Traditional education teaches conformity. During class you’re instructed to obey the rules, do what you’re told and walk down the hall in a straight line. Challenging the rules is frowned upon. Memorizing for the test, only to forget it later, is how we progress from one grade to the next. This totally overlooks students with an entrepreneurial mindset.
Ditch the Employee Mindset
The combination of blending in and rote learning sets the foundation for your entire life. Honor roll students bring home A’s in all subjects. Going against the rules earns you a seat in the principal’s office.
Your education teaches you a skill set. Therefore, it prepares you to work for someone else.
But how about the leaders, creatives and independent thinkers? Schools lack a curriculum for an entrepreneurial path.
Because of that, lack of business “know-how” sets firm owners up for failure. We repeatedly hear about most businesses failing within the first five years. No one wants to become that statistic.
Growth minded accounting professionals, fortunately, figure out the business side of things. You gain skills to effectively network, negotiate deals, set your pricing and improve efficiency. Most importantly, as a firm owner, you don’t let failure become an obstacle.
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Elon Musk poured all his money into his dream company SpaceX. When things didn’t go as planned, he experienced an epic setback. The massive failure eventually triggered a very public nervous breakdown for Musk.
Hundreds of millions of dollars went down the drain. Because SpaceX is deeply personal to him, he picked himself up. Once again he poured all his personal funds along with borrowed money from investors into the project. Musk envisions building a colony on Mars by 2050. His entrepreneurial mindset fuels this vision.
Success can seem like a gamble. Growth minded accounting professionals share several commonalities. They combine mindset and skills to beat the odds.
Do you possess an entrepreneurial mindset?
Here are five business skills to master:
1. Sell your services
Sales is the cure-all to every problem you face in your accounting practice. Yet, it has a bad rep.
I don’t know anyone who wants to be pushed, persuaded or manipulated into a sale. The old school sales strategies simply don’t work, especially if you’re seeking long-term loyal clients.
Don’t lower your standards. The sales people I know possess high integrity. Their attitude sets them apart.
Consider the positive salespeople you’ve encountered. As professionals, they apply the golden rule to give before you take. They prioritize the clients need above their own.
Discussing your service feels awkward at first. Yes, you may become tongue-tied as you stumble your way through the conversation.
Like anything new, the sales part is uncomfortable. Be gentle with yourself as you develop this new skill. Keep at it. Gradually, you’ll find a style which works for you.
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Develop these fundamental sales skills.
- Connection. Develop rapport.
- Information gathering. Ask great questions.
- Attention. Keenly listen to their answers.
- Value. Gather insights which uncover their real concerns.
- Offer. Become comfortable discussing your services.
- Go-to expert. Your sales process positions you as an expert.
- Solution. Your expert-level knowledge solves a specific problem.
- Ask. It’s okay to ask someone to engage your accounting services.
- Objections. You comfortably handle pushback and objections.
2. Price for value
Traditional pricing models fail to recognize your expertise. They fail to acknowledge the time you spent and the numerous hurdles you had to overcome along the way.
No one ever taught you to price your services. Either you rent yourself out by charging an hourly rate. Or, you quote a fixed price based on costs and time.
Traditional pricing models leave a lot of money on the table since they emphasize time. Studies prove clients care more about your knowledge than your time. If you want to work with clients who highly value your service, then focus on solving their problem. That’s why they hire you.
Value-based pricing highlights your knowledge and experience. More and more accounting firms now price for value rather than time. Remember, your best clients work with you because of what you know, not what you do.
3. Develop your network
Statistics claim we each know about 250 people. If that’s the case, then step out from behind your computer. Network, either virtually or in-person, to let people know you exist. Even if networking isn’t your thing, find a way to connect with people who will refer clients to you.Statistics claim we each know about 250 people. Network, either virtually or in-person, to let people know your #accounting firm exists. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet
According to Harvard Business Review’s survey, nearly 100% of people say face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships. If that’s the case, then your network is an untapped source of opportunities.
New ideas emerge from your connections. As Steve Jobs said, “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.”
During the start-up phase of your accounting practice, you handle all the jobs. Continuing to do it all yourself eventually creates an upper limit challenge. When you max out on time, you max out your earning potential.
For growth to continue, you eventually need to get some things off your plate. Growth minded accounting professionals gradually free themselves from the day to day operations. You consistently document workflows and procedures.
Next you gradually hire people for the routine tasks. Since your highest value is your expertise, you want to focus on the activities which only you can do.
Develop your team building skills. When you hire the right people, they bring out the best in you. Add people to your team who enjoy the tasks that you struggle with. Surround yourself with team members who compliment your strengths.
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Don’t avoid adversity. Your growth is proportional to the level of difficulty that something requires. As you already know, those challenges often extend beyond your comfort zone.
Growth minded accounting professionals don’t view failure as a dead end. They acknowledge it without beating themselves up. Then they search for the insights that occurred.
This is like mining for diamonds. Initially, the failure looks like black coal. Its true value is only obvious after it’s been cleaned up and polished.
The entrepreneurial mindset recognizes the importance of doing things which extend beyond your current capabilities.
Embrace an Entrepreneurial Mindset
School doesn’t teach you the skills needed to survive in the real business world. It teaches you to work in a business, but not to own a business.
Shifting to an entrepreneurial mindset requires you to develop the core skills of sales, pricing, networking, delegation and dealing with failure. Master these skills to rise up as a valued accounting professional.
Follow these recommendations for your accounting practice to grow without burning you out. Discover how to increase your income while lightening your workload. Right NOW claim your FREE RESOURCE to earn more without working more.