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4 ways for a non-fee-earner to build a powerful business case for partnership

Are you wondering how to build a business case for partnership if you are non-fee earner? Heather Townsend, co-author of How To Make Partner And Still Have A Life and The Go-To Expert, reveals all…

Not all professionals who want to make partner are client-facing. We have worked with a few. They cannot build their partnership business case based upon the client work they will win or service.  So, they have to think more laterally about the advantage the firm will gain from them being made up to partner.

In this article, I go through the four main threads that will strengthen any non-fee-earner’s business case for partnership.

1. How the firm has suffered from you not being privy to partners’ conversations

Show how if you were party to partnership conversations early on, there would be less work and heartache for the partners.  The sort of conversations you need to be included in are the big ones, the ones that have a material impact to the firm’s strategy, bank balance, or structure.

Show some real examples of the impact of bringing you in too late – this will strengthen your business case considerably.  For example, you could show how an aborted firm merger would have been less damaging if you had known about the plans earlier and been able to advise that it was a bad match.

2. How you will provide a better service if you have a more influential position

You need to be well thought of before you even consider going for partner.  Use this part of your business case to remind the partners how positively you and your team are viewed by the firm as a whole. Then show how you could make an even more positive impact if you were able to be more proactive by being involved in potential projects, mergers, business plans, and strategies in the planning stage instead of once they are officially ratified.

3.  Why they should make you partner now, not later

They are in no hurry to make you up to partner. They’ll enjoy the benefits of your high performance whether you are partner or not.  You need to introduce a sense of urgency into why you should be made partner now rather than in a few years’ time. Show the level of risk they are carrying by not having you on board.

4.  How your competitors include non-fee-earning partners

Partners are often not comfortable with non-fee-earners joining the partnership.  There needs to be a mindset shift before they are even open to the suggestion.  However, they also fear being left behind by their competitors.  Show how a rival firm began to perform better once they opened the partnership to non-fee-earners.  This will strengthen your business case considerably.

FREE live webinar to help you build a cast-iron business case for partner

Computer keyboard webinarOn the webinar on 27th January 2015, we are going to show you:

Vector add remove circular itemThe 2 things that your business case must clearly demonstrate to make partner

Vector add remove circular itemThe common missing 4 elements from most professionals’ business cases which radical reduce the impact and effectiveness of your business case for partnership

Vector add remove circular itemHow to tackle your business case if you are a lateral hire or coming from industry back into practice.

Click here to register on the 2pm GMT webinar

Click here to register on the 8pm GMT webinar

Further reading

Author Credit

GTE thumbnail_100Heather Townsend helps professionals become the The Go-To Expert. She is the author of the  award winning and best-selling book on business networking, the ‘FT Guide To Business Networking’ and the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’, and ‘The Go-To Expert’. Over the last decade she has worked with over 300 partners; coached, trained and mentored over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices. 

Heather blogs regularly at How to make partner and still have a life and works with future and current Big 4 partners and professionals from mid-tier firms all over the world

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