Congrats on the new business job. Now what?

This past weekend I was going through ye olde journal – nearly 20 years of entries (!) – and came across some notes around what happened to me within the first 90 days of accepting a new business leader job at a mid-sized agency. Thought you might appreciate some bullets, as it may help you manage expectations. And, of course, lay out a goal-oriented path to ensuring a) the agency grows and b) you keep your job!

Looking back at it, it’s more a list of goals – things to have accomplished after the first 100 days, the first six months and the first nine months. It was written on nearly the first day of accepting the job. Please note financial goals were not yet identified. But the other agency leaders appreciated seeing some accountability and sense of purpose around what had been a rudderless new business effort.

First Week
  • Begin to understand the agency story.  Gather the chapters:
    • Agency by the numbers
    • Players & Personalities
    • Capabilities
    • Special experience and expertise (categories, target markets, etc.)
  • Move in (furniture, files, etc.) and get to know the team
  • Ensure staff, clients and press know of new hire (press release, agency newsletter, personal calls).  (Look through existing mailing list).
  • Give contact information to personal network (friends, business friends, select consultants, etc.)
First Month
  • Call recent (18 months) second place finishes
  • Complete SWOT Analysis
  • Prepare an elevator speech
  • Have lunched with all senior team members
  • Develop prospecting plan and buy-in from team
    • Include objectives, strategies/tactics, and measurement criteria
    • Develop qualifying grid that helps separate good from bad prospects
  • Begin prospecting: Take advantage of near-term oppportunities (personnel changes, poor business results, marketplace changes)
  • Assess effectiveness of existing credentials materials
First 100 Days
  • Build RFP knowledge bank (includes different formats of case studies)
  • Accurately assess existing perceptions of search consultants
  • Compare our creds materials vs. competitive set
  • Build contact database of prospects, consultants, influencers and lead generators
First 6 Months
  • Handle at least three RFPs
  • Make at least one final round
  • Capture employee experience and outside relationships
First 9 Months
  • Have six months of contact with prospects
  • Identify public opportunities that help build the agency’s reputation
  • Begin supplier prospecting program
  • Win some business!