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Deeper Weekend 2014

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Strategy

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  • Greg Kyte
    Greg Kyte
  • Jason Blumer
    Jason Blumer
  • Jon Lokhorst
    Jon Lokhorst
  • Melinda Guillemette
    Melinda Guillemette
  • Toni Cameron

Transcript:

Did you know you may not be charging enough money; your price may not be high enough. How do you know that? Well, it is hard to identify an exact price. A lot of people want to identify an exact price for a service or relationship, and you can’t really do that. Why is that? Because prices are identified by value and value that’s the thing that we have problems with. Value is so subjective, that is the thing we can’t nail down. So it’s hard to do pricing. Though it’s a very simple concept, it’s hard to identify somebody’s value appropriately. But you may not be pricing enough.

Here’s what we tell firms. If we work with them to build a really robust, let’s say, client onboarding process, something that is really robust, what we want to see them do is raise their price at the end of the process. Why is that? Because anytime a firm increases in its ability to provide consistent value to a market that it’s serving, anytime it can do that or prove that it does that over time, then it’s more valuable, and if that firm is more valuable, the price should increase.
As we work with firm entrepreneurs over the years, as we see them mature, we try to push them to raise their price, too, because as you mature, you become more valuable, hopefully. Hopefully your maturity comes out in more value to your clients. Then you should be asking for far more money in return because of your value.

Just keep that in mind. If you’re thinking about some things you’ve been doing that drive more consistent value to your clients, it may be time to raise your price and start to get the money that really is required for you to scale and get your capacity paid for in different ways.
I hope that helps. We do this kind of complex work with firms in Thriveal, so if you need our help, let us know at [email protected] Thanks so much. Take care.

Category:
CPA firm, Pricing, Strategy
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Transcript:

We do a lot of work consulting with service-based companies. And one thing that service-based companies struggle with in their growth is when to split their company, running their company, into different lanes. And here’s what I mean by that. So when you get to three to five people in a services-based company, that gets to a point where all of the people producing the revenue, which are typically at that point technical people, maybe one helper, what they all do is they fail to split the technical services revenue lane of the company into a movement lane. And so when you get to that many people, three to five, what you want to do is split the lanes and start working on having an operational movement lane.

And so what do I mean by movement lane? Well, that’s the lane of the company where you start moving the work along. That’s like somebody scheduling appointments, keeping up with contracts, putting the contracts into a workflow system. It’s somebody that’s always doing the details of making sure work is moving along so that the technical revenue team in the other lane, they don’t have to worry about some of that movement stuff. And so when you get to a certain point in a services company, you want to split revenue production with movement in a company. And that starts to create a lot of strategic decisions. Now you have one person, the movement person, that’s project manager, an ops manager, even an administrative person, whatever you want to title them, support, strategic support ops person, whatever that movement is, they don’t have to worry about being client facing and revenue generating. They just get to think about serving the company and moving things along.

And so that’s a real, solid, strategic way we found for people to keep their services company going, and one they overlook or don’t know about. And so we’ve learned it over time, and it’s been such a help to our team, and allow us to really provide proactive service to our clients. So I hope that helps. Let us know if you need more help on that. We teach these kind of things in Thriveal. You can find us at thriveal.com. Thanks so much. We’ll see you.

Transcript:

This is a two part series on conversations, and I mentioned in the other video that we can help you in Thriveal with knowing how to have better conversations in your firm. We do that in Thriveal. So, [email protected] if you want to email us. We have a lot of programs and coaching and just ways in our community to support firm owners that are growing. So what I talked about in the first video in this two part series is how to define your conversation with a number, like an alert system is kind of what we’re building in our firm. Well, another thing we’re building in our firm is a context and directional chart about our conversation. Basically, what we mean is there is context to all conversations and we’re breaking that into two different types of contexts. There’s organizational strategy context and service strategy context. And so the owners have most of the contexts or all of the contexts. They have all of the contexts about the strategy of the organization and how it’s going to grow into the future.

Then you move down from that and you may have a leadership team. A leadership team has a more limited level of context of strategy. Now, the leadership team is being taught the organizational strategy from the owners, but they’re not deciding that. Now, they would influence it. What the leadership team is doing is really building the service strategy. That is how this firm is going to pull off service and deliverables to their clients. That’s a big deal. And so then the leadership team takes the context of the service strategy and jumps down another level and shares that with the team. The team has less of the service strategy. And what are they focused on as the team? They’re focused on boots on the ground work, their executionary work. And so the leadership team we’re teaching to not share all the context with the team because that context gets confusing. The team just needs to go, “All right, here’s the service strategy. Let’s go knock it out.”

