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Think, Plan, Commit, Act Futuro Conference – Adelaide 2013 Presented by: Julia Skull 17 th September 2013. Why create a business plan?. Surprisingly, only 57% of financial planning practices have a clearly documented business plan*

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think plan commit act futuro conference adelaide 2013 presented by julia skull 17 th september 2013

Think, Plan, Commit, ActFuturo Conference – Adelaide 2013Presented by: Julia Skull17th September 2013


Why create a business plan?

  • Surprisingly, only 57% of financial planning practices have a clearly documented business plan*
  • However, the increase in profit for firms who effectively business plan vs those that don’t = 165%*
  • Its good business practice
  • Will help increase your business valuation
  • You will be more successful

* Business Health – Future Ready IV Report 2012


What is effective business planning?

  • Hold a Business Planning Day with key stakeholders (consider involving all staff);
  • Document your plans and actions, and;
  • Allocate responsibility and communicate to those involved;
  • Review, track & monitor the plan monthly;
  • Communicate and provide feedback minimum quarterly.

A Structured Process

One Page Business Plan



1. Setting your vision & Goals

What distinguishes the highly successful advisers from the rest of the market?



Your Vision

“A powerful business tool that can be used to motivate, unify and inspire”

Your Referral Partners

Your Potential Successors

Your Staff

Your Clients



Your Vision

When its clear a vision is like a light house that pulls and guides you and your team continuously towards your strategic objectives.



Why is your vision statement important?

  • A vision statement answers the question,
    • "Where do we want to go?“
  • It sets the direction for your business
  • It inspires you to succeed and exceed
  • Gives your staff & clients something to believe in


Steps to creating your vision

  • Hold a vision planning workshop with all Business Partners
  • Paint a mental picture of what your business will look like in 3-5 years
  • Work towards creating a clear image of a possible future that is compelling to all stakeholders
  • Involve key staff in the process - their engagement is key to your success
  • Communicateto all stakeholders


The vision based business plan

  • Everything you do must have the vision in mind
  • In order for your business plan to work – it must be based on your business vision.
  • Goals and Strategies must align with your vision


Develop SMART Goals and Objectives

  • Specific– it is clear and well defined
  • Measurable – can it be quantified? How will you know when it is accomplished?
  • Achievable – Be realistic. Make sure your goal is feasible in terms of the resources available to you
  • Results oriented - Focus on the end results you desire rather than the activities necessary to get there.
  • Time Based – Give yourself a deadline


Examples of SMART Goals

Improve business efficiencies by increasing profit per employee by 10% by June 2014

To achieve sustainable profit growth of 20% by June 2014.

Increase revenue generated by new business from 20% to 25% by December 2014.

To acquire an average of 2 new ideal clients (revenue of $5K+) per month in 2013


Breakout Session 5 minutes

Goals & Objectives

What are your SMART Goals in the:

  • Short Term Goals: 12 months
  • Medium Term Goals: 1 - 3 years
  • Long Term Goals: 3 - 5 years


2. Your Financials

  • Cashflow – statement of cash flow
  • Revenue – focus on what you can control
  • Expenses – fixed & variable
  • Monitor & Review



  • Prepare a 12 month Statement of Cashflow
    • Opening balance, cash incoming, cash outgoing, closing balance
  • Be diligent with your invoicing
  • Follow up outstanding debts in a timely manner
  • Monitor the payment of expenses



What parts of the revenue equation can you control?

  • Price - YES
  • Number of services offered - YES
  • New clients – NO
  • Retention of clients – NO


Expenses - understanding your costs

  • Review & analyse your expenses from the previous year
  • Set expense budgets and stick to them (or have strategies in place to deal with differences)
  • Keep accurate and detailed records so you know where your money is going.
  • Review your expenses monthly and identify those that exceed budget. Question why?
benchmarks for budgeting


Benchmarks for budgeting

Catalyst for Financial Planners Benchmarking 2012



Monitor & Review

Allow some flexibility when your budget is wrong

  • Have a strong determination to stick to your budget
  • However, the secret to any business budget is your ability to be flexible.
    • Such as holding cash reserves or finding ways to reduce expenses following a rough month can help bring you back on track quickly.


