468

So, you’ve looked at the research, you’ve thought long and hard and realised that you want your firm to move towards being the The Go-To Expert in the niches you’ve chosen. But now it seems really complex. How do you implement your strategy if you want more than one niche?

STOP: REWIND – I did just say niches, and yes that is possible – but it does make it more complex.

Taking step to creating your niche, is like climbing a mountain - one step at a time

If you’ve got one or two main fee earners, the process of adopting a niche and then becoming an expert in it can be hard, but has real benefits. You can read more about it by clicking here. But with 8  (or more) partners it can feel much more complicated. Collecitvely and individually they know they want to improve their fee generation (and get some operational efficiencies), but choosing more than one niche makes things more complex – although the logic still makes sense.

 A case in point

In the last couple of weeks I’ve had three discussions with firms, that have 8-15 partners. They had been trying to resolve their desire to adopt some specialisms but got nowhere.

They had ground to a halt because:

  • Aligning 8 partners felt a bit like herding cats.
  • Just getting the project team together seemed like hard work
  • They weren’t really sure on what to do next
  • They weren’t totally sure on what specialisms they should adopt
  • As a result the partner dedicated to moving the firm forward on the issue delegated some of the work to a change team (couple of her managers). But they weren’t getting much traction and were starting to lose motivation on the subject.
  • They started by having discussions with all of the partners and understanding the types of clients that each wanted; they had even reformatted their website to show the (long) list of specialisms.

But in each case different members of the change teams, understood different reasons for this marketing shift. These varied from marketing efficiency, to operational efficiency and even client service.

Practical steps to specialising in a larger firm

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones

Taking small steps might not initially sounds dynamic, but it can create real and lasting change that will keep growing. Perhaps starting with steps like these:

  1. Be really clear on the logic of developing yourself as the Go-To Expert in a (or more) niches. What is the main driver for your firm, the ability to convert more prospects, find clients more easily maybe charge higher fees? But you might also be looking for additional efficiencies in your teams as each would be dealing with groups of clients, you might be looking to improve client care (extra support and advice that is specific through clear knowledge of a sector)
  2. Don’t try and do everything at once. In any team that decides they want to change, some will be more and some less willing to champion the change. Work with one or two of the partners, rather than all of them. When it works, others will soon get motivated. Download our Guide to choosing and capitalising on your niche it's free and waiting for you right now in our JoinedUp Networking toolkit. This toolkit is a resource library stuffed with goodies to help you get better results from your networking (email address required). Click here to download it.
  3. Choose the niche. Now you’re down to individuals, it’s possible to talk about their niche. That will mean considering their credibility and passion for that niche, the size of the niche and if it can afford your offer, etc.
  4. Start to develop the plan with 1-2. Helping them improve their LinkedIn profiles, blogging, speaking, published articles, ensuring their team get a range of trade magazines related to the specialism. Take the simple steps first.
  5. A page on the website that’s specific to the niche. It should be more about demonstrating your expert status than claiming it. That’s where blogs come in useful too. Check the profile of the relevant partners is clearly talking about their niche too.

Develop the route to expertise with those partners and as they start to get success, others will want to follow.

What steps would you add to this list?

 

Written by Jon Baker The 5-50 Coach. I help professionals grow their firms from 5 to 50 employees, sustainably, profitably and still have fun. Networking is a key part of getting great results in small firms. If you want great networking tips sent to your desk once a month, click here and I will start sending them to you, so you can make a real difference to your referrals. 
 

Download our Guide to choosing and capitalising on your niche it's free and waiting for you right now in our JoinedUp Networking toolkit. This toolkit is a resource library stuffed with goodies to help you get better results from your networking (email address required). Click here to download it.