The Requirement to Innovate

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 If future CPAs want to be successful in this profession, the time has now come when you are Required to be Innovative.  That's right!  You can't keep doing what you've always done and expect to continue to grow the way you've always grown.  The time is coming when slacker firms may go out of business if they don't Innovate in their space.

You are now required to innovate (something CPAs suck at)!

If you are telling your clients that the latest economic disasters have created a whole new world for all of us to operate in, then it's time for you to live this reality too.  The marketplace has changed.  Your clients are getting younger now, they demand efficient uses of technology and they need you to add more value to their businesses.  They are starting to require that we add value, or they are going away (to another firm).

Here a few things you need to begin working on:

1.  Narrowly define your firm to the marketplace.  Stop being all things to all people, or a "full service firm."  That's dumb.  You're not full service or you could do everything your client needs, including cater their next wedding or clean their drapes or wash their stinky underwear.  Go global and be freakin' bad to the bone to only a small slice of the population.  You'll grow and make more money.

2.  Try new experimental business models.  Try new stuff - your clients will allow you to try new things now.  Some of it won't work, and some of it will, but you'll never know until you try new things.  Examples: we only draft our client fees on the first of each month, we starting making our clients go though some educational courses after becoming a client, and we wears jeans and flip flops to work.  Some people don't like this stuff, but some clients LOVE it (the latter being the only ones we care about).  New experimental models have allowed us to narrowly define who we want to serve, and who we don't want to serve.  You need to know who you DON'T WANT to serve.  Begin learning that by experimenting with new business models.

3.  Get rid of your time sheets.  That sounds scary, and it is.  But until you've made that move, you will not understand how much those stupid time sheets are holding your firm back.  They are directly contradictory to what you client's want; they want you to bill less time while you want to bill more time.  That's dumb.  Stop employing management methods that are in direct contradiction to what your client's want.  That is a hot bed for frustration and dissatisfaction.  Timesheets make you bill your clients based upon your internal firm costs, which your clients don't care about.  Your clients want solutions.  Without timesheets, you will be forced to bill your clients based upon the value that they receive from you.  It's better for the client, and it will force you to be a better firm.  Be brave enough to get rid of your timesheets, go through the bumps and then begin to soar!  {{insert hippy Jonathan Livingston Seagull quote here}}

Want to learn how the CEOs of (Rene Lacerte), (Eric Pulaski), and (Mike McDerment) innovate in their businesses?  Join these CEOs live on the next THRIVEal +CPA Network Conference on Tuesday, May 17th, from 3 pm to 5 pm, EST.  It's only $59 bucks to come, and it may change your life!  Register here: if you ain't scared!  (see the brochure attached for more info!)


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