Business beyond the numbers

Business beyond the numbers
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“What’s your business plan?” we asked.

“To have revenues of $20m by 2015” was the answer.

“Great.  Ambitious.  How are you going to achieve that?”

“Uh?”

Quite a few reasonably established agencies can articulate where they want to be in terms of a few numbers but many get bogged down there.  Few make a conscious effort to plan how they’ll get there, or what they’ll look like when they are there.

If you’re working on a plan, consider a few things beyond the numbers, for example.

Talent.  Do you have the staff to get you there?  Do you have a plan to grow their skills and capabilities to deliver?  How many staff will you need to manage a $20m revenue agency?  Where are they going to come from?  How will you recruit them?  How will you motivate, reward, retain and grow them?  What about you – the management?  What new skills will you need to lead the agency and how will you get them?  How will you plan succession?  What new support services and administrational help do you need?  What outside help will you need?

Work.  Can you generate the revenues doing what you do today?  Will you need other products and services to achieve your goals?  How will you adapt to the changing external environment?  How will you build your reputation for innovative work?  What IP can/will you develop?

Clients.  Will your current clients grow sufficiently to reach your goal?  If not, where will you get new ones?  What is your new business strategy and plan?  How will you identify clients to grow with?  How will you retain and grow clients you have and those you win?

Money.  How will you protect and grow your margin as you grow revenue?  What financial and workflow management tools might you need when scaling?  How will you develop leaner processes to protect margin?  Should you acquire other companies to assist in reaching the goals?

And that’s just a small sample of the types of things you will need to consider.  Add in things like retaining that great culture you currently have, the new reward scheme and aligning people with purpose and you begin to build a business beyond the numbers.

William Leach is owner at business strategy firm The Leach Partnership.

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