Client interruptions don’t stop at 5pmRemove Yourself from this Costly Trap

Don’t fall into the trap of attempting to please all of your clients, working too many hours and burning out.  Accounting professionals often figure this out the hard way.  The plain and simple truth is working 50+ hours week after week is not sustainable.  Even if you think you can manage a 50-hour work week throughout the year, the quality of your work suffers.  Don’t do that to yourself!

Trish, an enrolled agent, worked 7 days per week and up to 70 hours each week. Since she’s service focused, she wants to please everyone. As soon as a client reaches out to her with a request, she stops her current work to immediately respond. The notifications break her concentration. Although it may only take two minutes to respond to the text, it takes several more minutes to refocus on her work. The minutes add up over time.

The interruptions don’t stop at 5pm. Even during dinner with her family or over the weekend, she’ll stop what she’s doing to respond to a client’s text or email. Being available 24/7 led to burnout. She felt like she couldn’t step away from her business, even for one day.

Unknowingly, Trish taught her clients to expect an immediate response from her. Yes, her clients loved the direct access. The attention she gave to her clients took time away from her family.

When we first met, Trish stated she no longer wants to choose between my business and my family.

The time had come to change the things which she had tolerated for much too long. A couple new procedures improved her client communication process.

Find your True North – it’s your internal compass. With this approach, you take charge of your #accounting practice instead of your business taking charge of you. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

We talked about finding her True North – it’s her internal compass. With this approach, she would take charge of her accounting practice instead of her business taking charge of her.

Focus on Your True North

Trish is service-oriented. Aiming to please is commendable – but only to a certain point.  She started her accounting practice as a jack of all trades, trying to please each of her clients’ varied demands.  Burn out set in from stretching herself too thin and lacking boundaries.

Although she possesses a high tolerance level, and a lot of patience, she craved change. Striving to make everyone happy all of the time brought on overwhelm and stress. During our work together, Trish set boundaries. And yes, not immediately responding to client requests made her uncomfortable.

Rather than a jack of all trades, she began to zero in on what she does best.

Two things were quickly eliminated from her offerings.

  1. All services which felt like a grind.
  2. Demanding clients who didn’t respect her.

Strategic growth is an evolution. It's a result of defining and shifting the focus for your #accounting firm. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

Within six months, Trish’s accounting firm had a new look and feel. Now she:

  • emphasizes her most valuable skills,
  • specializes in a profitable niche,
  • attracts clients within her niche,
  • drastically reduced her work week while maintaining her income.

Strategic growth is an evolutionFocus on High-value Clients

Strategic growth is an evolution – a result of defining and shifting her focus.  We first identified her ideal client and their specific needs.  Then, her attention shifted to client attraction strategies.  She learned how to communicate her value. Next, we updated the workflow to effectively onboard new clients.

Trish had some clients who have been with her for years, and even decades. Ending some of those relationships brought up a wave of mixed emotions. So, the shift from old to new occurred gradually.

As new ideal clients came into her practice, she let go of the non-ideal ones. Trish packaged her services to the needs of her new clients. As a result, her bank account grew with this strategic move. The 7 day work week was replaced with a 20 hour / 4 day work week.

Overall, her True North guided her success. Connecting with her value took some time. And, comfortably communicating her value to new clients took practice.  Ideal clients gravitated her way as she honed in on what they highly valued.

true north guidanceFind your True North Star for Guidance

Can you imagine embarking on a road trip without a map?  This is exactly what Trish did before she connected with her True North for guidance.  Recognizing her internal compass offered clarity about what to keep and what to release. Overall, it improved her business and her personal life.

Things which had felt difficult were now easy, including connecting with ideal clients, recognizing the value of her services and doing things her way.  In short, accepting any and all work that came her way was a mistake!  Although Trish initially lacked confidence, she possessed the courage to release herself from the status quo. Connecting with her True North quickly paid off – emotionally and financially.

Challenges Your Accounting Firm Has to Overcome

Following the guidance of her True North benefits her accounting practice in the long run yet it also presented some obstacles along the way.  For one, non-ideal clients wanted to know why she was discontinuing their professional relationship.  She explained the changes to her business model and her new direction.

Bringing ideal clients into her practice also presented challenges.  Why choose her instead of someone else? She had to differentiate herself from her peers, focus on value and establish several strategic relationships.  With each step, enthusiasm replaced burnout. She no longer felt trapped and without escape.

Accepting any and all work which comes your way is a mistake! It's a path to burnout for #accounting firm owners. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

Resist the Temptation to Revert to Your Old Ways!

Develop a strategic plan for your businessReverting to her old habits was quite tempting, especially when she could not immediately bring new ideal clients on board.  However, she resisted the urge to devalue her services by negotiating her fees.  Furthermore, she refused to work overtime to please her clients.  Packages replaced her former hourly rate. With perseverance, she focused on attracting ideal clients to her practice.

Don’t sell yourself short!

Follow in Trish’s footsteps.  Change requires courage. Follow your True North even if you don’t immediately get the targeted results. It will pay off in the end.  If she did it, you can do it too.  Recognize the fact that adjusting your business model requires some effort. Connect with your True North and you will make it.

It is Time to Take Control of Your Accounting Firm

Develop a strategic plan for your business which emphasizes value. Trim the “fat” of non-ideal clients to grow a business which doesn’t drain you.  Your True North has the potential to accelerate your growth.  Claim your FREE RESOURCE today to attract ideal clients, increase your income and reduce your workload.