December 20th, 2022
AFAB (A-fab) noun:
1.) A selling that is "anything for a buck" to bring in revenue and keep employees in charge
2.) The Business IT Solutions that may hinder the growth of the company or differentiation and/or profit
3) In more established firms, which is a sign of a lack of attention to particular offerings in terms of service or product
Whatever way you want to define it, AFAB (anything that costs a dollar) can be described as a problem that typically affects a company at some time or at a certain point. Identifying whether your business is experiencing AFAB issues is vital to taking appropriate action. Without doing so, it will affect your business through lower gross margins, more cost of opportunity, and a lack of differentiation in services and brands. Better yet, be aware of the warning indicators (e.g., stagnant revenue growth or needing special skills for staffing projects) to prevent the situation as often as possible.
The rest of the article focuses on business growth with the help of a digital marketing agency in Singapore and the places where AFAB could occur, as well as AFAB's causes, symptoms, and treatment, as well as the advantages of eliminating AFAB within your company.
Business Growth and Maturity
The growth of an IT professional service firm is comprised of four phases. A lot of companies do not experience the entire cycle. This isn't to say that they're not effective. This is just a sign that they haven't reached their maximum potential. Additionally, a company can launch into the market with an innovative product and then take off in the growth phase. This would certainly be an unusual circumstance. To reach the maximum potential, the productivity templates can help out because it keep people on track!
Four phases of development generally take place in the following order:
At this point, the company is still in the beginning, whether by starting from scratch using a business plan or a seeded plan backed by one or two accounts that you have already pre-sold. The focus is on the sales and marketing activities and the quality of the project's delivery. The scope of the services is determined by what your team is most knowledgeable about. However, to increase revenue, you must offer what you believe you can provide, even if you have recourse to third-party contractors or a digital marketing agency.
This is the typical scenario that is typical for AFAB. It's easy to justify and can help you earn revenue to help fund your business. On the plus side, you could begin to establish long-term client relationships. On the flip side, you may have difficulty distinguishing your brand, as it's difficult to define what you do with terms other than the range of technologies you employ. To potential customers, they will see you as lot the same as everybody else. Additionally, you usually underestimate the value of your services depending on the cost you are willing to pay.
You are now aware of specific patterns in your work with technology. Your focus is on particular companies and their products, which is why you decide to enhance the depth of expertise of your company in these critical technologies. Practice managers are tasked to manage the design of solutions, supervision of employees in their practices, the development and development of partnerships (e.g., product vendors and training firms), and finally, the financial viability of the courses themselves.
In this stage, the company begins to be recognized for its technical know-how. A majority, if certainly not all, of the company's work is performed in markets in the area. Your technical knowledge can reduce the competition a bit; however, identifying the company isn't an easy task.
This phase is characterized by the expansion into business solutions and/or geographical expansion. As you had recognized the technical expertise in the previous period, your business has a consistent performance pattern across sectors (i.e., verticals, verticals) and functional areas (e.g., human resources, sales, etc.). The interplay of technology with either or both areas lets you focus on specific business strategies. Each one is assigned an individual to manage the practice, just as you would with your technology practices.
These business solutions start to offer the firm the ability to differentiate itself. They narrow your competition substantially, and you can charge higher rates for your work. Additionally, as you can master these distinctive products in the local market and become recognized as an expert and expertise, you have the possibility of taking your skills to national and regional markets, particularly those that you feel are not being served.
Your company is expanding profitably, is profitable, and is well-known in the market. Your competition is trying to take advantage of your business. You must constantly review every aspect of your business, from services to sales and marketing to delivery and operations. The two main areas that require attention are changing your services to satisfy market demands and enhancing the efficiency of delivery and support services.
You can now more confidently present new offerings to your current and potential customers, such as the managed service (e.g., Application assistance or networking infrastructure) or SaaS (i.e., software as services).
AFAB is widespread in the initial phase, Business Initiation. It may also exist in other phases, co-existing with particular practices or solutions. In certain circumstances, AFAB can be justified for a limited time. For instance, if your business is solely project-based, and you're suffering from"the "roller-coaster" sales effect, you might have to make changes to increase utilization by allowing work that is not within the normal scope. In this scenario, keeping a check on the allocation of resources is essential to reduce the amount of time when AFAB is a common phenomenon.
