A blog is a great place to capture ideas. By blogging regularly you create a catalogue of really neat content that you can leverage in the future. Whether you blog or not, you need a mechanism for ensuring your great ideas do not disappear into the ether.
On Friday, I had a very productive session in a coachingclub meeting with eight proactive accounting firms. We allocated part of the day to reviewing real life examples of financial statements for business clients. I split the group into teams of four and gave the teams half an hour to come up with as many ideas to take to the client to improve their business as they could. All of the groups filled at least one sheet of flip chart paper. In one case, the potential value to the client was generally considered to be so high that it would justify an investment of over $100,000 over three years to implement all of the ideas. This was a $5000 client.
During the session, I noted down two ‘killer’ ideas to share via my blog:
1. Demonstrate to the business owner how much (or little) they are making per hour worked in the business. In this case, given what the accountant knew of his client, the calculation came out at $18.60 per hour. What an eye opener that would be for a business owner – and what motivation to improve the business’s performance!
2. One of the accountants slipped this into the discussion: “How about going to the client and discussing 10 strategies to increase profitability?” Sounds simple? Many of the best ideas are. The key to simple ideas like this is how you leverage them. As a team, we then came up with 10 ways to leverage this idea (in two minutes flat:)
i) Brainstorm 10 generic ideas with your team and use them as them as the basis for a profit improvement program (either one or one or one to several with clients)
ii) Create a coaching offering around your ideas
iii) Conduct a brainstorming meeting with the client and prioritise the top 10 (this could be a charged service or a free, marketing service)
iv) Write a booklet “ABC & Co’s top 10 ideas to improve the profit of businesses in Your Town” – sell the booklet
v) Make the booklet available as a free download on your website in exchange for contact details of prospective clients
vi) Condense the booklet into a flyer and use in your new client pack or marketing collateral
vii) Create a seminar around your top 10 ideas
viii) Gather 10 case studies from real examples of how you have helped a client in each area and use them collectively and individually in your marketing
ix) Support your case studies with testimonials
x) Use all of your ideas as the basis of internal training programs to upskill your accountants
There are ideas everywhere – but how many ideas like this go through to the keeper? Get into the habit of writing down your ideas then actioning them. You’ll find your firm, your team and your clients will be improved as a result.