Recently, one of my students – Cathy - left me this question in my Facebook group:
“I need to do more marketing but I don’t have the time. I’d love to outsource it but I don’t know how to hire someone because I don’t know all of what I need – it’s a catch-22! Plus, I don’t want a regular digital marketing agency, I would prefer my own offshore marketing employee. Any suggestions on how to get good people in that area, especially as I don’t know how to judge their work performance.”
My first response to this is to avoid the big mistake we tend to fall into when we hire people…
Michael Gerber talks about this in his book ‘The E-Myth Revisited’ – he calls it abdicating responsibility.
This is when there is a function in your business that you don’t want to get involved with because you are to busy or don’t enjoy the...
One of my students asked me this question in my Facebook group the other day:
‘I’m thinking of selling my practice in 5 years. What should I do to build it up for then?’
I came up with 5 thoughts on that. You can watch the video here:
First let me share with you a piece of advice…
Go and read the book ‘Built to Sell’. It’s by a good friend of mine, John Warrillow. He specialises in helping businesses to become more sellable.
It’s a really interesting story that illustrates a lot of powerful points that will help you to build a more sellable business – whether it’s your own you are intending to sell, or you are helping your clients with the same issue.
I highly recommend you follow John for more of his great material on this subject as well.
Now, here are my 5 thoughts on how to make your business more sellable…
If you want to sell your business, it needs to...
Back in 1996 when I started my own accounting firm, I was very ambitious and wanted to grow.
Within the first couple of months, I hired my first team member and 2 trainees, and the firm just kept growing. With this small close-knit team, I found the business really enjoyable to work in.
But things started to change as my business grew. 4 years in, I had 12 employees. At that point, the fun went out of the business…
With 12 people in the office the dynamics changed. There were internal politics going off and I had to become very careful with hiring decisions.
In the late 90s, I had a team member who was quite good with technology, so they set up the whole office with all of their computers and set up a server for us all to communicate on. The server crashed at one point and that team member demanded a pay rise before they would fix it.
I was so shocked! It made me realise, I don’t like working with people.
I love client work – I enjoy consulting,...
There are 6 critical steps to building an extraordinarily successful accounting or bookkeeping firm. Let me take you through them…
This is a critical step that most businesses skip over.
If you want to build your business up into something really successful, you need to decide on what that vision of success means to you. What do you want your business to look like when it’s ‘done’?
When you have that vision, you can then work backwards. If you know what you want to achieve, what key milestones do you need to reach in order to get there? What strategies do you need to have in place to reach those milestones?
As part of that plan, you also need to consider who your ideal client is. A huge part of your business is about getting the right clients, you need to have a crystal-clear idea of who your ideal client is so that you can really work towards those ideals.
Pricing is the most...
We meet with potential clients all the time. Sometimes face-to-face, more recently it tends to be online through online meeting software like Zoom.
We meet with people because we are in the relationship industry. We want to work out if the client is right for us and also if we are the right fit for the client.
Meetings are the heart of our sales process. It’s how we convert brand new leads into paying clients.
Without a system, this process can be a bit chaotic.
Your system will help you to position yourself as the expert and attract the right sort of people – the sort of people you want as your clients.
With a great appointment generation system set up in your firm, you will start to meet with better quality clients.
If you build into your system a pre-qualification process, you will also avoid wasting time on bad clients, tyre-kickers and PITA clients that are just not right for your business and will never...
Very often businesses want to grow.
As their accounting professional, you are one of the best people to help them do that.
Growing a business is about understanding the numbers and developing core strategies for growth. In any business, there are 3 main ways to grow.
The marker for growth tends to be measured by the top-line sales. We are always striving to increase sales. The problem is, you can’t manage sales directly. It’s the end result of a series of other processes.
If you had a business with 100 customers, and each of those customers bought on average 4 times a year, you will have 400 transactions in a year. If each customer spends on average $100 on each transaction, then your annual sales would be $40,000.
Sometimes we use discounts to try and win new clients – this is a terrible idea.
We allow ourselves to lower our prices by telling ourselves that we will make up for it in the future - that we will raise the prices next year and start making a profit.
Then we never do it.
The first price you give creates an expectation with the client. If you start off cheap, they are always going to expect you to be cheap, and you’ll find it much harder to raise your prices once this expectation has been created.
The Golden Rule: Never Discount
You should not give out discounts to win clients.
Maintain the integrity of your pricing structure. Be confident about the value you deliver to your clients. Do not discount.
The most successful businesses don’t give discounts. Think about it – when was the last time Apple ran a sale? When was the last time Starbucks lowered their prices? When was the last time you walked past a Ferrari...
Software is becoming increasingly prevalent in the accounting profession.
There are tons of apps out there that can help make the lives of accountants and bookkeepers so much easier.
It can be overwhelming just how many different tools there are, and many accounting professionals worry about the ongoing costs of subscriptions. This is the excuse they use for not investing in any of these helpful tools.
As a profession we tend to be very focused on costs – but what we need to do is think more like entrepreneurs and consider the return on investment.
The big question you need to ask when looking into software is: what are the benefits?
Ask yourself this question when researching your software tools and come up with a list. It may be that it:
I had an email from someone recently questioning the subscription costs of my software Effective Pricing.
I recently got an email from one of the members of the Value Pricing Academy.
She’d just attended one of my live webinars where I was sharing my own story about how, when I started my accounting firm back in 1996, I grew from 0 to over 200 clients in just a few years.
Here’s what she said in her email…
Today’s session was again full of great content.
Mark, you mentioned 4 prospects a week. Where I am located, I’d love to have 4 prospects EVERY month. Some months we get 4, then we go 2 or 3 months without any.
I am currently reluctant to do much marketing because of staffing issues. My fear is getting too much work and not being able to handle it all…”
I know exactly where she is coming from.
I made the mistake myself in my firm of becoming obsessed with winning clients. I thought that having a successful practice was measured by growth and being as big a firm as possible.
These thoughts are common because of the...
How webinars can increase engagement – and conversion rates
Have you ever run a webinar? If you haven't, then it's time you did because they’re incredibly powerful. And, to help you get started, I’m going to share some key tips.
If you prefer to watch rather than read, you can watch my video here.
Live? Or pre-recorded?
The first big question to think about is whether you should run webinars live or pre-recorded.
Some great software exists that allows you to create webinars as videos and then run them on any schedule you like. Once a week, for example. People log in to watch the webinar, and it feels live. As a concept it has a lot of appeal. However, one problem I’ve found – and other people’s research bears this out – is that even though pre-recorded webinars may feel live, conversion rates are significantly lower.
Tip #1: Run them live
My first tip then is to run them live. That way, you can give whatever offer...