Episode 99 – How a Software Development Firm Tripled Revenue in 18 Months by Using The $10,000/Hour Rate Rule – Member Case with Gregory Hausheer

Growing and scaling a professional services firm requires management of the firm’s lifecycle. On this episode, Gregory Hausheer, CEO at Lightmatter, shares how he is evolving the firm through 5-year phases to grow revenue, and how his firm is focused on productizing and tech enabling services.


Greg Alexander [00:00:15] Welcome to the ProServ podcast with Collective 54, a podcast with founders and leaders of boutique professional services firms. For those that are not familiar with us, Collective 54 is the first mastermind community dedicated exclusively to helping you grow, scale and maybe someday exit your professional services firm. My name is Greg Alexander and I’m the founder of this great group and I’ll be your host today. And on this episode, we’re going to talk about the life cycle of a firm. And what I hope to accomplish in doing so is to share some wisdom on how to compartmentalize your strategy. And what I mean by that is that our point of view is that growing scaling and selling a boutique processor firm takes approximately 15 years, and there’s usually three phases along the way. We call them Grow, Scale and Exit. And the firm moves from being what’s called an intellect firm to a wisdom firm to a method firm. Now that’s a generic framework, and it’s important to understand and have enough self-awareness to know where you are in your lifecycle. Because the way that you manage your firm and the resources that you commit will change based on where you are in the lifecycle. So we’ve got a great role model with us today. His name is Greg House Year and he runs a fantastic software development company in the health care sector. And he’s going to share his perspective with us on this. And he’s he’s got his own lifecycle, as I understand it. He’s methodically processing a few phases along the way that have some some timestamps on them. So. So, Greg, welcome to the show and please introduce yourself. 

Gregory Hausheer [00:02:07] It’s awesome and nice to see you and thanks for having me. Name’s Craig Cashier and I’m a founder at Light Matter. We’re on year nine of our business and we build digital health products. So we design and develop software applications for the world’s most promising health care companies with the ultimate goal of improving their lives for their patients. Our team is based in New York and happy to be here. Thanks for having me. 

Greg Alexander [00:02:36] Excellent. Fantastic. So I set it up. Talking about lifecycle. Now what I from my understanding, your. Deploying kind of a phased approach to the evolution of your firm. And I’d love to give you the floor and have you explain that to the audience. 

Gregory Hausheer [00:02:54] Yeah, absolutely. I think at a high level, when you look at the history of our company and the phases we’ve gone through, we have spent the majority of our time stuck, as many founders are, of boutiques and phases where they can achieve that escape velocity. And I think being very upfront, joining Collective 54 has helped us realize, hey, we can do things differently here. We have to get the right people in the right seats. We have to identify our high potentials. We have to also identify our top, top performers and get them in the right seats, too. And I think. Looking at our company, that’s something we didn’t do soon enough. We had our founders, myself and my co-founder, working within the business. Right, doing client work for too long. And I think one thing that we have been very methodical about now is removing ourselves from that and learning how do we scale, how do we delegate work appropriately, and how do we have the discipline to follow the advice that’s right in front of us. And that’s a very hard thing to do. 

Greg Alexander [00:04:08] So tell me a little bit more about that, because you’re right, this is a very common thing, particularly we have quite a few software development companies in collective and right now they’re all doing very well because, as they say, software is leading the world and you’re a great example of that in your niche. Sometimes I find. Engineers, for lack of a better label. They love doing the work, so it’s hard to give that up and focus on the business side of the firm. And I think because of that. It takes too long to get to scale because as you pointed out, if you’re doing the work, you’re really not building the firm. There’s only so many hours in the day. So you and your co-founder. Are you engineers by trade and does that portrayal accurately describe you or was there something else going on there? 

