7-minute read For a brief moment, imagine taking a step back away from your firm. From the outside looking in, is the current status quo of your accounting business what you imagined it would be when you first decided to build it? The fact of the matter is that a vast majority of accounting firms are not realizing true growth. If your firm is not increasing revenue each quarter or each year even, then you are part of that collective.
One Word Makes All The DifferenceThere is something you can do to shift this reality. Rob Nixon, accounting business success mentor, coach, and facilitator to hundreds of accounting firms across the globe knows that you can. He says, “Your accounting firm can be whatever you want it to be – your dreams, your imagination, and your desire to implement new ideas will make all the difference.” The key word here is ‘desire’. It all boils down to how badly you really want it. Change can be daunting at first but it you have to do it. The industry is changing at such a rapid pace that, if you do not adapt now, your will end up wanting. So why wait? Take the necessary steps now so your firm can achieve sustainable growth sooner rather than later.
Your 1st Step: Fix Your Day-to-dayAs with any critical endeavor in life or business, the first step is often the hardest and most important. But if you want to achieve the results you really want, you have to take it. So your first step is to fix what is going on today. What does this mean? You have to resolve all the issues that are holding your firm back from growth. Large and complicated problems usually grow from relatively miniscule roots. The loss of clients, for example, can be attributed to missing deliverables or poor quality work which usually stem from disorganized workflow. You need to fix this. Get the right people for the right roles. Most times the simplest solution is staring right at you. Technology will help streamline your workflow. To make sure that you are maximizing all the technology at your disposal, you need to do an audit of all that you use. If you are not using technology to their full potential, ensure that you do or use something that you can. You can ask experts to learn if you are using the right technology to suit they way you do business. Move on to pricing. Are you pricing projects upfront and for the real value that you provide your clients? Try upfront and value pricing strategies. These will not only move your firm’s revenue needle up but also help address issues with receivables as you do away with client doubts on your time on the job. Plus, you will earn the profits you really want and deserve. Speaking of clients, get the right mix for your firm. If you have specific niche markets, focus getting more of those clients. Now will also be the perfect time to let go of the clients who provide you more problems than they are worth to your business. Get clients who align with your business values and standards. When you have the clients you want, keep them happy. These are just some examples of your day-to-day systems and processes that you can fix. When you do this, you can move on to the next step.
Your 2nd Step: Minimize Your TimeAfter fixing basic aspects of your accounting business, you can now start minimizing time to get more efficient. Time and manpower are the keys to overcoming capacity challenges. Increasing workflow efficiency through the effective use of technology and having a high-performing global team to fully utilize them is critical in this step. Maximizing the use of technology will help you minimize time and thus increase your capacity to do more work. With innovations in cloud intelligence and automation that you can apply, you will also avoid the mishandling of data that eats up the already minimal amount of time you have. Couple the right technology with the right people to manage them and you have at least two-thirds of your success formula right there. Get highly skilled specialists that have years of experience and know how in administrative work, marketing, sales, and other aspects of your business that you currently do not have. You can do this at a fraction of the cost by building a high-performing global team. This dynamic relationship between technology and people will help you take back your clock and dramatically improve efficiency, thus increasing capacity, and consequently revenue and profits. You not only realize these results but achieve true work-life balance in the process.
Your 3rd Step: Scale Your BusinessEnsure that the first two steps are sorted out so you can start scaling your accounting business. You can grow your firm to as big or as successful as you are willing to put the effort into doing. Again, it comes back to your desire. Aim as high as you want. Start setting goals in the next 12 months, 3 years, 5 years, and so on. Build your systems and processes around these goals. With it, build a team that will help you achieve these goals. There many avenues with which you can start growing your firm. You can move into new niche markets to increase your firm’s competitive edge. With this, you can expand your services portfolio and include value-added services. You can acquire another firm if you are capable of doing it. You just have to remember that critical to this growth is building strong relationships. But to do all of these, you need the final third of the success formula – having the right accounting business strategies. Rob Nixon can show you a whole host of how-to methodologies that will help you scale your business. Try applying the principles that he has used to help hundreds of accounting firms worldwide build thriving businesses for themselves and for their clients.
ConclusionTo grow your firm and achieve the results you really want, remember these three important steps: Fix, Minimize, and Scale. Take note that you cannot do this overnight. This is a long-term play. Again, it comes down to desire – your willingness to do what it takes to achieve true growth for your firm.
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