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.”
He posted, “Want to know what’s wrong with business today? The prioritization of profit over principle is built into American corporate culture.”
I disagree, at least partially.
Pursuit and prioritization of profit is not a bad thing per se. The problem occurs when the pursuit of profit is driven by an over focus on efficiency and cost reduction rather than innovation and satisfaction of customer needs and wants.
The problem comes when the question, "How are we to be profitable?" is answered primarily by saying, "We will need to cut and recover costs." Yes, short term thinking as Bill points out is part of it, but it is the loss of the entrepreneurial spirit (or as some would say – purpose) that is the real problem.
I believe all companies begin to die when more energy is spent on creation of profit through cost reduction (efficiency) than on the creation of profit through innovation for customers (effectiveness).
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.
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!
This has been around quite a while, but I think it bears repeating.
Often times a professional is asked about cost, as in, “How much will this cost?” One of the best answers I have heard goes something like this – “Customers of ours who have saved and/or seen an increase of $V, have spent $P, but unless we can discover $V we won’t even send you a proposal.”
I personally believe that V should be at least three times P. My reasoning is that in the rare cases the price ends up being 2P, the value is still greater than price.
This is not a perfect answer and does not always move the asker off the cost question, but it is the only way I have seen that has a chance in moving them at all.