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Growing Your Firm in Uncertain Times

by Jon Hubbard, Director

The rapid outbreak of the coronavirus is creating an enormous human impact, as well as a significant financial impact being felt across the world. Social distancing is needed for public health, but it's stressful for businesses and the accounting firms that serve them.

It's natural for people to feel anxious about the future. However, in times like these, true leaders in the profession and your firm need to adopt a positive mindset.

One of the resources I like to turn to in uncertain times is The "Scary Times" Success Manual by Dan Sullivan, founder of The Strategic Coach. You can download a free copy of the manual at the link provided, but I thought I would share a few of the strategies, as well as my take on the advice.

Forget about yourself, focus on others

Uncertainty about the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, economic fears, and being suddenly separated from colleagues and coworkers is making a lot of people feel isolated and helpless.

It's ok to feel that anxiety, but acknowledge it and then turn in the opposite direction. What can you do to support your clients right now? What message do they need to hear? What resources can your firm provide? The more you focus on others and spend less time worrying about your own situation, the better you'll feel.

Forget about your commodity, focus on relationships

The success of an accounting firm has always depended on its relationships, not the compliance or transactional services they provide.

Rather than worry about your services or your job, focus on deepening those relationships. Now is an excellent time to reach out to your clients to talk about what's keeping them up at night and look for ways to help them solve those issues.

Forget about the sale, focus on creating value

Nobody wants to feel like you're selling to them, even when times are good. But in uncertain times, appearing to take advantage of that opportunity to make a sale turns people off.

When you talk to clients, don't focus on selling them on your services. Focus on creating value for them by eliminating dangers, capturing opportunities and reinforcing strengths. Sales will follow.

Forget about your losses, focus on your opportunities

Many firms we work with have been leveraging technology to play a new game in the past few years. They've invested in technology to enable remote work, paperless workflows, digitally collecting client documents, electronic signatures and delivery of tax returns, and more.

I suspect that many of the firm leaders (and their clients) who resisted these changes are wishing they had those tools in place right now.

While I do believe we will come through this, we won't go back to the way things were. Don't expect to keep playing the old game. This is your opportunity to test technologies that allow your team to serve clients anytime, anywhere. Embrace it, and you'll be able to achieve far more than you ever have.

Forget about events, focus on your responses

There’s a harsh truth in life: you have no control over many things that happen. When you try to control other people and situations, your worries might keep you occupied, but that worry is ultimately a waste of time and energy.

When you find yourself worrying about events in the world at large, take a minute to think about whether you truly have any control over the outcome. In most cases, you’ll discover you cannot prevent a storm from coming – you can only prepare for it. Focusing your time, effort and energy on responding to the unpredictable events that lie ahead is much more productive.

Growing your firm in uncertain times presents extra challenges. But with the right mindset and strategies, you can thrive regardless of what's going on in the world at large.


Does you firm have a clear Growth strategy?

We can help provide your firm with clarity and understanding so that you can focus on the right objectives at the right time.​ Schedule a discovery call with one of our Solutions Advisors and get on the path to transforming your firm.


Jon Hubbard, Director at Boomer Consulting helps accounting firm leaders find success in the areas of leadership, talent and growth. Jon is a facilitator for the Boomer P3 Leadership Academy, Boomer Talent Circle and Boomer Marketing & BD Circle. He also guides firms to grow and be more effective in the areas of client service, marketing and business development.   

Jon speaks at various industry conferences, user conferences, state societies, and associations. He is a Storybrand Certified Guide and Certified Kolbe Consultant.


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