How to Restructure Your Search Firm for Growth

Published December 15, 2021

Just because it’s always been done a certain way—doesn’t mean it should always be done that way. In the world of search, practice leaders have always been expected to not only find the clients—but service them as well. From paperwork to onboarding, this means they’re splitting their time between what they’re great at and tasks that can easily be delegated elsewhere.

If you want to grow your search practice, it’s time to rethink the structure of your business around sales-minded leadership. In other words, focus on supporting the people who are creating the sales for your firm. 

It’s time to let your practice leaders focus on what they do best while building a team to manage the day-to-day activities that slow them down.

Identify What You Need to Delegate

The first step to restructuring your business for growth is to identify the many tasks practice requires on a daily basis. Not only does this allow you to focus on the most important work, but it helps to reduce the burnout of having too many things on your plate. As Kevin Xu, CEO of Skingenix, says:

“Ultimately, [a] lack of delegation can lead to emotional exhaustion and burnout for entrepreneurs—two feelings that can prevent leaders from realizing the full potential of their practice.”

Before delegation, practice leaders spend about 30 percent of their time on business development and the majority of their time on execution. Through delegation, you can reverse this. You can spend 70 percent of your time on business development and 30 percent on execution. 

Identify which aspects of your business aren’t aligned with a practice leaders’ expertise. This likely includes the marketing, accounting, and legal parts of onboarding and managing a client. Next, identify low-level tasks that steal your time. When both of these elements are delegated to hired experts and lower-level team members respectively, you can start to free up your time.

Understand How Delegation Increases Your Profit Margins

Delegation is often viewed as an expense. It costs money to hire additional staff or to outsource certain parts of the job. However, delegation is also an investment in your practice growth.

Thomas Hubbard and Luis Garicano co-authored a study on the value of delegation. They looked at data from thousands of law offices and sorted them into teams that delegated their work and those that did not. They also looked at the additional costs of delegation, including the added salary costs of lower-level employees. 

The results were clear. Delegating work to lower-level associates allows a median partner to earn 20 percent more on average. Top lawyers have the potential to earn 50 percent more.   

Delegating low-level tasks can help practice leaders focus on recruiting new clients and growing your client base. What’s more, this allows the business to scale what the company is capable of by essentially adding more hours to the day. 

With the right financial planning, your added hires and expert teams can help you grow your profits.

Create a Plan 

When you know what needs to be delegated among practice leaders, it’s time to make a plan for how you’ll shift the way your business runs. While this may seem straight-forward—delegating to support team members—it’s important to look at your overall practice and fees structure to determine how you can most efficiently make this shift.

Start Planning for the Future Now

Developing a sales-minded leadership is critical to the growth of your practice. Consider what you can delegate, how you can benefit from that shift, but more importantly—what you need to do to make it a reality. Don’t spend another year pushing yourself to do both sales and support. Comhar Partners will thrive in the coming years because of the investment we have made in our support team.

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