Blog

It’s the million-dollar question for consultants and professional service firms (PSFs) alike: How can we more easily maintain and increase our profit margins?

In the real word, generating profit takes a lot of time, investment, and practice. Increasing your margins isn’t always as simple as adding more clients, doubling your rate, or simply working more hours—there are nearly countless factors that go into improving profit margins for consulting services business.

A new era of productivity is emerging. It’s safe to say that the workplace you developed your skills in is not the same workplace you show up to everyday.

In the industrial economy of the past, model employees would work at capacity for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year—give or take some time for holidays.

That model may have worked when employees were considered nothing more than cogs in the machine—a means to a company’s ends.

We live in an age where there are hundreds, if not thousands of tools that can help streamline your meeting management.

And with new tools coming available all the time, you have to wonder why anyone is still scheduling and running meetings manually.

Here’s why: With so many tools available, it can be tough to cut through the noise and find the tools that are truly worth having — the ones that are so great, you’ll wonder how you ever managed meetings without them.

How often has this happened to you?

You spent all weekend prepping for a presentation to your boss' boss. You are hyped. You’re ready to knock it out of the park. You head to the conference room you reserved specifically for this important presentation—only to find John from compliance giving his end of the year update in your meeting room!

Whoa, what just happened? Well, you just became a victim of the double-booked conference room. Here’s exactly what that means, what it costs, and what your organization can do to keep it from happening and taking profit and productivity down with it.

Today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of effective communication tools for the workplace.

There are all kinds of email platforms, Slack, Google Drive, custom intranets, Asana, Jira, knowledge bases, Basecamp, video chat...the list goes on and on.

It almost makes you wonder: Why have face-to-face meetings at all? Especially when you think of all the stats pointing at their ineffectiveness.

Because, as it turns out, meetings are the best way to transmit company culture and important nonverbal communication, boost productivity by as much as 10 percent, solve disagreements, and even improve creativity by over 70 percent.

Let’s face it: Not every hour at work is created equal.

Some hours are more productive, and some hours are less effectively used.

While this is true in most industries, companies like professional service firms that bill by the hour are particularly affected by this phenomenon. When every billable hour isn’t created equal, how do you measure the health of your firm?

The first step is to distinguish between different types of hours.

All hours are not billable to the client.

AdobeStock_214373881-1

Client and case confidentiality is a key tenet of any law firm. The privilege of confidentiality fosters trust between attorneys and clients. Duties related to confidentiality, such as the attorney-client-privilege, assure clients are open and honest with their representation so lawyers can provide the best advice.