Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with a founder of one of Zurich's largest IT companies, alongside my colleague Jacek. The goal? To explore the potential of setting up an advisory board for our consultancy. I left the meeting feeling a strong sense of validation and excitement for our future.
Partnering for Growth
A key focus of our discussion was our sales strategy. We have been considering various options, including partnering with larger systematic partners with portfolios of projects. The insights we gained from this meeting underscored the validity of this strategy.
The founder himself had successfully leveraged a partnership model in his former company, in which >5% of all employees became partners.
What resonated with me was the idea of equality among partners, irrespective of seniority. This could potentially work within our setup too, as a small team. It made me realize that our growth doesn't have to be a lonely endeavor. Rather, it can be a shared journey with partners who bring in diverse networks and contribute to our revenue growth.
Leadership: A People-Focused Approach
We are cultivating a strong leadership team within the group—seasoned managers who can guide their own teams and drive projects forward.
However, the feedback we received made it clear that as founding partners, we are an integral part of the leadership team, too. This is an important perspective that not only enhances our role but also emphasizes the people-focused nature of our business model.
Sometimes we are so busy enabling the rest of the team, that we forget about ourselves.
I am actually proud of this, and don't see it as a limitation or challenge. Yet, I do need to make sure to be visible to the outside world—the stronger our team presence as a whole, the more likely we are to continue to shine.
The Roadmap Ahead
Looking ahead, our growth strategy centers on several opportunities. One of these is our starter and professional educational program, a project with huge potential that necessitates more dedicated management attention. This was a clear takeaway from our meeting, and we are now reassessing how we allocate our resources and distribute responsibilities.
To remain future-proof, we need to be more visible to the outside world. We need a website that articulates our unique selling propositions (USPs) and showcases our services effectively.
This means displaying testimonials, case studies, and other content that can convincingly sell our offerings to those unfamiliar with us. I am thrilled to be working on this with Alessander and the brand marketing team. We certainly have a long way to go in terms of our external communications.
A Trust-Building Advisory Board
One of the key topics we explored was the formation of an advisory board. While we were cautioned against creating unnecessary bureaucratic steps, the input we received suggested that an advisory board could be a valuable tool to challenge our strategies and accelerate our growth.
For me, there is an allure to having a formal board. Not only would it provide high-quality guidance, but it could also enhance our trustworthiness in the eyes of our clients, both existing and potential. In a business landscape where trust is paramount, an advisory board could be a key differentiator for us.
A Shared Journey
Reflecting on this meeting, I am grateful for the opportunity to engage in such an insightful discussion with an industry "veteran". His inputs have reaffirmed my beliefs about what our consultancy could be and the direction in which we are headed. It has also emphasized the importance of seeking support in bringing our ideas to life.
As we move forward, I am excited about the prospect of setting up an advisory board, improving our website, and growing our team. These are just a few of the steps we are taking to ensure that our consultancy continues to grow and develop the skills and infrastructure required to develop sustainably.