The Profitable Professional: Key ingredient #1

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Kelly Clifford
Book Author & Profit Specialist
Profit in Focus
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In this series of posts that will be released in instalments over the coming weeks on AccountingWEB, I am going to share with you the 10 key ingredients for building a highly profitable, business coaching, consulting or advisory business that are vital for fast tracking your business success.

Key Ingredient #1: Doing things differently

‘Doing things differently’ is the first key ingredient for building a highly profitable business coaching, consulting or advisory business. After all, if you do what everyone else is doing then you are likely to be making the same mistakes or facing the same challenges that they are.

In many respects, adopting a 'time for money' model that many accountants and advisers tend to do presents a number of opportunities but also some key challenges. In my view, while usually being the easiest commodity to 'sell', a time-based offering is often the hardest business model to scale in a profitable and time efficient way.

But first, the five common challenges many face:

'Working in' vs. 'working on' conundrum

For some it’s a constant struggle between client delivery and maintaining the future client pipeline. It feels a bit like catch 22 – you need to get the client work done because it produces revenue but you are very conscious that it means that no time is being spent on business development and ensuring that your future client work pipeline is full.

Lack of consistent 'qualified' lead generation

Most have no consistent way of generating leads. They are taking a patchwork quilt ad hoc type approach to lead generation. They have no system or process for it. They aren’t embracing social selling and digital asset techniques when more and more business is being originated online.

The curse of unqualified FREE consultations

Spending too much time on non-chargeable work. We’ve all had it happen, or at least I know I have many times in the early days. People come to you asking for a "quick favour" or can I "pick your brains" on something.  This usually results in you giving away your expertise for nothing in return.

Client discovery taking too long and being too complicated – putting many potential clients off

We’ve all experienced it – being asked to complete an application form or long-winded questionnaire that asks too many open questions where paragraphs of text are needed. This is not respectful of our time. In business, many don’t understand the concept of respecting other people's time, and act selfishly as a result. They need to realise that it is a two-way exchange. Just as many business owners expect their precious time to be respected, they must extend the same courtesy to their clients and prospects.

The hidden cost that is damaging the profitability of many business advisory and accounting businesses.

This cost of 'rework' is principally related to not doing work thoroughly enough or properly the first time around. There can be a number of reasons why it happens which includes such things as poor upfront scoping and planning, poor staff training, inadequate internal processes, lack of care or attention to detail and just plain being sloppy. It always amazes me how many business support professionals I speak with don’t have an awareness of this issue and the impact it has on their business. It’s time to do things differently!

Want to read more about this key ingredient and overcoming the mentioned challenges? Download for free the full chapter from ‘The Profitable Professional’ that covers this and more by clicking here

About Kelly Clifford

Kelly Clifford profile image

I'm a profit specialist, founder of Profit in Focus and the author of The Profitable Professional, which covers to 10 key ingredients for building a highly profitable business coaching, consulting or advisory business. On a mission to help more forward thinking accountants to profitably THRIVE. Get your FREE preview of the book by clicking here

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