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Professional Services Business Model for 2030

Professional Services Business Model for 2030

By , March 17, 2021

What’s Inside?

We work with a large number of professional services firms and as they get larger, we often see a repeated pattern of behaviour – behaviours which turn them from a small, agile, profitable business into a slow, bureaucratic, cost heavy dinosaur.

My clients will tell you I am known for direct, clear advice – well here it is:

  • The end of the month occurs at the end of the month. The number of firms who create month end to suit some arbitrary timeline amazes me and no-one can sensibly explain why.
  • Firms should invoice their clients as soon as work is completed (even better upon acceptance of the proposal/interim invoices or regular monthly instalments). Why do we wait until month-end and race around like lunatics trying to work out what to invoice?
  • Work in progress (WIP) is like your stock. Imagine if inventory were to be stolen, written off, lost, or worst of all, sent out without ever charging for it, yet all of these happen quite often in a professional services firm.
  • The power of an hour – each hour worked has only three possible outcomes – multiplier (by producing and invoicing billable work at a higher rate than cost), neutral – non-billable (admin etc.) time and the worst scenario – divider – work on a project or job then write the time off.
  • Profits are the result of doing everything else well. Positioning is a vital skill – marketing and promotion as a GP is not great positioning – if you are a heart surgeon – you need to own Thought Leadership in that space!

Given that you are most likely in professional services and love understanding the detail behind these key points, please check out some of the critical factors in this whitepaper.

Craig West

"The current professional services model is familiar and mastered by most; however, it may no longer serve us in the next ten years."

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Craig West

Craig West

Executive Chairman | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant with over 20 years of experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice has provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners.

In March 2014, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of the SME Association of Australia, Australia’s largest small business organisation representing over 300,000 business owners.

In October 2014, he was awarded the Exit Planner of the Year at the Exit Planning Institute Annual Conference in Texas, USA, due to his innovative development of an exit planning process to help business owners maximise business value and achieve a successful exit.

Craig’s proprietary structure - a Peak Performance Trust - has won the Australia-wide award for the Employee Share Ownership Plan of the year twice in four years.

In November 2018, Craig launched SME Experts in partnership with Mark Bouris’ Mentored on Podcast One and quickly grew the monthly podcast audience to over 26,500 downloads; in October 2019, he released a new podcast focused on medium-sized businesses - Mid-Market Matters.

In July 2021, Craig joined the NSW Committee for STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners) – focusing on advising families across generations.

Craig has also launched a SaaS platform, Capitaliz (which captures the 21-step process), to assist other advisers internationally deliver advisory services at scale.

In November 2021, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of NSW Leaders, a business mentoring group for leading NSW businesses.

In July 2022, Craig West received the award of Doctor of Business Administration for his research thesis titled “Examination of the key factors driving business exit options in Australian Small and Medium Enterprises.”

Craig is passionate about encouraging business owners to think strategically, maximise the value of their business and achieve a successful exit.