5 Ways I Transformed my Business no. 4: Provide the Right Services
As choosing to work with the right clients is vital, so is providing the right services.
You may decide that you purely want to focus on compliance work. Or it may be compliance plus some advisory in the form of management accounts, cash flow forecasts and board meetings.
Or you may decide that you want to commit to a comprehensive range of advisory services, or what I prefer to break down into business support, business advice and business development services.
What services you decide to provide will to a large extent be determined by the types of clients you will work with and also by you. What are you comfortable doing, what do you enjoy doing, what don’t you have the skills to deliver?
The clearer you are on this and the better you communicate it to your team, clients and prospective clients through all your marketing activities the more of the right type of clients you will attract.
‘There is a lot of bullshit spoken…’
My view on this is that you must provide more than just basic compliance otherwise you will always be at risk of losing clients to those firms who provide more. Compliance work is the basics, the essentials, but to a large extent it is a price sensitive commodity.
There is a lot of bullshit spoken and written about ‘advisory’ services, a lot of which originates from software vendors trying to sell you their products and services and then from self-appointed gurus who think they know what you should be doing.
They don’t. Speak to other accountants to see what they’re doing, work out what you feel comfortable doing and what your clients want, speak to them. This could be business support and advice with queries every now and then about tax treatment of some costs, employment related issues or obtaining finance. Or it could be your client is looking to develop their business and needs a business plan, a cash flow forecast or management accounts and quarterly business review meetings.
Don’t try and shoe horn clients into a certain ‘package’. Not every client (in fact not many) want detailed management accounts with fancy graphs and lots of irrelevant (to them) ratios and KPI’s. Additional services (advisory) are largely value based services. Its work that your client’s value. They don’t have to have it for a statutory need; they want it to help improve their business and personal life. So work out what it is they want and then offer a service which helps them to achieve this.
Not all of your clients need to want these additional services but they need to know that you offer them. So make them aware of what you can do to help, in conversation, perhaps in an email but don’t try and ram ‘products’ down their throats.
If you’d like to work with Start Accountants to improve your practice/work life balance/help you enjoy work more, please get in touch.