Trading time for money: It’s a rat trap! How to scale your HR business or consultancy

By David Leahy, Director, Great People Inside Australia

If you’re a one or two man band in HR or consulting no doubt this sounds familiar.

You’re working more and more, without seeing any real difference to your bottom line. You’d like to work less and earn more but aren’t sure how. Hiring staff simply increases your costs, earning you less per hour. There doesn’t appear to be a clear way to scale your business which will actually make you more money or save you more time.

It’s the inevitable challenge that consultants face in all industries. Trading your time for money is inherently limiting. It places a cap on what you can earn. You inevitably end up working more hours than you’d like to, without seeing any significant increase in profitability.

The good news is that it is possible to scale your HR business without increasing your workload or chipping away at your profitability. It requires tossing out the old way of doing things and starting fresh. Here’s how to do it.

Price according to value, not time

When you charge based on your time, not only are you limiting your earning potential, you’re also inevitably undervaluing what you do. If you’re able to work smarter, faster and more efficiently, why should you be penalised for it? If you get a great outcome for a client such as improved employee engagement or reduced turnover, shouldn’t that have a bearing on what you earn? And likewise, if you don’t perform, is it fair on the client that they need to pay you the same? If you really think about it, it’s a lose-lose situation for you and your client.

So, what’s the solution? Instead of trading time for money, you need to trade value for money. Think about the value you provide to your clients. What is the value of your contribution to your client’s business? How much money have you made or saved them? What is unique about your expertise or offering? What is it that you do that is hard to find elsewhere? If you think about your contribution in these terms, then suddenly the dollar value of what you offer has the potential to increase significantly. If you price accordingly, you will immediately increase your top and bottom line without giving up any more time or adding any additional costs.

Position yourself as an expert

You are an expert in what you do, so why not position yourself this way? If you’re known as an expert then your value will be immediately understood and you can be remunerated fairly. Speak at events, write articles, post on LinkedIn – the goal is to share your expertise and showcase thought leadership. This will attract new business, enable you to charge based on your value and grow your business.

Refine your unique selling point

If you don’t know your point of difference, then your clients and potential clients won’t either. Drilling down into what makes you unique and competitive is essential. This is where you add the most value and this is what will win you business.

Sell products as well as services

Do you sell products as well as services? A product requires minimal time on your part and can be replicated at higher volumes. It is an excellent way to scale your business through adding an additional revenue stream without needing to add staff or time. Products may include software or systems, basic audits or reports, skills tests, assessments, profiles or surveys.

For example, the next generation Great People Inside (GPI) platform measures whether potential and current employees have the necessary traits to fit with the company culture or whether they are performing to their potential. Clients can be trained to use the platform independently so they can select, manage and develop their people, look after their employee’s wellbeing, and ensure alignment of organisation values. You gain recurring revenue not dependent on your time. It’s a win-win!

About David Leahy

David Leahy is the Director of Great People Inside Australia (GPI). GPI Australia provides state-of-the-art and fully customisable assessment and development solutions to help select, match, onboard, manage, develop, engage and retain top talent. Recently launched in Australia, GPI is seeking a limited number of Australian Channel Partners, so this is your opportunity to get in on the ground floor. To learn about our unique and exciting Channel Partner program please contact David at [email protected].