More and more of our clients at P&C are in the category called professional service firms. During economic slowdowns, these types of firms often start offering services and taking on clients they really shouldn’t, just to keep the lights on. This path is perilous. If a firm’s practices have a diffuse mix of clients and unclear strategic positioning, it will weaken the firm’s market profile and lead to internal conflicts about the organization’s future direction. This article presents two useful tools. One is the Practice Spectrum. While any position along the spectrum can be profitable, the capabilities and skills require change. The other is a common one, Client Portfolio Matrix; however, this article takes it a step further to address acquisition efforts. At P&C, we use many of these tools, as well as others. Our difference is that we tailor and customize analytical tools to meet specific client attributes and goals—and never assume that one size fits all.

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