A Strategic Business Plan is important to your company’s growth and success. Have you thought of and included all of the essential things needed to make a strong and effective plan? Here are the essentials.
Your company Mission Statement is a very important part of your organization. Your mission statement is what drives your company forward. It’s what answers the question why do we do what we do?
A written analysis will help you to clarify your company’s situation and develop appropriate strategies. A good method is a “S.W.O.T.” analysis to identify your company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors. Opportunities and threats are external factors. Obviously, we have more control over internal factors than external factors. Yet we must be aware of the external factors in order to develop effective strategies.
Effective planning requires detailed information about your prospective clients, the competition, the industry, and the environment. Without good information, you are “shooting in the dark”. By knowing your market, you will be able to create marketing programs that produce results. You need at least the following information:
- Demographic profiles and statistics on your existing and prospective clients
- Your existing and prospective clients’ needs and wants
- Identities of your competitors and knowledge of their strengths, weaknesses, and strategies
- Tax industry state-of-the-art methods and trends
- Economic, political, regulatory and technology factors affecting the tax industry.
Once you’ve completed your SWOT analysis and researched the competition and your target clients, your opportunities should be clear and you can then determine the goals you wish to pursue. Your goals should be stated in measurable terms so you will be able to determine the degree to which they are achieved. For example, to attain a 5% share of all tax returns in your zip code market area, or to improve your prior client repeat factor to 80%. Goals should also be prioritized and categorized as short-term and long-term objectives.
Services & Products
As a seasonal business threatened with radical legislative and technological changes, you must begin thinking about diversifying to ensure future survival and prosperity. Fortunately, many opportunities exist to add complimentary services and/or products to your tax practice. However, you must not neglect your core business or fail to recognize and exploit new opportunities in the tax preparation industry resulting from radical changes.
Delivery Systems and Capacity
Well conceived and fully developed operating systems are essential to deliver competitive products and services. Such systems include policy & procedure manuals, operating software (e.g.: tax preparation, accounting), computer networking systems and management information systems, all employing state-of-the-art technology.
Delivery capability should also be described in detail. Who will manage and administer the business and what are their qualifications and credentials? How many people will be needed to perform the day-to-day operating tasks; what qualifications will be required? And how will these people be recruited?
Pricing is a very crucial decision which will greatly affect your business success. Ultimately, your prospective client will decide if your price is fair based on his perceived value of your products and services relative to all available options. You should determine which competitors provide services comparable to yours and find out what they charge. Your prices don’t have to be cheaper than every competitor, but you must be competitive and deliver greater value.
In addition to these essential items, you strategic business plan should also include the following:
- A Marketing Plan
- A Financial Plan
- An Action Plan
Whether you are looking to grow or found your tax business, The Income Tax School can help. We’ve got a great set of Tax Practice Manuals that will compete successfully with local and national tax firms, attract new clients, and build a successful tax practice.
More Great Reads: