I cannot tell you haw many consultancies I have worked for and with that stumble on this fundamental step. How many times have you heard the semantic debate "Are we a technology company or are we a services company". Ridiculous isn't it. Microsoft doesn't have that problem, they do it all and it could be the savior of their income stream, IBM does it all, and even Accenture bends into the technology products arena when it suits them. (Field force enabling being a case in point.)
So how can your consultancy do this? It seems easy from the outside, and admittedly it is difficult, but there are no end of opportunities if you look for them.
- If your entry into the world has been through technology products, then you have a ready made client base to sell upgraded services to. Take the service delivery beyond the tactical (how to use our product) and into the strategic (how to do this better) and you have a business waiting to be launched.
- If you have built a career implementing (say) asset management database systems such as MRO, Mincom or Datastream, then a reliability service offering is only a mindset away.
- If you are busily implementing Salesforce.com, then why not expand into product independent sales training?
You get the picture. Build on what you have, generate independent service offerings, make sure the value crossovers are intact and really do deliver value, then launch it as a business of its own. How many consultancies actually have small products that could be spun off into a web based platform and used to become their own brand?
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