Regardless of which profession you practice, I wonder if you make an all too common mistake. We all hope that clients will want us to provide a range of services to them. And we hope that clients will recommend and refer us to other prospective clients too. But, as I frequently point out, 'hope' is
Are you 'just another' accountant, lawyer, surveyor, speaker, trainer or whatever? Really? But you're you. No one else can be you. The real you. Richard Jones on BGT The winner of the 2016 TV series of Britian's Got Talent (BGT) was Richard Jones. A magician. And a soldier. When interviewed* Richard explains that from the
I routinely encourage audience members to give me their business cards at the end of conference talks. They do so if they would like me to send them copies of slides and other materials I reference during my presentation. As many of my audiences are accountants this affords me the opportunity to compare and contrast
If you are a regular reader you will know I rarely include guest posts on my blog. In this tenth anniversary year though I have decided to stop being so precious. As long as the content is both directly relevant and useful to my audience and I agree with the advice and tips, why not?
After I'd presented a talk to a group of accountants recently one of them asked for my advice. Our brief discussion might be of wider interest. Q: I have a [huge] shopfront window at the front of my high street accountancy practice. 40,000 cars go past each day. Could we use the window to STANDOUT and
During 2016 politicians in both the UK (Michael Gove) and in the US (Donald Trump) repeatedly asserted that people have “had enough” of experts. Voting patterns seemed to confirm this as expert political and economic views were largely ignored. And yet, we also know it's patently not true. If you have a health problem do
I was asked two related questions during a recent interview. This post is drawn from the notes I made before giving my answers on air. 1. With so many businesses competing with each other online, has it become more important to put more personality into your practice? The smaller your practice the more important
Most sole practitioners are justly proud of their technical skills. It is also common to find that some sole practitioners undervalue the importance of ensuring that they have all the business skills they require to be profitable in the short-term and successful in the longer-term. At best only lip-service is paid to the development of non-technical
This is a guest blog provided by Patrick McLoughlin. In it he explains how sole practitioner accountants can become really clear as to who is a premium fee playing client. And, having done that, how you can then clarify your future marketing and business generation activities. As Patrick's approach is much the same as mine I
Ok, maybe not real 'commandments' and maybe they are relevant to a wider audience than sole practitioners. Either way I hope you'll nod as you look through the list. I suggest you aim to pick out one or two where you know you could do better. And then focus on what you could do to
Let's be realistic. If you did some work for a client but they weren't happy because you made a big mess of it, would you insist on charging them extra to correct your mistake? I hope you wouldn't even consider trying to charge extra to resolve a mistake of your own making. To my mind this
Too many accountants struggle to distinguish themselves from their competition. This is a shame as it is what makes each of us different that makes us memorable and the reason why clients engage us. Challenge this if you must. Tell me that no one cares about anything other than price. If that's what you believe
A research student asked me this question and, after drafting a short reply, I have now expanded my response as it may be of wider interest: "As regards how much of my business comes from social media, forgive me but the question is too simplistic. Social media is never a source of business for me.
Some years ago I spent a lot of time with a lovely guy* whose focus was team building in larger businesses. One day he asked if I would introduce him to my contacts in a specific company he was targeting and where I had worked previously. I took a deep breath before answering him honestly.
We know, don't we, that good communication is important in business. In my view, one of the most fundamental pieces of communication is how we talk about what we do. There are many challenges to be overcome here. We want to avoid sounding just like everyone else in the same field. We want our message to
After being ranked in the top 3 of online influencers by the ICAEW I was recently interviewed about my social media journey. The following extracts may be of interest. When and why did you start using social media? It was 2006 when I first registered on Ecademy.com This business focused online networking site predated
I tried to do something different this year. Like many others I stopped sending cards to everyone a while back. These days cards sent with a personal message can STAND OUT positively as they are now much less common than once was the case. Some cards and messages specifically STAND OUT. I remember one
Most professional advisory firms are simply named after their founders. Some retain the names of just the first two or 3 partners, Others might extend to 4, 5 or 6 names. The longest I have found, unless you know better, was a small Los Angeles entertainment firm, once known as: Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie,
I recently offered some help by way of comments in response to an accountant's query in an online forum. Most of my observations and advice are of more general application so I am sharing them here too. The questioner has been in practice for 3 years and is struggling to build up his client base. He
Are you one of those accountants in practice, who still charges fees by reference to the time you spend working on a client’s affairs? Even if you have moved to fixed pricing, menu pricing or value pricing you may still complete timesheets to show how much of your day has been devoted to each different
Just stop for a moment and consider how you would answer if someone asked you: "What do you enjoy doing?" Now think how much better that reply sounds than what you normally say when someone asks you: "What do you do?" In formal business networking situations your reply to that ubiquitous question may be one
I was intrigued by elements of the Accountancy Rich List 2015 published by economia magazine. The magazine itself, as distinct from the online list, contains pen portraits of ten of those on the list, described as "inspiring entrepreneurial chartered accountants". In each case a sentence or quote has been given explaining 'How he made it".
During the summer, at The Magic Circle, one of our more distinctive members gave a short lecture. Laura London stands out in a crowd even though she no longer wears the tight leather outfits she did a few years back. She still has bright red hair and lips which I am sure command attention wherever
I was amused by an email I received out of the blue this week and thought you might find it helpful to learn why. The salient part read: "At [ABC] we understand that social media is becoming more important in running a business than ever before. My name is [XYZ] and I'm reaching out to
One of the thousands of accountants with whom I am connected on Linkedin recently posted a link asking what did people think about his firm's new website. I replied privately but thought I would share my feedback as it may be helpful to others. I have no desire to embarrass the accountant in question so