Planning for any sort of growth can be tricky; scaling your process advisory services is no different. Because advisory services (no matter the type) are often dependent on client needs and the specific skill set of you and your staff, they can be quite flexible. That’s why it’s important to keep people in mind when you scale your services.
The goal is consistency. A consistent and smooth experience for all persons involved in your operations will do wonders for your business. So how do you make sure you do your job well every time?
Write it down
One of the surest ways to grow is through consistent customer satisfaction. Get it right every single time by writing your processes down. Each little step that goes into every task you perform should be itemized in a checklist. That way, when you find yourself needing to perform that same task again, you’ll have all the steps laid out in front of you and won’t miss anything. Checklists should be created for different types of tasks and for different people involved in your operations. Consider whether the task has to do with client work or something else, like internal marketing. Make sure your checklists are available to all who need to access them. Also, you’ll want to have a process for implementing changes to these checklists in place. If you notice something is wrong with your checklist or find a better way to do things, have a plan in place for making those changes and alerting your staff.
Consistent messaging is just as important as consistent processes. Communicating clearly will benefit both your clients and your staff, making for higher satisfaction rates on both ends. Face it: no one likes receiving vague directions or conflicting messages (especially from a higher-up!). To improve satisfaction and your overall working environment, describe your services the same way, every time. Internal communication should also be consistent — especially where deadlines and priorities are concerned. Have a system in place to ensure those dates and your list of prioritized items are clearly communicated and stored in an easily accessible place. Also, when it comes to communications surrounding services and tasks, try to eliminate overcomplicated jargon as much as you can.
Take your own advice
If clients are trusting you to smooth out their operations, you probably know a lot about efficiency. Apply your process advisory skills to your own firm. Just as you would sort through a client’s processes and find the places that need improvement, take a look at the way your firm handles business. Are your checklists clear or are there steps missing? Could the use of a different software ease your workload? Touch base with your staff. Find out what they’re having issues with and work together to make your firm more efficient.
Take it easy
Just as you would prioritize client needs when delivering process advisory, you have to put the people first. All attempts to grow your firm or services should be made with your staff in mind. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you aren’t implementing too many changes at once. Take it one day at a time, and check-in with your staff regularly to see if any problems have arisen with the new changes. Communication should be clear from the start and consistent throughout the process of scaling your advisory services.
Like a kid configuring their height against a doorframe, we’re all striving for growth. You want to be able to compete in your industry, evolve as more effective ways to do business are revealed, and be adaptive to client needs. Just don’t forget: consistency is key.