DIY Business Plan: Make Your 401(k) Practice More Effective & Profitable
Are you looking for ways to make your business more effective and profitable? If so, you're in luck. In this article, we’ve provided prompts that you can use to transform your business. So, find a comfortable space, get a beverage, put your phone away and pick up a pen. We’re going on a journey to map out your best business ideas, goals and create a plan to achieve your vision. These simple steps will help you make your business more effective and profitable in no time.
Casting a vision for your business is an important first step in achieving success. By taking the time to imagine what you want your business to look like in the future, you can begin to create a plan to make it happen.
First thing, first. What does your business look like in 3 years? Sit back and close your eyes. Take 5 minutes. Envision all of it. Then, write it down (yes this is an important part) and get your goals out of your head and onto paper.
Can you see it? Do you feel it? Are you willing to work to attain it? Yes? Yes – or YASSSS!!
Goal to Strategy
Your future business needs a game plan. Whether it is growth, awareness, fame, profitability, client retention, servicing, team building, culture, mission and/or sustainability, each hallmark achievement requires specific attention. But, good news, you already did the hard work – you named your aspirations.
Now it is time to align your goals with a strategy:
If your goal is growth, then create more awareness.
If your goal is profitability, then look at client retention, servicing and sustainability.
If your goal is team building, then focus on culture and mission.
Growth is Fueled by Awareness
To grow your business over the next three years, you will need the right decision-makers to know who you are, what you do and the value you deliver. So, who are they?
My ideal clients are: _____________________
My referrals partners are important to my ideal clients because: __________________
Next, to create more business development activities, I plan to educate and inform my relationships about who I am, what I do and the value that I can deliver, I will communicate with them through social media, email campaigns and face-to-face (zoom-to-zoom).
Today, I have _____ LinkedIn connections. In 3 years, I will have _____ connections.
Today, I email my contact list ___ times per month. In 3 years, I will communicate ___ times per month.
Today, I speak with ___ people per week. In 3 years, I will meet with ___ per week.
Profitability focuses on retention, servicing and sustainability
A healthy balance sheet can give you peace of mind. To increase profitability, start by evaluating these yes/no questions:
___ YES ___ NO | Our client retention rate is above 95%.
___ YES ___ NO | We have a written service calendar that is shared with our clients.
___ YES ___ NO | We know the cost per client because we track hours per client. (If no, January 1st is a great time to start.)
By knowing profitability per plan, you can reduce the burden of running your business because you can make informed business decisions that are based on facts, which may include knowing when to raise your fees, add more services and/or hire a new team member.
Team Building Requires Culture and Mission
Close your eyes again. Deep breath. In order to make your vision a reality, you need a team. A group of outstanding people that will get the work done. Who are they? What unique skills will they bring to your enterprise? Take a few minutes and write out your culture, and mission and identify your team’s strengths.
Three words that describe our culture are: ________ , ________ and ________ .
Our mission is to: __________________________________________________
My team is capable of: __________________________________________
Take your thinking a step further and consider what it will take to realize your aspirations:
To appropriately staff my vision, I will need ___ team members.
My budget for their compensation, training and benefits is: ________
To empower the team to achieve our mission, they will need access to these tools and resources: _______________________________
All-star teams add energy to the business, they can keep it organized and hyper-efficient. As you think through your business plan, remember, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to far, go together.
Strategy to Implementation
With your plan in hand, the next step is to put it into motion. Start by writing out some quick wins. Think about what tasks you can easily check off.
Today, I will: __________
Then look at larger projects that will take more time, talent and resources. What are those to-dos? Write them down and then back into how long it will take till completion. An example is refreshing your website. Generally speaking, that is a 3-month collaborative project. Put the wheels in motion by contacting your website team, scheduling reoccurring meetings and set a deadline for completion.
In Q1, my goal is to: __________
Before June 30, I will complete: ________
Keep working forward in quarterly timeframes. You have 12 quarters (3 years) to space out your tasks, bring in partners, hire and complete the vision. If you’re a growing firm, this is where a COO and/or a project manager can wave their taskmaster wand and keep everything on schedule.
Reflect and Execute
You just created a customized business plan that is ready to execute. But are you sure this is what you want? Yes? Yes. Or YASSSS!
Take the time to smooth out any hesitations. Where do you see challenges, and where do you see opportunities? Write those down. What partnerships will you need to establish? The more you can put to paper and have clarity the easier it will be for you to implement your vision.
Recognizing your goals is the first step toward victory. Your words will help you strategically approach your business development targets and support you in achieving your vision.