10 Steps for Setting up your Business Roadmap (Plan) to Grow Your Professional Service Business

The purpose of a Small Business Roadmap (plan) is to assist you in clarifying your goals and mapping your plan to achieve these goals by setting timelines and priorities. The roadmap template is used to organize this information. Once the roadmap is completed, it will act as a filter for all the decision-making in your professional service business.

Please follow the steps below.

1. Personal Goals

Your professional service business is there to support your personal goals, whatever those may be. There is no point in running a business if it does not get you closer to achieving what you want out of your life. So, in this step, you are going to dream of your ideal life. With that being clear, you will be able to build a business that is consistent with your ideal life.

You need to ask yourself questions like: How much money do I want to make? Where do I want to be spending my time? What kind of work do I want to be doing? How much money do I want to make annually? How many hours do I want to work weekly? How much vacation do I want to take each year? What kind of work do I want to be doing?

2.  Complete the Why Statement for Your Business

The why statement clarifies why your firm exists in the first place. Simon Sinek popularized the importance of this concept in his book “Start with Why” when he demonstrated that people do not buy what you do or how you do it, but why you do it. Companies that sell what they do are not nearly as successful as the ones that sell why they do it. Simon gives the example of Apple versus any other computer company, where Apple’s why was to challenge the status quo which just so happens to come across in the innovative products they release. People buy into the why, not the what. Contrast this with most other computer companies who focus on the what: we have the best features, we have the fastest processor, etc.

There is no denying the cult-like status of Apple compared to their competitors. And this is because they have adequately defined their reason for being, which sets the tone for the entire organization, its team, and its customers. A strong why keeps everyone focused and on the same page which is important for any growing organization. Think about why you started your professional service business. Yes, you wanted to make more money and live a flexible lifestyle, but deep down you probably also wanted to help your clients with something to better their lives. Click on the following link to watch Simon Sinek explain the Why Statement:

3. Core Values

The main reason Core Values are important is because if you really believe in your professional service business values, they will determine who makes it onto your team and who does not. They are your guiding principles and will filter your decisions. The wrong people on your team will set you in the wrong direction making it very difficult to achieve your goals. Your values are a strong filter for your business. Try to establish approximately 5 values. Your values must be verbs, not nouns. Verbs describe how people should act in your organization.

4. Ideal Clients

Ideal Clients are the clients that love what you offer and are the ones you love to work with. Once your ideal clients are defined, it should serve as a filter for the kind of clients you accept in your firm. Make a list of 10 bullet points that characterize your ideal clients (i.e., industry, revenues, number of employees, geographically located, problems and challenges)

5. Value Proposition

Value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered to your clients and is the main reason why a prospect should buy from you and not from your competitor. A value proposition should include 3 components in a concise, one sentence phrase:

  1. Who are you targeting?
  2. The relevant core benefit of your offering
  3. How you help achieve this core benefit, ideally through your differentiating factor

6. Desired Services to Offer

You need to outline the services that you currently offer or that you want to offer to your ideal clients, consistent with your why statement and your value proposition.

7. 10 Year Target

The purpose of the 10 Year Target is to clarify exactly what you want to achieve as a business in the long term. This step is important for 2 reasons: First, we want to be clear on exactly what we want to achieve in the business. You cannot get to where you want to go if you do not know where you are going. And this step will force you to get clear on your long-term target. Once this step is complete, you will be able to start charting a course to achieve your long-term target.
Second, this is going to be the larger-than-life goal that will excite and energize you and your team. This is what is going to propel forward movement. There are 4 components to an effective 10 Year Target: 1. it must be measurable. 2. it should be inspiring. Is your organization going to make a difference to the client? 3. Elevate your team’s character and spirit. 4. It must be a belief.

8. 3 Year Plan

You need to paint a picture of what the firm will need to look like in 3 years to be on track for the 10 Year Target. This section is broken down into 5 components: 1. Future Date 2. Revenues 3. Profits 4. Critical Numbers 5. A point form description of what the firm will look like as you go through this step. You will need to pick a date that falls about 3 years from now. To keep things clean, line it up so that it falls on your fiscal year-end. Next, you need to project your revenues at that future date. Project a profit margin at your future date. Indicate what you think you would like to achieve and what is reasonable. Fourth, coming up with a critical number that your business must hit for your 3 Year Snapshot to be met. The critical number can be a number of clients or the number of team members etc…

9. 1 Year Plan

Since the 3 Year Plan still is quite far down the road, with the 1 Year Plan you need to start developing specific goals for your firm to hit. This step is comprised of 6 parts, most of which are the same as the 3 Year Plan: Future date, Revenues, Profit Margin, Critical number, Forecast and Goals.

For the first component, you will choose a future date that lands on your fiscal year-end. It does not need to be exactly 12 months from now. The first time around, it might be 6 months from now or 1 and a half years from now. Just settle on a date and write it down. Next, you will list your projected revenues, projected profits, and critical number that you will need to hit at that future date to be on track for your 3 Year Plan. After you have written those numbers down, it is time to create a monthly forecast of your revenues and expenses all the way until your future date that supports your revenue and profit numbers. By going through this exercise, you will be able to see how realistic everything looks once the numbers are down on paper. If you need to adjust your revenues, profits, or your critical number after this exercise, go for it. And for the last component, you are going to write down some specific, measurable, and attainable goals that your firm needs to accomplish to achieve the 1 Year Plan numbers and be on track for your 3 Year Plan. You will want to identify 3-7 goals here. One of the common mistakes is trying to accomplish too much. When this happens, you risk not accomplishing anything at all. The key to listing effective goals is that each one must be specific, measurable, and attainable.

10. 90 Day Plan

Creating your 90 Day Plan is the final step of finishing off your Roadmap. In the previous step, you put in place goals to achieve by the end of your 1 Year Plan. What you are going to do is take those goals and set your priorities to achieve in the next 90 days. You are going to set your 90 Day Plan in 3 steps. First, you need to pick a future date for when you need to hit your 90 Day Plan, which should line up at the end of a calendar quarter. You need to focus on your most important immediate priorities to keep you on track for your 1 Year Plan. Every 90 days you will set up a new plan.

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