Looking for inspiration and ideas for firm growth? Here’s a round-up of some of the best pieces of content I’ve come across recently.
1. 5 Ways to Build a $100 Million Company
One of our [business development-loving] partners recently passed along this infographic/article on 5 different approaches to building a $100 million company:
- Option 1: Hunt Flies (10 million customers at $10 per year)
- Option 2: Hunt Mice (1 million customers at $100 per year)
- Option 3: Hunt Rabbits (100,000 customers at $1,000 per year)
- Option 4: Hunt Deer: (10,000 customers at $10,000 per year)
- Option 5: Hunt Elephants (1,000 customers at $100,000 per year)
Like many firms our size, our client base is a mix of Elephants, Deer and Rabbits. Based on my own experience in the business development process, the same amount of time and energy goes into winning new clients, regardless of their size. If the level of effort to successfully win new Rabbits is the same as it is for Deer and Elephants, how can we shift our focus and hunt larger animals?
Of course, moving from a diet of Rabbits to predominantly Deer and Elephants doesn’t happen overnight; our goal is to facilitate incremental improvements, which we track through changes in specific metrics, such as:
- Average ($) size of opportunities in our pipeline
- Average ($) size of the opportunities we close
- Average ($) size of our clients
We report and discuss progress on these metrics as part of our monthly pipeline meetings. As business development coaches within our firms, we can help lead the hunt and make sure we are pushing our teams to pursue larger opportunities.
2. Better than Bonuses: 4 Motivators that Matter More than Money
This article is interesting in the context of how to appropriately motivate your doer-sellers to participate in business development. The question of if/how to structure incentives for bringing in business is a highly debated one across many professional services firms, but several studies (referenced in this article) have found that other “incentives” can be even more effective than monetary bonuses.
3. Quarterly Marketing Plans vs. Annual Marketing Plans: 4 Crucial Comparisons
Most firms probably have some sort of annual marketing plan and budget. If you’re like us, you probably spend a significant amount of time at the beginning of each year laying out exactly what we want to accomplish and what it’s going to take to make that happen.
While it’s important to have a proactive strategy for growth, equally important is our ability to quickly recognize and react to challenges and opportunities as they arise. With changing legislation, evolving technologies, and shifting client priorities, marketing teams must be more agile than ever before.
Quarterly marketing plans—or at a minimum, quarterly evaluations of our annual marketing plans—are a simple way to ensure that our marketing efforts continue to align with both firm goals and market opportunities.
We are halfway through the year—are you focused on exactly what you thought you would be 6 months ago?