How to Scale a Consulting Business to 7 Figures

Leadership

Bob looked around the room at his leadership team.  Here they were, 3 years into their EOS journey.  They have an a-player leadership team who consistently completes their rocks. They were cruising!

Yet, something wasn’t quite working right.  For the past few years, they had good growth, but their growth had plateaued.  

While they always talked about creating loyal customers for life and boasted a large number of “customers”, they weren’t getting recurring projects from them.  As they have to increase their marketing to reach new customers, their cost to acquire a new customer (CAC) was rising steadily.  

How could they get back to growth?  If only those customers would buy again and be the raving fans they should be. . . 

 

Where EOS Falls Short

EOS is a fantastic, foundational system for almost every small business.  It focuses on the key areas to get your leadership team aligned, making better decisions, solving problems and turning them into an execution machine.  

Unfortunately, it doesn’t spend time on the development of a competitive strategy (link to a previous article).  

Competitive strategy is all about finding a unique and valuable position that your customers will love.  Get that right and you’re no longer actually competing for business, you’re the only solution that makes sense. 

 

Customer For Life

Loyal customers for life. That’s the dream, isn’t it? Not having to worry about when that next billable project will come from. Obviously, this (almost) never happens by accident. It takes meticulous planning and paying attention factors that MOST consulting businesses way too often ignore.

And it’s not simply about building a sales process and optimizing the sales funnel. It’s about creating a solid foundation of processes, building strong relationships with clients and turning them into the biggest ambassadors of your business. 

 

How to Scale a consulting Business – The RIGHT Way

Bob and his team spent the rest of the day discussing how OnRamp Consulting could be different from every other technology provider in the market.  They decided their blue ocean would be based on 4 attributes:

 

  • Standardized implementation process
  • Amazing, frictionless customer experience
  • Measurable results
  • Create customers for life

 

Building a proven, standardized implementation process

When thinking of how to scale a consulting business, the absolute first step you should take is to develop a standard set of processes.

Imagine a pathway so well-crafted that it not only leads your clients to success but becomes the very road they’ll want to travel again and again. This is the essence of a proven, standardized implementation process. It’s more than just a series of steps; it’s an experience—one that begins with the first hello and flows seamlessly through discovery, strategy, and execution.

This is the first step Bob took. He sat down with his team and found their absolute best projects. They analyzed the entire process, From the first cold call to contract signing and contract renewal. They looked at what made these projects successful, then created the process to help duplicate it for future clients.

 

Creating an Amazing Customer Experience

Your service isn’t just a line item—it’s the catalyst of your client’s growth. You’re not just a consultant; you’re the partner who will stand shoulder to shoulder with them as they realize their ambitions. This is where design meets process, ensuring that you’re not just building a business but enriching a legacy.

If you embed yourself into the client’s business your service becomes very difficult to replace. It makes the customer feel like they’ve received an amazing service. They feel that their investment in your services is not just worthwhile, but absolutely essential for their success.

 

Removing Friction 

Friction in business processes is like sand in the gears—it grinds progress to a halt. This occurs when there’s an unnecessary back-and-forth between you and the client. Whether it’s a customer service issue or contract renewal. 

Bob’s team focused on finding the areas in their business that created friction, both for their team and the customer.  They started with the hand-offs, between sales and implementation and implementation and support.  Then contract renewals and billing.  

Every friction point removed made implementation smoother and a better experience for everyone involved.  

 

Creating Measurable Results

What sounds better?  

“We were able to implement X software last quarter for you and provided training for your staff”

Or

“Our implementation of X software resulted in savings of $15,000 last quarter”

Your clients want to feel that their investment in your services is paying off. Not only is it great for your clients, but these results can be used as testimonials for your consulting business.

Bob’s team started taking specific measurements of the improvements they created in projects, letting them create clear before-and-after models to show the true ROI of their work.  Their customers LOVED it.  

 

Create a Customer For Life

With higher quality implementations, an amazing, frictionless experience and measurable results, Bob’s team set the perfect scenario for creating repeat customers.  

Their next step was to implement a roadmapping process for the clients.  Every 6 months after implementation, the lead consultant would visit the customer for a business review to understand what was working, what wasn’t, and what opportunities there were to improve productivity.  

This wasn’t a sales process, it was a consulting process.  With a clear ROI for each potential improvement, customers were happy to sign up for further projects.  

OnRamp Consulting was no longer a service provider, their consultants were a part of the customer’s team, advising them on how to improve the top and bottom lines using technology.  

 

Drive the Referral Engine

For 84% of B2B business decision makers, the sales process starts with a referral. When you cultivate that client relationship, these referrals end up being easy client acquisition. 

Customers for life are the perfect fuel for your referral engine.  They’re the raving fans who, when asked, will know peers who would love the kind of service you provide. 

That’s exactly what Bob’s consulting team did.  As part of their semi-annual review meetings, they would ask for referrals or connections to other business, which the sales team could then follow up on.  

The customers for life also drove their marketing engine, with testimonials, references and case studies, making acquisition of new customers much easier.  

 

Growth Through Strategy

With these elements in place, OnRamp’s growth didn’t just go back to where it was – it skyrocketed.  Their CAC reduced massively and their customer lifetime value (CLV) more than tripled.  

 

What’s your breakthrough growth strategy?  When you’re ready to give your EOS implementation an MBA, we’re here to help

Mike Knapp

STRATEGIC PLANNING & EXECUTION

Mike has been helping businesses achieve their goals for more than 20 years. He believes there is a better way for business owners and leaders to build their businesses and achieve their big goals. As a Gravitas Impact Premium coach, he leverages the 7 Attributes of Agile Growth™ to simplify the art of strategy and discipline of execution.

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