Professional services firms are being rocked by change from new technology, more demanding clients, and increased competition like never before. Most of the people who run those firms got into the field because they liked the work, they never thought they’d be running a business. I founded Dworin Consulting to help “advice businesses” like law firms, consultancies, accounting firms, and advertising or PR agencies to grow and scale in the face of a challenging business environment.
Over the past four years, we’ve helped professionals find new growth or adapt to growth by putting in place strategies for business development, infrastructure for people management, and disciplined processes and clearer product offerings. Our clients are some of the leaders in their industries, and their businesses are deeply personal. At about a third of our clients, the founder’s name and the firm’s name are one and the same. Many clients describe our work like therapy for their businesses. We listen to their problems and help them think through solutions that fit their business. Other clients have lauded our ability to drive change in a culture filled with professional skeptics.
At the same time, we’ve had the opportunity to give back to our community by working on over a half-dozen pro-bono projects and advising many times more through events like Taproot’s day of service. I’ve also had the flexibility to serve on a variety of non-profit boards, including helping MMCC to transform lives for tens of thousands of residents of the Bronx through programs like early childhood education, workforce development, and services for seniors.
When you grow your business from zero to one, you have to do everything yourself. But to grow beyond that, you need help. That’s why small business owners are only as great as the team of advisors they have behind them helping with things like accounting, legal matters, marketing, or just having an interested party to bounce ideas off of. For certain areas, I’ve been lucky to find helpful advisors through my own network, but there are certain areas where I still need help. The power of LinkedIn is that I can see what people in my network are up to. The power of ProFinder is that I can find resources outside of my network.
For instance, LinkedIn is already an indispensable tool for me to communicate my thought leadership to the marketplace and attract new clients. Fifty-percent of my new clients and prospects in 2016 found my firm through LinkedIn. But I know that I could grow even faster if I could get my content in front of more potential clients, I just don’t have the time or the expertise. I envision using ProFinder to find marketing and public relations experts who can help me define a media strategy and activate in order to increase my firm’s visibility.
Starting a small business is hard, especially in a professional firm. Over the course of any given day, I wear a lot of hats. But I recognize that some of those hats are better worn by others. LinkedIn Profinder is a unique opportunity to find that kind of specialized expertise for short-duration projects to help really grow my business.
This article was written as part of LinkedIn ProFinder’s Small Business Contest