While reading the recent biography of Steve Jobs I came across a bit of advice that I thought was just as relevant for those of us with small to mid-zise CPA firms who are always looking for some marketing and business guidance. Here are his three key observations on what makes a company (or a firm), a success:
1. Show empathy. Steve described this as creating an intimate conection with your clients and understanding their needs. While he was referencing a product driven world, who better than the "most trusted advisor" to forge a meaningful connection to clients?
2. Stay focused. Steve includes this as a basic tenet . admonishing business owners to ignore the nonessential and unimportant and stay focused on what they can do well. Not unlike the advice in "Good to Great", Jobs reminds us of how necessary it is to decide what we can really do well and build our practices around those skills an resources without over reaching and trying to be everything to everyone.
3. Be thoughtful about your message - know what people "impute" from their interactions with you. Steve firmly believed that a book IS judged by its cover, so he went out of his way to offer the best product with the highest quality but he also made sure that every customer's first impression was going to produce a "WOW" factor.
CPA firms can take this advice to heart - thinking about the signals we send, what impressions we make, what opinions our clients and business colleagues are forming based on our attitude, materials, our information sharing, our programs, and our values. Know what message you want to convey, and do that in a purposeful manner!
Let us know what you have in mind for 2012. Wishing a happy, healthy,prosperous and safe new year to you all! Thanks for visiting!