Preparing for End of Financial Year 2017 with a focus on growth

As a professional services provider, this is it! Preparing for End of Financial Year: this is your time. It certainly is your busiest time and it’s also the biggest opportunity to you have all year to deepen your relationship with your clients, increase the value you add, and earn significantly more (all year round) as a result.

Many providers get caught up in the busy-ness of this period and fail to truly leverage the opportunity that preparing for the End of Financial Year presents them. But that doesn’t have to be the case for you…

Here’s how you can be the exception:

1.   Help them plan for their next Financial Year

Often, companies get so caught up focusing on preparing for the end of the financial year that they only realise too late that it’s also the start of a new one. As service providers, it can be easy for us to fall into this trap as well.

As a proactive consultant looking to add more value to your clients, the best place to start is to bring your clients’ focus to the year ahead.

Companies often spend too much time preparing for End of Financial Year, and not enough time planning for the year ahead.

Facilitating a planning workshop

Even in an especially busy time, we can all carve out a small window of time for a planning session – and by being the person facilitating (and enforcing that your client take the time to do so), you’re already adding incremental value to their business.

In terms of the actual workshop, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Here’s a simple agenda that I often use in business optimisation planning sessions:

  • Brainstorm the high priority objectives for the coming year.
  • Use a prioritisation process to narrow them down to an achievable number (top five perhaps).
  • Then, develop a roadmap to achieving these objective:
    • What should you keep doing?
    • What should you start doing?
    • What should you stop doing?
    • What should you automate?
    • What should you outsource?

You may have seen the keep / stop / start approach in many places, but I’ve always found that extending that line of thinking to include automation and outsourcing is where the magic truly happens – you are essentially working with your client to identify actual business problems for which your own offerings will be the right solution.

Take for example a client who still uses manual processes to manage a lot of their tasks. Once you’ve identified this as a gap, you can help them:

  1. Identify which of those tasks can be automated, and how;
  2. Identify the right tool to support that automation;
  3. Drive the implementation of that tool; and
  4. Help manage the change around the new process.

Understanding and identifying your clients’ problems will help them prepare for End of Financial year, and for the year ahead.

2.   Preparing for End of Financial Year is the perfect time to drill into client data and identify opportunities for growth and improvement

When you are preparing for End of Financial Year, it is probably the time when your clients are most open with their doors, diaries, and data for you. To avoid squandering this opportunity, I’d take a deep dive into your customer’s data, and not just what you need for essential reporting.

There’s always a breadth of insights in Sales information that can help highlight significant process gaps. Owners are also keen to invest in improving this area because it has the potential of a direct revenue impact on their business.

Consider the nuggets of gold you may be able to uncover that can genuinely increase the performance of your client’s organisation.

  • Sales person performance
  • Customer experience
  • Profit margins
  • Regional growth
  • Category winners and losers

And if you’re starting to shake your head thinking that there’s no way your clients are tracking their data in a trustworthy way… well, that’s an insight in itself. Studies show that leveraging a Sales tracking system or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can have a significant benefit on a businesses’ performance.  In fact, according to the 2016 Miller Heiman Group Sales Best Practice Study, 94% of World Class companies leverages a CRM to track their sales metrics, when compared to 30% across the rest of the world.

Armed with these insights, you could build the case for helping them choose and implement the right CRM platform for their business.

Another area that owners will happily invest to optimise is Inventory Management, due to the direct cost saving opportunity it represents. By analysing a client’s inventory data, you can help businesses make better decisions regarding:

  • Stock holding
  • New order timeframes
  • Dead stock
  • Pricing

Again, this presupposes that the client is capturing and tracking the necessary inputs to this analysis well, which as we know, is not often the case.

3.   Help them get the right system in place to gain visibility and control of their whole business

With all this process improvement, you’ll know that piecemeal and point solutions will quickly fall short. In my experience, working with clients of certain size and level of activity, eventually highlights a need for a single, integrated platform to run their business on.

HARMONiQ Business Tuning Software offers an affordable and powerful ERP for SMEs that can provide your clients with an integrated platform for financials, inventory, sales, and marketing.

With a solution like HARMONiQ in place, you can be sure that when you’re preparing for End of Financial Year 2018, you’ll have all the data and value adding opportunity in place already!

If you want to know more about the benefits of the HARMONiQ Channel Partner Program, download our Partner Information Pack for more details on the how, what and why of becoming a HARMONiQ Channel Partner.

Want to see what HARMONiQ can help you achieve for your clients? Book in a live demo.

About Drew:

Drew Arthur is the Managing Director of Micronet Systems, and is focused on working with accountants and professional services providers to help their clients tune their businesses by leveraging cutting-edge technology. If you want to help your clients gain further efficiencies within their business while boosting your own revenue, request a demo to see how HARMONiQ Business Tuning Software can make a difference to their business and your own.

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