At our annual conference we awarded stellar performance to 8 key firms in Australasia.

Most Efficient Accounting Business – Clifton Accountants – www.cpaaccountants.com.au

Most Innovative Accounting Business – Hansens Accountants – www.hansens.com.au

Service Excellence in an Accounting Business – Selby Watson & Co – www.selbywatson.com.au

Best Client Result in an Accounting Business – Doyle Partners – www.doylepartners.com.au

Community Contributions by an Accounting Business – Jaques Stanmore Chartered Accountants – www.jaquesstanmore.com.au

Most Valuable Player in an Accounting Business – Ravi Sharma from PJT Accountants – www.pjtaccountants.com.au

Rising Star Accounting Business – Snelleksz & Co – www.snelleksz.com.au

Accounting Business of the Year – ZJL Partners – www.zjl.com.au

Congratulations to all. Much deserved. We’re very proud of you.

Wednesday was an amazing presentation on speaking / presentation effectiveness skills by one of the worlds leaders – Joanna Martin. All day she captivated the audience with how to command an audience, be more effective in team / board meetings and lead a seminar. She also taught them how to ‘sell from stage’. Either sell product, next step or something different. She actually demonstrated by selling to the audience. The RAN TO THE SERVICE DESK to sign up for her 3 day seminar. It was an amazing sight to see Accountants running to a desk to give money. What a skill.

Thursday was the grand finale. We opened up with the legendary Paul Dunn talking about how Accountants and Entrepreneurs can be a force for good.  I have known Paul for 25 years now and was simply outstanding. My business partner then took the stage and interviewed 3 firms about their success. We call it ‘Heroes Journey’ – always a hit. After that Colin & I revealed our revolutionary product which will give an Accountant real time client data on their phone/device/laptop/desktop. A staggering 100% of firms said they would use it with around 70% of their clients. We have been working very hard to get this solution finished.

It’s done, complete, finished and ready now. I’ll put some screen shots up next week.

The conference concluded with the ‘Accountants night of all nights’ – a Rio/Carnivale inspired gala dinner. We gave out a string of awards and everyone laughed and danced the night away until the wee hours of Friday morning.  It truly was a superb finish.

Thank you to everyone who attended this years conference. Delegates, Speakers, Event partners, my business partner Colin, my wife Nat  and especially our team who worked night and day to make it a HUGE success. Thank you!

That’s the conference for another year. That’s 5 in a row – every year is better – next year is the challenge to make it better than this one!

If you attended and you read this blog please comment on your thoughts/feelings/observations or words of praise. A few snaps below! By tech guru will fix up the distortion later.

Colin & the roudy lot

Nat Brenton Ben

Rob & Paul Dunn

It’s been a very busy 2 days at my annual conference.

On Monday we had Verne Harnish (@thegrowthguy / www.gazelles.com) speak all day. He captivated the delegates the entire way through. Never before have I had some great feedback from so many people regarding a speaker I have hired. The learnings, inspiration, stories and thought provocation will change a lot of Accountants – for the better.

Monday night was my annual ‘presenters dinner’. This is where I book a private room at a top restuarant just for people on stage during the week. So we had Verne, Naomi Simson, Paul Dunn, Colin Dunn (no relation), Phil Pitt, Nat, myself + 12 Accountants for the evening. It was a hoot. We drank superb wine, ate like kings and laughed and laughed the entire night. What fun.

Tuesday morning was fun activities. We had golf, scuba diving, sailing, frisbee throwing (one of my team is a world champion), snorkelling and a variety of other fun things for the delegates. I chose the golf – which was not the smartest decision after a BIG night out the night before. The first 4 holes were most untidy!

Tuesday afternoon we had the legendary Naomi Simson (www.redballoon.com.au) speak for 90 minutes on team engagement. Naomi is a previous winner of Business woman of the year (Australia), Entrepreneur of the year and ‘best place to work’ (Australia) winner. She shared her wisdom on how she attracts and retains people.

I then took the stage and gave a candid look inside my business. Then I interviewed 4 leading Accounting firms on how they have implemented Verne Harnish’s growth ideas into their firms.

