This section is designed to make you think about your ideal type of consulting client.
The purpose of running a consultancy is to run a business that you enjoy and to work with people that you enjoy working with. At first, you do not necessarily have the luxury of being able to pick and choose your clients, but I would strongly suggest that you give some serious thought to the type of people that you have worked with best in the past.
This is best explained by giving my example. My niche when I started my consultancy in 2003 was working in the legal sector, working predominantly with solicitors running their own businesses.
Most solicitors’ businesses are run on a partnership basis, with anything from one partner to hundreds in the larger firms. As a marketing consultant, I always knew that my likely clients were going to be solicitors practices with no more than, say, ten partners in the firm. Any firm with ten or more partners was likely to have their own marketing department and should not have the need for my services. Therefore, initially I established the size of law firm I was most likely to work with. However, when working in the sector it soon became apparent that I could narrow this size of my ideal client down even further, much, much further.
I soon found that I worked best with solicitors that had no more than three partners, but after many more years I narrowed this down to solicitors or any businesses with only one main decision maker.
Any business where decisions are made by committee misses opportunities to grow their business quickly. Every decision takes weeks or in some cases months to make, while their smaller competitors, or bigger competitors with a decision making team of just one, make a decision, act on it and then improve it from that moment forwards.
I am totally driven by action and results. My enjoyment and my clients success is based on results, so working with a decision maker for me is absolutely vital. They may still run a business employing dozens or hundreds of people and turning over anything from £100,000 to £10,000,000, but they make the decisions.
I know my ideal clients for a consultancy client or a mastermind group member and this makes it much easier to speak to these people in my communications.
So it is my strong advice that you carefully consider your ideal consulting clients based on the size of their business and their decision making process.
Your Client Values.
Whilst I am not a ‘Hippy’ or ‘New Age’ business person, I do believe that I run a holistic business. I believe that if I always do my best for my consulting clients, they will always do their best by me in terms of paying bills and supporting my business as I do theirs.
I have certain values that I apply to my consultancy and other businesses which are important to me. These values can also be described as ‘brand values’ and whenever I am presented with an opportunity I will always do a mental check to ensure that it fits my business model.
I have worked with people who state that they are conscientious and will do the right thing, but actions always speak louder than words. Several clients have promised me performance bonuses based on results, which when delivered have never materialised, and those clients do not stay with me any longer.
I am fortunate that I can pick and choose my clients, so I choose to work with people who are more like me – honest, reliable and straightforward.
Who Is Your Ideal Consulting Client?
In running your consultancy I believe it is important that you run a business that you are proud of, that allows you to go to sleep every night knowing that you have done the best thing and made the right decisions for yourself and for your clients. It is important that you understand what your values are so that when you are seeing potential clients you can assess whether you will be able to work with them on a regular basis. There are many clients that I have met that I knew I would never be able to work with. This can only be achieved by understanding and knowing what your own values are, so do take some time to consider these.
Your 6 Figure Consultancy
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- How to generate leads for your consultancy, week after week.
- The secret to winning repeat client business
- How to price your services to guarantee success
- How to leverage your time to ensure that you are paid over and over again for work you do only once
- Easy ways to keep in touch with your clients
- Automating your business so that you can enjoy more time with your family or to enjoy your hobbies, ensuring you always stay fresh and focused for your clients
- The one mistake that could derail your consultancy (if you do not know about it)