In my big-firm consulting days, we were always using the word “leverage”.
Translation: how can you push the work down to the lowest level of consultant who can reasonably perform the work at the cheapest rate?We were obsessed with leverage because consulting firms don’t make as much money if their senior leaders are doing the work instead of selling it or leading it.So the only way to keep feeding the beast is by hiring more associates (and culling the herd periodically).But leverage for dedicated soloists and boutique firm owners doesn’t have to mean hiring or contracting with mini-me’s.
There is a world of other options available to us.
Which is why I’ve become deeply intrigued by Todd Tresidder’s book “The Leverage Equation”. (For a deep dive, you can listen in here
to our Business Of Authority podcast episode with Todd.)Todd describes six types of leverage, any of which—hey all of which—are available to you as a firm owner: financial; time; technology and systems; communications and marketing
; network and relationships; and knowledge and experience.
Here’s the core question for consultants: What is the highest, best use of your time and how can you set up systems and people to ensure that’s how you spend your day?
Let’s say you know the highest best use of your time is client-facing (selling or delivering). Even if your strategy is to stay a solo firm, wouldn’t you still want to offload every single activity you possibly can that would free you to focus your time with clients?How much more money might you take home, not to mention how much more fulfilling will your days become?Todd makes the case for assuming every task is delegable until proven otherwise (if you’re unconvinced, I urge you to try his exercises—I just created a detailed SOP for a new idea I’m playing with and proved I could offload well over 90% of it).Related: Entrepreneurs Are at the Intersection of Risk and Courage
But that’s just one example.
There are so many more opportunities for you to create more revenue with closer attention to leverage:
Creating a system for attracting and nurturing future clients and buyers through a sequence of automated emails (technology and systems). You can design the system yourself or hire a specialist to leverage your time even more.Increasing the lifetime value of clients and buyers by offering valuable add-ons to improve your relationship
.Becoming a go-to source for the media outlets or industry associations trusted by your sweet-spot clients.Offering your books or on-line programs through a network of affiliate partners whose audience matches up with yours.Becoming THE expert in your niche, allowing you to ratchet up your fees and disconnect them from your time.Todd provides plenty of examples in the book,
but the real value of The Leverage Equation is to challenge your mindset.
What opportunities for leverage that could 2-10x your revenue are you leaving on the table?