Want to Sell Your Consulting Practice?

how to sell your consulting firm

If you are hoping to sell your consulting firm, either now or in the future, it’s important to understand how the size of your firm can impact your ability to sell it.

This guest post by Tony Rice, founding Partner of Equiteq, shares his insight and research on why the size of a firm matters when an owner wants to sell it.

Equiteq, a leading Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) advisor for consulting firms, helps firm owners grow profits, revenues, and equity value. They also guide firm owners through the process of selling their firms for maximum value.

Does Firm Size Matter?

How large or small should your firm be before you sell it? Mostly, that depends on the result you’re hoping to achieve with the sale.

Firm size does not equal value.

For example, you don’t want to grow your business to a level that could make your firm less attractive to buyers. Nor do you want to live with the false hope that your <$1m practice will sell easily.

Firm size does matter, and it is an important variable (among many) in preparing your firm for sale.

There isn’t one answer about the importance of firm size to a sale, but it is possible to consider the question from different market perspectives. [Continue reading]

Professional Services Marketing in 2015: What Will Firms Do?

Lee Frederiksen

Lee Frederiksen

The article below by Lee Frederiksen, Managing Partner of Hinge, outlines the marketing challenges facing professional services firms and what firm executives plan to do to address those challenges in the new year.

Hinge is a marketing and branding firm for professional services firms. Besides leading the firm, Lee also directs strategy and research for Hinge’s clients.

The New Year is a time for making fresh business goals and reassessing priorities. After analyzing what worked and what didn’t in 2014, professional services executives are hard at work planning their marketing strategy for 2015.

The Hinge Research Institute recently set out to learn what challenges firms are facing and how they would prioritize their marketing initiatives to address these challenges.

We conducted a survey with 530 firms over a wide range of industries, including: management consulting, architecture/engineering/construction, accounting and financial services, marketing communications, technology, and legal.

The first survey question asked firms to identify the business challenges they faced today.

Not surprisingly, most respondents (72.1%) identified one top concern: “attracting and developing new business.” This response was twice as common as the next most frequent answer: “finding and keeping good people.”

Figure 1. Business Challenges Facing Professional Services Firms Today

hinge_marketing_priorities

Next, we asked the respondents to identify the most common marketing initiatives they’d use to address these challenges. Unlike our previous question, these results were much more uniform, with over 50% of respondents each naming the following five initiatives:

  • Try to generate more referrals
  • Increase the brand visibility of the firm
  • Update/upgrade our website
  • Increase the visibility of our experts
  • Make existing clients more aware of our services.

Respondents also listed a number of other marketing initiatives that they’d consider using in 2015. Figure 2 shows how firms prioritize the importance of the top marketing initiatives.

Figure 2. Professional Services Marketing Initiatives in 2015

consultant marketing priorities

We found that, on average, firms plan to focus on five to six different marketing initiatives in 2015.

To manage their marketing initiatives, professional services firms will need to use several different marketing techniques. Here are five techniques they can use to get started.

5 Marketing Techniques for Professional Services Firms

  1. Find Your Niche: Part of standing out from the competition is demonstrating to your target audiences that your firm has something unique. By concentrating in an area of your industry, you can show that you have a thorough understanding of your specialty and establish your firm as a leading expert in your niche.
  2. Create Content: Writing content for both your firm’s website and other prominent industry blogs and publications is a great way to increase the visibility of your brand and establish your authority in your industry. You can provide the answers to your prospects’ biggest questions and concerns before they even have a chance to ask.
  3. Optimize Your Content: While simply producing content is a helpful marketing technique, it is even more effective when combined with search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. By researching your target audience and producing content around the keywords they’re searching for, you can ensure your content gets in front of the right audience.
  4. Emphasize Lead Generation: In addition to producing content, your firm’s website should also be set up to generate and nurture leads. By pairing relevant offers with your content, you can motivate visitors to take the next step in their relationship with your firm and provide information for continued nurturing.
  5. Utilize LinkedIn: It’s no secret that social media can have a huge impact on marketing, and LinkedIn is the top social platform for professional services. Connect one-on-one with potential prospects or marketing partners, join and engage in relevant groups, and get your firm name out there.

If there are certain marketing techniques you’ve been meaning to implement, the new year is is the perfect time to refocus your efforts.

This year, make growing your firm your number one resolution.

consultant marketingDownload the Report (it’s Free)

Big questions are on the horizon: what are the most urgent business challenges for professional services firms? And how will firms prioritize their marketing efforts?

The Hinge Research Institute surveyed over 500 professional services firms to find the answers. Now they’ve released the results in a free research report: 2015 Professional Services Marketing Priorities. Download it here.