Socrates observed that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Perhaps the unexamined practice is not worth working.
How often are you willing and able to take a critical look at your own professional services practice (or most kinds of business)? Here are some suggestions to be your own best consultant:
• Are your revenues increasing by at least 10 percent a year? Why or why not?
• Is profit increasing by at least 10 or more percent per year? Why or why not?
• Are you ensuring that no single client represents more than 15 percent of your business?
• Is your name and/or brands better known by more prospects than a year ago?
• Have you created new intellectual property in the prior year?
• Have you published in magazines, newsletters, or newspapers—hard copy or electronic—in the past year?
• Have you received at least a dozen unsolicited, spontaneous referrals in the prior year?
• Are you being asked to speak and address groups at least monthly?
• Have you been able to increase your vacation time and discretionary time over the past year?
• Do you have contracted business that will pay fees over the next six months, and contacts going beyond that?
• Do you have no outstanding receivables older than 30 days?
• Are you submitting all invoices for fees and expense reimbursement as soon as possible?
• Do you create and analyze ideas for new products and/or services on a monthly basis? Do you implement at least one a quarter?
• Do you feel in charge of your life and organized, or disorganized and overwhelmed?
• Do you have a financial, liquid reserve equal to a year’s expenses?
• In all candor, would most people in your field and most of your clients and prospect see you as a current or emerging leader in the field?
Food for thought. Tough questions. If you don’t ask them and act on them, who will?
© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.