New eBook Available (with a chapter by moi)

I am honored to have a chapter in this new free eBook. Here is more from the press release:

Entrepreneurs starting their own businesses now have a little more help. Start with a Profit: Best-Practice Tips for New Entrepreneurs from Top Accounting Industry Leaders is the latest guide to helping new business owners become successful. 

Editor Sandi Leyva, CPA, asked fellow accounting industry thought leaders one question:  “For someone who wants to start a new business from scratch today, what is the most important strategy or tactic you’d tell them about to help them succeed?” One dozen thought leaders along with Sandi provided their answers.  Co-authors include:

  • Alison Ball, Senior Manager of the Global Influencer Program of Intuit, Inc.
  • Sharada Bhansali, Co-Founder of AccountantsWorld
  • Randy Johnston, CEO of Network Management Group, Inc.
  • Ed Kless, Senior Director of Partner Development and Strategy of Sage
  • Sandi Leyva, Founder of Accountant’s Accelerator
  • Monika Miles, President of Miles Consulting Group, Inc.
  • Clayton Oates, Chief Solutions Officer of QA Business Pty Ltd.
  • Edi Osborne, CEO of MentorPlus
  • Leslie Shiner, Owner of the ShinerGroup
  • Doug Sleeter, Founder of the Sleeter Group
  • Sandra Wiley, COO and Shareholder of Boomer Consulting
  • Geni Whitehouse, Countess of Communication of Even a Nerd Can Be Heard
  • Scott Zarret, President of CPA Academy

“To my knowledge, it’s the first collaborative work of thought leaders in the accounting industry,” says Sandi Leyva.  This is Sandi’s 30th book and her first collaboration as editor. 

Although each author’s contribution is quite unique, a few client-centric themes emerged, including how to market most effectively, how to build customer relationships, and how to interact with clients.  Others focused on business models and pricing.  Still others urged the entrepreneur to embrace their passion and their “why.”

 

New Member of Ed’s List

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAVuAAAAJGQ0OTQ5ZDAwLTgyZmEtNGE0Yy05N2FjLTM5YzM0NmM3NTUwYgThis weekend I received a message from an attendee of one of my early Sage Consulting Academy classes. He has recently started his own company and wrote to ask that he be included on Ed’s List.

Here is the message:

I’d be honored if you add my software consulting and development firm, Monkeys Amok Software Consulting, to Ed’s List. Your conversations on fixed-price engagements and service guarantees still ring in my ears from when I first heard you speak at the Sage Consulting Academy years ago.

When I started my own company a few months ago, two things were obvious. For one, I’ve never had the illusion that hours spent has any relationship to the value I deliver to a customer; hence, I have no interest in doing time-based billing. Secondly, I expect my customers to hold me accountable so, of course, I offer an unconditional money-back guarantee on my services.

These things should be common sense, right? Keep the posts coming!

All the best,

Chris Burriss

I am thrilled to add Chris and Monkeys Amok to Ed’s List. Welcome!

If you are aware of any other organizations that meet the criteria, please let me know.

Value Pricing Twitter Chat

Today, I had the honor and pleasure of participating in a Twitter chat sponsored by my employer Sage. (Honestly, sometimes I think, wow, I get paid for doing this, really‽)

My thanks to the entire team at Sage but especially Mark Redstrom who made this incredibly fun and easy. Thanks also to all who participated in the fast paced banter in 140 characters or fewer.

Below is the “Storified” chat session.

On the Enterprise Software Podcast

espodcastAt Sage Summit 2015, I had the honor of being interviewed by Bob McAdam, Todd McDaniel, and Darcy Boerio, hosts of the Enterprise Software Podcast. They “talk all things enterprise software a couple of time each month.”

Specifically, they wanted me to talk about value pricing, but the conversation ranges from hanging out at the Mint Lounge (now known as the Spirits Lounge – see photo below) in the Holiday Inn in Fargo, ND to the best pizza place in Allen, TX.

spiritsYou can tell by listening that I was pretty amped up on adrenaline from being at Sage Summit. In fact, I blathered on so long they had to break it up into two episodes. That said, I think I did a pretty good job of sharing some of the basics of value pricing including why timesheets need to be trashed, the need to “move off the solution,” and how to work through Mahan Khalsa’s Five Golden Questions in order to extract the understanding of the value to the customer.

