Given how hard it is to make partner in a Big 4 firm, you can be forgiven for making this mistake. Creating the perfect Big 4 business case for partner (or director) will take a significant amount of your time. However, this mistake scuppered one of our client’s admission to partnership last year. Read on for more details.

You need to get feedback on your Big 4 business case for partnership

Everyone tells you that you should write your business case in a Big 4 firm in isolation. Absolutely true. You’ll hear us telling you this as well. If you are to maximise your chances of making partner in a Big 4 firm you need to make sure that you have consulted with many influential partners and stakeholders about your business case for partnership.

Don’t crowdsource your Big 4 business case

The problem is that when you show your Big 4 business case for partner (or director) to anyone in your firm, they will have an opinion on it. They, normally, will also want to be as helpful as possible. This means they will come up with changes to how you structure your Big 4 business case, suggest words you may or may not like to use and other very pertinent pieces of feedback. The problem is the more you consult, the more feedback you get. If you then diligently make all the changes as suggested you shortly end up with a Big 4 business case which is no longer your own. It’s taken on a life of its own and started to become a turgid document which starts to hide your light underneath a very big shadow.

Your Big 4 business case needs to be your own

By all means, go out and seek feedback on your Big 4 business case for partner (or director). It’s really important that you still do this but remember to retain editing rights for your document. You need to make sure that the message of your document remains succinct, punchy and crisp. Don’t feel as if you have to take on board every bit of feedback about your business case. The document needs to be owned by you. Always make sure that with your business case it does the following:

  • reads well and ‘hangs together’ well
  • is structured so the key messages are clear and easy to understand
  • every word has fought for its place
  • minimises jargon and waffle
  • tells a clear and evident story about the commercial benefit to making you up to partner