Purposeful business planning

As a practitioner, I have many conversations with clients about the value of business planning.

Over the years I have concluded that unless the client can see the reason or value of the planning advice, then – obviously – they are much less inclined to pay for this service.

The sort of planning I am referring to here is budgeting and period reporting to map progress towards defined goals.

Purposeful planning

I like to think that when I approach clients regarding business planning services I start by setting out the purpose of the planning advice; rather than a cold description of what is involved.

For example, clients who are looking at their choices as the furlough scheme comes to an end this month should really be drilling down into their crystal balls and figuring out what level of business they can reasonably expect in the coming year, the operating costs involved, other investments required what they need to withdraw from the business to support their own lifestyles.

Added issues will include inflationary pressures, supply disruption and so on.

This data will reveal staffing levels required and point to action that clients need to take. Otherwise, clients will be making critical and emotive decisions by sticking a pin in their choices map.

And when the primary purpose is fulfilled

If clients buy into this process, and you assist with the necessary planning, it is then a simple step into periodic reviews to make sure the business stays on track or takes fast remedial action if targets are not met.

Advisory-led compliance buy-in

In this way you can expand the value of preparing annual compliance accounts (or quarterly MTD returns when fully implemented) into a service that clients will appreciate has more than a prepare and file objective.

This approach has a clear win-win outcome for your practice and your clients. As you start to demonstrate positive outcomes for the advice you offer – for example, a plan to deal with staffing levels as the furlough scheme ends this month – clients will be more willing to pay for the ongoing support you have offered and will see the benefits or value.

Try this out in September

You can purchase the resources Landmark have created to support clients as furlough support comes to an end. Rebrand and send our update to clients or prospects that you know will be struggling with this issue. Even if any uptake of your assistance in the form of new instructions does not arise, you will be promoting your practice as advisors who care.

You can purchase our Life after Furlough resources here.

In recognition that we are approaching the busy end of the tax cycle for 2020-21 you can try out Landmark’s Fee Builder Plus service, that offers these ideas and resources on a low-cost subscription basis, with no financial risk. Landmark has a free trail offer if you sign up this month. No fees payable until 1 February 2022 and you can cancel your subscription at any time.

Sign up to FIVE month trial offer here or find out more about Fee Builder here.

Bob Edwards

Bob has been working with practices across the UK offering novel ways to improve cross-sales and increase new client acquisitions. He is also interested in "step changes" in legislation that offer challenges, and therefore opportunities, for practitioners to provide new recurring and one-off support services to clients.

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