Business Continuity Plans might be far from your mind while you’re in deep with end of financial year reporting. After you’ve dealt with the looming 30th June deadline, late lodgers, tax planning and clients pounding on the financial benefits door, what do you plan for next?
In this article, I share the key areas and strategies of Business Continuity Planning. You’ll see how they align with current advisory services so you can offer your clients a highly specialised and customised service.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned through COVID-19, it’s that every business needs a business continuity plan.
You’re closer to your clients than you’ve ever been through assistance with Jobkeeper. You have an opportunity to leverage your relationship, be proactive and offer Business Continuity Planning to your clients.
Jobkeeper benefits end in September and business owners need to understand the impact of operating without stimulus measures and what to do to remain viable. You can maximise the opportunity of time after 30th June to secure this type of planning with your clients.
WHY OFFER BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING?
Any event that disrupts the normal operations of a business and adversely impacts the services or functions of business requires immediate implementation of a Business Continuity Plan.
A Business Continuity Plan provides clarity on what business functions are at risk, which tasks take priority, how resources are deployed, who to delegate responsibilities to and what to do after the fact.
You can direct your clients to this business.gov.au article to give them insight into the importance of having a Business Continuity Plan.
DELIVER BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANS AS AN ADVISORY SERVICE
Business Continuity Planning is essentially accomplished with advisory services you currently offer. It involves a comprehensive business process review and delivery of a strategic plan for implementation in times of crisis.
Advisory for Business Continuity Planning is not as complex as you might think, let me pull it apart for you.
The key areas of Business Continuity Planning can be addressed with these Advisory and accounting services, and it’s likely these are services you already offer,
- Advice and Assistance Relating to Stimulus Opportunities
- Cash Flow Forecasts with Scenarios
- General Business Review
- Advice and Accountability Meetings
KEY AREAS TO FOCUS ON
Business Continuity Plans cover all aspects of the operation of a business and you can proficiently address each of these key areas with advisory services,
- Products + Services
- Continuity Partners
Typically you would work to a longer time frame of up to 10 years for strategic planning. There are circumstances that require shorter timeframes for planning eg. Covid-19 Recovery.
You need modified strategies to implement over a shorter timeframe for clients who need Business Continuity Planning measures to roll out sooner rather than later - more like one to two years.
CORE STRATEGIES FOR SHORT TIMEFRAMES
These core strategies are more specific for Business Continuity Planning over shorter time frames and appropriately align with advisory services,
- Preserve & Maximise Cash
- Preserve Turnover
- Maintain Workers / Employees
- Business Review & Response
- Build Systems & Process
- Set Financial KPI’s & Monitor
- Improve Accuracy & Timeliness of Bookkeeping
I have a free Core Strategies and Actions Checklist you can download to help you with guiding your client through a planning session.
TIPS TO GET STARTED
Successful Business Continuity Planning relies heavily on your Skills, Structure and Process.
Communication skills are as essential as having the structure and process to enable you to ask the right questions, uncover and sort all the information required. Your aim is to provide thoroughly constructed strategies your client will implement.
Business Continuity Planning will rely on how well you manage the process from start to finish with your client. Here are my top tips to get started the right way,
- Be organised
- Have the information you need
- Have a structure and process to follow
- Communicate objectives and desired outcomes
- Guide your client through every step
- Systemise and automate your process
- Delegate administration tasks like client scheduling and documentation if you can
Be diligent with your process. It will be invaluable for keeping you and your client on track for successful outcomes.
You could easily overlook the opportunity from offering Business Continuity Planning in your advisory services. This is high-value leverage service to create long term, future-focused relationships with your clients.
FREE CORE STRATEGIES & ACTIONS CHECKLIST
Lynda Steffens is the founder of the Small Business Project, author of Accounting Revolution, an Accounting industry advocate, self-confessed introvert, quintessential speaker and Accountant coach. With 25+ years experience in the accounting industry as an Accountant, Practice Manager and business owner, Lynda coaches Accountants to have the confidence and know-how to successfully transition their business into a future-focused client-centric business advisory services model.
Lynda created The Small Business Project advanced workshops to help Accountants gain the skills and knowledge to deliver profitable, rewarding business advisory services the right way with a trusted client advisory engagement model. After just one workshop you have a repeatable, proven system and processes to implement for creating client interest and ongoing commitment to your advisory services. Complete The Small Business Project certification and you transform your business completely from a functional service into a vital business advisory resource that clients value.