
As we mentioned, one of the issues with traditional consulting is that you may be focusing on surface-level problems. In some cases, an executive or CEO may bring you in to solve one aspect while ignoring everything else that’s going on with the business.
Instead, it’s so much better to take a holistic approach to consulting. As Carey puts it, don’t focus on one problem. Look at your client’s company from all different angles to see what’s working and what isn’t. Workplace issues don’t happen in a vacuum – one setback can lead to another, which creates a domino effect.
Another benefit of taking this approach is that you can continue to add value and work on projects over the long term. Once your clients see how much good you’re doing for them, you can discuss another issue that you noticed and provide a solution. Repeat business is a powerful way of building a 7 figure consulting firm.
The other side of that is to avoid presenting a laundry list of projects to work on. Focus on the issue at hand and then bring up additional plans later on. According to Carey, this practice will both help you keep the work flowing, and it will avoid overwhelming your client.
If you want to find out more about building a successful consulting firm, check out the latest episode of the 6 to 7 Figures podcast here. You can also learn about Carey Rome at linkedin.com/in/careyrome/