First, I’ll introduce the firm, then I’ll show you the crucial mistake they made when trying to adopt FPA. We’ll also discuss the effects of this mistake on their practice, clients and team and why it was ultimately holding them back from success.
Rural firm, 2 partners with 7 people
· Needed to get more fees and have more profit
· Needed to fix WIP & Debtors
· Wanted more engagement with clients
· They wanted an easier process to follow.
With this wish list in mind, we headed into a two day planning and strategy retreat with the outcome of:
- re-working the delivery platform;
- realigning a portion of the team to make jobs flow more effectively ie. run quicker & cheaper; and
- designing a client engagement model inc.
Their initial approach [Mistakes in implementing]
Previously, when the firm had approached the issue of fixed price agreements, they made several mistakes in implementation, including:
- too much focus on designing the wording of FPA letters – detail vs value
- Creating a list or menu of services, (instead of designing a service offering through packages and products)
- began discussing with clients how the new FPA work – but they missed the point of what FPA’s are actually for and how they fit into the bigger picture.
The issues this created
- Clients got confused and were not truly engaged in the change – the value for them was not clearly articulated
- The team got overwhelmed at all the extra work and change happening. To them it looked like a lot of hard work that wouldn’t result in a better outcome.
Result : everyone became frustrated and unhappy (Clients, team & partners) and the desired change was not achieved.
These mistakes are not isolated. Many firms wishing to make the change to Value Add Services make the same mistake.
Crucially, they focus on FPAs as the solution, when they are really another tool to implement the bigger strategy.
This focus creates extra work for the whole firm, and yet fails to achieve results and becomes de-motivating.
The key to implementation is to begin with a proven strategy first and implement FPAs as part of this process.
At TwentySix Group we have a specific process designed to achieve practice growth, which includes the strategic implementation of FPAs.
Next week in part 2, I’ll be addressing this solution in detail.
Here’s what you can get from Part 2 : The Solution to the most common mistakes made in implementing FPAs
- an easier way to tell clients what you do (makes on boarding them into new services easier)
- Simple way for the team to match clients to value add services that benefit them and create better profit for you
- How to effectively focus the team on increasing average client fees.