Do you have this (crucial) first step in Business Advisory implementation?
How Accountants have lost ground in the business advisory market
The business mentoring sector is a profession that has seen huge annual growth in the last ten years in Australia. While these services were traditionally provided by accountants, over time business coaches and consultants have eroded our market share as providers of these services.
This is especially visible around business activities that drive revenue. Think about job costing, tracking the real KPI’s, and cash flow management. These activities have all gradually been taken from Accountants to be provided by business coaches and management consultants. I see now as the time for the Accounting profession to take those services back, and draw those progressive business owners back into the firm by providing business development services that we are also uniquely qualified to deliver.
I believe Accountants still have the advantage to take back the business advisory market.
The only thing standing between compliance services and value add service offerings is a focused effort by the Partners to design products that deliver what our clients need, and then tell our clients about it in a meaningful way.
Where most Accountants are stuck with business advisory implementation
The problem is that most Accounting firms are caught partway between compliance and value add services, and are unsure of how to proceed to the next step.
While there may be exceptions, most firms who are not implementing VAS strategies will explain their current position in one of three ways:
- “We’re still researching the market”,
- “We’re not sure what to offer our clients”, or
- “We’re looking for a software tool to help us grow”.
However, from experience, I know that what they are really hoping for is that the market will settle down and reveal a solution for them.
Most Accountants are waiting for a solution that works, instead of working on finding a solution.
This approach may make sense to minimise risk, but it comes at a number of costs:
- Massive missed opportunities to take a leadership position in front of prospects & clients,
- Increased risk that valuable team members will leave in the search for more rewarding career opportunities, and
- Increased risk of missing the opportunity to convert existing clients into VAS clients – because these clients are currently going to other service providers to fill their need.
The first step in Business Advisory Implementation
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – from the Tao Te Ching
This ancient Chinese wisdom reminds us that even the longest and most difficult ventures have a starting point.
In our industry I believe that the single biggest mistake being made right now is that firms are simply not taking that first step.
Instead of sitting back and waiting for an answer, they should be getting clear on what their firm will look like in the future.
This is the first step in the Chairman’s Program, because I believe that all progress afterwards is determined by your Vision. That includes the difference between success and failure.
Value Add Service Implementation Goals that drive Growth
Let’s look at a simple (yet challenging) goal of reaching 50% Revenue from Value Add Services. This would start a process to 1) determine what those value add services should be and 2) identify the services likely to have the greatest uptake by clients.
This simple, yet effective process would then become the focus for the next 90 days.
3 Phases to Evolving into Business Advisory
A simple three phase structure will lead the firm in the fastest way possible, while generating increased revenue streams from leveraged value add service offerings. I can tell you that firms who are doing this are also achieving increased profitability from the process.
Here are the three phases of this evolutionary structure…
|Phase 1. Design||Phase 2. Focus||Phase 3. Leverage|
This model streamlines the development phase and allows firms to focus on building, selling and delivering value add services to their customers within 3 months.
How FBZ Accounting built VAS Revenue within three months
Here is the way a recent client described their progress…
“We commenced productising our services with 26 Group because we wanted to sell more services to existing clients and leverage the service so we didn’t have to do it all. 3 months later we now have a structured service offering and a way to build revenue streams for the business outside of the accounting and tax services we currently offer. Additionally, we have successfully sold $70,000 worth of value added services.” – FBZ Accounting
The client began the process by getting clear on their Vision for the firm.
The transition was not as hard, nor as difficult for them once they decided to really focus on achieving the result. They could then embark on a set program, in this case the Chairman’s Program. Both the Partners and team benefited from the clear action plan and implementation milestones that lead to their business goals.
Get your priorities right with the FREE TOOL “DRIVING SUCCESS DIAGNOSTIC”
Of the firms I speak to on a weekly basis, three quarters of them are missing TWO CRUCIAL elements needed to grow their business. Until you identify these in your firm and take the steps to implement them, your firm cannot grow into the next tier.
This free tool, the Driving Success Diagnostic quickly positions you to take that next step towards growing your firm by helping you to:
- Understand exactly the stage or step that’s currently holding up implementation
- Get focused on “what to do next” to move forward with implementation
- Become confident that your results are closer than you think…
- Save a copy to your own drive
- Complete it and share with email@example.com for a free review.
Keep this for your personal planning sessions, or submit to Andrew via email for your free review.
“The clearer you are on your essential business building tasks, the easier it is to get them done because you understand how important they are and exactly how the firm will profit from their implementation.” – Andrew Robertson, TwentySix Group