Every business has its own set of challenges. If you work or own a professional services firm, you most likely spend the bulk of your day solving problems for other businesses offering expert strategy, advice or skillset. But, while you're busy helping clients succeed it’s easy to lose sight of the operational side of your firm.
So who helps you? This is where professional services automation (PSA) software comes to the rescue.
We’ve heard from many of our clients over the years, and when it comes to a growing firm the pains always seem to be the same. If you are faced with the four challenges outlined in this blog post – don’t worry, you’re not alone, and we even have some tips to share with you on how to overcome these hurdles when you take the backseat and let technology take the wheel.
What does the future look like?
Predicting what the future holds for your business’ financials can be one of the most stressful pieces of operating a small business. The solution to this is having analytics that can show your current status, averages over time, and the ability to then forecast for your next quarter or year.
PSA software combines the data entered for time, expenses, bill rates, and operational costs to give you accurate reporting of where your business stands in real-time. Confidence in metrics makes it easier to take steps towards the future and have stronger management practices.
Why does my team always feel spread thin?
While your company grows there are often periods where you take on more engagements that seem exciting and manageable, but then becomes a scramble to coordinate the right people on the right projects at the right time.
Using a resource allocation tool that is synced with your project management is vital. Many firms try to band-aid this problem with hours a month spent on staff capacity meetings and Excel documents that look more like crazy master plans than useful tools. When project planning and staff time are tracked within the same software, that’s when the magic happens. Project managers or firm leaders can easily find the right staff available for the project and how much time they have to dedicate to it.
Once you’ve shifted to more automated project management that stores your firm’s efficiency data utilization rates can then be easily tracked. At staff and company level you can see how efficient your company is being managed and ways to avoid being spread thin or accumulating bench time.
How can I have more cohesive information?
As we hinted above, cohesive insights are key to success and often a puzzle for small firms that rely on manual systems for data recording. The traditional business model has groups operating in silos. Accounting owns their numbers, consultants own their time and expenses, and leadership manages bill rates and performance.
However with the introduction of PSA software that can integrate with accounting tools to be the central hub of all your business metrics, keeping a pulse on performance and increase profitability because less of a mystery and more of a developed strategy. To protect the traditional silos, user rights can also be put in place so different groups only have access to their specific data, while the leadership team can still see the big picture in a variety of reports and dashboards.
Where do we scale from here?
At the end of the day, everyone is looking to grow their business. Reaching your existing numbers through strong management is important, but it’s where to go from here that most small firms are looking for the answer to.
Here’s what we can tell you. Investing in a tool like PSA software can’t guarantee you new clients or engagements, but it will be the backbone of your organization so your internal operations are strong enough to stand up to new opportunities. When project management, staff allocation, budget tracking, and invoicing all align your firm will be able to work at its optimal efficiency and the areas for growth potential will come to light.
If you’re interested in hearing more about how our clients specifically have managed and created opportunities for growth through our platform, you can request a personalized demo of our platform here.
About the Author
Senior Manager, Content MarketingSee more by Trilby Lawless