Gregory Hausheer [00:05:06] We are. And as you mentioned, engineers love to build. It’s an addiction. It’s so much fun. You have the power to create something and make magic happen with software. And with that comes design, branding, product design, user experience, user interface design. So you kind of have this full conveyor belt and spectrum of tools and team members on your team to go and build. And I think what we didn’t do soon enough but have done now, and I’ll say as we specialized as an agency, we went from a generic company that’s a design firm, not focused on health, to focusing on health around 2018. Then the pandemic came and we had an increase in business in about two years. We tripled our revenue because we specialized and especially because we stopped doing client work and we had a framework for doing that. We focused on what we call $10,000 an hour type of work, where if you think of what is the highest valued task that you can do, there are one or two key contributions to the company. What is that? And it’s clearly not client work. What it is, at least for my role and responsibility, is removing myself. So from the sales process, that’s one key contribution and something that I consider a $10,000 hourly task now. Another is ensuring our expertize is translated into our brand and our people through coaching. And when you take all the leaders on your team, whether it’s your CTO, your head of marketing, your head of your creative, coaching them and getting them out of that client work is it’s invaluable. It’s something that we have, you know, what I would call forehead tattoo or where you put it up on your wall, you put it up on your mirror. You don’t let anyone deviate from that because it’s so easy. You want to make that client happy and you really want to make sure the project is correct. But you have to take a step back and say if the work is 80 to 90% good to your standards, that is more than enough to delegate. 

Greg Alexander [00:07:16] Yeah. Yeah. You know, you’re using some terminology that you and I have talked about personally. It’s some of it’s in the new book, The Founder Bottleneck How to Scale Yourself. You talked about high potential employees and identifying who they are in a hybrid. Such employee is somebody who, yes, is a top performer, but also has capacity to do even more and a top performer, someone who is excellent at what they do, but they’re probably tapped out in terms of their contribution to the firm. So when I hear things like $10,000 per hour task work and you know, what is your key contribution to the firm? It really puts a smile on my face. You know, it takes us to this this life cycle question again, which is here you are in year nine and you’re executing all these things. And I’m confident it’s going to result in an exponential increase in scale. A lot of our members haven’t gotten to where you are just yet. They’re still in those earlier days that earlier part of the lifecycle and they haven’t had the epiphany yet. You had an epiphany and said, okay, I’ve got to do this differently. Or else like what was the the aha moment that got you to realize you needed to do this? 

Gregory Hausheer [00:08:32] That is such a good question and I wish there were a thought I had on a walk or bike or just sitting at my computer that was kind of that lightning bolt. But if I had to think of maybe a period of time where we realized, hey, this is how we kind of escape this, I would say it probably came during a period in the pandemic where we’re all working from home and we kind of have that pent up frustration and not being able to get in an office with your leadership team or even with your team members, maybe you’re fatigued from typing on the keyboard. You have your kids home or your family home and you think, Is this it? Like, I’ve got a client call to do and it’s 830 at night and I’ve also got all these other chores and obligations. And I think at that moment I realized. You know what? We have some people on our team who have been so loyal and so helpful and working with us for three or four or five. We even have one employee of our our boutique who’s been with us for seven years. So. Almost the entire history of the company. And I think we realized at that moment we need to delegate even more than we already are. It wasn’t like we weren’t delegating anything, but it came at a time when we said. There are some people we promoted and we have been so pleasantly surprised by how well they’ve done. I wasn’t sure if it was a title change or just a confidence boost. What happens if we do more of that? We need to take more experiments. We have to iterate. And at that moment, I think we kind of realized how powerful delegation is as a as a framework. And it’s you don’t think of it because you’re too busy to, you know, get out of client work and look at yourself running the business. 

Greg Alexander [00:10:19] Greg, tell me a little bit about the personal benefit that you have received by having this new mental model and delegating more than you were previously. 

Gregory Hausheer [00:10:30] I think it frees up your time to focus on more important tasks for the business. That’s $10,000 an hour ones and kind of like I’ve learned with Collective 54, right? The rules can be split up, but you have to have someone creating new lines of business, new revenue. You have to have someone closing that sale or being the face of the company. And then you have to have someone executing on the work. And those can be delegated to different people. Maybe split if you’re very focused on having a clear delegation of responsibilities. But we weren’t doing the thinking of new business. That role was absent because I was the one. Finding the sales and closing our CTO is the one to selling the work with the team is empowered. And I think now it’s allowed us to go from 1550 people and just a year and a half, you know, and triple revenue to sustain that is having free time. To allow the serendipity of our network in our sales clothes and have done opportunities as they come, rather than be reactive to the emails and the slacks and all the calls that come in budgeting time to allow that proactive behavior is the single most important task we’ve done. 

