by Tony Vidler
The million-dollar-question (literally!) is:
The inherent assumption in this question is that one already has a good professional practice, so let’s take that as a given for this discussion. (If you do want to know how to build a valuable and profitable practice then click here).
The answer to the question lies in understanding how a lever is used to deliver greater power or force than is otherwise possible to shift a weight, and then applying that strategy to the growth of a business.
Your great existing practice is the power that you have available. Its’ existing clients, revenue, systems and personnel are simply “the power you can exert”.
The “weight” in this analogy is of course the big goal. That is the thing that we want to try and achieve, so think of it as a sack of money that is just way too heavy for you to pick up all by yourself. You want that. And you want to move it on over into your bank account. That is what a great business does: moves a hefty weight of money into the direction of your choosing.
So you just need 2 things, right? The fulcrum and a lever. The fulcrum is the essential thing that the lever needs to generate the additional power. The fulcrum is also a useless inanimate object without a lever…so it is critical, but useless without the other critical part of the process of leveraging.
A good practice generally has figured out how to get enough clients and new business opportunities for itself year-on-year. It has its own “lead generation” largely sorted and is confident in its ability to continue generating sufficient numbers of qualified prospects to meet its own objectives.
That is not the case for many others in professional services however. Prospecting for new clients is a major challenge, and a source of considerable expense and stress for practice owners. Any practice which can deliver on the promise of continual lead generation has a powerful lever which can move other practices and individual professionals to change their own allegiances or business models.
Turning a good lead generation process into “a system” is what makes it become a lever for a good practice to build a great business.
The lead generation system is only half of the leveraging strategy though. In order for that lead generation system to be capitalised upon without additional effort on the part of the system owners requires additional distribution. “Distribution” in this sense is simply being able to have a whole lot of other people paying you a good margin to use your systems and lead generation.
Think of it as franchising, but not necessarily with all the same controls and requirements.
The reason why it may not have all the same controls and requirments is because out-sourced and crowd-sourced labour is almost by definition “the use of self-employed contractors”.
They can pay to use your systems, and your lead generation expertise, but ultimately in professional services the individual professional will be personally responsible for the advice or service that they provide to any particular consumer.
Out-sourced or crowd-sourced professional contractors are potentially the fulcrum upon which a good practice can use its leverage to make a great business.
Just like Uber have.