This post is not about business planning, it’s about a different type of journey. A journey involving the education and development of your business clients.
That’s right, education and development of business clients. You may not realise it but as a Public Practitioner, you are not just in the business of ‘taxation’ or ‘accounting’. You are also an educator and as such contribute to your clients management education and development as business owners.
Now this does not have to be a complicated or structured (well, some structure) process, but over time you are quite capable of building your clients business expertise by giving them small pieces of structured advice from time to time as a part of your (billable) services.
‘They intoxicate themselves with work so they won’t see how they really are.’ – Aldous Huxley.
“The Fatal Assumption – In the throes of your Entrepreneurial seizure, you fell victim to the most disastrous assumption anyone can make about going into business. It is an assumption made by all technicians who go into business for themselves, one that charts the course of a business – from Grand Opening to Liquidation – the moment it is made.
That Fatal Assumption is: if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does that technical work. And the reason it’s fatal is that it just isn’t true. In fact, it is the root cause of most small business failures! … To the technician suffering from an Entrepreneurial Seizure, a business is not a business but a place to go to work’.
The important thing to remember is, this is your client or at the very least, the vast majority of your business clients. Again, as Gerber puts it they ‘Work IN their business and not working ON their business’!
You can get your own copy (book, kindle or audio) by clicking on the link below.
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
When I designed ‘ClientSAFE – Business Advisor Tool Kit‘ I included a concept diagram called ‘The Entrepreneurial Cycle’. The reason I did this was for the very purpose of being able to show a client (a single picture is worth a thousand words) the cycle business owners must progress through in order to create a sustainable, profitable business.
Coincidently I recently read Jim Collins book ‘Good To Great’ wherein he outlines his ‘Level 5 Hierarchy’ and to my surprise (and delight) it is a very close representation of my ‘Entrepreneurial Cycle’ except it’s displayed (in pyramid form) building from Level 1 (Highly Capable Individual) up to Level 5 (Executive).
With concept diagrams and ready reckoner tables such as those in the ‘ClientSAFE – Business Advisor Tool Kit‘ business owners gain an instant insight into what’s needed to move from ‘Technician to Executive’ and how their Accountant can help them achieve this.
The outcome for your client is a few things which include:
- Recognising that their Accountant can provide real added value if they bother to talk with him/her more often
- A realisation that without proper management expertise, their business (if it is one) is unlikely to reach it’s full potential
- More work using the services of their Accountant will be an integral part of achieving business success
Here is a brief list of additional services that could be offered to a client to move them from ‘Technician/Supervisor’ to ‘Manager/Director’.
- Develop and annual Profit and Cash Flow Plan
- Quarterly / Monthly Performance monitoring (against 1. above)
- Re-structure Chart of Accounts for improved margin and cost management
- Review and improve inventory management
- Review and update current pricing structure