Greg Alexander [00:11:43] It’s just a great a great example. And just to summarize this a little bit for the audience, you know, and I’ll use the collective 54 framework three phases grow, scale, exit. Typically 15 years start to finish five years in each phase. And the growth stage where Gregg was previously, your you’ve launch your firm, you’re in survival mode. You’re doing everything, you’re selling the work, you’re delivering the work, you’re recruiting the team, you’re training the team. And that’s appropriate in that stage for those that are listening. If you’re doing that and you find yourself in that scenario, keep doing it and don’t necessarily work about scaling just yet. Right around year five, all of that varies quite a bit. You’re going to say, okay, so survival is no longer the task. I have a real business. Happy clients have the happy employees. We’re producing a profit, I’m making a living. So now what do I want to do? Do I want to stick with the lifestyle business? Do I want to scale it? And when I scale it, you enter the second phase. And the second phase requires a different management style, as Greg just laid out for you, the new life cycle phase. And in that case it becomes, as they say, cliché, working on the business, start in the business, it becomes the business side of the expertize business. So for example, you delegate, you locate who your high potential people are, you discuss what you want to delegate. When you want to delegate it, how are you going to delegate it? And if you’re able to pull it off, you know, maybe you might go from 15 to 50 people and triple revenue in one and a half years. I mean, that’s that’s the whole essence of lifecycle management of a boutique professional services firm. Now, Greg, I’m going to ask you to project out into the future. Okay. So you’re clearly in the scale phase right now and you’re scaling very nicely. And hats off to you and all the hard working folks in your firm. When do you foresee going into the exit stage, if at all, and what do you think the management method needs to be when you do that? 

Gregory Hausheer [00:13:46] One thing that I think is going to be critical for us to get to that phase and I’m going to borrow another term from you, but it’s having our roles as executives. My co-founder and I began even thinking, we don’t even have to worry about sales right now because we have a delegated sales process that is measurable with our high potentials running it. So what do we do now? The term is talent supply chain manager. 

Greg Alexander [00:14:12] Yep. 

Gregory Hausheer [00:14:13] All our role is now is focusing on finding quality people to fill in our delegated roles on that management chart, that org chart that are key contributions. And as our company grows, we’re going to be breaking rules part because there’s more to manage for each role. So my, my founder and I were really thinking deeply about how do we find the best talent? How do we coach and train them? What’s the right amount? Is it one day a week, 8 hours, 10 hours, 15 hours? It’ll vary. But I think if we really want to get to that exit phase, our marketing and sales humming along the work getting produces better and better every year. Quality is getting higher and so now it’s a people problem. And at the top all problems I think trickle up the sales and people it doesn’t matter if you’re technical, you’re creative. Learning to manage others and be a leader is something that we’re focused on for the next 4 to 5 years as we get towards. That’s a. 

Greg Alexander [00:15:10] Great answer. The talent supply chain, it is key. You know, if you think about what a professional services business is, it’s a people business. We sell hours. You may package them up however you want to package them up, fixed bid, retainer, time of materials, performance based, whatever you want to call it. At the end of the day, your inventory are the billable hours, which means the way that you grow and you scale and you exit as you produce more billable hours. Well, how do you do that? You hire more and more people, clients hire you, and then you deploy larger and larger teams and ever increasing rates. That’s how you scale. So what that means is you need access, regular, consistent access to high quality raw material. If you think about yourself like a manufacturing company and you think and you use the the metaphor, if you will, of a supply chain, what is your raw material or your raw material is human capital. So building a repeatable, steady stream of high quality raw material that comes in that you then can train to do what you do the way you do it for your specific client base. And I’ll pop on the other side a finished product. And where we often get stuck on scale is we’re always looking for we never have enough people like we. I hear that all the time. And that’s because you haven’t built a system. You haven’t built a supply chain. I mean, imagine a goofy example. Imagine Apple Computer. You know what? The phones well, if they didn’t have agreements in place with the raw materials, the chip makers, the glass providers, etc., they wouldn’t be able to keep up with demand. It’s the same thing in a professional services business. So you need the talent supply chain. Listen, I could talk to you about this forever and I can’t wait for our member live Q&A session. It’s going to be extremely well attended. It’s going to be a ton of questions. But today we’re we’re just, you know, having a summary conversation of it. And it was it was wonderful to speak to you about this in particular. And we love having you in the group. So thanks for being here. 

