Inspire Yourself, Inspire Your Team
Most accounting professionals fail to develop a business plan. Basically, those plans are dull, boring and stagnant. You started your business because you desire something more. It’s why I encourage you to ditch the business plan. An inspiring strategic plan is better suited for growth-minded accounting professionals.
A strategic plan acts as your business building roadmap. If you’re a growth minded firm owner who is ready to take your business to the next level, then this is for you. You’ll gain focus, direction and action.
Know Your Destination
When you take a road trip, you typically begin with where you are. Next you pinpoint your destination and then you figure out how to get from here to there. The same is true for your business plan.
Well, let’s change this up. As Steven Covey states in his best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the beginning starts with the end in mind. This concept is known as reverse engineering.
A New Path
Reverse engineering is like taking a new driving route from your home to the office. With the old route you don’t pay as much attention, because it’s a daily drive. Your mind may be thinking about your next meeting as you drive to the office. But with the new route, you’re more tuned in simply because it’s less familiar. So you’re more likely to notice details along your drive.
Starting with the end in mind is different from how you typically plan things out. You’re more likely to gain insight with this novel approach.
What’s Your End Game?
Envisioning your success is the first step of your strategic plan. How do you define success? What changes occur once you achieve success? What exact dollar amount will you earn each month? Annually? Who’s on your team? Is your accounting practice regional or virtual?
A business plan is concrete. Either you’re succeeding or failing. As you know, business growth is rarely a zero sum game. Your vision influences your strategic plan. Because the plan’s fluid, you adapt your course when necessary.
Every physical response, every psychological change and every mental transformation starts with the mind. David Amerland, The Sniper Mind: Eliminate Fear, Deal with Uncertainty, and Make Better Decisions
Success requires you to define your destination. Otherwise, your firm flounders and you wonder why success feels out of reach.
Be Specific with Your Strategic Plan
As you envision your success, be as specific as possible. According to neuroscience, your brain responds best to rich details. It’s like putting an exact address into your GPS instead of a general location.
Your strategic plan transforms your dream into specific milestones. Write down all your ideas. Don’t just dream them.
Get specific with your numbers. My business will bring in $150,000 this year. My annual expenses will be – yep, you’ve got to calculate those in order to know your profit margin. If your annual expenses are $40,000 then your profit is $110,000. If your annual expenses are $100,000, then your yearly profit is $50,000.
How many clients do you need to earn $150,000 in revenue? 10 at $15,000. Or 3 at $20,000 plus 180 tax returns at $497 each? Yes, your strategic plan benefits from exact numbers. Pull out your calculator.
Where will you work? Will you be in the same town or is your firm virtual? Do you have a home based accounting practice or require office space? Will you have a small team of three or four? Or prefer to work solo? What services do you offer your clients? Do you make commission from apps or outsourcing payroll? And do you have a marketing budget? If so, what is that expense?
The more details, the easier it is to construct the necessary milestones to strategically grow your accounting practice.
The Big Why
Your starting point begins with your why. What’s your burning desire? It’s the reason you are taking the risk of building a business instead of working for someone else.
Your why is the fundamental driver which keeps you steadily moving forward, especially when it’s tough.
If it’s primarily to make money, then you’ll eventually burn out. Instead tap into a meaningful reason which is important for you. How do you want to make a difference? Here’s an advanced tip: A deeply personal desire is preferable to a global one.
For example, you want to become debt free and fully fund your retirement within the next 5 years.
As you know, overthinking the what-if’s and waiting for everything to be perfect slows down your progress. Your purpose, especially when it’s personal, inspires you to take imperfect action. Your purpose influences your strategic plan.
Without a purpose, you will eventually stray away from your ideal business. So, your purpose inspires you to overcome obstacles which would otherwise cause you to quit too soon.
Purpose and Achievement
Set time aside to work through your ideas. Then, turn your ideas into specific actions. Once you have a clear picture of your end goals, reverse engineer the process. This means you list the necessary steps from what you aim to achieve to where you are now.
Remember to connect your steps with your purpose. Find the flow to move from the step that’s furthest away to the one that’s before you right now. Since your plan is a fluid living document, expect tweaks and revisions along the way.
Keep your end goals in alignment with your purpose. Accounting professionals who seek numbers without any meaning eventually experience burnout. Remember not to stray away from your purpose, especially when others question your choice.
Why an Inspiring Strategic Plan Matters
A strategic plan takes time. Go ahead and visualize your concept of success. Start with the end in mind. Generalities aren’t very effective. Your brain responds best to specific details.
Success means different things to different people. This is why it is critical to clearly envision what success means to you based on your purpose, your why. You may find yourself adjusting your steps along the way; however, the end goal remains crystal clear.
Whenever you have setbacks – they do happen in business – your strategic plan will help you get back on course. Remember, this is your business GPS. So when you stray off course, it adapts and re-routes.
Accounting professionals tend to minimize their achievements. Acknowledgment, however, plays an important role. Go ahead and celebrate each completed milestone. Maybe it’s a pat on the back or a celebration dinner.
The Solution to Developing Your Strategic Plan
I’m all about success for accounting professionals. With the right mindset, you can transform from just a practice to a profitable business you love. A strategic plan is a long-term blueprint for your accounting practice. Getting started can seem overwhelming. Building a firm that’s connected to your purpose is highly rewarding.
What would your inspiring strategic plan look like? Gain clarity about your value and how to attract ideal clients. Right NOW claim your FREE RESOURCE to double your income while working half the time.