As accounting professionals' jobs get commoditized and automated with technology, there has been a big shift into advisory services. We all want our business and the businesses we advise to thrive and be able to overcome hurdles, but how do we plan for all of the roadblocks and inefficiencies that can happen? Peter M. Vessenes, founder and CEO of ProfitSee, has outlined 8 key disciplines that affect EVERY business in his book, "Building Your Multi-Million Dollar Practice." In our last episode we covered fiscal management and the client experience. This week we will tackle the 6 other disciplines that business owners and their advisors must be attentive to in order to be successful.
The first discipline we discuss in this episode is "Top of Mind Awareness" which essentially means the first solution someone thinks of when they encounter a problem or have a new desire. The closer you are to the top of the list, the more likely they are to become your customer. If the intention is to create more Top of Mind Awareness, this can be affected by marketing, branding, event management, and public relations. In many ways, the fiber of the company is built with the top of mind awareness, and a great client experience to back up your marketing efforts is essential, as they are intrinsically linked. It is very important to remember that the client experience must match the marketing efforts to keep the Top of Mind Awareness positive, and these efforts combined will help grow revenue.
The next discipline is Efficiency, which is where we start understanding The Money Trail™. This is a process where you look at all the steps that have to occur for one sale to take place. These steps can range from how the money gets deposited in the ban, how it gets posted in the accounting software, how the money is distributed into payroll or production, etc. With this kind of breakdown, it's evident that even in a simple, straight forward businesses there are a lot of steps, and if any go wrong that creates a leak of cash in your money trail. When inefficiencies are found, they are usually due to a bottleneck, or multiple "squeezes" in this Money Trail™, finding them and fixing them is the key to creating efficiency in the companies you advise.
As you know, Compliance and Regulatory laws are a discipline that impact all businesses, they are meant to protect, but they can be complicated. The business, the employees, the environment, all can be affected by compliance and regulations. These standards are set by governing forces, and have two sides: the heavy handed or the gentle. These two sides create a pendulum of sorts, and it is tricky to navigate. But finding the middle ground is imperative to businesses' long term success and will protect the company in the future.
Next up we discuss Technology. This discipline alone has completely disrupted the day-to-day functionings of an accounting professional, and is constantly changing the businesses they now advise. Technology can be broken into two sub-categories, security and the actual applications that you use. When it comes to security, taking this seriously is like an insurance policy. You must be very protective of your clients' data. But the applications and tools we use are equally important. Technology and Efficiency go hand-in-hand in this respect: slow and outdated technology decreases efficiency and increases security risks. It's important to understand how technology choices impact your business.
Human Resources is the largest expense for most companies, so it is logical that it is an important discipline. After all, every company has to have employees. But HR isn't just about hiring; it's also about the culture you create in your company. The culture all stems from a great mission/vision/value statement, and it must be one that the owner, as well as the employees, buy into. When people believe in what they're doing, they will be more efficient and effective.
And last, but definitely not least, we discuss Strategic Business Planning. This also ties back into the vision of the company. A common practice is to build their business plan from the present going forward, but it can be more valuable to decide what the long-term goal is, 15-20 years down the line, and plan backwards in increments to see what we need to accomplish today to get where we want to be. This change in mindset creates actionable steps and metrics that really impact the strategic business plan and ultimately the bottom line.
Listen to the episode to learn more, or book a time with our team to get started today!