In case you missed my last post: The Titanic ran into one. You should, too! I’m talking about an iceberg, of course. But in this case, the iceberg is a model you can use to sell BVFLS services to prospects by showing them the different levels of value they will get by working with you (and only with you), which makes the price of your services less relevant to the prospects’ hiring decision. Of course, you have to be able to articulate those different levels for your work.
On to this week: I know some BVFLS practitioners are having a good year … if not an outright banner year. Others, not so much. Still, on the whole, I believe most of us will be happy to say goodbye to 2020. But before we can do that, we have one more calendar quarter to go. Do you have a WRITTEN plan for your quarter? Likely, you don’t … because who has time to write out a quarterly plan? I have something (shorter) that can help, and I call it The Planner PlacematTM.
Above is a blank Placemat that I provide to coaching clients … feel free to print it out and adopt it in/for your practice. (I use the word Placemat because it sits like one underneath my laptop.)
The Placemat has four parts.
It starts with one specific Goal for the quarter. That goal could be improving the number of leads you generate or improving the efficiency of your report preparation process.
Next is a place to list up to three Projects that you need to accomplish that one goal, in order of priority. How do I prioritize my projects? For me, it is looking at the combination of “ease of completion” and “impact of completion.”
Underneath this is a place to list the Actions you must take to move you forward on your projects. There is also space for Projects on Deck … this is a someday/maybe place to record projects/ideas for future quarters.
Last, many practitioners have a revenue goal they are trying to hit. The Placemat has a tracking tool for that, too. I really like this last box this because it tells you ‘exactly’ how many new clients you need to add during each week of the quarter. If you stay on track, you’ll hit your revenue goal.
But it also highlights the treadmill of reaching your revenue goal without monthly recurring revenue, i.e., each once-and-done client will need to be re-found this time next year for that quarter’s revenue goal … plus a few more if you want to increase your revenue. What can you do about creating monthly recurring revenue in 2021?
The Placemat is meant to be printed out and updated every week.
That’s because research shows that analog tools like this are more effective in helping people reach their goals than people who use digital tools.
A word about the word “sprint” I use in the Placemat.
I work in a 12-week cycle within every calendar quarter, i.e., 12 weeks “sprinting” and 1 week “cooling down.” Hence, all of the references you see to the number 12. But I encourage all of my coaching clients to adopt a cadence that works for them.
Most people feel a quarter makes sense because it’s what we’ve been taught or abused into all of our professional lives. But a quarter makes for a long-assed sprint … it can feel like a marathon (from personal experience) … which is why some people in my coaching group adopt something shorter, like 6 weeks.
The length of your sprint doesn’t matter.
It’s what you do in the sprint during that time.
For example, with my 12-week sprint there is, frankly, a lot of room for procrastination and a lot of time to make it up. In a 6-week sprint, there is not a lot of time to screw around, but still enough time to get some serious work done.
So that’s it. Will a tool like this bring focus and action to your quarterly planning?
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Where I will be Zooming in
Oct 22: NACVA Massachusetts State Chapter
Oct 29: California Society of CPAs FVS Group
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Don’t be good. Be great.
PS – Whenever you are ready, here are 4 ways I can help you build/grow your BVFLS practice:
1. Join Practice Development ROUNDTABLE
It’s a Facebook community for BVFLS professionals who are collaborating on how to turn the practices they have into the practices they want.
2. Download this Find Your Niche infographic
The riches are in the niches, as they say. But what’s missing is a process that can help you identify your niche. This infographic is the missing process.
3. Take a free Practice Self-Assessment
I have 10 quick questions, and your answers will help you get a sense of how well your practice is working for you.