18th Jan 2019 •

Growth in professional services takes more than spreadsheets

Professional services companies of any size often face similar challenges in their pursuit of growth. Whether scaling from a start-up or a mid-sized business, there are impediments to growth both inside and outside the organisation.

Inside the organisation there are two technological inhibitors. The first is an over reliance on spreadsheets. The second is point solutions that were either developed in-house or brought in to solve specific problems. Finance, Operations, Sales and HR teams all find that their existing systems deliver fewer benefits than they were originally promised. Business leaders become frustrated that they are unable to view the business as a whole because of the lack of synergy between systems. Outside the organisation there are new challenges that can cause even greater problems.

The availability of talent is at its lowest point in years for many sectors. The importance of finding and retaining talent is more critical than ever. There is also an increasing compliance burden on organisations from new regulations such as ASC 606 and revenue recognition, to GDPR (for those operating in Europe).


Some important questions to ask the organisation to enable growth

For any organisation to grow, it must first identify its strategic goals and aims; it must also identify risks and weaknesses. Staffing, technology and focus are the keys to success. What is the strategic focus?

Strategic focus starts with vision. Vision should be framed as a destiny rather than a destination. Ahlstrand et al said Winston Churchill’s vision that Britain winning the Second World War was framed as a destiny rather than a destination. It was a vision he believed in, and in turn, so did the British people. All of Britain focused on that vision.


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