Everywhere I hear conflicting reports of how sharp, severe or protracted this recession is going to be... or is the economy starting to recover? At the moment, I don't know what to believe, but know that there is a general downward pressure on fees and prices, and a reluctance for businesses to part with cash for non-essential stuff.
So this set me thinking, how to do you achieve more with your business development?
1. Have a marketing and sales strategy
Unless you know what you are trying to do, and how you will get there, you might as well not pass go. Business development is not like monopoly you don't get £200 for just passing go...
2. Get your branding right
Unless you have thought of a unique product or service, other people will offer exactly what you do. Branding yourself so that you will stand out with your target market - and be memorable is key.
3. Outsource if necessary
Maintaining a consistent market presence takes time and energy. Choose what low value tasks you can outsource, to free up your time to close down deals. For example, outsourcing SEO or social media tasks works very well.
4. Polish and perfect your copy
Your marketing copy, i.e. the stuff you write in your PR, blog, ads is vital. The words that you choose do make a difference - a well crafted piece is often the difference between a phone call or no phone call.
Make sure your overall business strategy connects and then that your planned marketing & sales strategy is working towards achieving your overall business goals.
6. Look after your cash flow
It is envitable that you will need to invest some physical cash in your business development. Watching your cash flow and making sure that it's healthy and positive is vital to good business efficiency. Working with a good accountant or VAT specialist will help you keep your cash flow positive...
7. Get a coach
If you have followed all of my suggested tips it is likely that you will have a large amount of stuff to do. Rome wasn't built in a day, and if your resource is limited then you wouldn't be able to do everything overnight. A good business coach will help you prioritise your workload and give you the support to get everything done - but without falling apart in the process.
If you are about to enter a difficult negotiation OR think that you could achieve more for your time, money and effort in negotiations – give me a call on 01234 48 0123, drop me a line on [email protected] or take a look at my website: www.theefficiencycoach.co.uk
About Heather Townsend
Heather Townsend is a brand ambassador for the Practice Excellence Programme, and the Founder of ‘The Accountants Millionaires’ Club’. In 2015 the ICAEW decided she was the number one online influencer for the accountancy profession. She is the author of 4 books, including The Go-To Expert, and ‘How to make partner and still have a life’ (co-authored with Jo Larbie).
Heather is always up for a challenge. Perhaps that is why she has built a track record of helping accountants grow the size of their practice by 50-200%, often in under two years. Often helping them make partner or equity partner in the process.
Heather is a high profile member of the accountancy profession in the UK. 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's clients have included: 7 out of the Top 10 UK practices, including all the Big 4 firms.
In 2016 her and her team of coaches have coached:
1) 7 people successfully to partner
2) Professionals from all of the Big 4, from every major continent in the world
As well as helping accountants make partner, she still spends 40% of her time helping small firms, typically under £1m GRF:
1) Create profitable revenue streams from advisory services and reduce their reliance on revenue from compliance services
2) Radically increase their profitability, even if they are a cloud based practice, often helping them achieve a net profit margin of 40%+
3) Double or even triple the size of their practice within 3 years
4) Win bigger and better clients
5) Grow the right team around them so they stop working stupidly high hours and spend quality time with the people they care about
Her articles appear regularly in the UK national and trade press, including The Financial Times, Accountancy Age, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. Heather is also in-demand for her speaking and has recently returned from the South African Accountancy Academy conference.