Professional services developed in response to businesses that need solutions to a problem. The irony, of course, is that these services experience their own unique set of challenges, and they must first overcome their own issues before they can adequately serve their customers.
Now that 2020 is here, professional services organizations should be preparing themselves for the obstacles they’ll encounter through this year. Here are four critical ones.
1. Achieving business growth
When professional services look at their overall growth picture, there are two directions they can take: out or up. Growing vertically requires companies to stay niche-focused and identify other opportunities within that niche. Expanding outward allows them to tap into new markets (geographically, industry-wise, or the development of a new product or service).
In either case, expansion forces companies to re-examine the ways they deliver their services to the customer. In many cases, a business’s existing system or methodology may be unable to accommodate new growth, which means other alternatives will need to be explored.
2. Automating manual tasks
A recent survey of 500 managers in the U.S. discovered that a majority of them spent more than 36% of their day on administrative tasks. In a 40-hour week, that’s about 13.5 hours of lost time that could otherwise be devoted to business growth or other objectives.
Automation is no longer an unrealistic idea, nor can it be considered a luxury. Rather, many businesses would agree it’s a critical growth component they can’t afford to do without. Companies that find themselves knee-deep in tedious manual tasks should look for ways to automate some or all of these tasks at scale to free up valuable time across the organization.
3. Responding to market shifts
Like the professional services industry, the clients you serve will also experience their own shifts in the marketplace. Savvy companies must keep a finger on the pulse of the industries where their customers are, so they can understand the challenges they face and be prepared to respond. This will be particularly critical in 2020 as many experts are predicting a recession, combined with the potential for economic uncertainty during a presidential election year.
4. Mastering profitability
Each of the other three professional services challenges can impact your overall profitability, but that’s not all there is to maintaining a healthy bottom line.
To truly master profitability requires you to be able to provide accurate quotes, bill with precision, and reduce surprise costs that can derail your projects. Having a deeper insight into your project metrics can help you improve your chances of winning more business and hitting your targets on every project.
Filling in the gaps with Acumatica
A professional services ERP like Acumatica can be your best defense against these and other challenges you’ll face in 2020 and beyond. With features that specifically assist the services industries, Acumatica can address critical industry challenges, including task automation at scale, improved cash flow monitoring, project management, and relationship management to help you remain competitive in your market.
Choosing the right Acumatica partner to implement and roll out your new ERP is key to gaining the swiftest ROI. Let NexTec help you take the next steps in adding value and improving relationships with every customer.