Then that conversation direction of that context goes all the way down to the clients. Of course, the clients don’t care at all about the context of our organizational or service strategy, right? That’s internal stuff. All they care about is the outcome, the external outcome that they’re purchasing, they’re paying for. And so we share even less context with the clients about our strategy for growth or our service strategy to fulfill our service to them. Now, we do tell them some of those things as clients, but it’s only towards the goal of serving them and producing the deliverables and justifying the revenue that they’re paying us.

So in the first video, we talked about a conversation alert system to know what system we’re on, what number we’re on. This one, we’re talking about how much context you pass down to different levels of groups of people in your company and the direction of that context, and how it goes, and how you limit the context of things you share in conversations. This all gets very, very complicated, but this is something we would love for you to come to thriveal.com, join us as a member, and we’ll be able to help you understand how these things work, and you can start to learn more about these things. So I hope that helps. Let us know, [email protected] Take care.

Transcript:

Okay, we’ve done all the heavy lifting in the first three videos in Strategic Planning Season. And as we’ve been mentioning, November, December is strategic planning season, this is the season. The holiday season? No. This is the season where entrepreneurs plan their future. And go back to video one, to find out what planning and what strategic means. Why did we put those words, strategic planning together, they’re real important.

So, what have we been doing up to this point? We’ve really been just dumping all the things out, prioritizing, listing core initiatives. Really just getting more and more granular as to what we’re going to accomplish next year. Now boots on the ground happens in phase four. This is when now we take our core initiatives, go see what that means in video three, we get our core initiatives and we put them into what we call eight to 10 calendar containers. And calendar containers, a lot of our the people who follow us and we teach entrepreneurs, there’s a process we go through called strategic calendar work blocking.

This methodology about owning your future and how to operate and create some sense of strategy, moving forward in your business has to do with owning the future of your calendar. And so now we define all the initiatives and the things we want to do in eight to 10 calendar containers. Now these calendar containers are going to be, these are the eight to 10 hats that my partner and I are going to decide to wear in our business, right? I mean, that is so strategic, right? To limit everything to eight to 10 types of work. Now, those calendar containers are pretty big. They’re big rhythms. So what you’re going to find, you’re going to find those on a calendar that recur week after week.

So you probably know if you watch a lot of my videos that I have a huge content blog. That’s one of my calendar containers. Well, my partner and I have a strategy and planning calendar container. That’s a required part of our strategic calendar work blocking. And then we make other calendar containers that relate to other things we’re going to do. Like there’s a big team care calendar container, because we spend a lot of time with our team, leading our leadership team. And so there’s a big block for that.

And what we do is we roll our eight to 10 calendar containers throughout our whole calendar. So we’ll go to January, the first week of January, we’ll lay out all of those calendar containers and they fill up the whole week, right? Eight to six, Monday through Friday, we filled the whole week up and then we just hit the recurring button. We recur it every week and it zips all the way through our calendar, all the way through 12/31. Now we have these big buckets that we go stick stuff in, right? We have this team care bucket that might have four hours on a Wednesday. And we’ll go put different meetings in there, meeting with a team member, a weekly team meeting, weekly leadership team meeting. So the container holds all the things we’re going to do. And of course I have a huge content calendar container. And so I’ll go fill it up. The content I’m working on, these videos are in a calendar container that I’m making.

So the calendar container now becomes our future. It is a depiction of our future as seen on a calendar. So now when us and our team roll into our future, we’re rolling into these containers and we’re operating in the way that we’ve already planned by going through a very methodical, strategic planning type phased system. So our calendar now depicts, this is what we should be doing to actually fulfill our strategy.

And so that’s video four of four videos on strategic planning. So I hope you will try to fall into strategic planning this year. Just give it a shot. I think last year it took my partner and I four days to complete all of our strategic planning. This year, it’s going to take us five to six days. So it’s expanding because we have a lot of things we want to do. And it’s taking a lot of time to call through them and say no to a lot of them. So it’s just taking a lot more time. And also as we grow, strategic planning will take more and more time.

So I hope these videos are helpful, so you guys know what we’re doing during this really important strategic planning season. So let us know if you like these videos and, you know what? Reach out to us. You can hit us. You can go to blumercpas.com or you can go to thriveal.com and you can find out more about how we help entrepreneurs do things like strategic planning and how we help them be successful. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you.