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Professional Services Company Case Study

Background
The client a long established professional practice, with 16 staff, had grown over time and had reached the point where the management of the organisation was becoming too much for the business founder. Growth was putting pressure on working space and the organisational structure and management resources. The company and, particularly, the founder had a reputation for high quality work but it was not widely enough recognised.

Issues
The client approached CEOSTRA with a number of issues. The business was not sufficiently profitable to be able to afford the larger premises it needed for growth. The time needed to manage the company detracted from the time the principal could devote to fee earning and as the principal was the highest fee earner in the practice this was an important consideration.

Supporting the managing director was a group of associates and a practice administrator who together formed a management team. Our analysis was that these associates were strongly focused on their areas of expertise and were not engaging sufficiently in the management of the organisation as a whole.

The market for the practice’s services was very competitive and this was acting to limit the fee levels that could be charged. Increases in work load were boosting turnover but profits were not increasing. Additional IT and other costs associated with the extra business also increased leading to a substantial reduction in return on investment.

The company sought help to develop a marketing strategy. It also believed that it needed to change its company identity to better reflect its capabilities and the services it could provide.

Support provided
After an initial analysis of the situation and working closely with the principal a series of actions defined to address the issues. The support provided was a mixture of one to one mentoring with the principal to develop confidence and to clarify what needed to be achieved.

Members of the management team were interviewed individually and the analysis of the data gathered during these meetings revealed that the management team had little awareness of the financial impact of their individual decisions or the contribution of their teams to overall performance. Marketing knowledge within the business was limited and no clear strategy existed.

CEOSTRA worked with the owner and management team to produce a new business and marketing strategy and to create a brief to re-design the company’s identity. Both of these projects required substantial input from the owner and the associates at regular meetings. A spin off from these meetings was an increased sense of involvement in the management of the business by the team. Associates started to assume responsibility for the performance of the business as a whole. They were able to understand the impact on the profits that they and their departments had.

Results
In this case the marketing strategy and new identity had a double impact, it provided high quality materials to communicate the value of the business to potential clients but more importantly it gave the company the confidence to increase fees to a level that reflected the quality of the services provided. They also have an increasing level of work coming through despite downturns in their markets.

As a result of these actions there has been a 700% increase in profitability; new business is being won that is more profitable than in the past and they are better at controlling costs. The increased profitability has enabled the company to be able invest in additional office space to accommodate expansion.

If you are a
provider of professional services would like to discuss any aspect of your business e-mail us at info@ceostra.com or call 01277 896452