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Planning Sessions are a Big First Step for Both You and Your Clients

Now is an opportune moment to enhance your role as an advisor for your clients’ businesses and personal finances. Instead of only engaging in occasional tasks such as compliance, bookkeeping, and payroll, your firm can become more deeply involved in their day-to-day operations, assisting them in their endeavors to expand their business.

Of course, achieving this may seem easier said than done. However, we would like to present you with a remarkably simple method for kickstarting this process.

During your next meeting with your client, pose the following question: “Have you dedicated time and effort towards planning your holiday? How much time did you invest? Now consider how much time you have allocated this year for strategizing the future of your business.”

It is likely that they have devoted significantly less time to proper business planning – if any at all. This presents a substantial opportunity for you.

Why you should be in the planning business

Encouraging your clients to participate in planning sessions can greatly enhance your relationship. There are several compelling reasons why you should consider this approach:

First and foremost, it requires minimal additional effort on your part. Since you are already working with your client’s numbers, the majority of the work is already being done. Essentially, what you’re doing is presenting these figures to your clients in a clear and comprehensive manner, allowing them to understand their current standing and identify opportunities for positive changes.

Secondly, despite its minimal impact on your workload, planning sessions provide your clients with invaluable information and actionable steps they can take to drive their business forward.

Lastly, these sessions offer you an effortless and welcomed opportunity to showcase the range of services you provide.

Setting your client up for success (and you along with them)

When discussing the future of their business, it’s crucial to ask your clients how much time they dedicate to planning. Once they’ve had a moment to reflect on their lack of planning, you can highlight your experience in facilitating similar planning sessions for other clients. These sessions have proven successful in helping them establish clear goals and identify the necessary steps to achieve them.

To ensure a smooth and effective meeting, it’s advisable to prepare an agenda. This concise document will outline the key points you intend to cover during the meeting. By presenting this agenda, you establish yourself as the leader of the discussion while maintaining control over its direction.

During the meeting, it is important for you to take on the role of an inquisitor rather than a problem solver. The objective is to guide them in creating a concise and clear business plan with annual objectives that are further broken down into monthly milestones. What specific goals do they wish to accomplish? What is their current status in each area? What aspects do they excel at? Utilize the answers to these questions as a foundation for shaping the plan.

It is vital to remember that this plan should be succinct and easily comprehensible. It should consist of only a few pages, rather than an extensive document filled with convoluted business jargon. By successfully drafting this plan, you will have demonstrated your firm’s capability to provide value to your client’s enterprise. If a plan does come together, the subsequent step entails offering your assistance in maintaining their course. Our business service pack has been specifically designed for this purpose, exclusively available to those select clients who reach this stage of planning. These services offer significant additional advantages to your clients:

1 – Accountability. Each month, you will have the opportunity to meet with the client and review their progress on their monthly objectives. This regular check-in can be tremendously beneficial for clients as it serves as a valuable reminder of their desired outcomes and the specific responsibilities assigned to each team member.

2 – Clear numbers. The clients will receive their numerical data in a clear and straightforward manner, allowing them to fully comprehend the impact of action X on their bottom line Y. Moreover, these monthly meetings serve as a pleasant reminder that your initial proposal for a planning session was the catalyst for their business’s accelerated success.

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