Sage Firm of the Future Symposium – New Dates Announced

I am thrilled to announce that Ron Baker and I will be conducting four Sage Firm of the Future Symposia in 2012. The dates are:

  • March 20-21 in Toronto, ON
  • April 24-25 in Irvine, CA
  • May 23-24 in Vancouver, BC
  • July 17-18 in Boston, MA

The symposium will feature Ron Baker of the VeraSage Institute and yours truly and is dedicated to the possibility that a professional organization can be run more effectively when it becomes a knowledge firm rather than a service firm. Creating such an organization is hard work and not for everyone as it requires partners to think differently than they have in the past about what it is that they do.

If you are interested visit sageu.com, and navigate to Academies and Bootcamps > Mid Market ERP. Not a Sage partner, but still want to attend? Email me and I can get you registered. The price is $2,500 per person and comes with a 100 percent money-back guarantee.

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELNEDA EST

New Firm of the Future Trailblazer: Carol-Ann Brouwer of Simply Made Simple

Today’s HSD (high satisfaction day) comes from this interview I did with Sage Simply Accounting partner Carol-Ann Brouwer of Simply Made Simple.

Carol-Ann attended a workshop on Firm of the Future in October 2010 and in one year has completely transformed into a Firm of the Future. In this year alone she doubled her income. Yes, I said doubled!

Get this, one of the first things she did was trash the timesheet!

I have posted both an excerpt (runs just over four minutes) and the full interview (runs 16 minutes.) Enjoy!

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST

Firm of the Future for Media and Analysts

Yesterday, I delivered a four-hour session on the Firm of the Future for IT industry media and analysts at the behest of Melody Chalaban on Sage North America’s media relations team. I want first to thank her for the opportunity and organization of the event.

Second, I want to thank Sage Partners and Firms of the Future, John Shaver from Aries Technology Group, creators of Bob’s Barbecue, Keith Greeno of Asyma Systems, and Peter Wolf from Azamba Consulting. (As you can see I am through the A’s with regard to flipping firms.) These three gentleman did an outstanding job of explaining how they have implemented the ideas that I only speak (some might say blather on) about.

imageThird, a shout out to Ron Baker whose books The Firm of the Future and Implementing Value Pricing are the basis for this material.

For your viewing pleasure here are the slides and for your listening pleasure a link to audio from the second half of the of the call. Unfortunately, the dog (i.e., my Windows PC) ate the first half of the audio.

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST

Speaking at the Professional Pricing Society Conference

One month from today, my friend and pricing mentor, Ron Baker and I will be delivering a 2-Day Workshop entitled, Creating and Capturing Value in an Intellectual Capital Economy on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 25-26 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas for the Professional Pricing Society.

If you are interested in attending, click the flyer below.

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ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST

On Angie’s List Pricing (or how NOT to price in one easy lesson)

Last week, I surfed into Angie’s List, a site which allows people to exchange information about local services providers like carpenters, yard services, etc. I knew it was a paid membership site, and I was curious about the pricing. Long story short, I did not sign up for a membership.

This morning I received the following email from them with the subject: Oops! We meant to give you a bigger discount

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So, let me get this straight. Angie’s List does a poll that indicates that 80 percent of companies do not have the confidence in their product or service to stand by a price they have given a prospective customer. In other words, they are liars – their “price” was not their price! Angie’s List then decides that rather than being an indication of a problem, they adopt this policy themselves.

In addition, they cast doubt upon all the vendors who use their service and tell me that they (Angie’s List) are liars (their price was not their price), but that they would really like me to sign up with my PayPal account and get even more off. Ahhh, no thanks!

Have I missed anything?

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST!

In ancient Rome, during the Punic Wars, Cato the Elder is said to have ended every speech he delivered before the Roman Senate with the phrase, “ET CARTHAGO DELENDA EST” (and Carthage must be destroyed!). He did this without regard to the subject of his speech.

It is in this spirit that I will begin to close all my post with the phrase, ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST which, loosely translated, means, “and the billable hour must be destroyed!”

Firm of the Future Symposium

On August 9-10 in San Francisco, Ron Baker and I will once again be presenting our Firm of the Future Symposium sponsored by Sage North America.

This symposium will be dedicated to the possibility that a professional organization can be run more effectively when it becomes a knowledge firm rather than a service firm. Creating such an organization is hard work and not for everyone as it requires professionals to think differently than they have in the past about what it is that they do.

Objectives

  • From a focus on revenue to a focus on profit
  • From a focus on capacity to a focus on capital management
  • From a focus on efficiency to a focus on effectiveness
  • From a focus on cost-plus pricing to a focus on pricing on purpose

Sage (Ed’s employer) has agreed to open a limited number of spots for firms that are not partners of Sage. If you are interested in joining us, please send me an email and I can get you registered. The price is $2,500 per person and comes with a 100 percent money back guarantee!

View the Firm of the Future Trailer

 

One of the more interesting stories to emerge from our previous FotFS, was that of Peter Coburn of Commercial Logic. They are publishers of, you guessed it, time and billing software. Peter underwent a conversion of sorts and posted a terrific article on it.

An Economic Theory of Everything

One of my all time favorite TEDTalks is by Rory Sutherland, a principal at the advertising firm Ogilvy. His brilliant analysis was on display again at Zeitgeist 2011.

 

The lessons here are many, but for me key learning is the link between Austrian and Behavioral economics:

  • All value is subjective, AND…
  • All prices are contextual.

The implications of these two statements together are profound and in my opinion amount to an economic theory of everything.

A Pricing Idea Confirmed

For years, whenever I have spoken about offering access level agreements, I have suggested a 20 percent premium if the customer wants to pay monthly instead of annually.

Last week, I got some confirmation that my pricing suggestion is right on target. Google is now offering a monthly subscription price for their Google Apps. The only price offered in the past was $50 per user per year, cheap enough to be sure.

Now, they offer a monthly price of $5 per user per month – a difference of, you guessed it, 20 percent.

Every so often, I get one way right!

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On Sensational Saturday for SAN Members

On Saturday, July 9, 2011 the Sage Accountants Network (SAN) is presenting Sensational Saturday at Sage Summit 2011 at the Gaylord National Hotel just outside Washington, DC.

The main draw is entitled, Tomorrow Is Today: The Accounting Firm of 2011 to be delivered by Darren Root of RootWorks and Ron Baker of the VeraSage Institute. (Oh yeah, a guy by the name of Ed Kless is going to be there to moderate the fireworks.)

imageDarren is the co-author (with Michael Gerber) of The E-Myth Accountant. Ron’s just released book is Implementing Value Pricing. While the two agree on many topics, including the need for professionals to set fixed prices for engagements, there are other areas where they are not in alignment. This, to me, is where the fun will begin.

imageThe presentation runs from 9am to 5pm and is dedicated to the possibility that accounting firms as we traditionally think of them are dying quickly. In order to ensure their survival, firms need to radically transform themselves. Creating such an organization is hard work and not for everyone and many firms will not be able to make the transition at all because this transition requires us to think differently than we have in the past about what it is that we do. You are invited to open a dialogue on a different model for creating success in a professional firm.

Click here for more information about the Sage Accountants Network.