Most security consultants are constantly looking for new clients. They comb through their networks looking for business opportunities or referrals. When they find a prospect, they start a long process of setting the scope, calculating rates, and writing up a proposal. Some prospects will pan out, others won’t.
That’s a lot of work for one project that might not even materialize.
But there’s a better business model that gets you more revenue with lower cost of acquisition—and a lot less work. This model gives you more predictable income, a consistent list of clients and more time to do the work you enjoy. You might even find yourself with more free time in your week.
More and more successful security professionals are doubling down on retainer-based work to fuel their revenue and grow their security consulting business. With a retainer model, you have guaranteed work from a core set of clients, which means you have less selling to do and more time to provide high-level client service..
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Get Off the Hamster Wheel
The traditional model for security consultants is a hamster wheel of endless one-off projects. That means you’ve only got one single assessment for each client. Because you don’t have an ongoing relationship with the customer, each client is good for only one paycheck. That’s a terrible business model if you want sustained growth and development.
One-and-done security consultants have extremely high acquisition costs, because they’re always trying to find new clients. They’re constantly concerned about drumming up business for the next month or two. After that, who knows what’ll happen? Either way, business security for them means constant selling, constant cold calls, and constant pressure.
But if you adopt the retainer business model, you have the opportunity to generate repeat business that you can count on, month after month. What if each client were good for 12 paychecks per year? Imagine how much easier it would be to run and grow a security consulting business!
Making the Switch to a Retainer Model
Want some help switching over to a retainer-based model? Here are a few tips you absolutely should follow for a successful transition.
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Position yourself as a consultant with ongoing value
If you’re providing a retainer service, you’ve got to be more than just an assessment expert—you need to be an advisor who can help them achieve their business and security goals. You’ll provide more than an inspection and a report—you’ll offer ongoing guidance, monthly checkups, and year-round support.
Anyone can deliver a risk assessment report.
Create a bond with your customers
When clients hire professionals on a retainer basis, they hire people they trust with their business. Think of an attorney or a CPA. You don’t simply want someone who knows the law, or understands tax code. You want someone you can trust with your business’ future—someone who will fight the battles you can’t fight. It goes beyond bare legal or accounting skills.
Likewise, as a security consultant, you’ve got to be the person your clients trust when there’s a security issue. You’re selling yourself as much as your physical risk assessments.
Use Circadian Risk
Our technology gives you unique data-driven insights to understand risk as it changes on a monthly basis. You’ll be able to compare risk from one month to another, or one year to another.
Plus, our corrective action plan lets you help clients make necessary improvements. You can follow along with their progress and see how they’re doing, and use it to see where they get stuck and where they need help. You can then offer additional services and expertise that boost your value.
Succeeding with Retainers
I had a friend who developed a continual consulting process for his clients. His retainer model was so successful that he was eventually acquired for his Rolodex. When he onboarded a new retainer client, he told his customers, “Over the course of the year, you’re going to have these particular issues. Here are the things I will do for you throughout the year. I’ll perform these particular assessments, and I’ll help you develop these plans.”
Essentially, he became a partner with his clients—a component part of their team. They benefited by getting year-round service, while paying a fraction of an employee’s salary. Meanwhile, my friend had a guaranteed monthly revenue for the year that cost him nothing to acquire.
He only needed a handful of these clients to take his business to his target level. His other clients were one-off assessments that filled in the gaps between retainer clients.
Build Your Security Business with Circadian Risk
Circadian Risk is the physical risk assessment software that helps you take your security consulting company to the next level. Ready to reduce your costs and increase profitability? Find out how Circadian Risk can add value to your business—get a personalized demo.