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Blueprint – part 2

This is the second of four articles designed to help you kick off 2018 with a Blueprint for business success inspired by James Ashford’s manifesto for growing a thriving accountancy firm.

This article covers the saleability and growth.

The elements of saleability are:

• Systemisation
• Outsourcing
• Continued Improvement

There is a good argument not to look to grow your business until you have systemised your business and maximised your efficiencies because you will be growing on a foundation of problems.

You need to work to get your business run on systems and let people run the systems, not the business. If you have a people dependent business you are vulnerable and your growth potential is restricted.

To systemise your business you need to start by identifying all the processes. Then you need to identify the 20% that have 80% impact. These are the processes to start mapping out and systemising with checklists, videos, notes and flowcharts.

Get the systems and processes working before you look for workflow software and ensure you train your people on the systems. When you have your systems and processes working you can look to outsource some tasks and work. Your outsourcer will need training and management just like an employee.

All systems and processes need to be improved and this can be done with a quarterly review with ideas from your team. Meeting notes, projects and key actions can be set in

Growth comes from winning more of the right type of clients. To do this you need to be clear on the problems you solve and who you want to target. Once you have this you need to make sure your brand appeals to the target market and differentiates you from the competition.

If you are unable to differentiate your brand you will struggle to gain the attention of the market. This is where you may need to start with some strategic planning.

Once you have a differentiated brand you can start prospecting with the focus on delivering value by educating and nurturing prospects. This can be done with Website content and email marketing as well as social media content.

You also need to be using the latest advertising options like Facebook which enable you to target and maximise your return on investment by testing.

Image from Flickr by Will Scullin.

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