All those trend setters, not following traditional business models, have the opportunity to build a modern, agile and flexible businesses unimpeded by their past – but they also face more risk, and even if you are doing these in traditional ways there’s still time to change the road you’re on (thanks Led Zeppelin).
This is the first in a series of blog posts that will hopefully give you some ideas on if, what or when to change.
But, first, before we start, let’s acknowledge that mostly you are selling people’s talent for more than you pay them.
And there are a bunch of perfectly legitimate reasons why you can do that: you can share the workload amongst people in the firm that have particular expertise, so they can concentrate on what they are good at and enjoy, there are also economies of scale for client acquisition, size brings brand and greater market recognition and often clients prefer to use larger, well-known firms.
There are also many reasons why people are comfortable giving up a large part of their potential income to be part of a firm: they seek a reduction in individual risk, more steady cash flow, being part of a supportive culture and not having to hunt to survive. From my experience, professionals are mostly natural farmers. The important thing is to face up to this reality in a transparent and adult way. This includes avoiding unfair pressure on senior employees to undertake sales activity and commit to hard sales targets. They will do it because they have to but they will be the first to admit that they usually suck at it anyway.
Done well, a services firm can be a fantastic place to be, giving real authenticity and satisfaction to people’s lives and providing a good living for all concerned.
In the coming weeks I will float some ways I’ve seen people do that.