In part 1 of this 2 part article I introduced you to the table below which gives a high level summary of what I like to see included in an accounting firm business plan. I expanded on items 1 to 7 last time so this time it’s all about 8 to 15.
|What||Where we are today||Where we want to be||Strategies to get there||Next steps|
|1. Outside Influences / SWOT|
|2. Owners’ goals and business life|
|3. Values, vision and mission|
|4. Revenue, profits and cashflow|
|5. Products / services|
|6. Positioning / brand|
|8. Channels to market / distribution|
|9. Marketing activity & sales|
|11. Technology and systems|
|12. Team (capacity, capability, structure)|
|13. Premises and other resources|
|14. Business ownership, structure and governance|
|15. Management, monitoring and accountability|
- Channels to market / distribution
Build and manage ongoing relationships with distribution partners, including clients. These people refer work on a regular basis and provide leverage. Your website and other elements of your digital presence can also be considered a distribution source or channel to market.
- Marketing activity and sales
- Bearing in mind decisions on product, positioning and channels to market, build an activity plan that supports the relationships, builds the firm’s profile, delivers leads and makes sales easy.
- Create a repeatable process for creating relationships and building trust and converting referrals and leads to sales.
- Develop a sales playbook that documents the process and all things relating to sales
- Train people.
- The process of delivering products (services) to clients in an effective and efficient way such that they are delighted and we make a profit.
- This is where workflow is discussed.
- Managing client expectations, doing extra things to delight them such that they become advocates (referral sources).
- Technology and systems
What technology (hardware and software) is used in the business today? What might be used in future? Rate each current piece of software, hardware or system and don’t be afraid to get rid of stuff you are not using. With most software now on a monthly billing cycle it is easy for unneeded applications to loiter!
- Team capacity, capability and structure
- What capabilities (competencies) do we need?
- How many people (capacity)? Plot for next 5 years. Play with high level capacity model.
- Revenue per team member helps determine how many?
- What roles and responsibilities?
- Reporting structure?
- Plot an organisation chart for five years out.
- How to attract, retain, engage and develop?
- Premises and other resources
- This includes the need for physical office space, office equipment and other assets not part of technology that are deployed in the business.
- For example there could be one or more corporate motor vehicles.
- Office space often requires significant longer term planning due to the sometimes long lead time needed to secure and fit out new space if that is required.
- Buy or lease our premises?
- Once you have a headcount model map against physical office space needs.
- Has COVID highlighted some alternative models of work that require less space?
- Business ownership, structure and governance
- How will ownership unfold over the coming years?
- What structure/s will we use?
- What governance framework/s will we put in place?
- Business management, monitoring and accountability
Some things to consider here include:
- Alliances or partnerships with others
- Management structure
- Business planning routines
- Project management
- Reporting of financial and other KPIs
- Support needed from third parties
- Management routine and rituals / operating rhythm