Get your practice in order for the year ahead

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New Year resolutions are too often put to one side as soon as the frenetic self assessment countdown kicks in during January.

To help ease practitioners into 2014, and stick to their business development goals, AccountingWEB wanted to find out what some of our key contributors were predicting or anticipating for the year ahead.

Consultant practice editor Mark Lee came back with news that he was...

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Robert Lovell
Managing Editor
AccountingWEB.co.uk
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03rd Jan 2014 10:02

What about the clients?

I'm guessing that the above is only a snapshot of the full discussion/article but, for any practice I've worked in, the above marketing tips are shallow without the mention & consideration of the sort of client base you have and, more importantly, you want.

Whilst the above jargon, especially the mention of BD & KPIs will bring chuckles and views of the ceiling there is a valuable side to actually going though a marketing type analysis of the business, its skills & people AND how they relate to the clients and their needs and capabilities.

The benefit of such self analysis, is that it enables everyone in the business to have a "full stop" from what might otherwise be life in the risky and inefficient fast lane.  Whilst it is important to carry this out every so often, to see how thoughts & plans are developing, I found that doing it on just two occasions, 6 months apart brought the process into my day to day thinking.

I would reinforce one point made above.  If you are working with partners and/or assertive managers/colleagues, you are wasting your time on this process if you do not get everyone on board with key pointers, plans & decisions.  Internal marketing is as important as external marketing or, to put it another way, you wouldn't develop skills & resources for a client base that doesn't exist.

This doesn't mean that different people shouldn't use their own particular skills to develop  aspects of the business but, if everyone doesn't sign up to the idea or see the worth of it then, you will gradually end up running more than one practice under the same roof, and, again, I'd guess not many firms would look up the high street and ask another practice to share their offices.

Thanks (2)
03rd Jan 2014 19:40

Sorry but It Sounds Very Boring

If by business development goals you mean making more money, your paragraph headings on their own are enough to turn off the average mortal.

One of the reasons a lot of us sole practitioners don't do enough marketing is partly because such high flown phrases as "strategy linked to business development plan" and kpi's frighten us off and make it sound too complicated.

In reality marketing is about getting and keeping customers. There are all sorts of ways to do this and to monitor how well we are doing it. If we aren't doing much marketing at all (that's the picture for lots of very small businesses - not just accountants) then no amount of KPIs will help.

I am personally very fond of calling a spade a spade, and think we need to do more of this rather than using phrases which hint how clever we are (which we usually aren't).

 

Thanks (3)
03rd Jan 2014 21:53

KPI's?

I'm with Moonbeam.

KPI's - 

Monthly P&L

Debtors

Cash in the bank

Marketing? 

Nothing really other than doing a good job for clients and giving them a nudge every now and then to remind them I'm looking for more clients.

Might pop along to 2/3 networking events this year - mainly to catch up with clients.

 

@Paul - just realised I need to change a light bulb ;)

 

Thanks (2)
05th Jan 2014 00:08

My KPIs

1. Did I find is enjoyable or useful?

&/or

2. Did the client find it useful or enjoyable?

 

Thanks (1)