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Starting a New Practice Within Existing Firm

 
#1 Starting a New Practice Within Existing Firm
04/02/2003 00:00

European Senior Consultant

Hi, I would be grateful for the help of experienced consultants with my query - does anyone have personal insights, experiences or written material (or can point me to some) on what it takes to start a new functional practice within an existing boutique consulting firm and what challenges one needs to address? In particular can anyone share thoughts and material covering:

- Establishing vision, ambitions and objectives for the practice.

- Setting up (developing services, capabilities, infrastructure).

- Developing business and client relationships.

- Building a name, presence and credibility in the market.

- Applying synergies: working with the rest of firm.

- Managing the practice and team, and building distinct culture.

- Sustaining growth in the longer term.

...and anything else I am forgetting. Thank you all! Kind regards.

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#2 Re: Starting a New Practice Within Existing Firm
06/02/2003 00:00

John Turner

Having started three greenfield practices for my previous employer, and now my own business, I am happy to share what I know.

Please drop me an email with some more information about what you are trying to achieve.

Regards,

John Turner

jt@banksidepartners.com

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#3 Re: Starting a New Practice Within Existing Firm
06/02/2003 00:00

Tony Bull

Hi anon.

I've developed a white paper on the evolution of consultancy companies which is relevant.

We also provide a service to help consuiltancy companies develop attractive and marketable service propositions and take them to market.

Email me and I'll send you the info or call on 01494 681187

Regards

Tony Bull

For information on our services go to www.bull-associates.co.uk

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#4 Re: Starting a New Practice Within Existing Firm
06/02/2003 00:00

Another Practice Manager

Can I be honest? I hope so... If you have been recruited from outside the organisation to do this without prior experience, you are VERY, VERY lucky, but I warn you, it will be an exceptionally steep learning curve.

If you are aspiring to this role from within your organisation, it sounds as though you need a LOT more experience, certainly commercial experience, and this is not gained through training, but only through years of customer interaction.

Either way, question yourself very seriously, if you are up to this, because you could well be setting yourself up to fail.

I don't mean to sound too negative, but I've done this a few times before and it still gives me sleepless nights...

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#5 Re: Starting a New Practice Within Existing Firm
07/02/2003 00:00

Aled Davies

I can offer personal insight, experience and written material on the process involved in setting up and running an organisation. My experiences and the challenges I faced sound very different from yours, but I believe that many of the principles are similar. Among many learning experiences there were a few that stood out; effective leaders are motivated by a vision that is aligned to their mission and values. Gaining clarity and collective vision by aligning the core values of the individuals and the team with that of the organisation. - Good place to start. Once you know what you want and you know what your people want, the vision becomes clear and you can start to shape the ambitions and objectives for your practice. Developing business and client relationships for me was all about rapport. Emotional Intelligence can be learnt and developed. EI teams overcome challenges, learn and grow. I can go on...

Hope this was useful

best

Aled

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#6 Re: Starting a New Practice Within Existing Firm
07/02/2003 00:00

Dr. John Walden

As per previous reply, not sure from tenor of your question how far the process has already gone within the "host" organisation. Presumably you already have a CRM process that you can re-use and some sort of Resource Allocation process. The critical "new bits" would seem to me to be Service Profiles and Role Definitions. I have some examples that I could discuss with you for a fee. Contact to discuss if interested. Mobile number 07 764 836 078.

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#7 Re: Starting a New Practice Within Existing Firm
07/02/2003 00:00

Dr. John Walden

As per previous reply, not sure from tenor of your question how far the process has already gone within the "host" organisation. Presumably you already have a CRM process that you can re-use and some sort of Resource Allocation process. The critical "new bits" would seem to me to be Service Profiles and Role Definitions. I have some examples that I could discuss with you for a fee. Contact to discuss if interested. Mobile number 07 764 836 078.

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#8 Re: Starting a New Practice Within Existing Firm
07/02/2003 00:00

Ecesis Ltd

Our company has consultants who have all at one time or another worked in one or more of the big 5. We have successfully undertaken the type of activity that you are intending to implement and no doubt we could provide our services to assist you in your objectives. We are a niche consultancy that specialises in Business Improvement and Development. We are proud of what we have achieved and you are welcome to read more about us on www.ecesis.co.uk. Please feel free to contact us I am confident that we could help.

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#9 Re: Starting a New Practice Within Existing Firm
07/02/2003 00:00

Chris Evans

Firstly good luck with the venture, Being a new company we have gone through the pain of set-up and have tackled many of the issues you have mentioned.The single most important issue to tackle is the value propositions, these should be designed to set you apart from your competition. Our business focus is helping companies with their business development activities, we have spent considerable effort in developing our own propositions and now are able to demonstrate value in the sales and marketing support solutions we offer.

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#10 Re: Starting a New Practice Within Existing Firm
08/02/2003 00:00

Alan Arnett

Hi New Practice Leader

All the things you mention are important, as are all the other responses, but there is one thing that stands head and shoulders above the rest for me, especially in the current uncertain market, and that's real live client issues to be addressed by your proposition There is a subtle but important distinction between a proposition developed in house, however well put together, which is then trawled around potential clients, as against finding real people in real organisations who have real issues, and then developing your service proposition around that, preferably real-time with a friendly client. I've done service development inside what was Coopers & Lybrand/then PwC, in all sorts of markets, and, just like all innovation (whch is what you are doing) you need to prototype, iterate and develop your offer. All of the best consultants I know both at business development and service development start with real people and their issues, and work back. Too many consultants (as well as product innovators in other sectors) start by staying indoors and playing with intellectually stimulating concepts, and not enough testing those ideas on and with real clients. The big advantage you have inside an existing firm as opposed to start-up is your firm has some strong client relationships - practise with a friendly one of those! If you would like a chat about making all this work, which I know can sound scary at first, give me a call 07801 340129.

Good luck - its fun too. Alan Arnett

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#11 Re: Starting a New Practice Within Existing Firm
09/02/2003 00:00

Roderick Houston

Dear "European Senior Consultant" -

I have experience of growing specialist new businesses within two of the (then) "Big Six/Big Five" firms, gleaned over 10 years of growing businesses within them, and also, to my chagrin, watching the group I was (a relatively junior member) within slowly collapse in the later case.

Be delighted to share my experiences and insights with you. I'd suggest an initial meeting/phone conversation: I happen to be on holiday right now, but you can email me or leave a message on my mobile to arrange a time/date. I'm back in London on Monday 17th February and would be available any time.

Your call will be important to both of us: I look forward to hearing from you.

Good luck, and with best regards,

Roderick Houston

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