3 Enable clients to implement changes in their business


This is about enabling the client to develop realistic action plans to make changes to their business they have identified as necessary and to access any additional support and resources that may be required to deliver those changes. These changes may have been expressed in a business plan or strategy that now needs acting on. You may be working with an individual or a team.

What you need to show

You must make sure that your practice meets the following requirements.

  1. Evaluate the client’s readiness to implement the changes and help them develop the necessary commitment.
  2. Identify the client’s stated or unstated objections and counter them with facts and arguments
  3. Encourage clients to recognise the business and personal benefits of change.
  4. Work with clients to prioritise specific actions against business and personal objectives, risks and benefits and the urgency of changes needed
  5. Support clients to work out what may be involved in achieving the results they would like.
  6. Help the client identify stakeholders or other people who can help
  7. Help clients to develop and evaluate an action plan, including:
    • setting short- and longer-term goals;
    • actions and timescales;
    • identifying what resources will be needed, where they will come from and how they will be used;
    • assigning roles and responsibilities;
    • managing risks; and
    • monitoring performance.
  8. Agree with clients the role that you will play in supporting the action plan and gaining access to any additional support and resources needed.
  9. Help clients to consult with and get buy-in from other stakeholders who will have to carry out the action plan or whose agreement to it is needed, acting as advocate if needed.
  10. Make yourself available as agreed to support the client while the action plan is carried out.
  11. Monitor the implementation of the action plan with the client and support them in dealing with contingencies and re-planning when necessary

What you need to know and understand

You need to know, understand and be able to apply each of the following.

Interpersonal and communication skills

  1. How to use effective interpersonal and communication skills.
  2. The benefits and drawbacks of different kinds of communication (for example, face-to-face contact, phone, fax and e-mail).

Supporting client development

  1. How to judge clients readiness and commitment to making changes (for example, resolving ambivalence, conflict between competing ideas and changing habitual behaviour).
  2. How to combine and co-ordinate support services.
  3. How to respond to the client’s values, ways of thinking and business needs.
  4. How to develop your client’s self-confidence.
  5. How to assist client’s decision making in a way which promotes their autonomy.
  6. How to help your clients to review and develop skills that will improve their ability to compete with other businesses.
  7. How to delegate effectively.

Providing support services

  1. The dynamics of business support relationships.
  2. The limits of your own skills and knowledge.
  3. The guidelines for providing support services set by your organisation or professional body about:
    • maintaining confidentiality in different working environments;
    • ethics, values and professional standards;
    • equal opportunities, diversity and social inclusion;
    • funding and other support available to the client ;
    • using information management systems;
    • using invoicing systems, pricing and credit-control policies; and
    • procedures for quality assurance and handling complaints.
  4. The features and benefits of the business support services you provide, and those of any other services that you direct clients to.
  5. The role of your organisation in developing competition among local businesses.

Problem solving

  1. How to solve business problems, by:
    • identifying possible problems and opportunities;
    • monitoring and evaluating progress; and
    • evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of different decisions.
  2. The most suitable options and the options most appropriate to specific issues.
  3. How to challenge clients in overcoming obstacles and barriers to achievement.
  4. How to support clients in dealing with problems and difficulties that may exist in achieving solutions.

Action planning

  1. How to enable clients to plan, set objectives and decide what is important.
  2. How to support clients in identifying and considering alternative implementation strategies.
  3. How to help clients with risk-benefit comparisons.
  4. How to engage clients with contingency planning and risk assessment.
  5. What may be involved in achieving the results clients would like (for example, commitment of other people, skills, knowledge, information).

Personal behaviours

You need to show the following behaviours.

  1. Respect the client’s need for information, commitment and confidentiality.IiP1.3
  2. Engender co-operation by considering the perspective of others.IiP2.2
  3. Apply knowledge/experience effectively, yet being open to exploring new ideas.IiP3.4
  4. Think strategically, taking a holistic view of the way forward.IiP3.1
  5. Effectively link objectives and actions to an overall strategy. IiP5.1
  6. Prioritise and schedule to ensure optimum use of time and resource.IiP5.2
  7. Recognise when plans need to be adapted and acts accordingly.IiP5.4
  8. Remain positive and maintaining effort despite setbacks, changes or ambiguities. IiP7.3
  9. Achieve results through guided your actions.IiP7.4
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