3. Growth strategies

  • Inevitably growth will be part of your long term business objectives.
  • Where do you start?
    • Existing client base - upselling
    • Referral networks – new clients
    • Strategic marketing – campaigns/branding
a existing client base


a) Existing Client Base

Conduct an analysis:

  • What is the average age of your client base?
  • What is the gender ratio of your client base?
  • Is there a commonality with professions of people you work with (such as farmers or medical professionals)?
  • Do you know what the breakdown of your revenue via service is (such as insurance or estate planning)?
a existing client base1


a) Existing Client Base

Where do the opportunity's lie in your existing client base?

New Services ie Aged Care/Estate Planning

Niche Market

Client Sale

Referrals from existing clients

Clients networks – community involvement



b) Your Referral Networks


Your Company

b steps to developing successful referral networks


b) Steps to developing successful Referral Networks
  • Mind Map your referral networks – think about ‘all’ your connections
  • Develop a referral partner process & plan
  • How do your referral partners ‘see you’ – what is their perception of you and is this accurate?
  • Marketing campaign/plan – seminars, education workshops, joint meetings
  • Monitor and review the relationship regularly


c) Strategic marketing planning

  • Business revenue objectives translate simply into marketing objectives… revenue growth is by
  • Finding new clients,
  • Getting existing clients to spend more, or
  • Retaining existing clients.


c) Strategic marketing planning



c) Strategic marketing planning

breakout session 10 mins developing your strategies for growth
Breakout session – 10 minsDeveloping your strategies for growth
  • Identify 2-3 growth strategies you would like to implement to help achieve your goals and objectives.
  • Share with the person next to you.

Remember to always consider your vision & your goals



4. Advice delivery model

To stay ahead of competitors and improve efficiencies its important to review each and every year your:

  • Segmentation method
  • Services / service levels
  • Pricing methodology


a) Segmentation method

Segment review

  • How do you currently segment your client base? Revenue or are there other factors you consider? Marketing and efficiencies?
  • What are your segments called and how are they defined?
  • What’s working and what’s not working in relation to your segmentation?
  • Do you re-segment your client base every year?


b) Services

Services Review

  • How do you currently service your client base?
  • What are your service packages called and how are they defined?
  • What is the cost to the business to deliver those services?
  • Do your clients regularly question the value the get from you?
  • Are your service levels differentiated or do your clients all received the same service – is this intentional?


c) Pricing

Pricing Review

  • Are you priced competitively?
  • Do the FoFA changes impact your pricing model? Do you need to make changes?
  • What is your profit/value margin per client?
  • Are all your clients profitable?


Advice Model – Things to think about

  • Apply a flexible segmentation model
  • Have clearly defined services / service levels – use technology
  • Resource allocation costs are greater for new business
  • Don’t forgo new business revenue in hope of future ongoing revenue
  • Do not undervalue your strategic advice


5. Resources and operations

  • Right people, right jobs – job descriptions
  • Technology – are you using it effectively?
  • Do you have the resources to implement your plans?
  • Culture – staff retention, values
  • Processes and efficiencies


6. Other strategic plans

To achieve your vision and meet your goals and objectives, growing organically may not be the only strategy to consider.

You may need to consider other growth plans such as:

  • Acquiring another business – FP, Accounting
  • Formal Joint Venture or merging with another business


Other strategic plans – things to think about

  • Are you looking to develop a joint venture or merge with another business in the next 1-3 years?
  • Are you looking at acquiring any companies over the 1-3 years? Have you thought about the range and scope of this project for your company?
  • What is your business succession strategy? How do you plan on exiting the business over the next 1-3 years? If someone were to die or leave tomorrow what would the business situation be?

Commit & Act

7. Implementation

Developing the business plan

  • Document your plans
    • 1 page plan minimum
    • Full plan every few years
  • Develop your action plan and set priorities – breakdown into 90 day sprints
  • Determine who will be responsible for what actions and set time frames. How will they be measured?
  • Communicate to all key stakeholders

Commit & Act

8. Monitor and review

Consider a business mentor or coach:

  • Someone who you believe can really add value to your business and who you respect
  • They will hold you accountable to agreed actions
  • Don’t go overboard – start with one person and work up
  • Be prepared to pay – “skin in the game”
  • Review meetings at least quarterly!

Final words

“The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought.

The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.”

Sun Tzu

Chinese Military General, Strategist and Philosopher 400BC

The Art of War