Entries by Mark Lee

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Why do you want to promote your firm?

A recent conversation with an accountant I’ve not worked with before started as follows: Accountant:  Do I need to promote my firm better? Mark: Probably, but it depends on what you want to achieve. Accountant: What do you mean? Mark: Marketing and promotional activities work best for accountants when you have first identified clear objectives. Otherwise you’re likely […]

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WHO do you need to stand out from?

One of my talks for accountants, and much of the advice I share generally, concerns WHY it’s important to STAND OUT from your competitors – and HOW easy this is to do when you put your mind to it. A related question I’ve never really addressed in detail is WHO do you need to STAND […]

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25 great answers to the question: How much do you charge?

One of the questions Accountants don’t like hearing, when approached by a prospective new client, is “How much do you charge?” All too often the question is asked, too early, out of context, and before you’ve established exactly what accountancy and related services you will be providing. And yet, if you blow the answer, your prospect is gone. […]

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Do people see you as successful or struggling?

Some accountants I know are proud of how efficiently they look after their own business affairs. Others though are embarrassed at their inefficiencies. And there are some who do not appear to give any thought as to how they are perceived. If clients or business associates become aware that you are not running your practice […]

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“What tools do you recommend to help a sole practitioner stand out?”

This was another question I was asked during a recent interview. This post is drawn from the notes I made before giving my answer on air. Many accountants and bookkeepers reference their best source of new business as being referrals and recommendations. So let’s deal with this first. Tools I would recommend here include: Linkedin […]

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3 lessons for accountants from….. personal trainers

I recently heard John Hardy the Founder of FASTER Health and Fitness introduce his business.  He mentioned he throught there were similarities with accountants. I have taken what he said and adapted it to provide some lessons for accountants from the business side of personal training and fitness. 1  Personality John has noted that a […]

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How do you allow clients to communicate with you?

In the days before email there were only 3 ways that clients could communicate with their accountants. In person, by phone and by letter. Now the list of options is much longer. Do you encourage, tolerate or refuse to accept communications by less conventional methods? How does this impact your client base? Email is perhaps […]

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The end of accountants is nigh. Or is it?

Let me save you some time. Yes, the accounting profession is going through (another) period of unprecedented change. There will be fewer jobs for accountants in the future. There will be fewer large firms of accountants in the future. But there will continue to be plenty of work for savvy sole practitioner accountants for many years […]

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“None of my clients want anything more than the basics”

Unlike some commentators, I entirely accept that many accountants have some clients who want nothing more than a basic compliance service.  And that you get very frustrated to be told by consultants that you should offer your clients advisory services. After all,  you know your clients don’t want, cannot afford and will not value such advisory […]

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Connect, know, like, trust, need – what do you do to make this work for you?

I frequently hear networking gurus stress a mantra that originated in the book ‘Endless Referrals, written by Bob Burg: “All things being equal, people do business with, and refer business to people they know, like and trust.” I understand this is also the mantra shared at certain networking groups. The focus then is on encouraging you to make an effort […]

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What is the really simple idea at the heart of what you do?

We have all been asked, many times, “What do you do?” Does your reply help ensure that you will be remembered positively for any length of time? Simple straightforward factual replies allow the other person to put us in a ‘box’. This is what happens when we simply state our profession (eg: “I’m an accountant” […]