Looking for Predictable Profits? Running a Boutique Firm Could Be the Answer

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November 17, 2016
Looking for Predictable Profits? Running a Boutique Firm Could Be the Answer

Have you heard consultants bragging about big revenues? But there’s a big difference between revenue and profit, isn’t there? Revenue of course is the gross income your company brings in, while profit is the money left over from revenue after all expenses are paid. As a business owner, predictable profits has to be one of your top priorities.

For all their talk on huge revenues, by the time some of these larger consulting firms cover payroll, insurance and office space they’re not making much of a profit. Which is why I decided a long time ago to stick with being a solo-consultant with a small boutique firm. Staying small means lower operating costs which increases my profit margins.

As nice as extra profits are, there are more reasons why many entrepreneurs and consultants decide to stay with a small business model. Many of the people I privately coach left their corporate job to have more freedom. The last thing they want is to create an environment where they feel held hostage in a corporate prison. They love the fact that they can work from home, choose their own hours and have time to pursue other interests.

If you are in the client services industry, a boutique firm is a fantastic option because you have flexibility and can work solely with the clients you choose. Smaller firms are more agile and nimble. When bigger projects arise and you need extra support you can hire help from subcontractors. But then when things slow down you can easily scale back down without the pressure of keeping employees busy to justify high payroll.

So we’ve covered the advantages of a smaller firm – you can make more money without all the headaches. Now the question is… how can you do it successfully? You don’t want to give the impression that since you’re small you can’t compete with bigger firms.

Here are suggestions to give your boutique firm a competitive edge:

1. Get a business phone number.

You might be tempted to just use your personal cell number but you’ll appear more professional if you have a dedicated number for your business. (It also helps ensure you don’t accidentally answer a client call unprofessionally because you thought it was your best friend calling you right back!) You can get a landline phone, a dedicated cell phone for your business, or set up a Google Voice number – that will allow you to have a separate number and the ability to forward your calls.

2. Have a professional website.

This means that unless you’re a web designer, you’ll probably need some help from a professional designer. You don’t want to skimp on this since it’s the most powerful marketing tool in your arsenal. Your boutique firm’s website can absolutely compete with larger firms if you use compelling copy and professional images. And don’t forget to create and use a business email address using your domain name when communicating with clients. Gmail or Yahoo emails work for personal correspondence but you want your email to enhance your professional brand. (Make sure your business cards and stationary match your brand as well!)

3. Outsource help when you need it.

There are so many tasks “virtual” assistants can help you with these days. Whether you need someone to handle scheduling, answer phones, post social media, send out your newsletters, the list goes on and on. You only pay for the support you actually need so you save big by not hiring full-time employees.

4. Work from home and rent office space as needed.

Many small boutique consultants choose to work from home, without the overhead of paying monthly rent on an office space. You can provide online consultations to clients from your home office. If you work with private clients in person you can rent space as needed for these consultations. If you’re like me and work in corporate, ask the organization to give you a conference room to work from during the project.

From experience I have to say that running my own small boutique firm is so much more satisfying than my years as an employee in corporate. I get to chart my own destiny and work with amazing clients every day. If you would like to learn more of my secrets that I only share with private clients call 1-800-267-3245 to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation.

Predictable Results™ Assignment

Analyze your profit margin. Are there areas where you could cut unnecessary expenses while still maintaining a professional image?

As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Business Coaching, provides leading-edge business building strategies for small business owners & entrepreneurs who wish to take their company to the next level.

Illustra Business Coaching
Copyright © 2016, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIM, CPBS
1-800-267-3245, info@illustrabusinesscoaching.com
This article may be reproduced only in it’s entirety, including the above bio.

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