You need a plan, Stan!
Being a solo practitioner can often be a lonely road. All the decisions you make are yours, which is great. But often that means that you
don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off to inspire you to greatness. I am done with that approach. I want to make 2024 epic so, instead of
living in my little silo, I am getting together, offsite, with another solo bookkeeper this afternoon so we can plan what’s next for both
our practices. We will work on new ideas, plan out our next year of innovation and goals, then hold each other accountable. If this approach
works, we will make it a 6 monthly event. I am pumped.
Being my very first planning day, I felt I should spend some time researching how we should structure the afternoon. Of course, every
practice is different, but here is my take on what I will be focusing on today.
1. Reflecting on the Year That Was
Before we jump headfirst into the future, I want to take a little trip down memory lane. What were the triumphs and tribulations of 2023?
Did we introduce new software that streamlined processes, or did we move on some unsuitable clients that saved us time and energy?
Reflecting on the wins and losses will help to chart a course for the future. It's like looking at the recipe before you start baking – you
need to know what worked and what didn't.
2. Technology Tango
Ah, technology – the unsung hero of the modern bookkeeping world. In this category, I want to shake hands with tech tools and assess their
performance this year. Are they pulling their weight and worth the subscription fee, or are they causing us more headaches than a EOFY
migraine? I plan to list out potential alternates, any new software, or even look at a complete tech overhaul if necessary. A smoothly
running ship needs the latest and greatest navigation tools!
3. Client Connections
Our clients are the heartbeat of the practice. Are they singing our praises, or are they singing the blues? I want to use this time to
discuss client satisfaction, feedback, and how we can continue to meet (or exceed) their expectations. Maybe it's time to offer additional
services, or perhaps a client appreciation event. Or even sign-up anniversary gifts. We need to keep those relationships sticky, like fly
paper, to ensure the success of the practice.
4. Professional Development Palooza
In the ever-evolving world of finance, staying on top of the latest trends and regulations is non-negotiable. Good time will be spent
planning out our professional development strategy – conferences, workshops, webinars. Sharpening our skills is not only mandatory to
maintain our registration but also, is like adding the secret ingredient to our practice financial success recipe.
5. Team Time
Just because you work solo, doesn’t mean you can’t think of your peers as your team. Your bookkeeping peers are your partners in crime, your
number-crunching besties and they understand and will listen to your struggles, without their eyes glazing over. I will make sure I plan
some time to network and share the wins and losses we face during the year. A problem shared and all that. You have to make the most of this
collegiate experienced industry.
6. Growth Goals
We will focus on where we see the practice a year from now. Two years? Five years? Then, dream big and plan ambitious yet realistic growth
goals using KPI measures like becoming a Xero Gold partner, expanding our client base, increasing revenue, or diversifying our services.
Having a clear vision will be like having a roadmap to success.
7. Fun and Laughter
Last but certainly not least, we have to ensure we inject a little fun into this planning session. Drinks and dinner afterwards are a given.
But sharing a laugh and making it a positive and lively atmosphere will do wonders for our creativity and encourage us to make this a
So, there you have it – my recipe for a running a successful first practice planning session. If you want to join us next time, give
me a shout. The more, the merrier. If not, pour yourself another cup of ambition, and get ready and plan to make the 2024 your best
business year yet.