Big Take Aways From The Practice Growth Formula Workshop [2 of 2]

Sales and marketing

The most important things that came out of our recent event [2 of 2]

Last week, we shared with you one of the big take aways that came out of the recent Practice Growth Formula workshop . Click here to read last week’s article if you missed it which is about client expectations.

This week, we will share with you the second big take away from the workshop.

Transitioning to a new revenue model is a necessity

Lets start with a few questions:

  • Does your firm have a system to attract more clients without your input?
  • Are you satisfied that your team are operating at their full potential and capacity?
  • Do you think you’re doing everything you can for your clients?
  • Has your firm created a vision for the next 5-7 years that all members of the team are committed to?
  • Do you have a strategy to survive the economic downturn? Do you have the right resources and processes in place right now?

If you answered no to any of the above, you’re probably in a similar position/mindset to the attendees before they walked into the room.

You want revenue growth. You can see how technology is changing the landscape. And you know that the economic landscape will impact on your firm’s profitability if you continue doing things the same way.

Yet you’re probably hesitant to commit to taking on a new trajectory. You want PROOF that the new ideas and revenue models will work for YOUR firm before you commit. You may be concerned about the “what if it won’t work?” or “will clients reject a new approach?” However, the real question is: WHAT IF YOU DON’T TAKE ACTION? What would happen in 5 years time if you continue in the current trajectory?

This is the question the attendees of the PGF February workshop answered for themselves. The answer was the realisation that their job, as they know it today, may not exist in the near future.

The “Uberisation” of the economy

A contact of mine used this term the other day over coffee to describe the change in the way we use and create resources. And Uber is a great example of this change.

Uber is changing the way the entire taxi / private driver industry operates and the parallels with what’s happening in the accounting/professional services industry are outlined in the table below:

Uber

  • Uber is reducing the barriers to entry by providing a platform for passengers to connect with private drivers
  • Where once drivers relied on taxi companies to provide them with tools to run the business (e.g. to book rides, accept payments etc), these tools and technology is now at our fingertips in our every day devices (iphones, ipads etc).
  • By reducing overheads and empowering drivers to build client relationships and provide experiences for their passengers (e.g. free bottled water), more and more people are using the service through viral word of mouth marketing. Traditional taxi services just don’t measure up.

Accounting industry

  • Technology is reducing the barriers to entry by allowing data to be shared securely all over the world. Clients can use the services of providers overseas at a fraction of the cost of providers here.
  • Clients no longer need to rely on accountants to manage their books day to day with technology like Xero empowering them to record their transactions themselves.
  • Basic compliance jobs are being made redundant.  
  • Forward thinking firms will be the ones who will win in today’s environment. Those firms who aim to surprise and delight their clients by changing the revenue model, including by:
  • Giving them great buying experiences (with cleverly packaged services and a consultative sales approach)
  • Empowering their staff to build client relationships that result in them identifying more opportunities for the firm
  • Systematising delivery processes to improve efficiency so partners and the team have more time to focus on helping their clients strategically.

What you can do right now

If, like the attendees at the recent Practice Growth Formula workshop, you are willing to commit to doing things differently to ensure your firm survives, here are 3 things you can do right now to take your firm on a new trajectory.

1. Define your 5-7 year vision

Many firms we work with don’t have a clearly defined vision. Those that do have one haven’t communicated it or got buy in from the entire team. If you want to make changes for the future of the firm, you need to first know what you want that future to be.

2. Be honest about your firm’s challenges

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What services are becoming increasingly commoditised? Why?
  • What’s really stopping my team from proactively bringing more opportunities to the firm?
  • Do my clients know about everything the firm can do for them? Or are they in the dark?
  • Are my team working efficiently or does everyone do things differently because there aren’t any systems or processes?

The first step to change is to become aware of the challenges your firm faces right now and put it in your plan to overcome them.

3. Pull together the resources you need to overcome your challenges

The reason you have these challenges is because, to date, you haven’t had the resources to tackle them. These resources may include the time, expertise or space in the budget.

If you’re serious about change, you need to MAKE SPACE.  How much time can you or your team allocate? How much space are you willing to make in your budget? And who do you need help from to steer you in the right direction?


Jenny Tse

Jenny Tse

Owner at Licence to Bill™

I am a speaker, published author, sales strategist and coach to small businesses. Over the past decade, I've worked with some of the largest organisations in the world, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Macquarie Bank and have been invited to speak at the National Audit Conference hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants. I'm brought in by clients increase their revenue. I run a 3 day sales and communication workshop where I teach my 12 step sales process. www.licencetobill.com.au

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Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

This was a really good follow up piece with nice insights of its own.