Indecent Proposal? How To Make Your Accounting Firm Easier To Grow

By Posted in - The Public Blog on juli 2nd, 2013 0 Comments As an accounting or advisory business, a key ingredient of an attractive business model for your firm is scalability. The end result of scalability is a business that is easier to grow and easier to manage. Every business owner wants that. Symptoms of a lack of scalability in a accounting or advisory business include:
  1. Many of your advisory services can only be delivered by Partners/Principals/Directors
  2. Many of your advisory services can only be sold by Partners/Principals/Directors
  3. Your advisory services involve a lengthy or labour-intensive sales process including highly customised proposals that take a lot of time and effort to create
  4. You go ‘from feast to famine’ in these service areas where:
  • You’re busy delivering the services and completing the projects (= feast), all the while reinforcing your reputation as a bottleneck in the firm; and then
  • When you complete the engagements you find your pipeline of prospective engagements has dried up (= famine) in the meantime from a lack of communication on your part because you have been so busy; which means
  • You then don your rainmaking cap again and switch back into business development mode to generate new advisory engagements.
Our advice to accountants and advisors seeking a scalable business model that doesn’t rely on the Principals ‘selling their time’ directly includes:
  • If you cannot systemise and package a service, don’t sell it
  • If you cannot delegate and scale a service, don’t sell it
  • If you cannot also systemise and standardise the sales process, including the proposal stage, don’t sell it
In short, make sure you’re not out there selling ‘an amorphous blob of help’! Don’t be a blank canvas saying Yes to a wide variety of assignments. Define your services very specifically, package them clearly and simply, systemise their delivery, and delegate much of the service-delivery process to non-Principals. Then scale up. Otherwise growing your advisory business will be far more difficult than it needs to be. If you’re working hard without getting great returns, chances are there’s a scalability issue in your business model. We demystify the packaging of services in Module 7 – Your Packaging in our Modern Marketing Academy online learning program. The need for highly customised proposals is an easy symptom for you to self-diagnose. In the next post in this series we address 6 reasons highly customised proposals should be avoided in your accounting or advisory business.

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