Hello everyone, and Happy New Year! Today’s post is part-one of a three-part series on how to “Out-Strategize & Out-Maneuver Your Competition“. After 30+ combined years of business and consulting experience, we have seen common threads related to business success and failure. These common threads may appear to be quite simple at the surface level, however beneath the surface they may vary significantly in complexity depending on the nature of the practice, targeted clients (and their particular needs), and one’s ability to effectively reach & communicate your value proposition to them. That said, the successes and failures all have a few things in common…right from the start. That’s what we’re going to address today…
Every business/practice needs to strategically plan and effectively execute their business strategy. The businesses/practices that tend to fail, are those that either don’t recognize the need or take the time to do the necessary strategic planning required upfront. Without proper strategic planning…there is nothing to execute, monitor and measure. Conversely, those businesses/practices that have higher rates of success, recognize and understand the need to strategically plan ahead and methodically execute their business strategy. We have listed below the first three steps necessary to out-strategize and out-maneuver your competition.
STEP 1: First, “Acknowledge Your Need” to have a strategic and effective plan. If you think you are good enough to do without…you’re most likely mistaken. Even the most successful people, whether it’s in business, sports or entertainment…the top performers are always looking for ways to improve…to stay ahead of their competition. In our 30+ years of business consulting experience working with some of the top accounting/consulting firms, law firms & corporate law departments, and S&P 500 companies, we have not seen sustained success without detailed, strategic planning and execution. Keep in mind, that your current success could possibly change overnight, and if it does…what will you do then? For those of you just starting out…how do you stand out from all the experienced competition? What do you have to offer? What’s your competitive advantage? What’s your value proposition? Successful businesses or practices need to strategically set a plan, and then methodically execute the plan. Yes, some businesses/practices may get off to a quick start (usually due to inheriting a client/clients or riding on the coattails of someone else that will carry the practice for the first couple years). Then something changes…perhaps the client changes providers for one reason or another, and your revenue gets cut dramatically. So…what do you do? Begin your planning now? It may be a little late, and you may or may not be able to survive a prolonged downturn. The best solution is to plan ahead of time. You not only want to plan BEFORE this type of event occurs, but you should plan if you’re launching new service lines or even if you’ve been in practice for years but your practice isn’t where you want or need it to be….or if you want to change/expand your client base. The key is…to plan ahead, then work the plan.
It’s important to recognize that regardless of how smart/educated/connected you think you are, there is always someone else out there who is smarter/better educated/faster, cheaper or better connected than you are. That said…many are not as prepared as you can be! Many business professionals we have worked with over the years either didn’t have a formal business plan, and if they did…they usually a run-of-the-mill boilerplate template sitting on the shelf that’s poorly drafted…which leads to an ineffective plan of action. So, the first step is to “Recognize Your Need” to have a “well-thought-out plan” customized for your business or practice.
STEP 2: Secondly, and perhaps one of the more common mistakes most business professionals make (that can be easily avoided) is “Procrastination“. Most often this is where people get hung-up. Many may recognize their need, but then procrastinate getting their plan started; usually letting every known reason/excuse or daily activity push-off their planning. Procrastination only wastes time and money, resulting in lost opportunities. Procrastination hurts both your short-term and long-term chances of success. The solution is simple, yet may not always be easy…once you have determined your need (Step 1), set a date to begin your strategic planning. Allow 2-3 months for the entire process to take place…from strategic planning to implementation. That is what it takes to properly plan and execute a well-thought-out and effective plan. Once you’ve determined that you have the need to plan, and you’ve set a date to begin the process, don’t take any short-cuts. At this point, you’ve already overcome the first two hurdles…now on to Step 3.
STEP 3: The third step is to Work with an experienced Professional to assist you. Whether you hire GMS Business Consulting or hire someone else is beside the point for this step. The point is…to work with someone who has the requisite experience and expertise you need, has proven processes and procedures, and who can hold you accountable each step of the way. If left to do this on your own, most likely you will be ill-prepared and ill-equipped by using a boilerplate template that is not specifically focused on you and your practice, and you will most likely rush through the process to simply complete it. And, the strategic planning will also be like having a one-way discussion with yourself in the mirror. The result…will more likely be a poorly though-out, poorly strategized, and poorly drafted plan that could negatively impact your efforts and your practice. Many say it’s better to have a poor plan than no plan at all. That philosophy may be fine for the masses, but it’s not fine with our firm and it’s not fine with our clients. A bad plan is still a bad plan. The key to an effective and successful plan is in the upfront investment you make in the quality of time in the strategy planning process. So make the investment upfront, and work with a business professional who has the experience, expertise and the processes in place you need to help you succeed.
OUR VALUE PROPOSITION – With over 30+ years consulting experience serving legal and business professionals, we have the requisite experience, expertise and methodologies to help you succeed. Over the years, we have incorporated and refined best-practices process & procedures and methodologies to develop our proprietary 3-Step-Solution that will help you to strategically focus and tactically grow your practice, and generate a high rate-of-return on your business development investment (call us at no charge…so we can run through the possible rates of return for your specific practice). Our 3-Step-Solution is an intensive/collaborative process designed to optimize your business development strategies, processes and results. We’ll work with you each step throughout the process; from strategy planning… to campaign implementation…to ongoing coaching. Our 3-Step-Solution is:
- Strategic and Tactical
- Actionable & Measurable
- Immediate w/ Career-long Application
- Measurable with a High Rate-of-Return on Investment
We’ll help you to out-strategize and out-maneuver your competition so that you can strategically focus and tactically grow your practice…making your practice more effective and profitable. The next step is up to you. Contact Us, we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you…
GMS BUSINESS CONSULTING – provides lawyers and business professionals with Accounting Services, Business Development Services and Business Optimization Services to successfully organize, grow and operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently. We do NOT provide investment advice. Contact us if you are interested in learning more about our services, and in particular, about our 3-Step-Solution to help you strategically focus and tactically grow your business. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.