Bookkeeping business development expert, Clayton Oates, shares his 3 top tips on how to embrace technology innovation and grow your business.
At First Class Accounts conferences and workshops we’ve been pleased to be guided by the sage advice of Clayton Oates, internationally respected Australian bookkeeping practice trainer and keynote speaker.
Seeing the degree of change in our industry as bookkeepers seek to monetise our work introducing new financial technology to our clients, we turn to Clayton Oates for his roadmap on how to do this effectively.
1. Take a step back to reflect on your business model and pricing to deliver new services
Before diving in to help a client with a new technology innovation, consider your approach to pricing and delivering the new solutions.
From a clients’ perspective, if you are quoting using the outdated hourly rate model, the value you are delivering is clouded by the variable of uncertainty (the time it will take to complete the task).
When choosing tech solutions, go back to first principles and put yourself in the clients’ shoes and ask yourself, ‘If I owned this business, what would I do?’ Then, find solutions which you can leverage to deliver these insights and price the solution for the value it offers, rather the time it takes to deliver.
Inevitably, as you find efficiencies in repetitive and easily automated tasks, the client may perceive less value in those services. A value-based approach to pricing demonstrates a dynamic intention to help the client grow their business.
The client will then see you more as an ongoing partner, providing them with new ways to enhance their business whilst providing certainty in outcome and price.
2. Technology helps you achieve the freedom you seek and grow your business
If you’ve moved away from the hourly rate model to quoting based on value, then carefully chosen technology solutions offer every bookkeeper the power to deliver service with greater efficiency.
There are so many leading apps and software that automates mundane tasks. These include those chosen as First Class Accounts partners like DiviPay, an expense management app using virtual credit cards, and Dext, offering automation of data entry, streamlining reporting and insights by analysis of data.
First Class Accounts has done some of the leg work to help franchisees carefully select and trial these options. These products can in turn free up valuable time to adopt a business advisory perspective for the client. To look for cracks in the processes and opportunities to fix more of their problems.
3. Take the leap of faith and negotiate your value and refine through trial and error
Look at areas you have expertise and an interest in. Survey your clients and find out what they want.
Simple questions of your clients might prompt ideas about how you can help. These may be questions like, “What part of running your business keeps you up at night?” or “If I offered budgeting, analysis and forward planning support, would this be of interest?” or “When did you last have a payroll systems review?”
Focus on discovering the benefits to the client of investing in these services and articulate these shared insights. Remember you are undertaking the work to obtain the outcome that the client values.
Then, upskill yourself to offer those solutions. Learn from others in the industry who have implemented these services and undertake training to master your chosen tools.
Yes, there will be some trial and error in the pricing and implementation process, but I’d encourage you to persist to find your sweet spot in the journey of growing your bookkeeping business.
If you would like to align yourself with a team of other innovative bookkeepers and benefit from our in-house training to future proof your bookkeeping business click here.