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Have you used an accounting business coach?

My practice is all over the show and I need to sort it out.

Didn't find your answer?

I was just wondering whether any of you had used a business coach to help grow your business? Would you recommend anyone you have used? Was paying for a coach worth it?

No matter how hard I try I never get past the putting out fires stage and I have been doing that for tens years. My biggest issue is that I am an accounting pr0stitute - show me money and I’ll service you. So I  know I need to start focusing on a niche. I am pretty bullish on the future of our profession and whilst there are threats, I still think there are a lot of opportunities. However in order to make the most of the opportunities I need to pull myself together and run a proper business not a cottage industry. For that to happen I think I need accountability and structure which I’m finding difficult on my own.

My business is small. It is just me and a part-time bookkeeper/payroll person. T/O is circa 100k from 63 clients split evenly between SA and Ltd.

Any recommendations would be appreciated. Ed Chan from Australia keeps popping up on LinkedIn as does The Accounting Millionaires Club. I was looking at them today. Rudi Jansen used to pop up as well but haven't seen anything from him in a while. 

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By Matrix
01st Oct 2021 07:05

I have always admired how Mark Telford runs his practice and he is now a coach so I would look him up.

Also Mark Lee.

Everyone has different views about developing a niche. You are obviously doing something right but maybe you are in the position to pick and choose now.

Also found this:

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By mgandc
01st Oct 2021 12:28

I'd looked at them a while ago and personally found it just wasn't for me. What I did do though was come up with a list of actions to make me accountable to myself each month.

List of realistic actions and system for monitoring it and each month doing just that.

Most of the above, Rudi, AMC etc have books which you can get off Amazon etc I found taking bits out of each really worked for me.

Simon Chaplin has a couple of really good books too

I guess it depends where you want to be as to whether its work the cost in £'s but also time.

Systems and best of breed software solved a lot of problems and binning off idiot clients.

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By Moonbeam
01st Oct 2021 13:52

A lot of the coaches have groups that you join where you feed off other peoples' ideas. I tried that but it wasn't right for me.

As someone who's been on more marketing courses than you've had hot dinners, I've concluded that you've got to put in time to do your marketing whatever you decide to do, and I'm quite capable with some more general help.
So I've joined a copywriting group to get better at LinkedIn posts and other marketing material.
And I re-joined The Entrepreneurs Circle (EC) run by Nigel Botterill. I would recommend EC to everyone who needs help with marketing. It's free for the first 3 months, and includes networking, and online training on all sorts of areas of marketing. If you take advantage of all the advice and DO the WORK (many people don't!) it will pay off. And you may well pick up some clients from it as well.
So get cracking, as the clients are just bursting to speak to you!

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By lionofludesch
02nd Oct 2021 07:57

There are, indeed, many opportunities coming up in the next few years for any ambitious accountants wishing to grow their practices.

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By petersaxton
02nd Oct 2021 09:46

The problem with coaches is that they are different people to you and you most likely can't or wont do what they suggest.
All this coaching stuff tends to keep you away from what you need to do, which is list out the work needed and then doing it.
I would suggest come up with a system to keep track of what you need to do and then list what is needed.
There's lots of software that helps accountants to manage their business but if you list on spreadsheets the work needed for each client by function: company accounts & tax, confirmation statement, bookkeeping, VAT returns, payroll and personal tax then put when you can start the work and when the deadline is you can sort the data into priorities.

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By Rubina Anjum
05th Oct 2021 09:59

My suggestion is to use systems and procedures to automate your work to spare time. Then categorise your existing clients and the category you have majority of clients to be your niche market.
On the second stage get rid off your annoying clients.
Join a business networking group to help you develop your selling skills.I joined BNI and it helped me to get the clients and it also provides lot of training.

If you will hire a business coach, he/she might tell you about marketing activities and it's time consuming.

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paddle steamer
05th Oct 2021 10:02

The one catch I can see is if you are already say under the time cosh running your practice will you currently have the time to devote to actioning any advice you do receive from any mentor? (Chicken/Egg/Chicken........)

I think I would first maybe see if there are clients that take disproportionate time compared with their fee and tidy them (axe or bigger fee) to see if some time headroom can first be created.

