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.”
This 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,
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.
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.
You 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.