We are NOT for everyone. No apologies and no regrets. Being opinionated is a must to stand out in the crowd.
Just say NO to
If you’re like us, doing something just because “it’s how we’ve always done it” makes you want to vomit and, inevitably, encourages you to dig deeper to understand “why” and find a better way forward. We prefer to ask tough questions that seek to discover what truly needs to be achieved and challenge our team to find novel and unconventional solutions.
Business is NOT
We believe in a win-win kind of world. The notion that someone has to lose for us to win is not only wrong, it’s downright stupid. That mindset breeds paranoia and steals focus away from maximizing value for clients and employees alike - the very reason for businesses to exist in the first place. We are laser focused on building lasting relationships and this can only be achieved by pursuing solutions that benefit everyone involved.
Okay; probably a bit much, but we still don’t like them. They were never a good idea for professionals yet have spread like a disease over the past century - causing a misguided focus on time instead of value and massive misalignment within an untold number of client-firm relationships.
Still not convinced? Check out our post on Why timesheets hurt more than they help for more perspective.
to be here
We believe employees are one of the most precious resources in Service Based Businesses. If we don’t take care of them, they will leave. And, so will a boat load of tacit knowledge. It’s not enough to merely satisfy their needs; we should be looking at the relationship just like we do for customers — striving to create something genuine, long lasting, and that which exceeds expectations. In our experience, when you treat your employees well, that builds a culture you can be proud of and, ultimately, your customers benefit as well.
Efficiency is a word that we all hear endless times on a typical day, however, being effective doesn’t seem to be as highly prized. Said another way, we’d rather perform a list of tasks as efficiently as possible rather than stop to determine which, if any, truly add value. We believe the typical Service Based Business is so bogged down in routine task mastering and chasing billable hours that little effort is invested to evaluate which tasks have a bearing on customers and, ultimately, the company’s profit potential.
Take a stand
for your BRAND
Our brand is the embodiment of who we are, what our business does, and the people we surround ourselves with on a daily basis. In Service Based Businesses, brand is synonymous with reputation. Reputation takes time and an incredible amount of energy and commitment to build yet it can all come off the rails in a moment. That’s why we advocate for a set of diehard principles and will defend them fiercely.
is more than just
Most people think of price as the money you pay to purchase a good or service. They’re mostly right, however, that’s merely the tip of the iceberg. Price can serve as a signal to help filter prospects that don’t align with you strategically, it can be used to define customer expectations such as minimum spend per year criteria, and signal you offer exceptional value (as compared to your competitors). Also, when negotiating deals, price can resemble many forms of criteria - payment terms, strategic partnerships, testimonials, exposure to new concepts or technologies, equity, etc. Essentially, anything you value beyond money.
before all else
We live in a world where nearly everything imaginable is tolerated or embraced in some area of the world and where taking a stand for or against something can cost you big time. Ethics as we see it is “doing less than is allowed yet more than is required”. We believe it’s absolutely critical to stick to your guns when you know something to be right or wrong, even if it costs you more than you’re comfortable paying.
pricing every time
We loathe the “hourly rate” and all the uncertainty it introduces for customers. It’s also directly related to timesheets, which we believe are extremely harmful (see why).
When we buy things, we expect to know how much they will cost us. This is true in most everything we buy yet, traditionally, in Service Based Businesses, we get a “rate” and maybe a “range” in place of a total price. It’s no wonder why invoices are scrutinized and write-offs are normal occurrences.
We believe in understanding what the customer wants to achieve and the value associated with that future state. Only then can we determine the price and whether we can create that outcome profitably. We also believe in sticking to that price, for better or worse. If we screw up the math or stumble midstream, that should be on us - not our customers.
Our profession has become obsessed with “inputs” over the past half century. This has eroded the profits of most Service Based Businesses and resulted in teaching customers to scrutinize metrics that have absolutely no bearing on the final outcome. It’s no wonder customers and companies are often at odds - everyone is looking at the relationship upside down.
We believe every conversation should start and end with what customers want to achieve. When we focus on the future state, everyone magically aligns. Value is maximized, workflows become more effective, innovation happens, and profits soar.
We dread the annual performance review. It’s not timely and often focuses more on perceived weaknesses than it does the true strengths that makes an individual shine. Focusing on the strengths, with frequent feedback, will always produce better outcomes for the firm and the employee than striving to shore up weaknesses. Those weaknesses are better tackled by finding other employees that are exceptionally strong in those areas.