Douglas is Director at Size 10 ½ Boots, a business development agency that works solely with professional service firms.Tenandahalf help their clients grow by winning more new clients and by generating higher fees from their existing clients. Due to their innovative methods, the marketing of private client services is now an area in which Tenandahalf lead the market.
1. Keep everything joined up
If you are to implement your plan successfully it needs to be directly relevant to every part of your business plan.
Your fee earners need to see:
- All of your key objectives are tackled
- That departmental objectives match the firm’s
- The overall financial targets match the sum total expected of each department
- That departmental targets are directly linked to individual billing targets
- The required activity targets match the financial targets
Most importantly your fee earners need to see all of the firm’s practice areas are involved and that, if this is going to work, they are expected to act in the interest of the firm, not to work in their own silos.
2. Nobody escapes
One of the easiest ways to derail the implementation of any plan is to leave yourself open to being asked “Well, they don’t do it so why should I?”
There’s no credible comeback and once that particular elephant’s in the room, it’s impossible to persuade it to leave.
Everyone has to be involved in the implementation process in some way. Everyone has to be accountable for delivering their part and the way those accountabilities are measured has to be the same for everyone.
Make any special dispensations to save difficult conversations or preclude anyone and you are create excuses for some to dip in and out as it suits them. This will affect both engagement and financial return.
3. Clear personal accountabilities
To implement a plan properly everyone involved needs to know exactly what they’re doing and that doesn’t mean woolly suggestions, it means clearly spelled out targets, sectors, activities and timelines.
Create a working environment without any confusion and you will create an environment that works.
4. Adopt (and circulate) SMART targets
I don’t want to teach granny to suck eggs (or whatever that appalling phrase is) but I feel duty bound to remind you that if you are going to set goals they need to be:
- Specific (as in clear personal accountabilities)
- Measurable (up next!)
I won’t insult you by offering definitions for each! They are completely self-explanatory.
5. What isn't measured isn't done
Alongside financial targets there needs to be performance indicators. What do you need to do, how often do you need to do it, how many times are you going to need to repeat those activities if they are to bring in the success required to realise your financial targets?
If it takes 10 phone calls to fix 3 coffees to get one pitch opportunity then the targets need to start with the 10 phone calls, not with the proposal and definitely not with a number preceded with a £.
Those performance indicators then need to be added to a simple dashboard; somewhere your fee earners can record their activities quickly and easily. This will allow you to monitor progress continually so you know everyone on the team is fulfilling their personal responsibilities.
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