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Blueprint – part 1

This is a series of four articles designed to kick off 2018 with a Blue Print for business success.

These articles are inspired by James Ashford’s manifesto for growing a thriving accountancy firm because the same strategies and tactics are required for an accountancy business as their clients.

This article covers the first two elements; setting the foundations and maximising profitability.
The foundations are:

  • Clear goals
  • Core values
  • Ideal clients

You need to know where you’re heading and share this with your team. This goal aligns the business and the individuals and is crucial to success. This is why we use to report daily results.

Core values define your culture but only if you work with them. Your values need to be used to hire, fire, review, recognise and reward people.
It’s a good idea to have your goals and values visible and you need a plan to keep them in the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Defining your ideal client will make everything easier. You’ll know who exactly you’re looking to connect with, what the target market key problems are and how to communicate effectively.

Maximising profitability covers:

  • Profitable pricing
  • Effective selling
  • Getting paid

Profitable pricing means ensuring you get paid a fair share of the value that you deliver. This means setting value based fixed fees by being able to communicate value and get more customers buying higher value services.

Tactics worth thinking about are minimum fees, reviewing ongoing engagements regularly (possibly every month) and looking for change orders to capture extra value from scope creep.

To sell effectively you need a process, systems and skills. The process could be broken down into steps designed to uncover the value. Systems include tools like HubSpot CRM and skills include consultative selling, being able to close and negotiate.

Break down fees into monthly retainers and ensure you get paid ensure you use accounting software like to issue invoices quickly and/or automatically. Look at getting direct debits set up by using a system like

So, that’s the start of a blueprint for success and if you’d like to see how can help you let me know.

Image from Flickr by Will Scullin.

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