Do you feel overworked and underpaid, and no matter how many hours you work, you still can’t get ahead? Do you struggle to make and keep boundaries with clients, or feel like you can’t ever say no? If you said “yes” to either of these questions, you have a money leak in your firm that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
Michelle Weinstein, a time-tested entrepreneur, master of selling, and founder of The Pitch Queen and The Abundant Accountant, recently led a webinar presentation sharing five major money leaks and how to fix them. Hundreds of accounting and tax professionals have doubled their firm revenue and gained time freedom by a process she has spent over twenty years perfecting. These are the most common money leaks she observes and how to address them.
Taking on clients that aren’t a fit for you
You DO NOT have to work with whoever is in front of you…and you shouldn’t want to either! The temptation to accept every client that comes your way is NOT worth your time, energy, & missed opportunities. Success comes from an abundance mindset, setting boundaries, and having a clear vision for your firm.
We want to speak to a specific client with specific goals AND with specific dreams. The more you know about what your clients want and why they want it, the more your message will reach those types of clients and the easier it will be to communicate your value to them – and charge them premium fees for your services.
- Know who qualifies to work with you
- Know your ideal client
- Create a different experience
- Knowing your ideal client and saying NO to everyone else allows you to charge higher fees and work SMARTER, not HARDER
Annual reasonable compensation analysis is a must. If a client refuses, are they your ideal client? Performing reasonable compensation analysis during intake is a foundational metric for other advisory opportunities such as bookkeeping services, payroll services, entity analysis, and more.
Giving away free advice and answering quick questions
Giving your time and expertise away for free will NEVER get you the results you want. You will end up feeling used, undervalued, and working with people who are not a fit for you. How often does a “quick question” or doing something “additional” come up where it takes you a ton of extra time, that you’re not being paid for?
Ways you can protect your inventory:
- STOP giving out band-aids
- Prepare ahead of time
- Stick to your boundaries and ideal clients
- Ask the right questions
When you protect your inventory, you can go from chasing new clients and money to providing lifetime value! Like offering reasonable compensation analysis. If a client asks you what they should be paying themselves, don’t give them your best guess for free. Calculate it properly and charge them for this service.
Do your clients often ask you to do more work than they’ve originally hired you to do? Do they take up your time, picking your brain on how to manage their accounting or bookkeeping better?
Scope creep occurs in two ways:
- Clients explicitly ask you to do something you didn’t agree to (work that isn’t in the original plan, the client changes the plan mid-project)
- You provide extra services for a client that are needed that clients are not paying for (you discover the project requires a deeper level of work than originally thought or new services are needed when a client’s situation changes)
Scope creep can be a good thing when managed properly. It’s a new opportunity for both you AND your clients. This could be a sign that their business is growing, or their finances are improving. This is something to be celebrated with them!
A new ask from a client, like calculating their reasonable compensation, is just another opportunity for you to position yourself as the expert that has the solution to their problem and provide additional services (for a fee, of course).
Your expertise and knowledge are your most valuable assets. Sending proposals, quotes, billing clients and chasing low value clients for payments wastes your time, energy and money. Why would you waste your time being a bill collector? Sending out hundreds of proposals and quotes, chasing down money from clients results in endless amounts of accounts receivables and cash flow problem.
A better way is to get paid upfront. This gives you and your firm more time freedom, better cash flow and higher value clients which results in more profit and revenue. Getting paid upfront is the fastest path to income, freedom and peace of mind
No sales system
Not having a system in your firm is costing you time, money, stress, and clients. By implementing a sales system in your firm, you’ll be able to engage your ideal clients and charge fees for services you may not have thought were possible to charge for. It also allows you to get paid upfront by giving them the confidence you are providing them results they can’t get from anyone else.
Without a system in place, you’ll end up overworked, underpaid and burnt out. When you have a system and process, you just have to repeat the steps and no longer have to reinvent the wheel with every client.
If you didn’t attend Michelle’s session, you can view it here. Michelle is available to work with you and your firm to discuss how you can apply these ideas starting today. Visit her website, The Abundant Accountant to learn more or schedule your breakthrough session and start maximizing your revenue potential.