I was reading Man of Kent's recent blog on where do you want to go got me thinking. How do you know when you are in a position to want to grow?
The Joined Up Networker
I help professionals, mostly accountants and lawyers become the Go-To-Expert. After joining BDO LLP in 2004, I have now almost clocked up ten years working predominantly with accountants helping them achieve their career and business goals. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, I accidentally became a writer and used my knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, The FT Guide To Business Networking. (over 100 five star reviews on amazon) In 2012, the book I always wanted to write, 'How to make partner and still have a life' was published. In March 2014, my latest book, 'The Go-To-Expert: How to build your reputation, differentiate yourself from the competition and win business' was published. People frequently talk about me as someone who really knows her stuff – which may be the reason I have, over the last decade, worked with over 300 partners, coached and trained over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices.
I am honoured to have been asked to judge the British Accountancy Awards in 2011 and 2012. I am a member of the Accountant's Club Global Advisory Panel, and write regularly on practice management issues for CCH.
Myself, and Jon (my co-director) are approved Growth Accelerator Coaches. This means that we can if you are eligible, through the Growth Accelerator scheme, help you get some coaching funded by the scheme. Click here for more details to see whether you are eligible for the scheme.
Read how we have helped one of our accountancy clients access Growth Accelerator funding to grow their turnover by nearly 50% and profits by over 200%
The types of work I am currently helping my small professional practice clients with, includes:
1) Helping a £2m t/o practice grow to £4m by restructuring the firm and helping the management team step up
2) Working with a £1m t/o practice to grow to £2m by generating more leads, and getting more work from existing clients
3) Enabling a £300k t/o practice grow to £1m by helping it sort out it's profitability by adding in efficient systems and processes, and increasing the quality of the lead generation by marketing to a niche
4) Facilitating the growth of a one man band practice into a 3 person practice by helping increase the lead generation and conversion rate of leads, plus keeping the practice owner accountable to his goals.
The Excedia Group was founded by myself and Jon Baker to bring clarity, perspective and knowledge to help our clients achieve their business goals. We specialise in working with highly technical individuals, typically lawyers and accountants, helping them to get out of their comfort zone and build a profitable and sustainable client portfolio whilst handling the challenges of leading a business.
My work splits into about 50% Executive & Business Coaching with Partners & potential partners, with the rest split between training, consultancy and writing.
My articles & quotes regularly appear in the press, e.g. FT, Guardian, Accountancy Age, Accounting Today, Economia, ACCA's publications. I regularly blog at Partnership Potential, venture-Now, Joined up networking and How to make partner.
To book me for a speaking engagement please contact my PR Agency, Meerkat PR, on 020 8563 0182, and ask for David Stoch. For any other work related enquiries, please contact me directly.
My clients have included: Deloitte LLP, KPMG LLP, BDO LLP, Haines Watts, MSI Global Alliance, UK200 group, Macintyre Hudson LLP amongst others.
It seems the easy solution to growing your client portfolio.... you buy out a fellow professional and pay a multiple of 0.9-1.1 times the GRF of their client portfolio. Then you live happily ever after with your new clients.
The reality is often very different!
I am guessing that most of reading this, will need to have a face-to-face meeting with a prospect before converting them to a client. Very often these meetings can make or break a potential accountant/client match made in heaven.
Is one the hardest things when you run your practice describing what you do in an easy, short and succinct way? If I had a pound for the amount of times I have helped an accountant translate a mini-paragraph about what they do into a quick and easy sound-bite, I would need specialist tax advice!
I'm spending a day speaking and networking at a conference this week. Therefore, I thought today's blog would be a short and simple blog on how to get conversations with strangers started.
In general most partners I have met are perfectly nice and reasonable people. (even the big 4 partners) However, that is not always the case all of the time.
The challenge: How do you get your clients to take more services from you?
The reality: You know that many of your clients need your services, but either don't want to pay for them, or they think they can do them easier in house.
A few of my accountancy clients offer a very specialist and big-ticket service to their clients. As a result they often encounter long sales cycles, the torture of writing long proposal and tender documents, and slow decision making.
After the summer holidays, and a little bit of a break, I'm raring to go! Therefore, it's time to crank up the business development effort, before tax return season hits!