Creating your ideal firm starts with figuring out who you want to work with and how you want to spend your days. Use these seven questions to help you define your ideal business and how you can work on getting there.
When I first work with a new client, be it an accountant or a bookkeeper, they often say that they want to have high-value clients.
I think that’s amazing!
But when I ask them what kind of business they want to create…
They often don’t have the answer.
You see, the problem is that you can’t attract high-paying clients if you don’t define your business or your ideal clients first.
To begin with, you have to decide what kind of business and life you want to have. You can’t leave such big decisions to chance. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a business that you don’t even like.
I’ve run into this so many times.
When people start an accounting firm, they’re willing to take on any client. It’s because they think they can’t afford to turn anyone away. Soon, the business starts growing and they get many new clients through referrals.
They also meet a business partner who refers clients to them, so they have all types of clients. But what they really have is a business with mismatched clients.
This is when they start to resent their job as it’s no longer their dream job.
You see, when you start your accounting firm, you have to decide what kind of business you want to create. Only then will you be able to create a VITAL accounting firm.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s too late if your firm isn’t new.
It’s never too late to redesign your business, but you have to be clear on what you want your business and your life to look like.
With so many distractions, it’s not easy to answer this question. That’s why I’ve prepared seven questions that will help you to design your ideal business.
Before you define your ideal business, you must answer these questions first. It’s how you can get clarity on what you want your business to be like.
What’s the Gap Between Your Current and Your Desired Income?
Before we start, you first have to be aware of where you are now.
So you have to write down your income and all of your expenses. Then, you should think about what your ideal lifestyle would look like and how much money would you need. That’s how you come up with your desired income. Finally, calculate the gap from your current to your desired income.
Does everything look clearer now?
Here’s an example.
Ask yourself what kind of house would you like to live in. Maybe you have a mortgage that’s costing you £1000 a month but you want to buy that big house that costs £900,000. How much money do you need for that?
Think about how much money you would like to spend on all areas that are important to you – whether it’s travel or assets. And then, write down how much you need to increase your income to be able to afford all of that.
What Do You Want to Do on a Daily Basis?
It’s not only about defining the business that you want to have. Rather, it’s also about defining your ideal life.
You must define how you want to spend your days. After all, what’s the point of having a lot of money if you don’t like how you spend your time?
With this, I believe that from the moment you start your firm you should be trying to make yourself redundant. This may be a new concept to you, but it’s worked out pretty well for me.
It’s how I get to do only what I really enjoy doing – nothing I don’t like or I am not good at. I never have to worry about my website because I have the real experts do it for me.
So, the big question is:
Do you want to be an accountant or do you want to be a business owner?
As a business owner, you need to find people to help you especially when your business starts growing. You need someone in charge of marketing, administration, and so on.
It’s how you can do only the things you want each day.
What Kind of Clients Do You Want?
Although it may be tempting to accept all clients in the beginning, you have to be purposeful with the type of clients that you want to work with.
I mentioned that many people tell me they want high-value clients, but you need to understand that those high-value clients will expect your input. If you can’t do everything they ask for, you’ll have to hire someone who can. And this may cost you quite a bit of money.
I’d say that unless you’re a CFO, you should try to find the middle of the road clients. You’ll be able to provide the services that they need without too much fuss, and they’ll still be able to pay you what you deserve.
How Much Do You Want to Work (And Where)?
Be honest with yourself. How much do you want to work? Or rather, how much time do you want to put into your business?
If you currently have only a few hours a day to dedicate to your accounting firm, it’s not realistic to accept a lot of clients.
Beyond that, you should also decide where you want to work. Do you want to work from home? Or do you want to travel the world and work from wherever you are? That’s actually very possible for accountants and bookkeepers these days.
But there’s one more question:
Who do you want to surround yourself with?
You see, other people and the environment can influence our productivity profoundly. Do you prefer the office and corporate environment or do you prefer to work alone? Would you enjoy working from home or perhaps you’d miss contact with people?
You have the power to choose whatever suits you. Feel free to choose to have an office or create a fully remote team, just so long as you decide what you want.
What Do You Want Your Day to Look Like?
Before you design your ideal business, it can be beneficial to ask yourself what your ideal day looks like. You can then design your business according to your daily routines, instead of letting the business design your life for you.
So, what time do you want to get up? When do you want to go to bed? Are you more productive in the morning or in the evening? Either is fine but you have to know what works better for you.
As for me, I used to stay up till midnight until I realised that it was really burning me out. So I designed my business in a way that allows me to go to bed by nine o’clock and get my rest.
Think about your other habits. What kind of exercise do you want to do? Or maybe the question should be, how often do you exercise?
You should also think about the clothes that you want to wear. Do you want to wear a suit or do you prefer trainers? Personally, I like to dress up for work. I think it boosts my productivity. But you can choose what makes you feel better.
While these may seem trivial, they are a big factor in helping you come up with your ideal business.
Who Do You Want to Be?
I want you to ask yourself, are you who you really, really want to be? If not, who do you want to become? What has to happen for you to become the person you want to be? What actions do you need to take?
Also, what do you want people to say about you? How do you want to show up at your business?
Marketing and social media can help you design the image that you want people to have of you. So, think about what you want your team members to think of you and your business. Then use those tools to make that image come true.
Remember that this is what you want your image to be in the future and not who you are now. That means you have enough time to work on it. But you have to be super-clear on who you need to become to be able to run the business that you really want.
Do You Want to Sell Your Business?
The final question is:
Do you want to sell your business or work in it to retirement?
The answer to this question can change the way you build your business.
If you want to sell your accounting firm, you need to accrue many assets to make it worth more money. You should focus on making your accounting firm VITAL. It’s the first thing that potential buyers will want to know.
That’s why it’s essential to set up your firm properly from the beginning and choose the direction you want to go in.
You Can Design Your Business
It’s in your power to design your business and your life. Just because you’re an accountant doesn’t mean your business should look like your colleague’s business. You can set it up according to your terms.
But in order to do that, you first need to be clear on who your ideal clients are and what your ideal day looks like. These details will help you define your ideal business.
If you’re not the one who sets the terms, then you’ll have to accept other people’s terms. This is why I urge you to stop and ask yourself these seven questions to figure out what you really want.
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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