Gregory Hausheer [00:17:20] Thanks. Great. It’s been great and happy to help and appreciate the time. 

Greg Alexander [00:17:24] Okay, fantastic. So if you’re a founder, a leader of a boutique processor firm and you want to belong to a community of peers and meet great people like Greg, consider joining Collective 54 and you can apply for membership at Collective 54 dot com. And if you want to educate yourself more on topics like this one, subscribe to Collective for Insights, which you can also find at our Web site, Collective 54 dot com. There we have a chart of the week which is a visual expression of benchmarking data. We’ve got an award winning blog, we’ve got the weekly podcast, we’ve got a best selling book. So lots of good stuff there and and give that a try. And for those that are listening that that are tuned in every week, I appreciate that very much and thanks for listening and I look forward to the next episode. 

Episode 57 – Life Cycle: A Smart Strategy to Make Scaling Easier – Member Case with Chris Rozum

Boutiques often suffer from an identity crisis. This makes scaling harder than it needs to be. On this episode, we discuss business life cycle strategy with Chris Rozum, Founder & CEO, of Insite Managed Solutions, LLC.  


Sean Magennis [00:00:17] Welcome to the Boutique with Collective 54, a podcast for founders and leaders of boutique professional services firms. Our goal with this show is to help you grow, scale and exit your firm bigger and faster. I’m Sean Magennis, Collective 54 Advisory Board Member and your host. On this episode, I will make the case, boutiques often suffer from an identity crisis, and this makes scaling harder than it needs to be. I’ll try to prove this theory by interviewing Chris Rozum, founder and CEO of Insight Managed Solutions. Insight was founded in 2007, and it was established to provide a truly unique experience that marries together deep contact center expertise, enthusiasm for achieving unprecedented results and a culture of transferring knowledge. Insight then incorporates these characteristics into their suite of professional services, which are a site benchmarking, training, implementation workshops, process building, transfer staff, augmentation transformations and consulting. And you can find Chris at getinsight.io. Chris, great to see you and welcome. 

Chris Rozum [00:01:40] Welcome. Pleasure to be here, Sean. 

Sean Magennis [00:01:42] Thank you. Let’s start with an overview, Chris, can you briefly share with the audience an example of why it is critical to truly know what your firm is uniquely qualified to deliver in order to scale? 

Chris Rozum [00:01:57] Yeah, if I had to just put it into one specific example for us, it’s really about the human capital. Once we really know and are starting to lock in a bit of what our firm does, it really helps us zero in on the  hiring profile. What is the recruiting and testing approach we do to vet the people as they come in? How do we onboard and train them, which we’re not fantastic at today and we’re getting better at who gets into what is the organization Sure even kind of look like a little bit to include even roles and responsibilities on an engagement of who actually does what. And all these things are kind of different depending on what a firm is trying to do. But we found that we’re putting a lot of time and effort around those things. 

Sean Magennis [00:02:38] Fantastic. And you know, that human capital focus is, I think, vital not only in the context of the professional services firm, but your clients. Human capital, you know, is vital as well. So, Chris, they have five specific things that I’ll walk you through that we have found make it easier for a firm to scale. So the first one is sometimes a boutique suffers from an identity crisis. They’re unsure of the type of firm they are and the types of clients and projects they should pursue. This makes the challenge of scaling a boutique harder than it needs to be. What are your thoughts on this concept? 

Chris Rozum [00:03:21] You know, it was interesting when I first heard of the concept, I actually thought in my earlier days that I disagreed with it, and what I found was that I had not only myself, but I had two team members. Yes, that had the unique skill set and capability that they could basically take on any project they could because they were quick studies could could help solve problems that hadn’t been solved before, or they could provide industry expertise because we will learn really, really fast. And as you started to grow the business, though, I found it near impossible to be able to at the pace we wanted to grow to be able to find individuals that have that issue. It’s not smarts or talent, right? But that question to be able to announce any intensity. And there’s also a work ethic that is OK, working extreme hours to be able to run at that pace and love that energy around it. And so I’ve actually found as we’ve grown, I’ve not been able to replicate it. It held us back, created some less than desirable client experiences along the way because we signed up for some stuff that we didn’t want to do or couldn’t do. And we’re finding now that we’re having a lot more success in focusing on specific industries and getting deeper there, as well as focusing on services, even making hard choices around which ones we maybe don’t want to market and sell anymore. 

