Winmark member survey 2012
The professional services sector in focus
These annual research reports compare year-on-year responses to a host of questions on the sector landscape, strategic opportunities for growth and approaches to resource management, providing a clear insight into the priorities and perspectives of professional services leaders as they grapple with the ever-changing environment.
The sector is in a state of flux and for the majority of firms this equates to mounting challenges, with clients demanding more for less, partners becoming restless over profitability levels and fee earners becoming frustrated with reduced promotion opportunities. Indeed, this year’s findings reflect an ongoing concern around employee morale, highlighting the challenge that firms face to provide alternative motivational programmes for both fee-earning practitioners and support staff.
That said, the 2012 data does indicate that firm leaders are feeling far more optimistic about growth prospects, especially with respect to mergers and international expansion.
Professional Services partner Jeremy Black said:
“The change in attitude towards merging with bigger competitors only serves to highlight the ‘survival of the fittest’ reality that faces elements of the professional services sector. Previously, most firms [81% in 2011] favoured amalgamating with a smaller peer, retaining management control and their name. However, in a market where supply continues to outstrip demand, consolidation is both essential, imminent and is forcing some firms to reconsider their approach [in 2012, only 52% sought smaller firms]. Consolidation is one way to expand the client base and also deepen specialist knowledge - whether that is in an industry focus or a practice area.”