A few weeks ago in one of our group accountability calls for the Accountants Millionaires' Club, one of our members asked for help on how to always make time for business development. He'd set himself a goal that Friday would be his day to work on business development. However, his Fridays always seemed to get eroded by client work and other things. So before he knew it, his full day was a half day. So, in this article, I share the tips I gave him on exactly how to always make time for business development.
How to always make time for business development
Whenever I am asked about how to always make time for business development, I share our 5Ps model.
The first P stands for Plan. If you don't have a Marketing Plan, you are always going to be doing the equivalent of throwing jelly against a wall and seeing what sticks. Or worse still you never quite manage to get around to business development OR when you do do business development you work on the wrong things. It is boring, but if you work to a marketing plan, you are more likely to make the time for business development. After all, as the saying goes, if you don’t know where you are going, any route will get you there. Without a clearly defined plan with tasks scheduled in your diary, it is going to be hard to make time for business development. Click here to download a template for your marketing plan.
Life as the owner of an accountancy firm is all about choices, and how you make those choices. It is all too easy to throw your hands up in the air and say you don’t have time for business development. You've got clients screaming for your time and attention and your staff are continually bombarding you with queries. But if you are going to attract more clients into your firm or get your clients to buy more services from you, you will need to make time for business development. The reality of business development is you can always do more. Therefore, each week, allocate your 3 top things you want to have achieved by the end of the week to move your business development plan forward. Make sure you have allocated time in your diary for these 3 things.
Like many business development tips, often the traditional advice still holds. Identify a list of clients that you would love to act for. Then you can really focus your networking time around getting in front of these organisations. It's not just clients to identify. Also identify who would make an excellent referral source for you and your practice. How can you get in front of these people to start to build up a strong relationship?
Pass down (or delegate)
What can you get off your desk in order to free up your time to do more business development? Or who else in your team could help you with your business development activities. Remember you don’t need to do all of your business development activities. How about brainstorming ideas and content for a blog post with your team members at a team meeting? Then get one of the team or a content writer to take these and put them into a blog post.
Delegation doesn’t necessarily need to be business development activities. What other stuff can you delegate down to others to free up more of your time for business development? For example:
- Can you ask your client administrator or the person who runs your diary to make sure that keeping in touch with the right people in your network actually happens?
- How about getting your qualified accountants to actually do things like the year end accounts meeting? After all, they have done all the work preparing the accounts. Why shouldn't they run this meeting?
At the beginning with business development, there always seems to be so much to do, and so many business development tips you can implement. Rewrite your LinkedIn profile, blog weekly (or just regularly), speak with prospects, build up your network . . . The list can be endless. However, if you try to do it all at once, either you burn out very quickly or the opposite occurs, and nothing happens. Therefore, stick to your business development plan and prioritise what you will achieve and when.