This is the third of five blogs that describe individual roles, individual stratum thinking capabilities and the right organizational structure (or as we say, defining the Requisite Organization). Today I’ll describe working at Stratum III and what the business looks like.

Working at Stratum III

1. Type of Business

  • Solidly in a marketing paradigm. Biggest challenge is the shift from the focus on marketing, sales and service towards resource management.
  • Sole proprietor or partner in a team-based ensemble or associate, perhaps with a managerial role.
  • Marketing process is referrals and introductions from existing clients, cross selling to existing clients, building a presence and recognized role within targeted market, building a marketing plan, working with collateral professionals.
  • Sales process begins to build relationships.
  • Requests for service are met promptly with value-added suggestions.
  • There is a constant search for opportunities to cross sell to existing clients and all relationships are reviewed once per year. Meeting with top clients once or twice a year.
  • Experiences are created for clients e.g. client appreciation events, seminars, etc.

2. Organizational Support

  • One or two clerical assistants, perhaps some specialization of roles to support marketing, sales and client service initiatives. The business owner will frequently try to minimize expenses by having only one administrative assistant, if that. As a result, the assistant is often over worked. There may be a high turnover in that role resulting in the business owner having to fill the position and train the new employee. Any needed clerical work beyond what the one assistant can do is either not done or done by the owner. As a result, they do a lot of work that does not require their level of capability and spends less time than optimal on building and managing the organization and building relationships with key clients.
  • Longest Task: Turn a key prospect into a client in 18 months. Move towards a desired state of relationship to members of the targeted profession in 18 months. Work on where the business will be in two years.
  • Tasks Done: Sales calls, high-value prospecting calls, review of client relationships, build a relationship with one or more targeted professional organizations, design of marketing materials, conducting seminars, working with collateral professionals.
  • Tasks Delegated: Some prospecting, appointment setting, reception, filing, accounts receivables/payables, preparing proposals.

3. Revenue

  • $150,000 – $300,000