Do you ever feel so overwhelmed, with so much going on that you are not sure what to do next?
That comes from a lack of clarity.
I thought I would share in this blog, how you can get that clarity back.
To get your clarity back, there are 5 things you need to get in place…
1 - Have A Clear Vision
You need to be really clear on what your vision is.
What are you trying to achieve in your business? What will your business look like when it is ‘done’? When you are ready to retire and sell, what does your business need to look like?
Write it down.
How big will it be? What do the profits look like? The turnover? Where will it be located? Will there be multiple offices? How many employees? What will the business be doing? What kind of customers will you have?
You need to really carefully think about what your business will look like when it’s ‘done’.
But, this vision is probably what your business will look...
‘I struggle with selling! I don’t know what to say to new clients.’
The issue accounting professionals have with ‘selling’, is the wrong mindset. We think that to be good at selling, we need to have good selling techniques, we need to have good ‘closing’ techniques. But that’s not actually necessary.
A while back I read a book called ‘Spin Selling’ by Neil Rackham. If you haven’t already read it, I highly recommend you add it to your reading list.
In this book, Neil conducted a huge study into the results from sales processes. One of the things he found, was having special closing techniques did not significantly change the outcome.
That reassured me a lot because I’m really not a fan of overly ‘sales-y’ closing techniques. I’m sure you feel the same.
So how do we sell?
One of my mentors Peter Thompson taught me something a few years ago. He said this…
If a prospect is contacting you only because they want some information, and you have valuable content that positions you as an expert, why wouldn’t you share that with people?
This is a great chance for you to demonstrate your expertise and show your value.
However, if a prospect is calling because they want to know your price, that is a different issue.
If someone is simply asking for a price, it is a red-flag. This person is likely to be focused solely on the price of the service - they are a price shopper and only want the cheapest service.
These types of people never appreciate the value you can provide and will always be problematic when the time comes to pay the bill. They are not worth your time.
You don’t have to take on every single client that contacts you. You should only take on the clients that are right for your business.
So What Should You Say To Those Callers?
You should absolutely have a meeting with...
I recently ran a survey asking 2683 accounting professionals what they charge for their bookkeeping services.
The participants predominantly consisted of accountants both qualified and unqualified, and bookkeepers both certified and non-credentialed.
I wanted to know how they were pricing their bookkeeping services, but also how much they were charging.
One of the questions I asked in the survey was…
“Do you review your prices for every client at least every single year?”
The answer to that should be overwhelmingly YES. We absolutely should be increasing our prices every single year, for 3 key reasons…
Prices change every year, they always go up because of inflation. Your prices should increase every year as well - your clients expect this.
You should also be reviewing your prices because your clients’ circumstances are likely to change. If you’ve been helping them, their business is surely...
A few months back I discovered something that astonished me…
Accounting firms in the US are better at pricing bookkeeping services than those from other countries like Canada, the UK, and in fact the rest of the world.
In my recent study, with 2683 participants, I wanted to find out how accounting professionals are coming up with their prices for bookkeeping services, and exactly how much they are charging.
A mixture of qualified and unqualified accountants and bookkeepers took part in the survey from all over the world.
We analysed the data and then broke it down into different countries to see if the location of a firm had an impact on the way they price. I wanted to know if there was any significant difference in the prices that firms from the US got as opposed to firms from Canada and the UK.
The survey was largely based around 12 different bookkeeping client scenarios. We asked participants to recommend a price...
I got an email recently that completely blew my mind.
When I saw it, I couldn’t believe what Carla was telling me…
I was absolutely astounded by this result. Not only had Carla got an incredible 6-figure fee, but she had done it only one month after discovering value pricing, on her first attempting, in just 2 hours with the client!
I had to reach out to Carla to find out exactly how she achieved this amazing result. She agreed to an interview. It’s 29 minutes of pure gold! I suggest you watch it now.
Meet Carla Davidson
Carla started her bookkeeping practice small, by herself, from her house.
She struggled with the amount of work, and couldn’t make a decent profit because she was still using hourly billing.
She wanted to be able to help her smaller clients so started hiring people to help, but things didn’t improve right away.
Hourly Billing Became A Big Issue
Carla found that, because she was using hourly billing, all her clients were asking for a...
I recently broke my arm in a cycling accident.
I was in a sling for a few months and I was using the NHS’s physiotherapist to try and get some movement back. Eventually, I decided to speed the process up by using a private sports physiotherapist.
I was recommended to a guy named Mark, so I booked a session for an hour.
At no point did Mark inform me of what the price was. I had a vague idea because my friend had recommended his services to me, but Mark hadn’t actually told me anything.
It wasn’t until I sat down in Mark’s office that I noticed a sign on the wall that said:
“Please note my charge is £30 per session.”
At the bottom of the page was a date. The date was 5 and a half years ago.
I thought this was absolutely crazy. This physiotherapist had not changed his hourly rate for 5 and a half years!
Seeing this sign was the first time I had any idea of the price. I could have had one of two thoughts. Either…
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...
Accountants and Bookkeepers are always asking me:
“What should I be charging as an hourly rate for bookkeeping?”
I get asked this particularly from bookkeepers who are starting their business journey.
So I decided to find out, definitively what the profession is charging.
I recently created the world’s largest ever study, with 2683 participants, into what people are charging for their bookkeeping services.
980 Qualified and 416 Unqualified Accountants, 468 Certified Bookkeepers and 591 Non-Credentialed Bookkeepers all took part, as well as 208 ‘others’ such as Enrolled Agents. Mainly accountants and bookkeepers.
One of the questions I asked in the survey was:
“If you price based on an hourly rate, what is that hourly rate?”
This graph shows the findings…
Let me just explain how we achieved these numbers.
What we did was we organised all of the 2683 participants responses in ascending order....
I started my accounting firm way back in May 1996. I started from scratch and built up my business as a sole practitioner.
I made so many mistakes!
I often get asked advice from people who are starting up their businesses, so I thought I would share with you the first 3 things I would have done differently if I were to start it all again…
1 - Hire The Right People
I went from 0 clients to 200 in 3 years and had a team of 13 people. I was growing crazily fast.
But I wasn’t growing profitably.
One of the biggest mistakes I made was hiring the wrong people.
I didn’t have a huge amount of money, so I tried to cut every possible corner I could, hiring college students and school leavers, rather than qualified accountants, to avoid the fees of recruitment agencies.
The problem with employing people who aren’t the best is the work is not as good, and you have to micro-manage them. I spent so much of my time in my early years...