Some Thoughts on the Characteristics of Great Business Advisors

At a time when many accounting firms are planning to get into the so-called business advisory space it’s important to think about the type of personal characteristics that are most suited to success as an advisor because the characteristics that are exhibited by great compliance people are not necessarily those that suit business advisory. Here are my thoughts.

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What Makes a Good Business Advisor or Consultant

I once read that a consultant is a person who consults, and an advisor is a person who advises. I can’t think of a more stupid way of defining a concept but for my purpose I will consider them to do the same thing which in a business context is to help the management team of the business achieve the full potential of the business by bringing an outside perspective and different skill set to bear.

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If You Want to Break From The Pack, Innovation is the Key

As I prepare material for our up-coming Practice Innovation Workshops I’ve been doing a lot of research into the process of creative idea generation (specifically how to teach it and how to implement it) because at the end of the day that’s what ultimately gives business enterprises (and that includes accounting firms and their clients) a competitive edge. Continue reading “If You Want to Break From The Pack, Innovation is the Key”

Customer Service: How to move from ordinary to extraordinary

Differentiation is arguably the most important source of growth for service businesses. That said, when it’s difficult to differentiate the outcome of your service, it’s essential to focus your attention on differentiating the process by which you deliver your service. Continue reading “Customer Service: How to move from ordinary to extraordinary”

What every business can learn from Gordon Ramsay

If you can tolerate the language you can learn a lot from Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.  In fact you can learn something from virtually everything that goes on around you.  Back to the kitchen ….. there is a common theme that runs through practically all of the restaurants he works with. This is ….

The menu is way too broad – there are so many dishes it’s hard for people to choose and harder for chefs to get any good at any of them.  In their attempt to appeal to a wide range of people they end up appealing to very few.

The owners start by being so appreciative of Ramsay’s help but very quickly push back on virtually every suggestion he makes because they “know better.” Ah, hello, the business is failing!

The team members who work at the restaurant know EXACTLY what is wrong and they are, for the most part, incredibly loyal to and tolerant of the idiot owner they work for. But if or when they try to suggest a way to improve the process or offer suggestions based on direct or indirect customer feedback to the owner they are totally ignored.

Does this give you any ideas for your firm or any of your clients businesses?  Perhaps you could invite some clients to a breakfast meeting, show one of his episodes and discuss the lessons learned and how they could apply to any business….. just an idea.

Value Pricing: Some Mischievously Misleading Musings

Recently, a practitioner named Frank Stitely, CPA posted his thoughts in CPA Trendlines on how charging a very high fee for work that only took a few hours can backfire. Understandingly, this post invoked a lot reaction from the proponents of value pricing including me. Continue reading “Value Pricing: Some Mischievously Misleading Musings”