Work On the Firm as Well as In It (Good advice, but who has time?)
As business advisors we often encourage our clients to be more strategic. But do we do a good job of this ourselves? Before tax season (A/K/A busy season) is upon you,i recommend you make time to talk to your partners about the firm's direction for the next year, three years or even five years. Just as you warn clients that they need to establish a blueprint for their future, so too, do you need to determine how you should spend your billable and nonbillable time, what niches should be developed, recognize how you should expand your footprint (what new markets, new communities, new vertical segments) , or what kind of talent you should nurture to address all these opportunities.
Answers to these questions can help you begin to formulate your marketing plan for 2012 and beyond - but if you don't take time to seriously discuss the process, you will find yourself at a standstill while other firms pass you by.
It is an investment that is worthwhile, but all too few of us can afford to put aside daily activities to spend some time at 30,000 feet. But it you don't do this now, when will you?
Let me know how strategic planning has helped your firm establish and accomplish its growth goals!