Also Read: All You Need To Know About Panchang
Causes of AFAB
There are a variety of reasons AFAB may arise within your business.
You are in the business inception phase of your business's lifecycle (where AFAB is a normal happening)
Do not define your scope of services and think it will be defined.
Inattention to business plans and analysis of the results - you're working within your company and cannot devote the time needed to your business.
Consultants with no billable status sitting on the bench
Sales pipeline that is relatively lean
A solid managing team but not have an experienced person with the skills to effectively manage your service portfolio
The indicators of AFAB are many. The problem is that there are no safeguards to detect the signs as quickly as possible. The most common symptoms are:
Revenues are not growing or are increasing but at a lower rate over time.
Every project you offer is unique (i.e., distinctive in that you've never completed this work before) or is a variant of previous work. There is no repeatability in the delivery.
Finding the appropriate staff to fulfill the available project roles is difficult.
Gross margins have remained flat or are declining due to the rising delivery cost. You are hiring more third-party consultants at a higher price than you budgeted. cost
The sales cycles are still quite long, and the most significant opportunities are bundled together in the exact same stage of sales or two.
Lead generation that qualifies as qualified is inconsistency (e.g., the lack of marketing activities), suggesting a second roller coaster of the sales cycle.
To eliminate AFAB and avoid future business plateaus is a matter of diagnosing the problem, treatment, and preventative measures based on three principles:
Examine the historical data on projects (i.e., numbers and revenues) to determine patterns in the technologies employed, industries supported, the business functions that are addressed, and the issues they raise.
Examine the past client data (i.e., figures, revenues and industries, company size, customers problems and length of time as a customer, and so on.) to determine a suitable target client profile.
Influence on current sales pipeline activity and knowledge of other aspects (e.g., future technological changes, possible market shifts, etc.)
Develop your service portfolio to include those which best complement the direction you've set for your company.
Find and designate practice managers to guide every area to further develop solutions, the consulting team's management, the development of alliances, sales support, customer service, management, and generating positive financial results.
As simple as it sounds, it's surprising how IT services companies do not conduct an analysis of their client's projects to find this crucial data.
Make sure that the management team is aligned with the direction of the business and the business decisions made in your service portfolio.
Create clear definitions of goals and objectives for the areas of business that aid in the practice, specifically recruitment and marketing.
Share the new business plan internally, and then, once you are, the strategy is ready.
Make your monthly performance dashboard more robust to include indicators of an AFAB-related scenario (e.g., the increasing usage of third-party contractors)
Monitor the sales pipeline to know the flow and ebb in leads, the slow closing of opportunities, etc.
Make performance reports for each process to increase the manager's capacity to run their business.
Each of the three areas (i.e., alignment, focus, and metrics) requires constant monitoring as part of the leader's role within the business.
Benefits of Minimizing AFAB
While AFAB is a legitimate option in the business initiation stage of the life cycle of a business and is a valid option in other instances for a limited time, it is essential to develop the discipline required to keep AFAB at a minimal level that means you have to learn to tell "no," an uncomfortable practice to take. The benefits of preventing or limiting the impact of AFAB through developing solutions that address specific business processes, industries, and technology within your company are as follows:
Better differentiation of your services
More opportunities to interact with executives of clients by selling solutions that are designed for business
More excellent repeatability of the work and projects
Effective projects and which means less expensive delivery costs
Projects are less risky
Better pricing opportunities due to differentiating
Increased gross margins
A more efficient and effective on-boarding process for new consultants
These advantages are real and don't need significant capital investment in your company.
Are you suffering from AFAB?
Jay has more than 30 years of experience in management and business technology expertise. Jay has led successful transformations for more than 140 clients taking advantage of opportunities for growth in services, including sales and marketing, operations, and mergers and acquisitions. Jay has worked in small and large IT service environments as an Accenture partner. His work experience spans many industries, focusing on service-oriented companies and healthcare. https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Newchip/reviews
From a management and leadership view, Jay has:
* Established and managed local, regional, and national IT consulting practices ranging from $5M to $95. in annual revenue.
• Led the stabilization and turnaround of two regional IT consulting firms.
* Designed and constructed strategic alliances with vendors and large account plans.
* Created and implemented growth strategies for more than 20 businesses.
* Was CIO interim and interim CFO, as well as the interim CFO for 3 clients.
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