Six Reasons Highly Customised Proposals Should Be Avoided In Your Accounting Or Advisory Business
In our previous post we talked about a possible business model weakness that an accounting or advisory firm might have if it finds itself creating highly customised proposals. A weak business model means that growth is far more difficult to achieve.
Here are six reasons highly customised proposals should be avoided in your accounting or advisory business:
- They take too much time to scope with the prospect or client.
- They take too much time to price and document if they are not based on standardised modules.
- They take time to then present to the prospect or client.
- There could be ‘sticker shock’ at that point (if the pricing comes in higher than anticipated) which can kill the whole process. The time invested in the sales process and proposal process to this point therefore has been of little value to you or to the prospect or client, because no implementation actions will flow from the process.
- They take time for you to then answer questions and confirm the engagement.
- The time burned in a custom proposal process frustrates you. This costs you energy and enjoyment in what you do.
Am I saying that your accounting or advisory business should not create proposals? No. I’m suggesting you avoid a business model that requires highly customised proposals.
One exception is when the size of the potential engagement is very large. If the potential engagement represents 20% or more of the target annual billings of a senior advisor, then your investment in a custom proposal process could be worthwhile. That’s not an ideal business model, however, if that is the norm because your revenue will be very lumpy and unpredictable rather than steady across the year.
The need for time-consuming custom proposals in your advisory business is a sign that:
- You have not defined a list of clearly scoped and packaged services
- You have not clearly costed and priced your packaged services
- You do not have a fast and systemised scoping and proposal process that you can do in front of the prospect or client to ensure the pricing is in an affordable ballpark for them from the outset.
In the next post I’ll discuss some of the great new tools available for quickly creating customised proposals.