Sean Magennis [00:04:42] You know, and that’s probably, you know, half the battle is deciding, you know, when to say, no, you know, and we talk about that a lot. So we’ve also categorized three types of firms. First, we have what’s called an intellect firm and an intellect firm is typically hired by clients to solve difficult never before seen one of a kind problems. Second, we have a firm that we call a wisdom firm and a wisdom firm in our definition is hired by clients because they have been there and done that. The client problems new to that client, but it’s not a new problem. And third, we have what we call a method firm and a method firm is hired by clients because of their unique methodologies. The problem is well understood by the client, but by hiring a method firm, it can be sold faster and likely a lot cheaper. So, Chris, why, in your opinion, is it key to differentiate that time or what type of firm you are? 

Chris Rozum [00:05:45] Yeah. You know, it goes a little bit back to the human capital piece a bit and that there’s really kind of two things and I think you hit on it is if you go more using every candidate intellect. Yes, I have found that requires a talent that has had certain background, timeline, experiences, exposures, reference points, kind of. All these things kind of come together across somebody’s journey that allows them to take intellect and and be able to solve problems that have never been solved before, which are kind of exciting to go do. But that comes, those individuals come at a certain compensation level. Yes, then also drive a certain rate level. Yes. And if you go to the other end of the spectrum, methods are where on that you can get consistent. You can put tools, templates, processes in place, look to have different type of talent. Tell them again, you can bring people and I’ll use my personal example. We hire folks into our firm that are not traditionally part of professional services consulting firm, and they are operators that have been working in contact centers, in operations, and then we bring them into this environment. And then what I attempted to do was put them on intellect, type work, and they may have not had enough reference points or experiences to have been effective there. Yes, we’re finding, though, by taking hands on operators and bringing them in in the methods world, we’re having a lot more success. So some of that is getting the right people in the right slots and all of that. But there’s someone helps figure out what your pricing is, what you’re looking at. And then from the sales perspective, how do you go sell to a message and set expectations with your clients that align with kind of these three different types of firms. 

Sean Magennis [00:07:28] That’s really good insight and great examples. I can see in your context how, you know, the nuances are very clear and then the difficulties of trying to teach somebody, you know, who’s not being an intellect, you know, that has its challenges. Some could rise to the occasion, but you make an excellent point. Number three, we recommend that owners and many of them or our listeners connect the type of client and project to the type of firm they are. You know, we recommend they only go off to work that the firm is staffed to handle based on skill level. What are your thoughts on this and you have touched on it? 

Chris Rozum [00:08:08] Yeah. You know, I think. It might depend on where somebody is at in their their life cycle. I know even our early stage it was. It was kind of exciting to go try some different things and see where we are good and capable, what actually resonated with our clients and and also what were some of the activities that we also enjoy. So there’s a little bit of that in the early stage. I think I know where my firm is is right now as we are in the scale high growth phase. Yes. Yeah. The it the governor for me to go do that now is if I’m having too many bumpiness with our clients and not the experiences that I’m wanting or my staff, attrition is too high because we’re over stressing and we’re pushing them beyond their skill sets, too fast. When we’re hitting those moments, it really causes me to govern back and say, No, we’re just going to focus. Yes, and those are kind of the two metrics that I’m looking at. And then as I find those get to kind of stable points, I will then look to venture on things that I think are close enough tangents that do push us a little outside, and it does allow us to be a little innovative. But I find myself, I have to balance this dance and assess and retract back a little bit. So it’s it’s maybe not so hard, fast in any given moment in time, but I tend to use those indicators to drive me towards when I want to be a little exploratory versus when when I really should be more disciplined. 

Sean Magennis [00:09:38] That’s really well put, and that dovetails nicely into our next question. You know, we see owners lacking discipline and thinking that all revenue is good revenue and they take any deal that comes their way. So can you unpack that for us? 

