Are you unsure why you can’t focus on growing your business? Do you find it hard to manage everything? If you feel more like an employee than an owner, you probably lack time to do things the right way.
Right now, you may not be having enough time in your practice. Do you think it’s because you’re not focusing enough on systemising? After all, most accounting firm owners look at this as the ideal solution for freeing up extra time.
You can start systemising early on. Putting processes into your practice is an essential part of growing your business. And it does make life a lot easier.
But, is that enough?
Is it the key element that can turn your business around? Does it guarantee a freedom business and the freedom lifestyle?
You see, I’ve been in your position. At some point, I was working up to 16 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s the hustle mode every business owner gets into when they start their venture.
But this stage can linger. You can be four years into your practice, have clients, and still not have enough time to grow your business.
So why is it more challenging for some as opposed to others?
It’s because focusing on systemising and implementing processes is not the Holy Grail. This is not the best solution, nor the first thing you want to invest in.
There is something else that contributes a lot more towards freeing up hundreds or even a thousand hours.
To get your freedom back and scale your business, it’s crucial to invest in sales and marketing.
Sales and Marketing Are the True Holy Grails
Why would you want to do sales and marketing first? It’s not without its own time-consuming aspects. Because to run marketing campaigns, you need time. You also need time to show up on social media and maintain your visibility.
Who wants to put in all that effort? Especially since you’re in the accounting industry, not marketing.
Here’s the thing.
Having an accounting background requires you to step outside your comfort zone if you want to grow your business. You have to learn how to do new things. For example, you have to work on your articles, post them, and talk to your audience.
Maybe you think that you also need a team for that. So now, you’re worried about the hiring process. These are all valid concerns. But if your goal is to scale your practice, you must think of it differently.
Instead of thinking it’s a traditional accounting firm, think of it and treat it like a business.
So, what do most businesses have in common?
They have dedicated people that do particular tasks. And you have it, too. You have team members that take the burden off you by assuming some of those tasks.
But if you want your freedom back and scale, you need money. And the Holy Grails, marketing and sales, are the only ones that generate income.
You Also Need the Right People
When you talk about marketing and sales, you don’t talk about accounting. That means you aren’t looking for people that can help you service clients when you build a team around the two Holy Grails.
Instead, you want people that can help you position your firm as VITAL on the market. These are people who free up your time to deal with the clients, whilst still having free time for yourself.
You need specific people for the Holy Grails. And your firm also needs the right people in key positions. So, who are they?
A PA or VA
Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to go through your entire inbox every single day? This activity alone takes up a lot of time. Imagine what you could do with all those extra hours you gain.
So, why not outsource this task to someone else?
And before you think that this is impossible, think about this.
You can hire a personal assistant (PA) or virtual assistant (VA), for only two hours a day. You can spend as little as $10 per hour and do one or two days of training.
That person can then filter out your inbox by separating high-value emails from junk. You can also instruct that person to forward relevant emails to other team members.
The goal here is to adopt the Inbox Zero concept. It’s the concept in which at day’s end, there’s nothing left to check in your inbox. Everything’s sorted, with a bit of help from someone else, of course.
From sorting emails to forwarding to the right recipients, a PA or VA frees up more time for you.
The integrator is perhaps the person that can free up most of your time.
This person is separate from your apprentice accountant or your PA. And like you, they don’t do grunt work.
What an integrator does is sit right under you in your firm, or under someone else if you’re not the leading visionary behind the practice. Their main goals are to understand the visionary’s ideas enough to liaise with others.
They hear your ideas and plans. Then, they share that information with all relevant parties. This is how an integrator can save you time.
It’s precisely complex or challenging work. But it is essential, nonetheless.
Now that you have someone you trust that looks after the business for you, you free up more time. An integrator allows you to take a step back without hurting your practice or causing chaos among team members.
But having a liaison is very important, but not enough. You also want someone that can supervise the team members directly servicing clients. Or someone that also deals directly with clients for you.
A Client or Business Manager
A client or business manager sits underneath the integrator. While you can also communicate directly with them, it’s not their main job.
After a business manager looks after the team and the clients, they report back to the integrator. Then, the integrator shields you from any unnecessary discussions or intervention on your part.
What are some of the pains that come with hiring people? What can a business manager do to free up your time?
When you hire people, things such as their emotions or social life also become your pain.
If you don’t have someone overseeing things, then you’re the one who has to check up on everyone. It can get very taxing after a while, especially as your team and client list grows.
Managers are often more expensive than a PA or integrator. However, they also work only a few hours a day. In the long-run, they’re worth their weight in gold as far as your investment goes.
The People You Need for Marketing and Sales
Now we arrive at the most crucial hiring decision.
Who do you hire to help you with your marketing and sales? Who can you trust to help you position your firm as VITAL on the market?
While you can very well outsource other positions, you can’t do the same this time. It’s because the most important thing about marketing and sales is that everything has to come from you.
You’re selling your core values and your unique mission statement.
Since you’re the visionary, you come up with the ideas. So, you need someone familiar with your vision. Someone that understands your vision and can put it into practice.
Here is where many accounting firms make their first big mistake – going after marketing executives or managers with a traditional marketing background.
The idea of hiring someone with years of experience and a degree becomes exciting. Yet, it’s actually a bad idea. It’s because the traditional way of doing marketing is not what you need.
You need someone that knows how to network. Most likely, any executive that you hire sets their sights on SEO and creating a website. They may focus on creating brochures and other marketing gimmicks.
But that’s not what you need. What you need is for them to bring potential clients into conversations.
You want someone that can connect with clients on the ground and sell them on your ideas and unique core values. Their job is to get you directly in communication with clients.
Once that happens, it falls on you to carry those conversations.
Clients will want to talk to you, the owner, the visionary. The reason for this is that you have to sell high-value services. Therefore, direct involvement on your part is key.
Since you’re the advisor, no one else carries as much weight as you when speaking about your services and the benefits of working with you.
Assigning the Right People in Key Roles Lets You Can Focus on the Important Areas of Your Business
Don’t discard systemising your processes as a time-saving practice. It’s a very efficient and integral cog in the growth process. However, that’s not the Holy Grail that can give back your freedom and bring in many new high-value clients.
When you become a business owner, remember that you’re a visionary first. You can’t spread yourself too thin or have grunt work on your plate. Think of the many time-consuming tasks in your firm. You don’t have to handle all of them.
If you put the right people in the right roles, you can free up so much more time to focus on landing clients. And have enough time to focus on yourself.
P.S. When you are ready to have more TIME, increase your PROFITS and catapult your IMPACT here is how you can get help and increase your superpowers:
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