4 Reasons Why You Donâ€™t Have the Practice You Want (Yet)
If you have the practice you want, congratulations! Stop reading now and use this time to do something else. But if there is a gap between the practice you have and the one you want, why does it exist? There are four possible reasons. Rod Burkert names those four reasons and what you can do to bridge the gap.
If you have the practice you want, congratulations! Stop reading now and use this time to do something else. But if there is a gap between the practice you have and the one you want, why does it exist? There are four possible reasons, I believe.
Having the practice you want â€¦ a â€śsuccessfulâ€ť practice â€¦ means different things to different people. For most people I talk to, being successful means falling into one of these two camps:
- Being busy so that the deal flow momentum creates more leverage and higher profits.
- Staying busy to sustain the benefits of deal flow, leverage, and profits over time.
Being busy is a matter of getting thereâ€”from the state of being less busy than you are now to the state of being busier than suits you. Staying busy is a matter of hanging on to that state of being busier, for as long as possible out of concern that you might fall back into the state of being less busy.
Whether you are less busy and trying to get to busier â€¦ or trying to go from busy to even busier â€¦ there is a gap (real or perceived) between the actual practice you have at this moment and the ideal practice you imagine â€¦ and want.
Based on conversations Iâ€™ve had with many, many practitioners since I started this work in the mid-90s and feedback from my coaching clients, Iâ€™ve concluded there are four reasons for your gap.
- Thinking Too Small
Amy and I are products of a program called Strategic Coach. In that program, we were prodded not to think about how to double a particular goal but how to 10x it. The rationale is to set the goal so high that you can only achieve it by working smarter, not harder. For example, if your goal is to grow 2024 revenue by 10%, you might try to get there by working more hours. But if your goal is to grow 2024 revenue by 100%, you might think of valuation products and services you create once and sell hundreds of times.
What is one objective you have for your practice that you are thinking too small about?
- Not Being Right-Sized
As I discussed in last monthâ€™s QuickRead, having the right mix of professional and administrative staff is crucial to achieving the goal you are judged on or judge yourself on. So, while some goals can only be reached with more bodies, they must be the right ones.
Which kind of person will be better at helping you reach the goal you want to achieve?
- Using Analog-Only Marketing Tactics
You canâ€™t use yesterdayâ€™s analog marketing tactics to build the practice you want tomorrow. For example, one-to-one meetings are effective for bringing in work but are not efficient. Digital marketing tools, like e-mail or LinkedIn, are more efficient but less effective. And at the end of the month, who is better offâ€”someone who can close as many new engagements as you can because they reach their thousand digital connections multiple times without ever leaving their office or you reaching a handful of live prospects one time at face-to-face meetings that require hours of your time?
What digital marketing tactics could you start using (in conjunction with the analog ones) that would allow you to reach your audience of prospects, clients, and referral sources with evidence of your credibility while sharing glimpses of your personality in less time and at less cost?
- Investing in CPE that Doesnâ€™t Land Clients
In 1937, Dale Carnegie wrote in How to Win Friends and Influence People that 15% of financial success depends on our technical skills, while 85% can be attributed to our people skills. Yet almost all our CPE time and dollars is devoted to developing our technical skills. You are learning how to work in your practice rather than in your practice.
What courses and programs could you take (and still receive CPE credit!) that will teach you subjects like buyer psychology and pricing theory so that you can better sell your valuation services?
In Real Life
Ignore what other people are doing. They may be working towards a different measure of success, and what worked for them wonâ€™t work for you. Or they may be too afraid to try what you must, so theyâ€™ve never done it and wonâ€™t ever do it.
How do you define a successful practice? Focus on what that means to you. Visualize the practice you want. Consider which of the reasons listed above account for your gap. Then begin this 90-day challenge to close that gap:
- Cut your excuses,
- Limit your distractions,
- Say â€śnoâ€ť to tangential demands for your time, and
- Hustle like the practice you want depends on it â€¦ because it does!
Everyone has a different idea of what a successful practice is. The practice you want is personal because it is based on what â€śsuccessfulâ€ť means to you. I help practitioners focus on the strategies and tactics to build/grow their versions of successful practices. If you want some help with that, e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.