Chris Rozum [00:09:54] Yeah, I am totally guilty of that. I even still today will get into these moments. And it’s being opportunistic. We want to keep growing at the pace we’ve been growing. And and what I have realized, though, is is early on when we were smaller, I could look at something and say, You know what, I can do that I can figure it out. It’s a little outside the lane, but I can see a path on how we can get there to be successful. Yes, and timing as we grow. That’s not always the case. And so we are getting, if you will, kind of more governance around how to do that and how some of those names, some of those negative impacts that can hit in that type of situation. 

Sean Magennis [00:10:37] That’s well articulated. And I think clearly understanding the risk reward of taking on projects that may not be be good in in the face of your scaling opportunity. And it also brings up the reality of sustainability and making sure that you can replicate what you indicated, you know, you alluded to earlier. So the final yeah, sure jump in. 

Chris Rozum [00:10:58] I think your viewers listeners would also appreciate this. So I have done this for a long enough period of time. Now that I’m getting more disciplined this year, it is much harder to unwind now that I am of this size and scale to to be more disciplined. And it’s a couple of one of the biggest things is how do you now unwind trying to take on every single project that’s out there? Yes, but not have a gap in revenue. So and slow down. And that’s what I’m dealing with right now is I’m trying to be more disciplined. How do I not just flip the light switch and now I lose 20 percent revenue and I got to then climb my way back up? So a bit of my learning along the way is how you make that shift early enough. Yes. You at least get to the size we are today. 

Sean Magennis [00:11:44] And then also, you know which which we see a lot of our members in collective 54 and I’m sure in a lot of our listeners is looking at the profitability of every client project because some projects, even though you may have this culture of taking them on, maybe at break breakeven or you may actually if you really do the math, you may be losing money on them. So that discipline, even though it’s tough to do if you’re looking at your numbers, you can prove out with facts that there’s maybe a good reason to do it right. 

Chris Rozum [00:12:15] Yeah, yeah, you’re exactly right. I actually had a conversation with the client next week where it’s it’s a loss to break even and we’re we either got to fix it or we’ll have to step away from it. 

Sean Magennis [00:12:26] Yeah, well, that’s exactly right. And then the final one is, you know, the firm’s just like us, as human beings are different based on where on the on the lifecycle curve they are. So, for example, it’s very common for boutique professional services firms when they first start to be an intellect. But the partners have some secret sauce, you know, they have a solution to a brand new problem. Then as time passes, that IP gets out. Others have it, and eventually it becomes a commodity and owner manages a firm very differently. When it’s an intellect firm than a wisdom or a method for everything is different. So, for example, pricing, staffing, utilization, salaries. So lifecycle management to us refers to the active management by the owner of the boutique as it scales through these lifestyle stages. What’s your opinion on adopting this life cycle management philosophy? 

Chris Rozum [00:13:26] Yeah, it’s I wish I knew about it years ago when I started through the firm, right? I think I think too. Yeah. You know, it’s as I look back, and for me, there were actually very clear markers. And whether you tie it to revenue or you tied to headcount in our my firm, they all correlate together. Yes, by the way, and even what my job was from from one to 15 folks, right at 15 was this really clear marker that I had to do some things different and where I even spent my time and where you were. Now I have a manager, Reverse admits, managing some of the work engagements and how do I sell and do some of these things that you talked about? And and how do you do that in a profitable way that you don’t make over invest in the organization? So I found that one to 15 was kind of a band for me. Yes, that 15 to 50 was the next band that I could do it away. Yeah. And and and when we crossed the 50, I spent a whole bunch of time to say now, how do I go from 50 to five hundred? Yes. Put that structure and roles and responsibilities and who does what. And even my job and where I’m spending my time and what I’m doing in a different way. And and those are kind of the markers for me that happen to be there. I think some other firms might have some different markers based on bill rates and stuff like that, but it was they were really like… 

Sean Magennis [00:14:44] Crisp, really clear. No, that’s really well said. So in your case, one to 15 was a band 15 to 50 and then 50 plus as you’re getting to five hundred. I mean, that is exactly the way we want our listeners to think and to really be highly present in in acknowledging and looking for those signals because it does it, to your point, require a very different set of skills, a different orientation to your time. I’m sure you’re working much more on your business now than you’ve ever done before. 

