Company Type: Reputation Management Consultancy
To understand weaknesses within the business and introduce time management performance measures.
Having been working as a full-time consultant for just over a year, the success of my business was overwhelming. It was totally unexpected; I’d planned for a gradual increase in workload as I took on more clients with a view to growing organically to see where this led. Within two months my ‘windows’ were full, after six months I was working ‘double days’ finding it difficult to say no, believing it wouldn’t last. But it did and I needed to introduce a strategy to manage my time more efficiently, but found the discipline of stopping work and beginning life almost impossible.
Part One: The Strategy Map
After initially explaining to Rich my ideal outcome of the exercise, he set about the task of coaxing from me the cause and effect of exactly why I was unable to manage the pressures on my time.
The initial stage of the process felt similar to a brainstorming session, but starting was quite difficult as I wasn’t sure how to answer the questions afraid of “getting it wrong”. There was no wrong. Once I’d relaxed, the answers began to flow and each was allocated to specific area on the whiteboard.
The Strategy Map outcome amazed me; although I already knew everything on the Map, just having them organized into ‘pockets’ offered me real clarity as to where I needed to make some changes. It gave me permission to view my work from a fresh perspective and assess just exactly what I wanted to achieve in the future.
Part Two – Measurability Tests
Again, this was not an easy task. I found some of the words used during this exercise in order to set the measurable metrics alienating. Turning sensory into physical for example was tough, and eliminating the ‘weasel words’ was not a natural process for me. I suspect the type of work I do did not help; I have no products to count, no sales to achieve, no timesheets. I do not charge by the minute – all my clients pay by the day and our relationship is built on mutual trust and respect. I have very few clients as I offer a personal service – they get me! I needed to measure me – quite a challenge for Rich.
After several hours he had once again pulled out the salient points which enabled him to fill in the detail ensuring that the three measurements we ended up with were accurate and fit for purpose.
Part Three – The Measures
For a small payment, Rich collates the results each month and I receive a set of graphs to discuss with him – again visual so perfect for me. These clearly illustrate progress and give me the ability to identify any pitfalls I need to address.
Primarily though, the graphs give me a real boost as I can clearly see how much I’ve achieved just by managing my distractions – referred to as my rabbit holes. This means I can now earn revenue within the timeframes agreed with my clients. If I do decide to grow my consultancy I can physically see ratios of client time versus man-hours, which will help build a business strategy for the future.
Working with Rich has literally turned my life around. I now work five days a week – not necessarily the conventional five days, but none-the-less, it has freed up precious time to see friends and family without guilt, walk the fells again, go to the theatre and take weekends away – all with my very patient husband. It hasn’t altered my revenue, my clients are happy with the service (this is now measured to ensure I don’t ever get complacent) and I understand exactly what I need to do to remain successful.
And yes, I have to eat my frog and record results to enable me to measure what I am doing, but the rewards are enormous. I have my life back!
The BRAND consultancy was formed in 2010, and work is tailored around the needs of individual clients. Passionate about sharing best practice and expertise, Sally-Anne offers an honest, constructive, critical analysis of any business in terms of how it is perceived by the end user. This can involve anyone, or any type of business, from a sole trader, SME, or brainstorming with larger organisations’ in-house specialists to inject fresh ideas, which can be very welcome when you are immersed in your own culture.