Successful growth coaching can power your business and help you uncover new opportunities to build your organization. However, nurturing your company in this manner often requires you to go back to the foundational elements and look at the alignment between your business practices and services.
If you have not considered how to align your professional services and your business practice model, here’s what you need to know.
Understanding Different Types of Services
Examine the different types of services your business offers to better align your business services and practice models. Your business will typically fall into one of the following 3 types of services:
These businesses offer to complete a given project for a fixed fee. For example, a marketing company that gives you a price for building a website but does not offer services beyond creating your brand’s website.
These businesses get paid a regular fee and provide an ongoing service. Consider, for example, an IT support business that provides clients with continual help and security services.
These businesses receive their payments based on the time and materials they invest in working on a project for their client. You might see this model for a company that builds engineering products, when they charge for the hours spent on the project and the materials used to construct it.
Qualifying the types of services you provide is the first step in aligning your business correctly so you can grow.
Exploring Practice Models
In addition to looking at the different ways you can construct the types of services offered, you want to understand the practice models that define your potential business category.
Here are 3 main types that you might employ.
Procedure or methodology-based businesses
These organizations use a particular methodology to solve problems for their clients. A marketing firm will often fall into this category.
These organizations offer specialized knowledge and expertise that their clients call upon. A law firm, for example, would fall into this category.
These businesses have years of experience helping clients manage particular tasks or reach specific goals. Business coaches often fall into this category.
Once you can identify the service and practice models that best define your organization, you can begin to look at how these two align so that you can lay the foundation for business growth.
Not sure what practice model would work best for you?
The Importance of Aligning Services and Practice Models
The alignment within your business setup between your services and your practice model will contribute directly to your profitability and your ability to allocate the resources available to your business effectively. Without effective alignment, you will find that the mismanaged resources result in decreased productivity and financial loss.
When you can concretely identify how these areas align, you can determine how to customize your services to become more attractive to customers.
Understanding client considerations as you build business alignment
As you structure your client services, you must consider the risk to your clients and how your service structure will appeal to them. If you have an experience-based practice, for example, the client depends entirely on what you have to say. If they hire you for a particular project and then you're gone, there is a level of risk for the client. You need to recognize the realities of this setup in your marketing messaging and consider if clients would respond better to a performance-based payment system. Recognizing this need can help you improve your effectiveness at bringing in customers.
The relationship between business alignment and personnel resources
Knowing how your business operates can help you outline your internal resources. Businesses generally need three tiers of employees. You need finders to uncover relationship opportunities and minders who nurture these relationships, conceptualize solutions, and solve their problems. Finally, grinders are the people who get something done. The ratio between these employees differs depending on the business model.
Companies that focus on consulting, for example, might have large numbers of ‘finders’ and ‘minders’ but have minimal need for grinders since conceptualizing is a significant part of their business model. The better you understand your business set, the easier it is to allocate these personnel resources so that you do not end up with employees who contribute minimally to the business's overall success.
Case Study in Growth Coaching
The value of this alignment can be seen clearly in one of our clients here at ALTA. The client operates in the tech service industry with a team of about 80. However, misalignment resulted in their consultants doing much of their project management and the project management team not getting the project ownership they needed to work effectively. The business then squandered resources by having its consultant personnel doing jobs that the project management team should have done. The consultants were not using their skillset to build the relationships they should be focusing on, which meant that the business lost money and didn’t tap into its full potential for growth.
As the business works with us to improve its alignment, it can identify better ways to distribute its resources. They can leverage the professional capacity of their different employees and thus improve their overall business structure so that their ROI increases.
How to Align for a Better Growth Framework
As you now understand the importance of aligning your business services with your practices, let’s explore some key features you want to consider for your business.
Look at the risks from the perspective of the client. Remember that your clients want to minimize the risk they take on, so consider how your clients will want to protect themselves.
Consider the ROI of the clients. Clients may feel reluctant to hire experience-based businesses, such as business coaching, if they do not see how it will directly impact their bottom line.
Examine how you have allocated your resources within your business and the direct input of your professionals within your organization's finder, minder, and grinder segments.
As you work towards better alignment, you will see some clear signs of improvement. You should see your internal resources better allocated and, if you look at the output of the different members of the organization, it should align better with expectations. You will eliminate unbalanced workforces, such as having some people working 30 hours a week and others 60 or 70. You will also not find yourself paying consultant salary rates for work that other members of the organization should have done. Overall, you should see better ROI and business growth.
Benefits, Challenges, and Common Mistakes
While working towards your improved alignment, you want to avoid common mistakes. Do not assume that all businesses will have the same structure of resources, with a pyramid shape of finders, minders, and grinders. The ratios of each should align uniquely with your business needs.
Similarly, you want to evaluate where your revenue flows from. If you offer consulting and execution services, but most of your income comes from consulting, assess why, how it reflects your messaging, and if you have appropriately allocated your resources to reflect this shift.
As you navigate through this realignment process, you may face hurdles. Alongside potential restructuring to align your resources, incorporating a leverage model could be beneficial in optimizing the use of your resources. Furthermore, you should reevaluate your branding or methodologies. Many businesses find it extremely helpful to engage professional strategy consulting experts, such as those at ALTA, who can assist in designing and implementing such models effectively.
See How Realignment Can Prepare Your Business for Success
As you have explored aligning your services and business model, you may find descriptions of challenges that emerge with misalignment sound familiar. If you are ready to seize your potential, contact us at ALTA. Our growth consulting services can help you find new paths toward business maturity and improved revenue. Book a consultation to get started.