How should I develop a work plan?
There are several approaches to creating a work plan. Before you begin, you'll want to be sure you understand the business owner's goals and objectives - for the business, for themselves, and for their family. As the business advisor, you'll want to have an understanding of how the owner likes to work, where the business owner wants to take the business, and the time frame available to the owner to accomplish his/her goals. This knowledge, combined with the Deep-Dive Analysis results, should serve as the basis for any plan you develop.
With that in mind, here are some suggested approaches:
Focus on the Lowest Scores/Drivers: This approach works well for some owners who, after looking at their assessment results, choose to focus on the tasks relating to the lowest rated area(s) of the business. Generally, these owners do not have an urgent need to sell at maximum value, but are looking for long-term sustainable growth. So, for example, if ‘Sales and Marketing’ is rated lower than all other drivers, you may direct the owner to dig back into their workbook and finish scoring that driver's indicators. With the additional data in the mix, the Executable Growth Plan generates specific, tactical steps you can implement with your clients. Then, move on to the next lowest rated area of the business.
Go for the ‘Biggest Bang for the Buck’: Sometimes an owner's objectives may not be fully defined, or are somewhat in flux based on his or her experience running through the Deep-Dive Analysis. In this case you'll want to focus on the tasks that will give them the biggest 'bang for the buck' (the suggested task list can be sorted to show the highest ROI tasks first). This approach is also quite effective if the owner is under pressure to make improvements quickly. Bang for the Buck simply means that, in exchange for the amount of the value gap you will close, implementing the suggested task will be relatively straightforward, will not disrupt the overall operations of the company, and will likely have little to no additional cost associated with it.
Close the Value Gap: Another approach may be to analyze the task list to determine what area(s) of the business make up the largest portion(s) of the value gap and tackle those first. Sorting the suggested task list by value gap will prioritize tasks in this manner.
Tackle one Driver at a Time: Some advisors may suggest a focus on a specific driver(s) based on the skill sets and resources inside the company and/or their own firm. Consider the example of a CPA firm; the Financial Driver is clearly within their wheelhouse. It may make sense to start with the tasks and Q&A associated with financial reporting first. That way, the advisor can be certain that the numbers are being correctly generated, recorded, documented and reviewed.
Note that the Executable Growth Plan includes tasks that may direct your client to their workbook for more information, as well as tactical steps you can execute with or on behalf of your client. Remember, there is no 'one-size-fits-all' approach; as a business advisor, you'll want to have a good grasp of where the company is today and what the owner's overall vision for the future might be. This is critical to developing a growth plan and executing that plan successfully.