Where are you going? Strategic planning for professional services firms
INSIGHT ARTICLE |
"One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. 'Which road do I take?' she asked. 'Where do you want to go?' was his response. 'I don’t know,' Alice answered. 'Then,' said the cat, 'it doesn’t matter.'" –Lewis Carroll, "Alice in Wonderland"
Are you like Alice? Do you know where your firm is going? If you do not know where you want to be, how can you get there?
By setting up or revising your business and professional services firm’s strategic plan, you have a better chance to win more market share. Strategic planning may be defined as determining how to use your finite resources to reach your goals. With limited resources, it is imperative to choose goals that are both achievable and implementable.
An easy goal for a business and professional services firm is to prepare an annual budget and set financial targets for the partners. From that simple goal, you can move on to goals such as satisfying your clients with additional services or satisfying your employees with enhanced tools and resources to improve their performance. These goals have their own subset of additional goals, too.
By establishing a written strategic plan, you will have a definitive path and direction for your partners and staff to follow. And, keep in mind, written goals are more likely to be achieved. There’s something about having a formal strategy document that can inspire and guide an organization toward opportunity and future growth. Your strategic plan should address the following:
- Your firm’s goals
- The marketplace
- Business conditions and trends
- Firm strengths
- Firm weaknesses
- An action plan, including strategic initiatives:
- Assignments of responsibilities
- Implementation and due dates
- An explanation of why this strategy is right for your firm
Each firm will have a different strategic plan depending on the growth stage of the firm and external market conditions. However, each plan will share one component – a clear direction for the firm to follow. And, keep in mind, this direction demands the buy-in of all the partners. To assure this, it is essential that they partake in the planning process. It’s critical to your plan’s overall success.
Strategic planning is an involved and complex process. How can we help you? Contact us by phone at 800.274.3978 or EMAIL US.