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By FirstTab
05th Oct 2021 10:12

Please please please AVOID business coaches/practice gurus. This includes webinars, on AW, advising you and informing you how good they are. Please do not give them the underserved credit or attention.

They will not tell you anything you do not know already. My suggestion is read/listen to books that are not written by practice gurus/accountants.

They are many good ones. Start off with e myth. Others here:

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Replying to FirstTab:
By stepurhan
06th Oct 2021 08:51

FirstTab wrote:
Don't use the gurus other people recommend. Use the gurus I recommend.

This is how your post reads.

Perhaps you could explain how your recommendations are different from the others. I assume that you have a good reason to recommend one type while telling people to AVOID the other type. Understanding your thinking on this is likely to be helpful in determining what will work for others.

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By Jennie Gillam
05th Oct 2021 10:36

I can highly recommend Simon Chaplin - Socks Up Simon/The Accountants Mastermind. At the very least, get his recent book "Banish the Bottleneck" which can help.
I started working with Simon around 18 months ago, took a lot of actions which transformed my business, we have doubled in size, I am working fewer hours for more money, my team are all happy as are my customers.
If you find the right coach and take action, they can help you immesasurably.

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By roybaylis
05th Oct 2021 10:37

Effortless Attraction: Eight Practical Things To Establish In Your Life In Order for Attraction to Work Effortlessly

by Thomas J. Leonard

There are 'things to handle' and a foundation to establish in your life in order to set a proper stage for the power of Attraction to work its magic. This section contains a description of these items. Most people start to work on the 28 Attraction Principles first, often without handling the following items, and they do fine. But from what I've seen with clients, the more of the following that you have taken care of, the faster you'll become more Attractive, and the more powerful you'll be. The Attraction Approach is fairly high-level and assumes that you have the following items either in-hand or on track. In other words, the Attraction Principles provide you with a Ferrari engine, but if your car (aka life) has the brakes, suspension, steering, aerodyamics, transmission and tires of a Chevette, then the Ferrari engine (Attraction) can't be used to anywhere near its potential and it might even get you into trouble.

1. Cash-in-the-Bank.
It seems that 90% of the U.S. population lives from paycheck to paycheck, or at least feels concerns/fears about not having enough money. I'm of the view that Attraction can't kick in very well unless you have some financial stability. Any or all of the following are essential to provide the emotional freedom (aka absence of fear) around money that permits you to fully engage with, and make the most with, the Attraction Principles:
--$50,000-$250,000 in liquid investments (money market, CDs, stocks, bonds, etc.).
--Six months of living expenses sitting in your money market fund.
--A consistent source of income that is unlikely to dry up in the next 12 months.
--A consistent savings rate of 20% of your gross income.
--An absence of projects, special purchases, spending habits, etc. which cause you to spend.
--No credit card or other installment debt.
Along one's financial path, there are two common milestones, both of which help one see themselves and life very differently. The first milestone is making $100,000 a year. Once you reach this level, one rarely earns less, unless by choice. What was the 'ceiling' becomes the floor. The other milestone is when you have enough money in the bank to fund your life for 5 years. This five-year window releases a person from having to be concerned about money on a day to day basis, and it affords one's mind the chance to focus on ways to earn even more money.

2. Acceptance of and Respect for Your Genetics.
I don't think that most of us realize how much like animals we are. Humans are predators, survival-oriented and operate much more on instincts than by choice -- even if you're a really aware or evolved person. The reason I mention this is that many people who will find Attraction attractive are people on a personal development track, some of whom are trying to 'escape' or evolve past their animal roots. In my view, there is simply no possibility of that happening for at least 1,000,000 years. Whatever progress we make is incremental, even if seemingly significant. I don't mean to sound negative about the human/spiritual experience, but let's do understand that we're 98% genetically identical to baboons (or so I've read). I'm not saying that we have to act like jackals on the hunt, but we often do, in our own 'human' way. Personally, I am excited about evolving myself, not to escape my genetic history, but rather to include it to the point that I can tap its power. Some say that we're spirits having a human experience (which I really like the sound of). Others say we're humans having a spiritual experience (which, for me, fits well). Regardless of your view about this subject, what I am recommending is that you understand how much your genes dictate your decisions, needs, wants, opinions and goals. Don't make the assumption that you're 'completely in charge of your life.' True, you can be responsible for your life, but what is driving or motivating you has a strong animal base. Come to accept and respect that.

