Case closed. You can maintain a high growth rate in a down market. This may sound like fantasy to some of our readers, but the data is in. We just completed the analysis for our fourth major study on building a high value, high growth professional services firm. The study is scheduled for national release next week, and the results are stunning. Here's a quick preview.

We conducted primary research on 102 professional services firms across North America. During in-depth interviews with managing partners and CEOs we explored financial performance, strategy, client targeting, marketing and management. The study period covered the years 2008-2009 — the heart of America's worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

We uncovered a group of companies that not only survived, but thrived… big time. Covering every industry segment, these exceptional companies grew an average of 9 times faster then their peers and were 50% more profitable. And as if that weren't enough, they pulled it off while spending less than average on marketing and sales.

To some degreee, these firms' success isn't a complete surprise. We've been studying high performance firms and their clients for a few years. What is reassuring is how well they perform in a very difficult business enviornment. And there are some tangible lessons to be learned from these firms.

I'm particularly excited that this study goes to a much greater level of specificity than our previous research. Which strategies are most effective? Which marketing iniatives do high growth companies identify as most critical to driving their success? What barriers to growth do the most successful management teams focus on overcoming? This level of detail allows firms to take more effective actions.

The report will be available to the public on February 10th. Free download. No registration required. Stay tuned for a series of posts on some of our key findings and their implications for growing your professional services firm… in god times and bad.