Home   About   Services   Client Testimonials   Contact   Blog  
 
Tuesday, November 03, 2009


I was speaking with a client recently and we were discussing how the business climate seems to be improving.

Budgets are starting to thaw and prospects will at least speak with you... but we both agreed that things are unlikely to go back to "the way it was" anytime soon.

New business in the current climate is best characterised as follows:

1) "Jumping through hoops" - decisions take longer and lower-level investments are attracting higher-level scrutiny.

2) "Show me the money" - ROI is paramount and you need to clearly demonstrate the value you will deliver.

3) "More for less" - clients are re-configuring or watering-down large engagements to mitigate exposure and demand more for their budgets.

Now, whilst none of this may be startling news to any of us running business services firms over the last 12 months, it does throw up an interesting question:

Is this just a passing phase and an example of tactical, survival-based decisions by vendors and clients... or is this "business as usual" for the next few years?

I guess that depends on whether you subscribe to a V-shape recovery or whether you think it's going to be a long slow climb up. If you're in the latter camp, you might see this as an opportunity to re-shape your business to a more sustainable model.

What do I mean by sustainable?

Well, for example, I know of a major consulting firm who, in the last six months, have been over resourcing projects at no cost to the client just to avoid pulling people back to the bench.

This may be a sound short-term tactic to avoid losing talent but it's clearly not sustainable? If business does indeed rapidly bounce back then it could be the right choice since it enables the firm to quickly fulfil demand once the floodgates open.

Otherwise, it's just delaying the inevitable and handing an advantage to leaner competitors who can offer a more sustainable alternative.

Whatever you believe, there's some merit in looking at your current model and thinking in terms of sustainability.

As an example, at Maine Associates, we've always had a shared-risk engagement model, with some fixed fees and some upside. Sustainability for us means delivering new business revenue for clients within a timescale that allows them to continue their investment with us.

In the current climate that's been tough.

The approach we have taken is to re-configure engagements so that they deliver more "quick wins" and shift more of our fee earnings to a % share new business won. This enables clients to both commit to working with us over a longer period (which is necessary to develop a new business pipeline) and generate short-term revenue from our activities.

Crucially, as a model, this is sustainable for both parties.

It's not a short-term deal that we'll whip away when business picks up. If we do get a V-shape recovery and business bounces back then we'll share in our clients' success.

But if it's a long slow recovery, then our model enables both parties to maintain a relationship that's sustainable.

Labels:

Posted by: David Regler @ 12:41 pm |   | Links to this post  

Bookmark and Share



0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home



ExecPitch - new LinkedIn group

Survey on B2B Technology Collateral

Is this really the end of 'push' marketing for B2B...

OK Twitter, you win - I've given in

Do you need a telemarketing sprinter or endurance ...

Using telemarketing to re-engage dead leads and co...

Telemarketing Lead Generation: when is telemarketi...

Telemarketing & Digital Agencies Acquired

Seth Godin says telemarketing is in trouble

Telephone Sales - that's so 1999!


November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
March 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
May 2011
July 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012

Powered by Blogger





2003.
All content © Maine Associates Ltd 2010 All rights reserved. Read our privacy policy