Rob Ristagno interviewed Tom Barry, Managing Partner of GHJ Advisors, on his podcast where they discuss how to scale your business without working overtime.
All professional services firms face the same challenges when trying to scale. The product they sell isn’t an item—it’s their team’s time and expertise. When you have a specific number of employees, each with a finite number of hours in the day, how do you grow your business without demanding more time and energy from employees?
Tom Barry, Managing Partner of GHJ Advisors, who’s been with the accounting firm for nearly 25 years, faces this question regularly. GHJ has built a thriving practice, serving privately-owned businesses and nonprofit organizations within their hometown of Los Angeles and across the country. Like other businesses, they’re always looking to grow.
But they never want that growth to come at the expense of their greatest asset: their team. That’s why Tom and his fellow leaders have honed in on four areas of focus to enable sustainable scaling.
The first is a focus on work/life balance. The firm’s #BeMore motto is about finding growth in ways beyond just doing more work. They want to create a space where team members can be more and nurture all areas of their life: family, self, and firm.
From providing weekly meditation sessions in the office to enabling hybrid work arrangements and flexible, capped hours, the team is constantly looking for new ways to help employees flourish.
Tom also cites investments in tech and AI as important ways to expand capacity. When individuals can automate tedious manual processes and tasks, it frees them up to do more high-value client work. Leadership loves testing new ways to create efficiencies with tech, from using new communication platforms to implementing Salesforce to manage client relationships.
The third lever Tom uses to scale efficiently is outsourcing. We live in an outsourced world, and there are many benefits to finding external partners to help handle workflow. Not only does it create additional capacity for your team, but it also allows you to effectively work around the clock.
Tom says one of GHJ’s outsourcing partners is located in India. The GHJ team in LA makes the most of that time zone difference. They hand tasks off to the folks in India at the end of their workday, and when they wake up and log on the next day, the tasks have been completed overnight.
Finally, Tom talks about the importance of providing value in how you structure your services. When it comes to professional services, it’s not about the hourly rate, it’s about the value derived from that time. He provides the example of a high-profile law firm. Yes, you may pay one of the partners $1,000 an hour, but if they save your company $5 million in the end, isn’t that a bargain?”
Key points include:
- Providing value
- Tiered offerings
Listen to the podcast, Scale Your Professional Services Firm Without Working Overtime, on SterlingWoods.com.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Sumeet Sanghani. Sumeet Sanghani is a proven growth achieving sales and P&L leader in the outsourcing and shared services space, who is looking for a role in which he can amplify and accelerate growth for a fin tech company.
Sumeet brings the ability to advise and influence senior client executives to embrace solutions which can help them digitally transform their operating and business models for breakthrough performance. He combines advisory and consultative selling skills from his days as a top tier management consultant with McKinsey, EY and Deloitte, with deep domain knowledge in retail banking and lending, coupled with strategic, financial and operational expertise. He has a track record of closing large deals with top 25 banking clients in North America, managing high performing global sales and client management teams and has had P+L responsibility for running and growing business units with over $300M in revenues at Conduent and Cognizant.
Sumeet can help with initiatives to enhance returns from outsourcing and shared services initiatives, from strategy development and planning, to execution plan development and implementation, including assessment and selection of outsourcing partners, commercial negotiations and contracting and governance.
Martin Pergler begins a conversation on corporate culture to identify the pros and cons of working for the corporate world, small business or the public sector.
Putting considerations such as the work itself, employer values, career trajectory, benefits, job security, etc. (all covered by others) aside, there is the elephant in the room. Inhabitants of the corporate world, small business (including startups), and the public sector are all fond of rolling their eyes — with a bit of envy mixed in — at the other sectors’ working culture.
During my time at a major consulting firm, my employer and my clients were mainly in the corporate sector. These days, as an independent consultant, I work with institutions of all 3 kinds. I think there are characteristics, by which I mean frequent but not universal, strengths and weaknesses of each. But I think there’s no clear winner in terms of overall effectiveness (or personal warm-and-fuzziness), however one could define or measure it.
Read the full article, Who’s “better” to work for? Corporate world, small business, or public sector?”, on LinkedIn.
Paul Millerd shares greetings from Taipei and his thoughts about shorter workweeks, including recent news from Microsoft Japan where they implemented a four-day week and saw productivity jump 40 percent.
Three years ago I was an office worker in New York City, working in a prestigious job making more money than I ever imagined (some of my peers in New York had much different standards!) yet a storm was brewing inside and one that had been totally invisible to many who knew me my entire life
As I got better at my job and better in navigating the corporate world, I struggled to find a deeper reason for why I was there. Early in my career I was learning a lot, but over time it seemed that no one really cared about learning at all. Working on your career narrative, pleasing executives and making money seemed to be the only thing people worked on. Not the kind of learning I was excited by.
This led to a creeping nihilism which I only clearly see now. I’m really just going to make PowerPoint slides and work 48 weeks of every year?
Points covered in the article include:
-My weird life and living the dream
-Shorter work week: A real trend in 2020
-The happiness ruse
-A poem by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
Read the full article, My Weird Life & Shorter Workweek Zeitgeist, on Paul’s website.