Before you go too far down the “consultancy practice” road, it’s worth pausing and taking stock. You may find it useful to review how far you have come on your journey, what you have learned, how you would describe where you are (including the extent to which you have achieved your original goals, both personal and business), and what your personal goals for the next few years look like.
As part of this review, it will be worthwhile gauging the “mood in the camp” – how are you feeling – fulfilled, happy, tired, bored, frustrated, receptive to change and so on. This might throw some light on why you are considering a transition from working for yourself to building a practice. In the same way that you took stock when you set up your consultancy in the first place, it’s important you consider in depth your motivators and rationale for changing the model. Part of the driver could be your desire to move from a lifestyle model to a value model (assuming you have not managed to create any IP to date). We will revisit this when we look at value creators in a practice environment.
An “eyes wide open” transition is very important, so is there anyone you can talk to who has made a similar transition and made it work – their input would be invaluable. Other issues to think about would include:
- Are you looking for more people who do exactly what you do, so you can cover your existing market with existing products/services in a more comprehensive manner?
- Are you looking for people with skills/experience complementary to yours, so you can cross-sell more to existing clients?
- Are you looking for people who can take you to new markets, possibly with new products, to diversity your risk?
- Are you looking for people with distinctive products/services who can help you have a disruptive impact on the market?
- Do you want to run the practice and leave the delivery to others, or do you want to play a full role in delivery?
Being absolutely clear about what you want, and why, is an absolute precursor to making a successful transition. Hopefully the next few sessions on this will help this process become clearer.