Once upon a time, I used to run a marketing agency that did the “grunt” work for businesses.
I was overworked, underpaid and hardly ever saw my children.
I may not be an accountant or bookkeeper, but I’ll bet that you can relate to this tale of low profit margins and far too little sleep.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. I eventually transformed my “done for you” business into a freedom practice by offering advisory.
Instead of simply producing marketing materials for my clients, I began to advise and coach them. Instead of working as their lackey, I became a mentor and guide. They started to see real results from our work together.
My profits and turnover went up, whilst my hours went down. My clients actually valued my services and I finally found the joy that had long been missing in both my professional and personal lives.
In short, I upleveled.
Now, you’re not a marketer, but you can transform your accounting or bookkeeping firm into a freedom practice in exactly the same way: by offering advisory.
One of the biggest complaints that I hear from accountants and bookkeepers is that they frequently receive pushback on their pricing. When you step into a role that’s more akin to a consultant or coach than a compliance-based service provider, this stops.
As a consultant, you price yourself based on the value that you deliver to your clients. They aren’t paying you for your time, they’re paying for your expertise. Your work is no longer a compliance cost; it’s an investment. After all, advisory is VITAL:
Many of today’s buyers want to work with an expert, and are willing to pay more for an advisor with industry experience. This gives you authority and puts the ball back in your court in terms of pricing.
Working as an advisor also means that you will no longer have to scrabble to serve hundreds of clients all at once. Therefore, the majority of your revenue will then go straight into your pocket, rather than being spent on teams and tools to manage your huge client base.
Furthermore, you don’t need a lot of tools to market your advisory services, either. Content marketing is a cost-effective and powerful way of establishing yourself as an authority within your niche, and thus attracting a steady flow of high-value clients. Deliver value with your free content and your prospects will be keen to pay you for more.
clients and generate an ROI for them. As discussed above, running an advisory practice will leave you with a lot more time to dedicate to delivering top-level coaching.
The result? Your practice will be filled with what I like to call ‘radiator clients’ who pay you what you’re worth and fill you with warmth.
When you transform your clients’ businesses and deliver real results, they will see a huge ROI and be happy to continue paying you.
The Value Ladder
There are three service models in the accounting and bookkeeping industry, which are as follows:
- Do It Yourself (DIY)
- Do It For You (DIFY)
- Do It With You (DIWY)
Most new business owners buy cloud software and attempt to DIY their accounting and bookkkeping. These business owners don’t understand the value in seeking professional help and are most likely to question you on price if they do decide to seek out your services.
DIFY business owners want you to take their pain away and do the heavy lifting for them. They understand that your services are necessary to ensure that their business is compliant. Some may pay well for this, whilst others will be on a mission to spend as little as humanly possible.
The DIWY model sits at the top of the value ladder because you’re doing a lot more than basic compliance. You are helping the business owner achieve their most important goals and aspirations. They see you as someone who can fast track them to success, and that’s certainly something worth paying for.
If You Don’t Uplevel, Someone Else Will…
The problem is that all of this information isn’t exactly a secret, and many less qualified than you are seizing the opportunities that should be yours.
There are a million and one self-taught business coaches out there who are being handsomely paid for their services, yet they lack your formal qualifications and financial expertise.
Business coaches usually have a basic understanding of financials, but they are nowhere near as well-positioned as you are to quickly spot trends in performance and change the financial fortunes of a business.
As an accountant or bookkeeper, you have a fantastic opportunity to transform your clients’ businesses with your expertise. Best of all, advisory services are actually easier to sell than compliance because they sit at the top of the value ladder.
You have so much more to offer than just compliance-based work. Offering advisory will lead to more revenue and higher profits, whilst working fewer hours and with fewer clients. Now, I don’t know about you, but that definitely sounds like uplevelling to me…