Last week I shared the top 3 things I would change if I could start by business again.
But I have so many more tips to share, I thought I would write another blog with 4 more things to avoid when starting up your own practice…
1 - Content Marketing
One of the most powerful ways to grow your firm and your brand is through content marketing.
Creating and sharing content is essential to showing your potential customers your ability and value.
This could involve writing a blog (like the one you’re reading now), or filming some videos. You may even write an ebook.
It’s so easy to distribute your content nowadays with social media. When you share lots of valuable content, you are increasing people’s awareness of you, and they will start to see you as the expert.
When you are seen as the expert, people will want to work with you.
2 - Lead Generation
I never used to have any kind of database of leads, or any kind of system for generating leads. I only had a list of my existing clients.
I would go to networking events and collect business cards and feel proud when after a year I had around 100 contact details.
Now I know that this was actually a terrible figure, because with Facebook Ads I could get that amount in a week.
Your income is directly proportional to the size of your list.
Technology makes it really easy to capture leads. We can use tools like MailChimp to build up a database of email addresses.
We can also use the idea of content marketing to generate those leads. For example, if you write an ebook, you could give it away for free in exchange for a name and email address.
The more people you have in your list, the more people you can market to and the higher your sales will be.
3 - Systems
In 1998, 3 years into my practice, I came across an amazing book - probably the most important business book to exist. It’s called ‘The E-Myth Revisited’ by Michael Gerber.
It talks about the power of systems.
In the early years of my business I had no systems in place at all. Every ‘system’ we used existed in my head. That meant I needed to be there every single day for the business to function.
I found that my team were making mistakes all the time and I was getting so frustrated with them. But really, the fault was mine because I hadn’t created any systems for them to follow.
4 - Move From Compliance To Advisory
If I started again I would move from compliance to advisory right from the outset.
In 1996, I had never heard of consulting work or advisory, I just did compliance work.
3 years later, my friend Steve Pipe opened up my eyes to the possibility of helping clients to grow their businesses and increase their profitability.
By the year 2000, most of my profit came from advisory work.
Those are the things I would do if I could start my business again.
Seeing as I can’t turn back time and start again, I hope you can learn from my experiences and set up your business to be profitable from the outset.
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Wishing you every success on your pricing journey.
Chartered Accountant, Public Speaker and Amazon No.1 Best Selling Author of “Effective Pricing for Accountants”
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