• An easing of pressure this week after a fairly intense couple of months. Hopefully that doesn’t mean that I slacked on my new business work while being busy, which is often the danger with consultancies generally and especially solo ones, where there is no dedicated resource for new business.

    The logic is intuitive, but is worth setting out. It goes as follows: virtually all work has a lead time before it can begin. Budgets need to be signed off, approval needs to be sought, diaries need to align. So if you’re having new business meetings, even if you’re amazing at converting them, the work that results from them won’t materialise for a certain amount of time.

    So, if you wait to have new business meetings until you’ve finished with your current diet of work, you’ll generally have a lull as long as your average project lead time. If you want to avoid the lull, you have to work hard on new business when you’re x weeks away from the end of your current workload, where x is how long it typically takes a project to start.

    In some businesses that means you need to get all hands to the pump on new business if you’re three months away from the forecast showing a quiet period; in others you can get away with seeing the dip a couple of weeks ahead. Either way, you’ve got to know how long your “bow wave” is, and you’ve got to forecast well enough to avoid it.

  • I kicked off a new project this week with a booze brand. I seem to be working with more and more alcohol brands lately. I’m not sure if that reflects on me (do I give off boozehound vibes?!) or reflects the state of the market, but it’s fun nonetheless.