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What to do and what to ask yourself one year on to help plan the next 12 months

Now is a key point to pause, reflect on achievements, things that could have gone better and how you can manage them well in the future.

Set a review date

Take a half-day out of the diary to review your achievements; what went right and what went wrong. Ensure you are uninterrupted. This is half a day for your firm. Consider yourself as though you were advising a client.

What you are doing is important in any business. Focusing on your own successes and failures, opportunities and threats and putting your next 12-month plan together to ensure you will maximise your income and opportunities over that period.

Hopefully by now you have a good client base of quality clients. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you happy with fee levels, fee recoverability, client quality, provision of information on a timely basis (to you by clients and to clients by you)?
  • Are you receiving leads from your professional colleagues which are good quality? Did you do anything you could have done better?
  • What are the learning points?
  • Can you do more for any existing clients? If so, focus on expanding the services you currently provide to them in order to maximise your income.
  • What will your plan be for the next year? Will you need staff or sub-contractors? If so, what areas would be best to staff to enable you to focus on what you are good at?
  • Are your premises suitable or if you work from home do you need to move to offices?
  • Is your IT working satisfactorily? Do you need to review it, improve it or add various programmes to the suite you currently use?
  • What is your financial projection for the next year and what are the variables that could lead it to differ from your plan? How will you manage those variables if and when they occur?