Big Four & Leading Accounting and Consulting Firms – news, opinion and career opportunities for aspiring & current professionals & alumni

What really needs to go into your business case for partnership?

How many times have I been asked if I can share a sample business case for partnership?  When you are asked to submit one, it’s understandable if you over do it initially. It’s such an important document – where to start?  . . .  must make sure you include every little piece of evidence . . .  and the stack of pages gets higher and higher while the case itself becomes harder and harder to read.

On the How To Make Partner website, you can download a free guide to creating a business case for partnership, which includes a template and sample business cases that have been successful for others. In this article, I’ll give you some ideas of how to adapt the sample to fit your own situation.

Make it your own, and make it fit the situation

Every business case is different, so don’t be tempted to use the sample without making changes.  My blog posts on the seven types of partnership business case will give you a start to understanding what your particular situation needs.  You will also find more detailed information in Chapter 7 of Poised for Partnership. This article is an extract of that chapter.

Strip out all the irrelevancies and flannel. Your partners will appreciate brevity and clarity and your case will be much more persuasive if it is communicated well.  A business case for partnership needs to include:

  • Outline of your current practice.
  • Your 12 month marketing plan.
  • How you plan to grow your practice over the next 3 years.
  • Critical success factors.

Outline of your current practice

Make sure your partners understand the value you currently bring to the firm.  Set out the services you offer your clients. Include:

  • The value of your referral networks.
  • The revenue you have billed for your top clients for each of the past 3 years.
  • How your practice measures against the firm’s priorities. e.g. recoverability, billings.
  • The size of your current team.

Your 12 month marketing plan

Explain how you intend to achieve the projected growth figures for your current practice.  This needs to include:

  • Key account plans for the clients you plan to grow over the coming year.
  • Your prospective client list and how you intend to convert these into actual clients.
  • Your networking strategy to strengthen your referral networks.
  • How you plan to build your profile in the marketplace.

Your plan to grow your practice

Show the partners how you intend to increase the value you bring to the firm.  Explain:

  • The markets you are going to target, and why you have chosen them. What is the opportunity for the firm there?
  • The services you are going to offer.
  • How you will compete against and stand out from your key competitors.
  • How you will fuel the growth. Will you increase your current client offering? Win new clients?
  • What goals could the partners measure you on?
  • The expected revenue and profit for your practice for the next 3 years.
  • Known risks that may hinder you achieving your plan – and how you intend to deal with them.
  • The team and resources you will need to fulfill this plan.

Critical success factors

Make sure you are realistic about what you need to achieve your plan, and what could prevent you achieving it.  This means:

  • The support and budget you will need.
  • Any issues that will hinder you achieving it – staffing, marketing budget, skill gaps, and so forth. Plus, what you would like to do about them.

Read more about how to write a cast iron business case on the How To Make Partner website. You can also download a free guide to creating a business case for partnership, which includes a template and sample business cases that have been successful for others.

This article originally appeared in a different form on the How To Make Partner website.

How to Make Partner and Still Have a Life 2nd editionGet your copy of the 2nd edition of How to make partner and still have a life

To get your copy of How to make partner and still have a life at a 20% discount, use code HTMPG20 at the checkout on the Kogan Page website. Click on the image buy your copy

This article originally appeared in a different form on the How To Make Partner website.

Heather Townsend helps professionals become the The Go-To Expert. She is the author of the award winning and best-selling book on business networking, the ‘FT Guide To Business Networking’, Poised for partnership and the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’, and ‘The Go-To Expert’. Over the last decade she has worked with over 300 partners; coached, trained and mentored over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices.

Heather blogs regularly at How to make partner and still have a life and works with future and current Big 4 partners and professionals from mid-tier firms all over the world

Share this post:

Comments are closed.