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Do You Suffer From Being Good?

In his classic book “Good To Great” author Jim Collins states: ‘Good is the enemy of great.’ Collins further states that the reason why we don’t have great schools, government, companies and even lives, is because we tend to settle for having good schools, government, companies, and lives.

If things are going well, it’s often just simple to accept a good life, instead of striving for a great one. So, what’s going well in your firm that is helping you to remain just plain good – maybe like many of your competitors?

Do you settle for good clients when you could be out there looking for great clients? Do you settle for good staff when you could be mentoring people to become great staff? Do you settle for good financial results instead of stretching yourself to deliver great financial results for your efforts?

There are five key steps for any accounting firm that will help them get closer to greatness, so let’s cover them here;

Transitioning from Good to Great… 5 Key Steps

  1. Get the right people on your team.
    If you surround yourself with smart, capable people and get out of their way, good things will happen. Train and develop the team in both technical as soft skills. Often soft skills training is overlooked or undervalued. After all we are dealing with people here!
  2. Move on bad clients.
    Nobody likes being abused, under-appreciated, under-valued and so on, so why keep clients around who consistently do this to you? I call them Emotional Vampires. They consume all your time, do not appreciate what you do and bitch, moan and winge (BMW) about your price.
  3. Invest some time in your best clients.
    Your best clients deserve to be spoilt, but few firms create the time or capacity to spoil them. After removing some of your bad clients, use some of the time freed-up to invest with your better clients. Meet with them and find out what is important to them both in their business and personal lives and deliver services to address these needs.
  4. Add-Value to your clients’ Businesses.
    If you want to charge what you’re worth, you have to justify that by adding value to your clients. If you do not add value, why should someone pay you? One of the key growth areas in this regard is to show your clients how to build a better more profitable business with strong cashflow. Why not show them the financial impact of key business decisions before they make them? If we can effectively put money in their pocket, we are no longer considered an overhead, but a valuable partner and resource.
  5. Set higher client selection criteria.
    Start by reconsidering working with clients or on projects that are going to be of low yield to your firm. Instead, let’s go hunting and see if you can engage a few bigger clients with higher standards and bigger goals that fit your ideal client criteria. If you do not have this criterion, consider developing one and pass that onto your team and hunt clients that fit this model.

Finally consider on an ongoing basis how to be great in your firm and link that to the strategic vision and process from your strategic planning process and ongoing review of goals and actions.

Take the challenge and grow and develop your firm and have more fun doing it

Practice Management Enabled is an ongoing program that ensures focus on building your practice is not lost. Get started with a 45 minute complimentary Practice Management Assessment with Mark Holton – find out how to start streamlining practice management in your firm. Contact us now to confirm a time.

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Mark Holton

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