3. Awareness of and Respect For Your Memetics.
Memes are like genes, except that they describe ideas, concepts, thoughts, knowledge, information. Just as genes replicate, so do memes. Just as genes mutate, so do memes. Just as genes program our actions and thoughts, so do memes. And, with the explosion of the information age and free access to most information via the Web, the power -- and effect -- of memes on our lives will become even greater. And, because of computers/the Internet, memes -- obviously -- can replicate and mutate millions of times faster than genes can. What does that mean to us humans? As far as I can guess, it means that our memes will win; genes will become virtually irrelevant, other than to act as a carbon-based repository for genes. The next generation of humans may well use a silicon-based repository (aka computer). No one knows of course, but what we do know is that what it means to be human has been irrevocably changed. It's a race between the memes and genes; the memes will win. (And, where does that leave your genes?) Okay, enough of the Wired Magazine predictions, what's the relevance of memes and Attraction? Just as our bodies are comprised of genes, our minds are composed of memes. Hollywood produces memes, so does Madison Avenue. Writers create memes, so do television shows. Families create memes (traditions), so do cultures (priorities). Communication conveys memes; fiber optics conveys gadzillions of memes. Memes are everywhere. You are programmed even without knowing it; and even when you know it, it's hard to change that programming. I guess my point is that we're basically defenseless when it comes to memes; we are as much a product of them as we are of genes. So, the trick is to realize that much of what you believe or hold to be true is just stuff that was either drilled into you, was a virus surrupticiously inserted into you (like a computer virus) or was a meme your GENES felt they needed to help you to survive (aka religion). The point here is that your thoughts and feelings -- while an essential and wonderful part of a rich human experience -- probably weren't 'chosen' by you, just as you didn't choose your parents. It just happened. The reason I bring all of this up is that I want you loosen up your thinking about your thinking. True, you are you, but your thinking may not have been chosen by you, even if you think it's 'you.'

4. Undefining Yourself.
As part of the upbringing process, we are continuously labeled by our parents and society. Such as: You are a child. You are a good girl. You are now an adult. You are now a parent with responsibilities. You are an old person. Nothing is wrong with this type of labeling -- it helps to give us a sense of who we are and where we are at. But rarely does this labelling occur without strings and hooks. In other words, 'you are a child and therefore you don't know anything' or 'you are now a parent with responsibilities so you can't do what you want anymore.' I think that the work of psychologists, authors, coaches and developers of personal development programs in the past 20 years have really helped us cut these strings and to 'reinvent' what it means to be a parent, for example. How we CAN have it all. The trick is to be aware of the self-defining you've done and realize that there is probably a more-developed and more accurate phrase that describes you. Let me tell you what I mean. For example, I call myself a writer, but what I really am is a memetic engineer or a personal evolutionist (not too many jobs available for that!). If I was 'just' a writer, I'd act and think like other writers. By more accurately describing what I do, I do a better job, whatever I happen to call myself. Same thing being a parent. "I am your father" is a fairly limited role description isn't it? What about "I am someone who loves my children forever." Different tone, isn't it? How about for coach. "I coach my clients" is very role-oriented, isn't it? "I spend my days speaking with people who want to make better decisions" completely takes the 'me coach; you client' out of it, doesn't it? The Attraction Principles are role-blind, meaning that they aren't designed to help you strengthen your traditional role with your clients or family. Rather, they are designed to help you relate with others BEYOND such narrowly defined role. So, don't learn the Attraction Principles because you want to become a better father. Learn them because you want to love your children more.

5. Personal Resolution and Peace.
We all have had things that happened to us during our lives that have left us with emotional scars, open wounds, repressed anger, and psychic pain. As a result, we have illogical fears, exaggerated reactions and really strange feelings from time to time. Some of this stuff is resolvable; some of it is probably not. The key is to know what and how much of this type of stuff is still circulating in your emotional, intellectual and physical system. If you haven't taken the time to discover this, take several months and chat with a therapist or someone skilled at recognizing the stuff that perhaps you only have an inkling about, if that. I'm not saying that everyone needs therapy, but I am saying that most of us have 'dynamics' at work that skew and limit our ability to be really attractive. The Attraction Principles can't compete with dysfunction or emotional scars or wounds. The Attraction Principles aren't designed to heal or replace what's missing emotionally. And the principles need the solid footing that a personal foundation provides. If your life is a swamp, the principles won't work consistently.

