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Business Plan

Click here to download a template business plan

For senior level appointments, firms generally require candidates to prepare a business plan.  A business plan defines your business, identifies your goals and sets out how these objectives can translate into future revenue growth.

The purpose of the business plan is to set out a viable business case for a senior level appointment.  It is important even when the position has arisen as a result of succession planning and as such there is an existing caseload to take over.

A good business plan should identify the following:

  1. Candidate's expertise

    Particularly important if the candidate can offer a skill set and specialism which the recruiting firm does not currently offer.

  2. Details of Client following / Financial information

    If you can only leverage off pre-existing relationships and do not have a guaranteed following, then say so.  There will be situations where the opportunity for a senior appointment arises as a result of:
    (i) succession planning and as such there is an existing caseload to take over, or
    (ii) the candidate’s area of specialism being viewed as a support function.

    However, more often than not, senior level appointments will demand at least some following.

    You will need to quantify this by providing a transparent analysis of your existing client base setting out:

    • your last two to three years billings and chargeout rate
    • your projected billings
    • the nature of your client base
    • your key clients and the percentage of fee income that derives from these key clients
    • the level of fees your clients generated for other departments over the past two to three years
    • rate your key clients according to the confidence you have that they will follow
    • how your clients would perceive the firm you hope to move to and whether this would affect the level of instructions
    • the enforceability of any restrictive covenants you are subject to
    • whether any of the assistants in your team are likely to follow you

    The table below should serve as a good starting point for setting out the nature of financial information you should provide:

      FY1 FY1 FY2 FY2 FY3
      1st half Full year 1st half Full year Full year
    Billable hours          
    Bill rate          
    Personal collections          
    Personal profitability          

    In short, you need to conduct a thorough analysis of the portability of your following.

  3. Business Development and Marketing

    Identify at least 3 objectives for Business Development and 3 objectives for Marketing.

    You should outline your key strategic objectives over the financial year and how you will measure success against these objectives. The business plan should also address the actions you will take in order to achieve your key objectives.


    • how you intend to protect and grow revenue generated from existing and new clients
    • how you intend to maintain relationships with those clients
    • how you intend to cultivate new clients in particular  industries or fields
  4. People Management

    Describe any specific recruitment, development and/or management and retention initiatives that you have in mind.