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Megan Miller
Megan Miller
Megan Miller is a senior product marketing specialist for Herndon-based Deltek, the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for professional services firms and government contractors, and can be found at www.deltek.com.

Assessing the eggs in your basket: Do your resources and strengths match your clients?

 
March 30th, 2015 by Megan Miller

We have all heard the old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” But, do you have all of your work tied up in one client? Or too few clients?

If the market collapse of the early 2000s taught us anything, it was that a client can stop a project or walk away at any time. There is no such thing as a safe project or safe client.

As the industry continues to recover, it may be time for you to take a second look at your clients and the services you provide them.

So, who is your biggest client and how much of your resources and potential revenue is tied to that client? Who is your second biggest client? What types of projects bring in the most revenue? And how do you even find out?

With personal finances, we know it’s not smart to put all of our “eggs” into one basket. Yet professionally, we often are too busy living off that golden goose to realize that if it leaves us, we are in trouble.

But, it is not just a client. It might be an industry or a project type. What if a good chunk of your work comes from your state’s Department of Transportation and the new governor decides to put a halt on spending? What if all your work is in “green” projects, but with lower energy costs green is no longer the thing?

Conversely, it’s equally imperative to avoid the opposite extreme: don’t try to be all things to all people. Are you wasting valuable time and resources on projects or industries that consistently fail to be profitable? Have you prioritized projects that don’t play to your strengths over ones where you could deliver meaningful value?

Just as you must understand who your top clients are and how they utilize your resources, you must also be equally informed about your strengths. For example, if you had to rank the types of work your firm is best at, what would be the top three? Do you focus on finding work for those top three?

Remember, when you focus on everything, you focus on nothing. In Deltek’s annual Clarity A&E Industry Survey, we repeatedly find that firms who know where their best and most profitable work comes from and focus on it become leaders in those project disciplines. They go on to win more work and command higher rates because of their expertise.

So, how can you gain the necessary insight?

First, use the right tools. A firm-wide CRM, or client relationship management system, can help you make smarter, faster decisions. A CRM system gives visibility into pipeline across the firm, allowing you to sort by project type or market, select the right types of projects for pursuit and assign tasks to your team to find more work.

With the right CRM in place, you can then perform regular client and project portfolio reviews to assess diversification and resource use. You can see current revenue backlog by client, by industry, by project type – or by any other view. If your portfolio is too heavy or light one way or the other, then strategize on how to minimize the risk.

What does your basket look like? Isn’t it time you found out?

Megan Miller is a senior product marketing specialist for Herndon-based Deltek, the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for professional services firms and government contractors, and can be found at www.deltek.com.

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Category: Deltek

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