Straight up, why are you acting like a bank? Last week we discussed the need to start being Pro-active rather than Re-active and this question which is also this week's topic, is very closely aligned. Now again, this step is pitched predominantly at Accountants however, being a business owner in any field, this topic should be at the forefront of your thoughts.
4. WHY ARE YOU ACTING LIKE A BANK?
After looking at culture last week in our series of 7 steps, for the third step we’re going to focus on something really simple and easy to change, it won’t cost a cent and will give you back control in your business. This step is pitched predominantly at Accountants, but any service based business can adopt the following principle:
3. PRO-ACTIVE RATHER THAN RE-ACTIVE
Last week we kicked off our series imploring you to spend time ON your business, not IN your business. This week we need to address something that is so easily forgotten and rarely gets the constant focus that is required. Therefore, the second of the 7 steps is:
2. CULTURE CLUB
How much time do you spend with your team, teaching them, listening to them, empowering them? As a Partner in a business, why did you hire staff to begin with instead of just staying a lone ranger? To remind you, no doubt the original need stemmed from your lack of capacity to complete all your client workload and run a business, therefore hiring staff to complete that workload so you could in turn acquire new clients or additional client work and then have it completed, increasing turnover and therefore profit.
Some experts would suggest that Partners in an Accounting firm should only spend approximately 30% of their time on chargeable client work. This gives you 70% of your working week to spend time on growing your business and your team.
Improving or creating a positive culture within your firm where your team feel valued, empowered, supported and have a sense of job satisfaction, means that for the time they are with you, they are more focused on the job at hand and will be more productive, therefore making them a valuable asset to your business.
Spending time on their development means they will make better managers and potentially business partners in the future. It will also ensure your clients are receiving a positive experience, therefore increasing client retention.
There are many inexpensive tools that can create a positive culture. With the changing landscape in software, internal messaging tools such as Yammer, Skype for business or Slack can replace emails and create a forum for streamlined communication.
Then there are services such as Cultrureamp, or Officevibe that measure your team’s engagement through the use of quick surveys. If these don’t appeal to you, then schedule regular and productive individual catch-ups with every team member, both of you can learn a lot from these meetings!
In the next blog, we're going to talk about Starting to be Pro-active, RATHER THAN RE-ACTIVE....want to know more? Get in touch for a chat!
Having worked in a number of accounting firms, I’ve seen a lot of different processes and ways of doing things that are occurring.
In my opinion, no business owner ever gets into business to do administration, but by nature of owning a business there is always an element of administration and internal workflow management that needs to occur, in order to provide the service or bot, that you got into business to provide. For the accounting industry, by creating a streamlined approach for the majority of your client work, and only altering that approach where absolutely necessary for those bespoke clients, will allow you as business owners to focus on providing a valuable service to the majority of your client base, instead of the minority!
Now, every Accounting firm likes to think they are different...but the reality is, you are not dissimilar to the other 15K-20K Accounting firms within Australia. Over the next 7 weeks, we'll highlight some critical areas of your business that need some focus and some serious improvement, because getting a grip on these 7 steps, will help you stand out as the trusted advisor you know you are.
To kick this series off, lets pose an important question to ponder: Are you an Accountant who owns a Business, or a Business Owner of an Accounting Practice?
A lot of Partners in firms still do far too much actual client work and not enough Business Development, be it internally or externally. Therefore, the first of the 7 steps is:
1. SPEND TIME ON YOUR BUSINESS, NOT IN YOUR BUSINESS
Every week, you should spend at least half a day working on your business. It can be really difficult to put aside the time when clients and staff want your attention, however it will ensure that you are tracking towards your business goals, instead of getting stuck in a vortex of just completing client work.
You need to commit to this though, block out the same time every week in your diary and DON’T make exceptions.
This is your time to spend on investigating new processes, streamlining current ones and looking at new software options.
Refocus your business goals and KPI’s, invest time in marketing and new client acquisition.
Spend time with your team and keep them updated with internal changes and industry knowledge. The ability to spend time on your business on a regular basis, means your focus is adjusted and areas for improvement can be identified quickly, to allow you a much smoother overall workflow process.
This in turn makes you a happier business owner!
In the next blog, we're going to talk about Culture....want to know more? Get in touch for a chat!
Clarity Street was conceived from years of engaging with Accounting firms on a daily basis and a constant desire to make Accounting firms & SME’s more efficient and profitable.