Today we are going to talk about how to become a coveted consultant. We are going to think about it in three steps, which will get you well on your way of becoming the leader of your consulting business, instead of being the consulting business. Once you separate yourself from the business by creating systems for your business, you can then focus on developing yourself and your business.
Separate you from the business.
You know too much about your business. You know everything about your business. You know the history of your business. You know the future of your business. You know all the clients. You know how to do every single step of client service. You know how to do all the client follow-up. You know the bookkeeping and accounting. You know all the web design, work and edits that were done. You know way too much about your business and because you know too much, you end up doing too much. Because you know how to invoice your clients, you just do it. Because you know the answer to that question, you just answer it. Because you know how to do web design work, you just do it. Because you know too much and you do too much, you don’t see nearly enough of your business. You don’t have the perspective of all that is going on because you can’t step away from the work long enough to really see how all the pieces fit together. You also don’t see how inefficient you are, because you’re always busy. In other words, you aren’t really running a business, you are the business.
Systemize your business. This step deals with the transition of going from you being the business, to you running the business. What are typical results for clients? When a client works with you and your company, what do they typically end up with? What is the typical end result? Secondly, what are clients guaranteed to experience? This is not necessarily what they get or what they become at the end of working with you, but what happens to them along the way. What are the four, five or six things that they are guaranteed to experience while they work with you. Have you clarified that. Thirdly, will any of those things happen if you aren’t around? You know what the typical result is and what the clients normally experience when they’re working with your company. If you’re not standing there watching everything, directing all that traffic every day, do those things happen? If your answer is not to that, then you have some systems to build because your clients need to experience a high level result from you and your company without you having to direct every single piece of every single activity. You need some systems in place to ensure that the typical results can happen and that the classical experience of working with you is always true and always valuable.
Develop yourself. This is the third major step you need to do. Once you have separated yourself from the business and you’ve put some systems around your business, then you can think more about you as the leader of that business. You have to answer questions such as:
What do you need to know? There are some things that you know now, that you really shouldn’t know, but there are some things that you really need to know about your business and where it is going in the future.
Who do you need to meet? Are there new promotional partners that you need to meet? Is there a new mentor that you need to interact with? Are there new employees that you need to pursue and invite them to your company?
How do you refuel? This is very important in regards to how you develop yourself. How do you stay excited about your own business? How do you stay sharp, in tune and excited about what you do? How do you identify those things? Are those things a part of your daily interactions or part of your monthly or quarterly to-do list? Are they a part of what you do as you lead your business. If you are not excited about your business, then you won’t create an exciting business. Your clients won’t want to get involved with an unexciting business. In other words, until you become better, sharper, faster at being a leader of your company, then you can’t produce a coveted consultancy.
Notice that today we did not talk about how to be a better consultant, because that’s not your problem; you are a fine consultant. You need to get better at the business of consulting and that is your challenge today.