Oh, we were also joined by Freddie Mercury (and back up singers) for a couple of quick numbers to warm the group up.

More photos coming later. Here a couple of the room. It’s quite a show!

CCC Av deskCCC crowdCCC crowd 2CCC Freddie and friends

Awesome day today – after a round of golf with some clients we started our conference with nearly 400 people in attendance. My favourite photo from the cocktail party last night was when our key speaker, Verne Harnish, paid hommage to my marketing chief – Michelle Henson. Verne was intrigued how Michelle was able to marshal 20 companies to sponsor our event.

I also launched our new branding and company name – Proactive Accountants Network. We have 4 membership levels where Accounting firms around the world interact with us and get massive value for their firms and their clients.

Our plan is to take the Network around the world by licensing ‘chapters’ in countries, states & territories. On April 16 we officially launch the Proactive Accountants Network outside of Australasia.

Rob golf Michelle VernePAN LogoPAN membership levels

Saturday was a fun day. Nat & the kids arrived mid day which was great. It’s Ollies 14th birthday and unfortunately my conference clashed with it. So we decided to fly all 3 kids up to the island and have a 24 hour party – 14 year old style!

It started with fish & chips on the water. Then we went shooting –  rifles, pistols and a 44 magnum! And then it was off go karting (which was a lot of fun) and ended up at a cafe for pizza & cake.

I was amazed at how good all 3 kids were are shooting and racing. Might be something in that.

The kids are in a separate hotel (under 18’s not allowed @ Qualia where we are staying) so we are presuming they watched some movies last night and got some more room service.

Today we have more fun planned in the morning then the kids depart. I am playing golf with some clients in the afternoon and then the conference proper starts tonight with a cocktail party for 385 people.

Ollie shootingOllie targetOllie go kart

I am entering my 25th year growing businesses. I love businesses – especially growth ones. I am an entrepreneur at heart and over the years I have developed a very simple model to grow any type of business.

Now this model assumes your product / service is top shelf and your market buys it.

It has 3 parts to it:

1) Community. Who is your target market? Once you know who you are targeting then obtain / create / JV a list of them. Make sure the list is clean (contact details) and large. A list of 1,000 will not cut it. You need a list of at least 10,000 of your target. You continue to grow the list and nurture the list

2) Brand. What are you all about? What does your brand say about you? Name, logo’s, office, values, proposition, standards etc. Continue to develop brand which must be targeted at your key buyer – back to point 1.

3) Activity. So you have a database, branding is on fire. If you leave it there then you’ll starve. You need to aggressively and shamelessly promote your value directly to your target community. Webinars, direct mail, direct email, teleseminars, seminars, post cards, pushing videos/articles, calling, visiting etc. Good old fashioned ‘in your face’ direct marketing.

If you get all 3 working in sync then you can’t help but grow your top line.

Growth zone

It’s affectionately called ‘Hammo’ – Hamilton Island, Queensland that is. I have arrived on the island 2 days before 385 accountants / partners & sponsors  arrive for our 5th annual conference. It’s our biggest one yet.

We have a big line up of speakers and announcements. Speakers include Verne Harnish, Naomi Simson, Joanna Martin & Paul Dunn. Yours truly will do a few spots and there maybe even a book launch and a major product announcement! Stay tuned each day for what is going on.

Today for me was a travel day, get settled and then play some golf. I played quite well but my opponent (an Accountant) played better. I do hate giving money to accountants! I would rather take it off them. Tonight I am hosting some of my team and my golfing partner (and lovely wife) to dinner. Should be fun.

We (Nat and kids join us tomorrow) are staying at the 6 star Qualia. Well to be precise – Nat & I are staying here and the kids are at the Reef hotel.

Qualia service is impeccable and the facilities first class. More than I can say about the airline that brought us here today – Jetstar! What a joke they are.

Had dinner with colleagues on Saturday night @ Qualia. Awesome degustation menu with matching wines. Very lush.

The business action starts Sunday night – check back often or follow the twitter feed – @proactiveactnet

Some initial photos below:

Putting greenHamilton Island Yaght club

Boat on hammo