As you advise, it will help you to have a structure for each session. It often also helps the client if you explain the structure – to provide a road-map, if you like – both at the outset of the advisory relationship and at the beginning of each session. For example:
‘Over the next few weeks, we’ll research the size of the market, use the information to prepare sales forecasts and then financial forecasts, pull together a business plan and then aim to secure the finance.’
‘Today, we’re going to look at your financial forecasts’.
This has a number of benefits:
- the client expects you to control the session
- it looks professional and instills confidence
- it ensures all relevant areas are covered
- it makes best use of available time.
Remember that the client expects some sort of action as a result of every business advisory session.