Episode 11

Published on:

1st Oct 2021

Square Pegs and Round Holes

No surprises but clients are a critical part of your business. But too often firm owners try to adapt their business plan to their clients instead of the other way round. We've both seen too many firms attempts at change being derailed by (Pain in the Ass) clients. It's important to recognise that you can't be everything to everyone, so focus on the clients you enjoy - they listen to you, they like new ideas, they're willing to try new things and most importantly they value your input. These are the clients that are going to set you up for success in the future.

So what do you do with the folks that don't fit into this segment? Some consultants will tell you to fire the bottom 20% of clients, others will suggest sell that bunch of clients. And we're not here to tell you what to do, but at the very least you need to recognise that not all clients will suit your business, and rather than try to force square pegs into round holes, make sure you service them appropriately. The time you spend trying to get the laggard clients onto new services, new technology and new pricing is time not spent on those clients that want these services, technology and are willing to pay for it.

Spend some time on your client selection criteria. If you're struggling to define your ideal client, get your team involved. Being on the front lines, they'll definitely have insights into the characteristics of your best clients.

And please get in touch if we can help you with your client selection criteria or anything else discussed in this episode.

Penny Breslin - LinkedIn | @PennyB57

Damien Greathead - LinkedIn | @Damien_GH

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About the Podcast

Strategy and the Virtual Controller
Helping accounts and bookkeepers build the firm they want, their way
Your hosts Penny Breslin and Damien Greathead have more than 30 years of combined experience in the accounting industry. This podcast is to share their experiences of working in, and consulting to accounting and bookkeeping firms of all sizes, helping them grow.

Nothing discussed will be rocket science, instead they'll be discussing 'how' firms have successfully, and not so successfully, pursued growth. Penny and Damien will be sharing their insights on how firms can be successful by focusing on their people (clients included), their technology, and their processes and systems.

Ultimately how successful an accounting business will be depends largely on how the owners manage change, which alongside taxes appears to be the only constant.

We do want to acknowledge David Maister's great read Strategy and the Fat Smoker: Doing what's obvious but not easy as the inspiration for our title. Buy it on Amazon - https://amzn.to/3dhcUFC

Subscribe today for an upbeat and practical conversation about what's working and what's not in accounting businesses around the world.

About your hosts

Penny Breslin

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Penny Breslin is the founder of MoneyPenny, a consulting firm specializing in helping accounting firms and other businesses embrace the power of technology to simplify their operations and increase their profit margins.

Drawing on her years of experience and her knowledge of what it takes to run a successful business, Penny oversees the development of back office processes for her client firms. From the initial evaluation of the firm’s workflow, to technology selection, and assisting in the on-boarding of the firm’s clients, Penny works with her clients to maximize the benefits of a paperless and cloud-based firm.

Damien Greathead

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Damien has been working in the accounting industry for more than 15 years. In addition to getting his hands dirty preparing tax returns and doing bookkeeping, but the bulk of his experience comes from consulting to both accounting firms and the technology companies that serve the industry.

He set up 2020 Group USA which was a membership group for small and medium sized accounting firms and then went on to set up Receipt Bank (now Dext) in North America.

He regularly speaks to industry bodies on technology, marketing and change management.