Poof, and it’s gone! (Part 1)
Every professional services firm has this problem – building expertise in your team and then losing it if they depart your firm. so, let me tell you one thing to remember that mitigates this risk:
Everything that your professional services firm, or you individually, learns needs to be documented.
…otherwise, it may be lost forever in the abyss of servers and departed staff members! By everything, we mean all lessons learned, challenges overcome, opportunities seized, profits increased, and efficiencies gained.
Documenting everything you can is essential in today’s hectic business world, where so much is being recycled. Documenting everything also matters for passing on and sharing intellectual property, as well as retaining it in the firm. It enables you to re-use this vital information, add more value to your clients, train team members, ease the burden of creating content for marketing and even win new clients.
If you lose it once, it’s gone forever!
To adequately portray the importance of documentation, we have a story for you:
A firm (that shall remain nameless) received a big project request from a very important client. The project needed to be done quickly, and the client made lots of specific requirements. Many of these requirements were related to past project experiences, as well as personnel experience.
Unfortunately for the firm, it didn’t have a lot of that information readily available, and they ultimately had to submit a proposal that took far longer than needed and lacked much of the detail necessary. It couldn’t easily prove the benefit of using them, as the incumbent.
Suffice it to say, the client passed on the firm and went for a competitor.
Does this story sound familiar? Did you live through it yourself? If not, consider the possibility of this happening to you and your firm. It would be devastating for everyone.
Don’t get us wrong; it doesn’t mean that you would necessarily miss the opportunity. Your decent proposal might yet yield you the desired results! However, you shouldn’t have to risk it. It would be much better and safer to have all that information readily available in-house to write a masterful proposal.
Don’t be like the others
We at the Thought Leadership Initiative have noticed that a great many firms make the mistake of not documenting their IP, lessons learned, meeting and client insights, and policy and procedures for all of their processes and IMPORTANTLY storing this information in a useful, accessible way. They may also fail to have a culture that emphasises the importance of collecting project information and then storing it in a centralised, in-house system.
Does this sound like your professional services firm? You are not alone.The ineffectiveness of keeping information stored, available and useful is very prevalent, and it can;t be solved by implementing a CRM alone.
If this seems all too familiar, you must make a change! Start changing how you and your personnel think of information and data. Think of it as a training resource. Think of it as a marketing resource. Think of it as a client winning strategy!
It’s vital to start making this change because you may have already lost too much. We hope that this text has prompted you to make some action. If you’re ready to act on this, we invite you to read the second part of this article where we will discuss how you can store all of this vital information. We’ll tell you how to do it and how to do it meaningfully, so it genuinely has an impact on your business.
After you’re done, you’ll be a step closer to becoming a thought leader in your industry!