How to Take Your First Steps to Becoming a Firm of the Future
You call it, "Firm of the future," and it sounds like this fancy space age thing. That can actually make it almost a little more intimidating. It doesn't have to be. Someone will be willing to level with you and say, "This is what you do next." Each little piece is a step along the process.
If you think this is going to be a quick fix, it's not. It's something that's going to take time and you have to have a good plan in place, you have to think about what it is that you want to do, the type of person you want to be, what's your mission, what's your purpose.
Figure out why you're in practice, what you want to do to support your clients, and focus on that. What's great is that you can actually utilize the technology that's out there, which is QuickBooks Online, and using the Cloud to give you the time so you can do those things for those clients.
What makes us the firm of the future? We've always been early adopters of technology, focusing on QuickBooks, QuickBooks Accounting, QuickBooks Consulting, and being able to really take care of our clients needs. If you're not using QBO, convert your firm to QBO and make sure that you're familiar with it, that you learn it.
If somebody's a little hesitant to make the move, I'll tell them, "Sign up for the 30 day trial with QuickBooks Online." I would say almost every single time they end up making the transition and they stick with QuickBooks Online.
We've had literally hundreds of clients that have used the Cloud tools and never had an issue. I think that kind of speaks for itself.
If you don't know where to start, take a certification exam. It really is a fantastic educational tool and the QuickBooks Online certification exam is free.
Definitely attend events such as QB Connect. I remember the very first conference I went to where they talked about Cloud technology, and felt like it was Japanese or something. Once you hear about it, and then I had talked to people around me that were doing it already, if you want to be the best at something you need to find someone who already is there and get advice from them.
One of the things that we do as a firm is we work off of a fixed fee model. If a client calls us once a year, a hundred times a day it doesn't change the fee. It encourages more interaction with us. The fifty clients that we have in it right now, we have a much, much together relationship with.
I would encourage anybody that hasn't tried fixed rate, to just try it. Try it with a perspective client. It's amazing to me the ancillary benefits with a fixed rate model.
I think all businesses, no matter who you are, should have a website. It's so easy to do nowadays. Now it's just an extra place people can go to look at to see who I am, see testimonials. I've had clients that actually go to my website, look at the testimonials, and then even call some of those testimonials and they're still clients today.
I might tell them to start with Twitter because I learned so much from that. I've really started to use that as a way to stay connected with the apps that have developers, stay connected with my QuickBooks connections, and learn about what else is going on in the QuickBooks world, and the QuickBooks Online world. Then I can take that and share it with my clients.
Mariette M. :
Intuit's really where I got started with my advertising because the Pro Advisor program provides you with free marketing materials. That was my very first exposure to actually having some type of advertising is I got certified right away, and I got to find the Pro Advisor Profile, and I think within a year I had almost thirty reviews.
We attend conferences where we learn about these new apps and partnerships so that our clients don't have to.
If you're hesitant about it just pick one thing to look at, one app that may be interested to you that you know people are talking about and just give it a try on your own company so that it doesn't effect any of your clients.
People get very stuck in their routines and habits that they have. I guess the main message to my colleagues us if we can do it, you can too. It really just takes the dedication. Yes, it's a bit of hard work but jump. Take the leap, it is worth it.