Chris Rozum [00:15:15] And as of today, yes, we’re working to change that a little bit. Yeah. And, you know, in their spots throughout the journey where I have drifted around a little bit and you know, I go back to some of the indicators that I gave before, which were also really got sensitive around these markers. Where where did I have some client experiences and we have high expectations? There’s a lot of times our clients don’t feel it, but were they not what we wanted to deliver? Got it. And what’s going on with our employee culture stress? Is it turning into attrition? Those are the two things that I saw at 15 started to really break. A 50 really started to break. So we’ll continue to monitor those. 

Sean Magennis [00:15:53] Outstanding Chris, this has been this has been great. Getting your perspective on this is fantastic. So, you know, again, it’s this is an illustration as to why there are only about 4000 firms of about the 1.5 million that truly reach scale. You’ve done that. It’s hard to do and you’re still scaling. It takes an exceptionally skilled owner like yourself to pull it off. So this takes us to the end of this episode, and as is customary, we end each show with a tool. We do so because this allows you are listening to the app to apply these lessons to your firm. Our preferred tool is a checklist, and our style of checklist is a yes no questionnaire. We aim to keep it simple by asking only 10 questions. So in this instance, if you answer yes to questions one through three, you’re an intellect firm. If you answer questions, if you answered yes to questions four to six, you’re a wisdom firm. And if you answer yes to seven to nine, you are a method firm. And lastly, if you answer yes to question 10, lifecycle management should be a top priority. So, Chris, thank you for graciously agreeing to be our peer example today. I’ll ask you the yes, no question so we can all learn from this example. So let’s begin. 

Sean Magennis [00:17:14] Number one, do your clients hire you for never before seen problems? 

Chris Rozum [00:17:20] Not so much today. 

Sean Magennis [00:17:23] Number two, do you employ leading experts in the field? 

Chris Rozum [00:17:29] Yes, we do. 

Sean Magennis [00:17:30] Three. Do you have legally protected intellectual property? 

Chris Rozum [00:17:36] We do, we have a pattern as well as a bunch of copyrights. 

Sean Magennis [00:17:39] Number four, do your clients hire you because you have solved their problems before? 

Chris Rozum [00:17:46] Yes. 

Sean Magennis [00:17:47] Number five, do your clients hire you because you have direct relevant case studies? 

Chris Rozum [00:17:54] Yes, they do. 

Sean Magennis [00:17:56] Do your clients hire you because you help them avoid common mistakes? 

Chris Rozum [00:18:03] Yes, but less today. 

Sean Magennis [00:18:06] OK, got it. Do your clients hire you because they’re busy and need an extra pair of hands? 

Chris Rozum [00:18:12] Yeah, absolutely. That’s much more dominant today. 

Sean Magennis [00:18:15] Yes. Number eight, do your clients hire you because you can get the work done quickly? 

Chris Rozum [00:18:21] Yep, more of that today than before. 

Sean Magennis [00:18:23] Number nine. Do your clients hire you because you have an army of trained people to deploy immediately? 

Chris Rozum [00:18:30] Yes, they do. 

Sean Magennis [00:18:31] Yup, that’s your that’s your bread and butter. And number ten, does your service offerings start out as leading edge and over time become commoditized? 

Chris Rozum [00:18:43] Not so much as of yet. It’s interesting, we’re somewhat we’re solving some same problems we were solving 14 years ago. See, things have maybe matured, but so this one surprised me when I said no. 

Sean Magennis [00:18:55] Great. Great. That’s what it’s designed to do. So in summary, a lack of a life cycle awareness can make scaling more difficult than it needs to be. It can lead to poor cash flow. Unhappy clients and employees Chris, a huge thank you to you for sharing your expertize today if you enjoyed the show and want to learn more. Pick up a copy of the book The Boutique How to Start, Scale and Sell the professional services firm written by Collective 54 founder Greg Alexander.

And for more expert support. Check out Collective 54 the first mastermind community for founders and leaders of boutique professional services firms. Collective 54 will help you grow, scale and exit your firm bigger and faster.

Go to Collective54.com to learn more.

Thank you for listening.