To implement a growth plan, keep in mind that there is no 'one size fits all' approach.
Your engagements will be as varied as your clients' needs and objectives. Some business owners may want to focus on growth strategies, others will be looking to make needed improvements to their daily operations, and still others will be looking to take advantage of opportunities to maximize their value at every turn. As a business advisor, you'll need to approach each client situation with a clear understanding of their goals and objectives--and your own. What type of a consulting engagement can you support? Do you want to leverage your experience and expertise in a tactical setting, or do you prefer to build out a strategy and let your client do the heavy lifting? Do you have the needed expertise in-house, or will you need to look outside of your own firm to find qualified experts to assist you? These are decisions you will need to make before proposing a plan to service your clients. With that in mind, here are a few things to consider.
1. Your role as a consultant can vary from client to client. One of the benefits of using the CoreValue system stems from the analysis itself. Each client may have different objectives and needs and the Deep-Dive Analysis will expose those needs in an objective, analytical format. Each step in our task list has a defined ROI for implementation. This allows you to present your recommended action steps logically with an eye towards helping your clients in an efficient, cost-effective manner.
2. Choosing the right role is the first step. Before you can begin a longer-term engagement you'll need to clearly define your role in the engagement to set proper expectations for your clients.
Using the construction trades as an analogy, decide which role you should play as a business advisor:
ARCHITECT: This is the 'master planner' within the engagement. Just as an architect is responsible for a building's blueprint, the business advisor can be the chief planner or strategist for the Executable Growth Plan. In this role, you conduct a Deep-Dive Analysis and use the results to build out a plan that you can provide to your clients. In this role, you provide plan details and action steps, and let your client and their teams execute those steps.
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: The 'GC' performs the role of Operational Analyst, conducting a Deep-Dive Analysis and generating a findings report. Consultants in this role will include both action steps and specific services to implement those steps. You work as a peer to the CEO, and often will bring in additional consultants for specialized areas - marketing or sales plan development, financial systems restructuring or implementation, market research and analysis -and you may want to supervise those specialists to ensure their work meets plan requirements.
TRADES PERSON: Sometimes referred to as subject matter experts, these professionals have a specific focus or concentration of expertise that can provide additional value in your client engagements. Marketing professionals, sales experts, management consultants, business coaches, lawyers, financial advisors, M&A professionals - these are a few examples of specialized consultants who can work with you to ensure that the client receives the best possible assistance in the areas of need.
COMBINATION: You may find yourself in some situations performing one or more of the above roles in the consulting engagement. You could lay out the strategy (architect), lead the team that will implement the plan, coordinating the steps and managing the professionals who will assist you, and even do some of the heavy lifting in the areas where you have ample experience and expertise.
Whatever role you choose to play, the Executable Growth Plan serves as the foundation of your engagement. To learn more about how to use the suggested task list in your consulting engagements, consult our article, "How-To: Implement tasks as part of your growth plan."