6 minute read
Every business goes through five stages of change to achieve what we call The Professional Practice.
What is The Professional Practice?
A Professional Practice is a business that creates results in both your personal and your professional lives that are significantly beyond the effort and energy that go into it; a business whose results far outweigh what goes in on the front end.
Most businesses identify the product they want to build and then try to identify clients that are willing to buy that product. We call this the solicitation model, and it has worked for many years. There is, however, a better model based on attraction.
In his book The Practice of Management, Peter Drucker declares, “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation.” Attract and deliver. That is the Professional Practice at its core.
Stage I: The Professional Practice Approach — Infrastructure Development
Building a Professional Practice begins with changing the practice’s fundamental infrastructure and ensuring that everything is aligned correctly.
Infrastructure starts first and foremost with the eight inches between the Professional Practice Manager’s ears. That is where the understanding begins of what the focus of the business should be.
The wisdom of Peter Drucker continues with, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself… The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.”
Understanding our customers starts with placing focus on the client and the relationships that develop. The focus is not on our products and services, having to push it out to the client, and convince them of our value but rather focus on the client’s needs and create a solution to draw them to us.
There is a substantial difference between somebody being sold something and someone buying something.
Once the Professional Practice Manager grasps the difference and adopts this change in mindset, Infrastructure Development becomes a matter of reaching out to the larger team (or the stakeholders in one’s life if you are a solo-entrepreneur) and ensuring that they understand the difference and buy into that vision. As a team or group of interested parties, you need to align your procedures, processes, and tasks with that vision.
Stage II: The Professional Conversation – Identify Unmet Need
The necessity of understanding a client’s unmet need is the heart of developing a Professional Practice that effortlessly attracts clients. If we identify the unmet need of a large group of our clients, cultivate that niche, and provide real solutions, our efforts will draw clients.
The tool we have created to help assist you in this process is The Relationship Conversation Kit, part of the upcoming course on Professional Practice Management. The Relationship Conversation Kit is a tool for profiling your top clients, building trust in those relationships, and identifying their unmet needs.
So in Stage II, we profile our clients using The Relationship Conversation Kit, identify our client’s unmet needs and get to know them at a deeper level. This leads us into Stage III.
Stage III: The Professional Signature Solution – Create the Cure
Having identified the client’s primary unmet need, you can now develop the solution to meet their need and build a brand around that–the essence of business innovation. It is here that real value is added in the life of the client as you design the innovative solution to fulfill, meet and exceed their needs and expectations. Innovation requires taking time to look at what you currently have to offer and what your competitors provide, then creating something new and branding that as your professional practice’s signature solution.
For this process, we have created a tool called The Signature Solution, which allows you to identify the actual steps necessary to create your signature solution. By identifying a unique need in the marketplace, you can trademark your solution and processes. This now establishes your unique edge in the marketplace relative to your peers and distinguishes you from the crowd.
Stage IV: The Professional Client Experience – Operational Management and Delivery
Having created a signature solution, we now move to delivery and establish the process by which you will deliver this solution.
In Trade Like A Pro, we speak about the necessity of creating a Trading Plan Playbook: a living document that guides a Professional’s trading decisions and outlines the strategy so that anyone on the team can execute it.
Delivering your signature solution is no different. You must identify the procedures and processes that the team must execute to provide consistent service to your clients, repetitively without flaw. Consider it akin to a Velvet Rope Policy: you must give every client the “red carpet treatment.”
The Professional Client Experience turns brand development on its head: you do not create your brand; your client defines your brand through their experience of your solution, which triggers an emotional response to his time with you.
A client remembers the emotional response to your solution more readily than the intellectual property. It’s how you said it versus what you said. You receive referrals because of the experience, not because of the solution.
The client doesn’t tell his friend what you did for him, only how you got them closer to their goals.
Only once the delivery becomes consistent and at the highest level of quality that you want does a Professional Practice move into Stage V.
Stage V: The Professional Entrepreneur – Financial Independence
It is in Stage V that the Professional Practice starts to run on Auto-Pilot. It is at this point that the business begins to become fun. Most entrepreneurs never experience this state. They spend all their time trying to maintain the Operational Management Stage.
They remain at Stage III because they never master getting operational management, and the business controls them more than they control it.
It is only with Operational Management under control that you can start focusing on the business’s profitability side. You can look at multiple streams of income as various solutions become possible. Numerous opportunities present themselves both inside this business and in other areas and leverage the exponential results coming from both your original practice and in the other income streams.
We have developed The RoadMap to Change tool to assist you with looking to the future and doing your business planning. This tool allows your business planning to be designed around your entire business, not allowing you to focus on one area, leaving something else on the back burner, and forgetting about it. This ensures all aspects of your business grow consistently over time. This also allows for total team participation and buy-in, as the entire team participates in creating this business plan.
Take a look at the five stages of The Professional Practice and identify where your business currently falls. All successful Professional Practices grow and move through these five stages. As you create different alliances or build new business streams, you will move through these stages again and again.
If you would like further help in your business and moving through these stages, please feel free to contact us. We would also be more than happy to talk to you about consulting or coaching services to create The Professional Practice.
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