Have a list to both right here:

Part One

Part Two

Sage Summit 2015 Session – Changing conversations by asking effective questions

This is the third in a series of three posts I will be doing featuring slides and audio from my sessions at Sage Summit 2015. Sorry that the audio is not quite the best.

Changing conversations by asking better questions

This session is dedicated to the possibility that professionals can greatly increase the value they provide to their customers if they hone their skills at asking better, more effective questions. Developing and enhancing this skill is not easy because it requires us to rethink and relearn conversation habitss. If you would like to learn how this questioning approach can strengthen your customer conversations, join Ed Kless us for this discussion-based session.

Slides

 

Listen

Sage Summit Sessions – Creating vision and strategy

Unfortunately, the audio for these two sessions did not turn out at all listenable. Therefore, I am ust posting the abstracts and the slides. Please feel free to comment or contact me if you have any questions.

Creating shared vision in a small business

Have you defined a vision for your company and shared it with your teams? A shared vision enlists others in the work and provides guiding principles for day to day activities. Creating a shared vision can be hard work because it requires you to examine goals and beliefs and weave them into a cohesive picture of your future. If you’re ready to start this work on behalf of your organization, join Ed Kless to make this part of your 2015 action plan.

Slides

Creating strategy in a small business

Even small organizations can create and execute meaningful strategic plans. Creating a well-defined strategy is hard work and not for everyone, as it requires us to begin to say “no” to stuff we usually say “yes” to. You are hereby invited by facilitator Ed Kless, to open a dialogue about how best to go about creating a strategy for your small business organization.

Slides

Sage Summit 2015 Session – Leadership in the age of the quick fix

This is the second in a series of three posts I will be doing featuring slides and audio from my sessions at Sage Summit 2015. Sorry that the audio is not quite the best.

Leadership in the age of the quick fix

Leadership thinking is is often based on manipulation – trying to “get someone to do something” which isn’t necessarily effective. Coming to terms with this idea is difficult and not for everyone because it requires us to examine some of our most deeply held beliefs and either dismiss them or at least think differently about them. If you are interested in rethinking the way you approach leadership, you are invited to attend this session.

Slides

Listen

Sage Summit 2015 Session – Measure what matters

This is the first in a series of three posts I will be doing featuring slides and audio from my sessions at Sage Summit 2015. Sorry that the audio is not quite the best. 

Measuring what matters (to customers)

Do your performance metrics reflect what’s truly important to your customers? This session explores the ways companies can increase financial performance by changing from inwardly facing measurements to measurements that extend outside the firm. Changing these metrics often requires firms to think differently than they have in the past. If you’re ready to think differently about your company’s measurement systems (or think you might be ready to think differently), join this conversational session facilitated by Ed Kless.

Slides

Listen

Everything I Needed to Know about Consulting My Daughter Learned in Kindergarten

As of last Friday, our daughter is a first grader, at least that is what she told me.

Actually, I asked her on the morning of the last day of school, “Cara, when do you become a ‘first grader’? Today after school? Over the summer? In August when you go back to school?”

Without hesistation she stated it was as soon as she left the school building later in the day. She also reminded me that she had mastered the “Rules of Kindergarten” and proceeded to remind me what they were.

If you can’t quite make them out, they are:

  1. Follow directions quickly.
  2. Use helpful hands and words.
  3. Stay on task.
  4. Make smart choices.

Some of you may recall Robert Fulghum’s classic All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. While his sixteen exhortions are pretty dang good advice. I think Cara’s rules take it to the next level with regard to a career in consulting.

My personal favorite in “Stay on task,” mostly because it is the one with which I have the most trouble.

My latest interview on value project management and pricing

I’m excited to share with you a recent interview I did with the Growing Your Firm Podcast with David Cristello. 

  • This interview is filled with actionable insights on: 
  • The trap of focusing on effort over duration
  • How to implement value pricing and management for your clients
  • And even why I prefer the term “customers” over “clients”

You can listen to the entire interview (for free!) here: http://jetpackworkflow.com/value-billing-ed-kless-verasage/