Professional Services From Forsythes


Professional Service Firms Are Different

From our many years of business consulting with Professional Service Firms, we have discovered that they have significant differences from other sectors, including motivation patterns, culture, ownership, leadership and ways of working.


Leadership – We help Partners and managers develop as leaders and managers.


Strategy – Our business consultants help management teams formulate and execute strategy.


Business and Client Development – We work with partners and teams to grow new revenues and to fully realise the potential of their firm’s existing client base.


Talent and Career Development – We help leaders effectively utilise and develop their firms’ people resources.

Leadership Services

One on one development programs


Facilitation and presentations Service

Firms in general and Partners in particular invariably operate under incredible pressure as they continually strive to cope with multiple demands and to deliver to numerous deadlines.


Business Coaching is therefore particularly relevant to professional service firms.


Whether it is bringing in more business, improving account management or coping with increasing demands of fee-earners, life for a partner is typically way beyond what they signed up for.


Our one on one development programs can assist partners and managers gain clarity and balance in their approach to the business while growing their skills in issue management, marketing and continuous improvement techniques


We also have extensive experience in delivering a broader facilitation and presentations service at partner retreats, staff and industry conferences.


Some of the topics our business consultants can help with include:-



  1. Prospect & client acquisition and management
  2. Business development plans


A firm’s success is dependent on a clear vision and a clear strategy that are fully aligned.


When a firm’s vision and strategy are aligned, its people’s commitment to that direction, the firm’s ability to execute its strategy, and the firm’s financial performance will all be improved.


One of our core activities is to assist a professional services firm to design their future by facilitating the compilation of a strategic plan.


Input from the shareholders, directors and key management personnel is sought through involvement in a special workshop program that is designed to clarify stakeholder goals, strategies, actions and timing.


Our business consultants use a planning program that uses a unique process to produce a simple yet comprehensive document that is easy to understand and implement.

Business and Client Development

We believe that some of the most important barriers to optimising return on investment for business development in professional firms are internal and that attention and resource are best directed at aligning a firm’s internal resources and processes with its culture rather than making large scale investments in new resources, systems or processes.


Our Relationship Management Program assists professional service firms design and implement strategy for optimising efforts in acquiring, managing and gaining better fee outcomes from prospective targets and existing clients.

Issues & Trends Confronting Professional Service Firms

Professional service firms also have to meet the challenges of today’s tough markets.


These include the recession, globalisation, the rise of emerging economies, increased focus on diversity, need for work-life balance, rapid generational shifts, technology developments creating new routes to market e.g. Twitter, You Tube, and rising security concerns (e.g. data loss).


Additionally, there are many specific professional service firm trends and challenges, which firms need respond in order to stay ahead in their markets. Our Business Consultants can assist with these issues.


Some of the major ones include:



  • Younger staff are more demanding, with different values and aspirations
  • Rise of para-professionals
  • Horror stories in media have led to renewed questioning of real business knowledge of many professionals
  • Creating incentive models that reward longer-term performance


Winning Business

  • Many firms look and act the same
  • Clients increasingly better informed and more demanding
  • Dominance of key players leading to increased conflicts of interest
  • Greater competition as partners opt out of scale & set up boutique firms
  • Creating a sales culture



  • Many leaders have limited experience in managing in tough markets
  • Many partners are great client handlers but poor leaders
  • What the partners do sets the tone for what gets done and how it gets done


Increasing Scale

  • Scale brings bureaucracy, an anathema to all professionals
  • Being ‘corporate’ at the top while remaining practice-based below
  • Not adapting the firm’s business model across different market segments and products and services
  • Outsourcing of standardised work/back office functions



  • Overseas competitors crossing geographic boundaries
  • Choosing the right expansion model: organic growth, merger/acquisition, ‘best friends’
  • Getting the market and economic benefits from mergers
  • Creating and managing integrated business models across multiple countries and practice areas
  • Managing risk across geographic boundaries


To contact one of our business consultants about your firm please click here.


Complete our free online business diagnostic and one of our Business consultants will generate a report for your firm.

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