Brett Davidson, chief executive of FP Advance, on how to improve your firm's performance in 12 months using lessons from Britain's elite athletes.
"Charles van Commenee, the head coach of UK Athletics has caused more than the odd ruffled feather with his approach but I have to admit I love him and think his results speak for themselves.
At the truly elite level of sport there is no time for mollycoddling and mediocrity, it's about delivering on your potential.
I read a while back that van Commenee was asked about medal targets for London 2012.
He informed the journalist that they don't actually have any medal targets, it is the media that puts that out into the world. I'm paraphrasing his response but he said something like this and it was pretty blunt:
Only losers focus on the outcomes. Elite athletes focus on the inputs, which they can control and let the results take care of themselves.
In my experience the same applies to high performance businesses.
More and more businesses can now provide loads of Management Information (MI) showing their business performance; profit levels, turnover, fees, recurring income etc. But these are all outcomes from seeds that were sown six to 12 months prior.
What most firms can't tell with any accuracy is how they will be performing in six to 12 months time. For that, they will need to measure a different bunch of metrics.
Client focused activities
* No. of face-to face review meetings held
* Phone calls made to clients between review dates
* Corporate hospitality or seminars/workshops held for clients
* High quality communications outward sent by the business
* Birthday/Christmas cards/texts sent
* Articles published per month
* Meetings with journalists
* Presentations given (by someone from your firm)
* Video blogs posted on website
* Meetings/breakfasts/lunches with introducers
* Technical workshops held with Managers and Associates at the introducer firm (not Partners)
* This months best case summaries sent
* Phone calls to introducers (with useful fact or insight) maintaining relationship
Referral activities (inwards & outwards)
* Referral conversations with satisfied clients (at review meeting, asking for referrals)
* Referrals from you to your best clients, introducers, & suppliers
* Boardroom lunches held (bring a friend event)
* Client seminar held (bring a friend event)
* New first meetings held
* Source of lead
* Discovery meetings held
* Presentation meetings held
* Implementation meetings held
* Clients moving onto review service
* The conversion rates between each of these
By tracking this more useful data on ‘how' work is generated in your business you can quickly spot ‘why' a problem has arisen and ‘how' to fix it.
Of course you will still track your financial results and hopefully take pleasure from them when they are good, but monitoring inputs is the key to affecting your future performance."
Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till