This is the fourth 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 IV and what the business looks like.

Working at Stratum IV

1. Type of Business

  • Some specialization. Working on implementation. Biggest issue moves from resource management to business management.
  • Sole proprietor or partner in a team-based ensemble or manager in a firm.
  • Target Market established.
  • Marketing is a full-time delegated function. Everyone in the office may be involved in obtaining introductions from existing clients and cross selling to existing clients, but one person is engaged full-time in building a presence and a recognized role within targeted market, implementing marketing activities (writing a newsletter, looking for opportunities to speak, writing pieces for local papers, etc.).
  • The sales process is well established.
  • Client Service includes meeting requests for service promptly with value-added suggestions. Proactive suggestions are made regarding client issues. Introductions are made to professionals in other disciplines as is appropriate.
  • Client relationship management is a significant concern. Systems are put in place to automate those service aspects that can be automated. Preparations are made to bring in additional capabilities anticipating future needs of clients.

2. Organizational Support

  • Two or three clerical assistants, perhaps one or more specialists in a variety of areas, a marketing and/or sales assistant, an office manager. Many business owners capable of working at this level may only have an administrative assistant or two. Consider the difference it makes simply to have a Marketing Director:
    • The business owner can determine the role of marketing in strategy, describe to the Marketing Director the desired brand for the practice and delegate to the Marketing Director the task of bringing the brand to that level.
    • Without a Marketing Director, the business owner must make all of the plans and arrangements for marketing: arranging a presence at key events, managing the website, writing articles and getting them published, determining which events to sponsor, etc.

Without a sufficiently supportive organization, the business owner cannot focus on just those tasks that will bring the greatest progress in management.

  • Longest Task: Going out 3-5 years. Includes, talent pool management, preparing for demographic and industry changes, wooing target market to make them clients.
  • Builds relationships with existing top clients to cross-sell and to obtain introductions/recommendations/referrals, does high-value calls to prospective clients, reviews client relationships, builds a relationship with one or more targeted professional organizations, and plans the strategy of the business.
  • Tasks Delegated: Appointment setting, reception, filing, accounts receivables/payables, building parts of the business (e.g. related lines of business are delegated, where someone else would be delegated the business building as a task), office management, marketing.

3. Revenue

  • $300,000 – $1,000,000