Too many firms I know, are failing to link their future vision with their future service offerings. Until they can do this, their success at implementing VAS will be limited.
The problem is that they are taking the ‘easy option’ (not easy in the long run) and setting up services around KPI monitoring and financial control services. However, they are missing a clear direction beyond that point. This is extremely dangerous at this point in our industry’s future, as every firm within 5 years will offer both of those services.
It’s simple, if you want to evolve into a premium business that offers clients exceptional value from its service, then you need to develop your people beyond the current Technology Phase and into the Service Expert Phase. (See TA100 on more about these phases)
In order to evolve to the Service Expert Phase, it is imperative that you have your 10 Year Vision in place, and have put together a 5 Year Plan specifically designed to achieve this vision.
An Example of using a 10 Year Vision for VAS rollout
I’m currently working with a firm who have identified Business Development as their main passion and the area they would like to specialise in within the next 5-10 years. We’ve worked out that there are three unique stages this firm needs to go through. Articulating their Vision is the first stage. Subsequent stages will be dedicated to identifying current skillsets that may be deployed to Financial Services Monitoring, and to selecting the right team members for further development in Business Insights in order that they may roll out a unique Business Development Service for their clients within the next three years.
My point is that without a Vision, this firm would not be so clear about where they were heading. Nor would they be clear about what their goals are, what they would offer or even how they will grow their future revenue.
Your Firm is Losing Money while they don’t have a Vision
Here are my key reasons that you need a Vision, and what they are costing you while you don’t have one…
1. Our industry is being forced towards the commoditisation of traditional services.
a. KPI monitoring is an obvious add-on as it’s a natural fit to offer reporting services. The problem is that KPI monitoring software is already automating this service. Trying to implement any add-on that can be delivered by SaaS will cost you in lost revenue.
b. Average firms simply cannot stand out without specialisation. I predict that within five years, every firm will offer a KPI monitoring and/or pseudo financial control services.
c. What do you offer your clients? It’s hard to know what to offer without knowing what your clients want or what your firm wants to specialise in. This fails to differentiate your firm in the mind of your client, who will be more than happy to go price shopping.
2. Client expectations are evolving. This means that clients often want more, yet resist paying more for it. Market statistics are showing us that clients are searching for alternative service offerings that they believe add more value to them. Think Business Coaching and Management Consulting Services.
3. Most firms don’t currently have the experience or skills to offer high-end value add solutions. Without a vision it’s impossible to plan for this expansion, and makes building a suitable team to deliver these virtually impossible.
How a 10 Year Vision will Increase Revenue, Attract a Superstar Team and Free you from day-to-day
A 10 Year Vision is much more than the articulation of your firm’s future goals. It also helps define your pathway towards growth.
Once a Vision is in place, firms experience a wide range of benefits.
1. An antidote to profit erosion from commoditisation…
a. Selecting your future service offerings at the start of the Vision, allows for smarter planning and progression towards implementation and profitability.
2. Your ideal Clients are defined and can be targeted much more profitably and easily.
3. Development of your team is streamlined.
a. Knowing your future service offerings helps develop your current team member’s career paths towards specialisation.
b. Attracting and recruiting new people also becomes easier. You can easily identify the skills and experience needed to elevate your value add service expertise with clients.
c. The timeframe of the Vision allows you the space to develop your winning team. Instead of forcing you into a situation of dealing with one-off hires, your recruitment becomes a strategic decision to expand the firm’s capabilities.
4. PLUS… it keeps you focused when you’re busy or the market throws something at you…
5. PLUS… it makes software purchasing easier…
6. PLUS… the process helps you identify new future revenue streams…
7. PLUS… there are literally dozens of reasons why the 10 Year Vision is the strongest weapon in your arsenal of practice growth strategies. If you think I haven’t found a reason that suits your firm, I invite you to send me your details and I’ll be happy to give you three ways it will profit your firm, and improve your life.
I’m serious. If you truly think the 10 Year Vision won’t apply to you, or you think it can’t unlock new revenue streams, or that your team can’t be developed into VAS delivery, or that you have any unsolvable problem facing your firm… then you’re wrong, and I’m happy to prove it to you in a 15 minute strategy session.
My final word on how the 10 Year Plan can unlock your revenue potential
The 10 Year Vision is simply the most powerful tool you could have in your firm to develop you and your people.
Imagine you have a passion for Strategy Work. A 10 Year Vision allows you all the time needed to develop and evolve your current business. It enables you to transition smoothly from a generic base service to a high performing one that produces outstanding results for your clients, in as little as three years. You could literally turn your firm around in the short space of three years.
It’s like learning how to advise clients about tax. It takes time and guidance to become an expert tax strategy advisor. The same is true for value add service offerings.
In the next Thought Activator [TA 102], I’m discussing How to Improve your Systems to enable Delegation. So watch this space on Thursday 21 April 2016. If you’re not already, make sure you sign up to get it delivered to your inbox.