6. Self-Responsibility.
I've been tinkering with a program called the Certified Adult. It would be list of things to become 'responsible for' in your life. Oi vey -- there are so many things! Your health, diet, body, spirit, mind, heart, environment, stress, money, fulfillment, family, communication and more. The reason I include self-responsibility here is that the more responsible you have become in your life, the more you'll find the Attraction Principles working effortlessly. They tend to stall if you use them in an area in which you are not completely responsible yet. That said, most of the Principles themselves have a strong element of self-responsibility to them, meaning that by applying the Principle, you will naturally become more responsible. But if one of the Principles is not working very well, it's either because you don't understand the nuances of using the principle, or you aren't already responsible in that area of your life in which you are applying the principle. It does all come down to being responsible for what happens in your life. The Attraction Principles are not a sexy replacement for this.

7. A Powerful and Empowering Network.
You can't do a whole lot today without other good people. And the Attraction Principles aren't that effective if you're part of a weak or tiny network or community. It's like a fax machine -- the fax machine is a great piece of technology, but it's not very useful if only 3 people in the world have one. You need to become part of a larger, powerful and empowering network in order for YOU to bloom and for the Attraction Principles to work their magic. Remember, the Attraction Principles are about ATTRACTING stuff to you -- you'll need to have connections with people in order for there to be a path to your door. As attractive as you may be, I can't fax you anything unless you have a phone line installed and I have your fax number. One thing I do want to say about people and their communities as it relates to attraction is that most of the people who find themselves intrigued by attraction have yet to build a community of equally-evolved people. They may be the head of their own network, or well-connected at least, but there is a period of one to three years after learning the Attraction Principles when you may not be attracting very much from your EXISTING network, even though you think you would! So, rather than push harder to get your current network to 'send' you more stuff, better to LOOK AROUND YOU and see who you've attracted who is NOT part of your existing network. These new people may not be at all like the type of folks you're used to knowing. The trick is to sensitize yourself to recognize special qualities about them that trigger something in you. Remember, to evolve, you'll need different types of input and people in your life -- not what's already familiar to you. When I developed the Attraction Principles, I assumed that the people who had been a strong part of my network (mostly coaches) would be even more attracted to me and my work. It has not been the case, which caused me some distress. It was only when I began to look around to see who I WAS attracting (some of which are coaches) that I realized that I was 'looking' in the 'old' direction instead of doing a 360 degree scan. So, keep doing the scan and see what pops up on your radar, even if it's an unfamiliar blip. Get to know it. After all, you DID attract it!

8. Self-worth, Self-esteem and Self-respect
If you're wondering what the difference between these three terms are, this description may help: Self-worth is your personal 'cup,' self-esteem is what you put into the cup and self-respect is the saucer which the cup rests. In other words, you need self-worth to provide a strong container for your self-esteem. If you have cracks or holes in your cup (self-worth), whatever self-esteem you pour into the cup will leak it. It's very common for people have lots of self-esteem but no self-worth. When this is the case, one can't benefit from their self-esteem because most of their time is spent refilling the cup. Self-esteem -- what you pour into the cup -- is something that you can create by doing things that make you proud of yourself and that elicit praise and gratitude in people around you. If you have no self-worth, these occassions are hard to enjoy and benefit from because all you see is the holes in your cup (self-worth). Self-respect, what I call the saucer on which the cup rests, is a little trickier. Cups don't really need a saucer, other than to catch the drips should the cup overflow.

Copyright, Thomas J. Leonard, 1998
Used with Permission

Keep Being Great!

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Replying to roybaylis:
By Hugo Fair
05th Oct 2021 12:59

Not only twaddle, but lengthy irrelevant American twaddle!

"So, the trick is to realize that much of what you believe or hold to be true is just stuff that was either drilled into you, was a virus surrupticiously inserted into you ..."

Irrespective of poor spelling (and grammar), the bulk of this diatribe makes no more sense that the conspiracy theorists who claim that the world is run by baby-eating aliens!

