Are you still looking for your North Star and trying to build a VITAL accounting firm? If so, you need to have a solid business plan in place. You’ll get stuck acting like your firm is new way too long without it.
So, where do you get your clients?
You go out and network and you ask people to buy your stuff. And when they agree, you get excited and start making compromises where you shouldn’t. You may even mention that you’re new to your clients and say you’ll do them a special deal.
What’s happening here is that you start building a practice, you feel you’re in new firm mode, and you under-charge. You also try to do favours for people, and you may even attract family and friends.
But this isn’t how you create a practice that you actually want to run.
Remember that as a bookkeeper, a CPA, or an accountant, you can choose to run the practice you want to run. This applies to new and established firms and you don’t want to let the world dictate the practice you want to run.
When Oompf Global was starting out, we faced the same challenges. And it’s how we came up with the nine key questions that will help you build a business plan for the accounting firm you wish to run.
#1 – Who Do You Want to Serve?
When talking about serving, it’s not like you’re the servant that does something for pennies. In this context, serving means bringing your best to the world and helping as much as you can.
When you do exactly that, you are an absolute asset to your clients. And for this reason, they wish to stay with you. They respect and trust you.
Now, think about if you can serve the world in a better way and figure out who your ideal client is. When you’re a new business, you want to know if you’re ready to accept anyone. Or, you prefer to say no and aim only for your ideal client.
Answering these questions will bring you closer to understanding the person you want to serve. And this is the first thing to establish in your business plan.
#2 – What Service Do You Want to Offer?
You have 1,001 different kinds of offers that you can have. Maybe you can do management accounts. Or you can offer advisory, compliance, payroll, etc. However, there will be a select few offers that either you’re really good at or you want your firm to be good at.
The biggest thing we’ve learned from running our firm is that we’re business owners, not marketers. While marketing is part of the business and we’re running the operations, we’re still business owners at the end of the day.
As a business owner, you have to decide what the services are that you want to offer. Again, you could offer everything as a marketer. But you need to focus on the thing you absolutely know will give you momentum and enable you to get the success you want.
In our case, we currently have only two offerings people can buy from us. There may be hundreds of other offers people can buy from you right now. So, take it down a bit and become really good at a few things your firm can offer.
#3 – How Many Clients Do You Want?
You’ve got the first two steps towards creating a business plan. You’re clear on what it is that you want and also super clear on who are the people or businesses you’re targeting. So, it’s time to come up with an ideal number of clients.
If you want to create a firm that gives you ten grand a month of recurring income, you have to take another look at your services. This will help you determine the number of clients, but there’s more…
#4 – How Much Do You Want to Charge Clients?
It’s important to be in control of this since you can’t expect a client to come and say, “I want to give you £600 and you need to give me the following services.”
Instead, you’d want the conversation to be something like this:
“This is our offering. We use it because we know it transforms your business. It’s an investment that we charge XY pounds for.”
There are also businesses that won’t go under a certain amount for a recurring fee and this works great for them. One of our clients, for example, won’t charge less than £500 for her services. And if a client approaches her saying they’d give her £300, she refuses them point-blank.
So when you know how many clients you want to have, it becomes easier to determine how much you should charge them.
#5 – What Kind of Business Do You Want to Have?
The next key aspect of creating your business plan is determining the kind of business you’d like to have. You also need to figure out what it is that you actually want to do in the business.
For instance, some business owners can’t stand systems and processes even though these are essential for their company. On the other hand, these business owners might invest a lot of time in systems and processes. However, that time gets spent by somebody else who actually does the implementation.
So, what do you want to do in your business? Maybe sharing your expertise and doing presentations is all you really want to be doing, and that’s perfectly fine.
You can’t also be an expert in everything. And as a business owner, you can hire someone to do the work for you. But it’s critical that you learn the ropes first before delegating the work to others. Plus, you have to be super clear on what it is that you want.
#6 – What Do You Need to Get Help With?
This is a really good question because a lot of business owners don’t even think about it. But since you want a VITAL accounting firm, you need to be clear on the challenges you must overcome.
You can have supplies, contractors, and then outsource the majority of the administrative work. Then, you can have a core team you speak to every day.
Now, another key question here is…
How big a team do you want to have?
Some people don’t want to manage fifty or sixty people, while others love looking after a huge team. Knowing how big you want your team to be should help you gauge if you need to outsource certain aspects of your business.
Keep in mind that the services that you offer and how much you want to charge will depend on how big a team you need to have.
#7 – How Can You Impact More People?
Speaking of making a greater impact, this applies when you are building your practice. And the same goes when you already have an established business.
You should think of how you can impact the world in general. Or, you might be servicing people in your business and see how you can change one of the key elements of your Global Goals.
The Global Goals are something you really support and they are a little bit like your North Star. These are phenomenal and there are seventeen of them.
To get a better idea of these, let’s use the Oompf Global example.
Whenever someone joins the Content Lounge or Momentum Program, we know we’re making an impact in the world. It’s because we really support those Global Goals through our programs. So, we know we’re transforming the business landscape.
You need to find your own way to do the same.
#8 – What Do You Want to Take Home in Income Every Month?
When you’re putting together how you’re going to impact more people, you want to think about yourself as well. It’s okay to run a business that you want to run and get the freedom and life you desire.
But there is one thing you should know about the income you want to take home. This isn’t the same as the revenue you want from your business. And answering this question ties with all the previous questions in this write-up.
You know that your wage bill and cost of doing business are at a certain level. So, you can’t actually take home what you want because the business is growing. Therefore, you need to determine what you want to take home eventually.
#9 – What’s Your Plan to Get the Freedom Number
Your freedom number is the one that covers all your bills and enables you to feel comfortable every day. You can cover all the personal overheads, go on two or three holidays, pay for your children’s schooling, etc. That’s also the number you’ll probably get paid when working for someone else.
That said, our goal is to help you get that freedom number in the first twelve months. And momentum is key here. But once you get there, you want to reach for the stars and imagine your success number. This would be like taking home half a million or a million a year.
And you can have the success and freedom number exactly the same.
Planning for Freedom
Creating a clear, realistic business plan is a crucial step to building a VITAL accounting firm. And it boils down to knowing exactly what you want, who you target, and how to get it. Since you now understand how to create that plan, you’re a step closer to that success number.
P.S. When you are ready to have more TIME, increase your PROFITS and catapult your IMPACT here is how you can get help and increase your superpowers:
1. Join The Community
Our best training happens inside our FREE Facebook group Superpowers for Accountants & Bookkeepers. Click Here.
2. Connect With Me On LinkedIn
Send me a message and say hi, I would love to find out more about you and what kind of support you may need.
3. Want To Find Out About Our Programmes?
Let’s jump on the phone for a quick call, and brainstorm any challenges and if we can possibly help. This quick ten minute call is there to help you get clarity and a plan… Click Here