Beyond the basic business development and pursuit update meetings, is your firm having regular higher-level strategic planning meetings? Meetings that focus not on the day-to-day or next big pursuit, but rather, on the growth of your firm. These meetings go beyond what large accounts or projects you are prepositioning but look further out into what markets your firm’s future growth will come from.
If your firm already has these types of forward-looking discussions and plans, that’s great. Below may help you guide the discussion further.
If you haven’t talked about what’s beyond the three-month cliff of work, then as a firm leader, it is your duty to start asking the tough questions. Start by setting up a casual meeting, maybe even over lunch, and start with a very basic discussion. Once the interest is there, then you can move forward with some more formal discussion and some documented plans.
Below are some questions to spur discussion around your firm’s future growth plans.
Discussions to Support Your Strategic Plan
If your firm has a long-term strategic plan (3 or 5 years), I would start with that as it would typically list what markets/sectors your firm wants to grow in. Take those areas and have discussions with your folks as to how to get there.
Questions to Guide Your Strategic Plan Discussion:
- What do we (or don’t we) know about the certain market/client/region? Why are we interested in this area?
- Who do we know in those markets/regions? This can be both clients and teaming partner contacts.
- What is driving the growth in the certain market/region? How long do we think growth in this market/region will last? What would cause a market correction?
- Do we have the certain skill sets and portfolio to compete in this market/industry/region? If not, how can we obtain (key hire, teaming, etc.) If so, how can we introduce into this new market/region?
No Strategic Plan, No Problem
If you don’t have a long-term strategic plan or have a starting list of markets/regions/industries, you can turn the questions around to be more research focused to develop the list.
Questions to Guide Your Research Discussion:
- What markets/regions are we interested in? Why are we interested in them? (Make a long-list to start.)
- What markets/regions do we know and have good relationships with clients (former or present) and teaming partners?
- What markets/regions are growing? What is driving that growth? Is that growth sustainable (at least long enough for us to get into it)?
- Are there barriers to enter those new markets? If so, do we know what they are and how to overcome them? If we don’t know, how do we find out?
- What skill sets, and projects can we take to new markets/regions that are growing?
Hopefully, this will get your team thinking and talking about the future growth of your firm. Comment below with other questions or activities that have helped your firm grow into new and/or existing markets.