Or to be blunt, what is holding you back from fully developing your firm and making the most of your time in practice?
It would be impertinent to assume that we have the answers to your all your concerns, but we have talked with many professional firms and this post will give you a flavour of the insights we have gained.
Almost 80% of firms we speak with, whether they are larger established firms or newly-qualified start-ups, cite lack of time as the major brake on their development goals.
It would seem that running a successful practice means that allocating time to marketing or selling services comes way down at the bottom of daily, weekly or monthly to-do lists. The demands of staff, HMRC and clients are prioritised and leave little or no time for working on your practice.
Which is ironic, because the advice given to clients is to do the exact opposite. They are exhorted to plan and review, and if engaged with them in this process, you would aim to make a decent return on this advisory-led activity.
So what is it that holds professionals back?
Are you a victim of time?
Wise persons have concluded that if your excuse for lack of action is over there – no time, too many client pressures, phone calls to make, an Inbox to clear – you become the victim of that circumstance. And as we all know, once the cause of your problem slips from your hands, we are locked into the result; in the case of practice development, there is no time.
Perhaps the solution is to make time? We have worked with practitioners who have allocated the first 30-minutes of every working day to create, manage and implement ideas that have increased the number and take-up of advisory services, increased the number and success rate of cross-sales campaigns and increased the number of client prospects and conversions.
The key, in would seem, is to acknowledge that you might be the issue, not time.
My clients don’t buy advisory services
This is also a familiar reason that practitioners cast aside ambitions to offer advisory services to their clients. It is that they merely want basic compliance and at the lowest price.
Which may be the case, and if it is, doesn’t that lead to a gradual leeching of your clients to firms that are prepared to offer compliance at knock-down rates?
Perhaps a solution may be to take a hard look at your practice and start courting new clients who would be responsive to advisory-led compliance, and be prepared to pay for it?
We get all our new business from referrals
All practices get referred business if they do a decent job for their clients. Most firms do not ask for referrals, they just sit back and wait for clients to recommend them.
Our experience is that firms who jettison practice development activity in favour of unsolicited referrals place the progress of their firms in their clients hands. Many firms are built in this way, but perhaps not as profitably as firms who set out to ask for referrals in the same way as they develop new services to offer clients, and actively promote their practice to the wider business community.
Discuss your options with our founder, Bob Edwards
Every practice is confronted by similar issues but is subject to specific challenges that make it unique. Our founder, Bob Edwards FCCA, has been an active practitioner for many years and is willing to have a complimentary conversation with any practitioner that can see the potential of the services Landmark offers, but is unsure how to fit in the activity required to make use of these services.