Planning For Growth – Part 2

In part one, we established a strong foundation for our business plan by recording core organizational beliefs, baseline metrics, and annual goals.  Now we move on to the market and client base.

Take some time to describe the elements of an ideal client for your product or service.  Are you best suited to a certain industry?  Do you fare better with start ups, or is your offering more suited to mature enterprises?  What type of relationship works best?  Method of communication, annual spend, location, and access to decision makers are some other considerations.

Once you have the ideal account mapped out, conduct a thorough review of your actual client base.  Look for opportunities to maximize relationships.  Check the profit margins against deliverables required by any contracted terms of service.  If you typically measure accounts by sales dollars only, try looking at them from a profit perspective instead.  Are extra services eating away at the margin?  Could you renegotiate some of the deliverables to move them toward a fee structure?  Consider existing relationships before making large-scale changes that could jeopardize your future with the client.  Even if you only get to adjust a few accounts, you and your team will be better versed in true client contribution – a skill that should pay you dividends today and into the future.

Now review target and prospect lists using your knowledge of the ideal customer.  Can you leverage commonality within industry verticals to maximize marketing plans?  Perhaps choosing a quarterly theme for the entire team will move your business ahead faster.  Verne Harnish presents some interesting ideas on using themes in his book: Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.

Part three is all about execution.  If you don’t want to miss the next installment, feel free to use the RSS button at the top right of this page.  Or subscribe by email by clicking on the subscribe button on this page.


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