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
paddle steamer
05th Oct 2021 13:31

Scarier if Alien eating babies.

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By djn
05th Oct 2021 13:26

I decided to read a lot of the books out there and take what I can and use it. So Mark Wickersham, Rudi Jansen and the accountants millionaire club.

I would say that the Mark Wickersham books probably made the biggest improvement to our profits.

I would also say that Reza Hooda has basically taken Mark Wickersham's work and put it in a modern format. I have not seen one thing original from him.......not that I'm saying what he has to offer is poor at all. It seems very good.

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By Barry Adams
05th Oct 2021 13:44

You could try Della Hudson. You might want to start with her 2 books which are great.

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05th Oct 2021 16:50

I agree with Jennie above

Check out Simon Chaplin

You Tube Simon's interview with James below for a flavor I think he interviewed him again today re sale to sage

Before (Mindset) "Selling To Serve" With James Ashford
The Accountants' Mastermind

Has a great whats app group also see you there
Douglas Cully

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By Simon Chaplin
06th Oct 2021 06:51

Thank you for the kind comments on the work we do at The Accountants' Mastemrind on this thread. Happy to chat with anyone on how it works.

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By indomitable
07th Oct 2021 02:55

Personally I would never use one but that’s just me.

Key to any growth is marketing and sales and you have to master this. Read a lot of books and go on courses if you want, there are no quick fix solutions in my view.

Also at some point you have to step out of your business and concentrate on processes and running the business rather than doing the work. If you are constantly fire fighting your processes or your fees are not right. Biggest issues can be not the right systems or fees too low. Identify and increase fees or get rid of problem clients. Having the right systems and fee levels go along way to solving these issues. Don’t be too eager to take on clients at any fee.

I have a bit of an aversion to coaches or mentors and always wonder why they are not just building their own accountancy practice.

When my practice gets to the level I want it to get to I certainly won’t be going into the mentoring business. I will either sell it or sit back and manage it part time and do something else.

I am sure there are some very good coaches/ mentors out there but they are not me. I don’t need motivation.

Best book I ever read was ‘how to win friends and influence people’ by Dale Carnegie. Not particularly practical but a great blueprint.

In the end your business is an expression of yourself no-one else.

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Replying to indomitable:
By Justin Bryant
07th Oct 2021 16:15

Agreed re DC book (How to Stop Worrying and Start Living is also very good).

In short, flattery will get you everywhere in life.

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By CJS88
07th Oct 2021 09:30

I worked for a sales organisation for a while where the boss (and top salesman) had a mantra that no one in sales could successfully service more then 40 clients. Every year in the slack period each of them was given their clients ranked by profitability, they had to drop the bottom three completely and find three more.

Now your number may not be 40, but it is a very good business model for accountants.

Always have to hand the letter that starts " We have been reviewing our business and I regret to inform you that ..."

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
07th Oct 2021 10:07

Its the accountability you need from an external source, I work with Mark Telford and would highly recommend it, it also gives you good access to a user group of like minded accountants to share ideas and collaborate with.

Also look at the Gap they have a look of content around developing your own mindset to deliver better services, again I am a member and would highly recommend them.

There is a lot in the space it depends what you feel is your biggest issue, some are marketing focussed etc. Amanda Watts for me stands out along with Karen Reyburn if marketing is something you feel needs support.

I suggest you speak with a few and see who you feel comfortable with, I work with Mark as he has a similar back ground to me and has similar opinions to me as to how things should be done.

For books there is loads but I started with the E myth (Accountant addition) Company of one. Best accountancy book I have read is "selling to serve" by James Ashford will make a massive difference to your views on pricing. GoProposal also have a brilliant facebook user group.

If you don't have accountability you will struggle to successfully scale up what you are doing.

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A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
07th Oct 2021 15:55

"My biggest issue is that I am an accounting pr0stitute - show me money and I’ll service you. So I know I need to start focusing on a niche"

The notion of a prostitute focusing on a niche ..........

I'm with the others who say concentrate on systems and processes. It sounds like you are too busy to worry about marketing until such time as you can create capacity.

And whatever you do, don't try any of the stuff in Dale Carnegie, it was written decades ago by an American. That said, do try it on clients you want to get rid of, because you'll come across as strange and they will run a mile!

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