Mistake 2 of 16 – Partners discussing and agreeing strategy in isolation

This week we continue our series of blog articles ’16 mistakes made by accountants – and how to avoid them’. Regardless of your firms size, running or managing a practice can be a lonely task. At times of significant change partners and managers should avoid planning alone. Doing so can be a costly mistake.

Planning alone!

Regardless of your size, even if it’s just you, making decisions alone, without external input is a dangerous game. Yet it’s a common mistake made by already busy, time-stretched partners, working with limited budgets and attempting to work out a way forward. Not wanting to seek external expertise or input they meet on a regular basis and have ‘the same old’ discussions. Each partner knows what needs to be done, but once the meeting ends, life catches up. The urgent calls of existing customers and ‘coping’ take priority and instead of being the source of stimulation and ideas the next meeting becomes a dreaded bore of repetitive actions, growing ‘to do’ lists and with no clear way out.

Breaking out!

Some firms try desperately to break this cycle. They want to grow. There are times when these ‘risks’ pay off and courage is rewarded. Sadly though, it’s more common for accountants inexperienced in sales and marketing to make mistakes; mistakes that at best just lose money. Worse still, they damage partners’ confidence that sales and marketing ever works for accountants!

These mistakes can cripple a firm, damage profit margins, discourage the ambassadors for growth and delight those who were ‘resistant’ all along. That’s sad when we have scores of examples to show that sales and marketing works powerfully when structured in the right way.

Some firms are thriving

While many debate the future of the economy, even more are trying to cope with the impact of the last few years. Almost every industry has been affected and the accountancy profession is no exception. With thousands of job losses; RSM Tenon Predicting 70 million in losses; Target having gone into administration and KPMG freezing their bonus scheme for trainees, it can, for most readers, becoming simply depressing. And yet within this apparent ‘mess’, some firms are thriving!

Don’t traverse them alone!

These are unique times and our advice is don’t make the mistake of trying to navigate them alone. Find an external advisor or consultant to help guide you through. They can help you avoid the common, costly mistakes so many firms make and focus limited partner time where it’s going to give you the very greatest ROI. They can help your partner meetings be so much more profitable and offer

solutions to recurring problems. What’s more they can help you develop a powerful plan for growth.

Get expert help

You wouldn’t expect your clients to function well without you, their most trusted advisor. Likewise, don’t make the mistake of trying to reinvent the wheel and do it all yourself.

“Each year we have a partners away day to focus on the most important issues facing our firm and our strategic goals. We have found that external facilitation has focused and produced great results which we have been able to drive through ourselves in subsequent partners meetings. We brought Insight in to work with us one such away day. The facilitation they gave, the experience and proven ideas they were able to offer helped contribute to one of the very best and most productive days we’ve had. Genuine advice, appropriate direction and clear outcomes. Thank you.”

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Categories: Biggest Mistakes, Blog, blogs


Joel Oliver | joelo@myfirmsapp.com

Joel is the MD of MyFirmsApp and is no newcomer to technology or working with professional service companies. Joel owns Insight Marketing, SalesForAccountants and Insight Digital Media, with over 30 years’ experience working with Accountants, IFAs, Financial Planners, Law Firms and professional service companies.

He pioneered the App project back in 2012 as he could see the huge benefits of Apps for professional firms who wanted to care for existing clients and market profitably to potential new customers. With over 18 years experience in both online and offline marketing, Joel has developed, led and managed many highly successful businesses.

Joel has a hands-on role within the family of companies and enjoys meeting clients and helping them future-proof their businesses. As the App continues to expand in the UK and overseas. Joel continues to ensure the App product and its bolt-ons get better and better.

To find out more about Joel and his connections, see his LinkedIn Profile or email him on joelo@myfirmsapp.co.uk

Outside work:

Outside work you will often find Joel with his friends or family enjoying varied hobbies from salmon fishing to fine wine and sailing. Joel is also an assistant pastor at a local church and runs numerous youth groups.