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Cloud #Accounting is not a Product

I am well into my seminar tour of 14 cities right now. It’s called ‘Capitalising on the Cloud’ and it is getting rave reviews.  5 cities so far with 9 to go. We have record numbers attending and right up front I ask a question who is a Partner of the firm and who is a Team Member.

We are getting a dis-proportionate amount of team members versus partners. That means Partners of the firm are sending other people rather than themselves. I started asking the team members what the strategy is with cloud. The answers are typically ‘I am here as the product champion for cloud’.

Many Partners are treating this as a product discussion not a strategy discussion. It’s a strategy discussion not a product that needs implementing!

Cloud technology affects every area of the Accounting firm. Like:

  1. Your labour force. With 30-40% efficiencies do you need as many people and are they the right people in the future.
  2. Your firms systems. Cloud practice management changes the dynamics of how you work  internally.
  3. Your client locations. You can have clients anywhere in the world.
  4. Your labour location. With internet based systems your labour force can be anywhere.
  5. Your services. With data that is real time, accessed anywhere from any device it means you can offer much much more value added services.
  6. Your value. By being a ‘real time’ accountant with real time information you are offering a tremendous amount of value.

The last point is the big one. Offering value 9 months after the fact has no value to the client. It’s redundant data and useless.

Get on the front foot and embrace the cloud as a strategy – not a product. My seminar is all about the strategy and the how to. If you are already registered looking forward to seeing you. Make sure the partners are attending. You can still register for the remaining 9 events.  Go to www.cloudseminar.com.au for more information.

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Product Development Symposium – small group

Since 1994 Colin Dunn & myself have been involved in creating, marketing, selling and delivering information based products & services. Total combined revenue has so far been a staggering $170,525,000. Of that, $110,500,000 was as employees and $60,025,000 has been in our own businesses.

That’s $60M of revenue we have generated through our own companies. Pity it was not all profit!

Over 2 jam packed days we (and the team behind us) are going ‘reveal all’ to a maximum of 24 people. Our entire process will be unveiled. How we dream up the products, how they are created, how they are marketed and how they are delivered in a leveraged and cost effective way. It’s on Hamilton Island, QLD on December 5&6 2013.

Every professional has information that can be packaged and sold. The only difference between you and us is that they have been doing it for longer and we know (just about) every trick in the book on how to do it.

So far we have created, marketed and delivered information products / services in the following formats.

  • Training Programs
  • Speeches
  • Packaged Consulting – over the phone & face to face
  • Packaged Coaching – one on one and group
  • Software
  • Workshops
  • Conferences
  • Seminars
  • Franchises
  • Webinars
  • Online recordings
  • Manuals & Reports
  • Boxed training product (DVD, CD, Audio, Manuals)
  • Online subscriptions

This Symposium is not about creating articles or free giveaways. This is about creating new revenue streams. As an example, in February this year, we created a new online subscription service (literally out of thin air) that currently does (annualised) $1.5M pa. It is marketed around the world and there are subscribers in 5 countries so far. The way it is going this product alone should be a $20M annual business within 5 or so years.

Only 24 people are invited to join the presentations and discussion @ the Symposium. The ultimate goal is for each person to walk away with a plan and the know how on building and delivering a new product range (tangible and intangible products) and revenue streams. And getting them to market fast.

What kind of products?

As a result of attending some products you may wish to consider creating, delivering and promoting are:

  • Webinars / Seminar / Workshops / Events
  • Planning Sessions – either face to face or remote/online business planning
  • Product for a particular Niche market
  • Physical DVD and manuals on a topic
  • Software
  • Leveraged Training / Consulting / Coaching

If you don’t have an idea at the start, you’ll definitely have many by the end of the symposium. The structure that we will show you on creating, promoting and delivering products will be able to be transferred to any future products or services you want to develop. You could even advise your clients about is as well.

As you may know we loathe charging for time – in any format. This is not about getting a higher ‘average hourly rate’ or adding ‘headcount’ to grow your business. It’s about taking what you know and turning it into leveragable, repeatable and saleable products.

Investment

The 24 attendees will each pay $5,500 (incl GST) + travel / accommodation so it is not for everyone. We only want serious players (who want to learn and earn big time) to attend. That way the conversations will be solid / engaging / enriching / uplifting / succinct / high level and definitely no BS!

Agenda

We have 8 sessions planned. Each for 90 minutes. Each session will be (approx.) a 45 minute presentation then 45 minutes of discussion / questions etc.

During the Symposium we will be covering;

  1. What products can be created
  2. What works and what does not work (plenty in the ‘does not work’ category)
  3. Your new product list – names, formats and components (this will be an ongoing WIP)
  4. Resources required to create and deliver new products
  5. How to consistently come up with new product ideas –  thinking, mind mapping, your IP, research
  6. Project Managing all the detailed steps – what to do so you don’t have to
  7. Selling information products – using ‘what if’ selling
  8. How to package your products – physically or online
  9. Filming, recording & scripting – tips and tricks
  10. Webinars – Step by Step formula that gets sales
  11. How to price your new products
  12. The people who will create the product – including time and money investment required
  13. Technology – the systems, programs and subscriptions you need to produce, market and deliver your new product
  14. Marketing – big focus on digital marketing. Creating landing pages, generating traffic. What software to use. Marketing Programs, social media, online advertising.

And a heap of discussion amongst the lucky 24 attendees who are in attendance.

Finer Details: 

Event: How to create and market packaged (& leveraged) information products & services

Where & When:  Hamilton Island, December 5 & 6 2013

  • Wednesday 4th December, Golf (optional in the afternoon). Social drinks in the evening – Venue TBA
  • Thursday 5th December, Hamilton Island Yacht Club, Start 8.30 am, Finish 4.30 pm, Dinner 7.00pm
  • Friday 6th December, Hamilton Island Yacht Club, Start 8.30 am, Finish 4.30 pm, Drinks 4:30pm – 5:30pm

Accommodation & Other halves

Accommodation is at your own organisation and expense. My team are staying at the Reef View Hotel and we are at the Beach Club. Some attendees are bringing their family for the weekend following the symposium and are welcome to join us for the final drinks on the Friday afternoon. Dinner on the Thursday night however is only open to the attendees as it will provide an opportunity to continue the discussions from Day 1 in a closed environment.

Who can attend?

This event is for leading “information sellers” (Accountants/Coaches/Consultants/Lawyers) who want to create an asset with their intellectual property. We only want leaders who want to take things to the next level.

Post Symposium Support

You will have access to all the presenters (myself, Colin & our team) for a period of 2 months after the symposium for extra advice on your products; it’s creation, marketing or delivery. This will enable you to fine tune all aspects and receive valuable feedback before launching to the market.

Registration process

Tell me who is attending and we’ll send you an invoice. The invoice will be due within 48 hours of receiving it otherwise your place will be forfeited. Send an email to rob.nixon@proactiveaccountants.net

Waiting list

We have had a lot of interest in this symposium so we expect it will sell out fast. After that a waiting list will be started. If you decide not to attend you can sell your space to someone on the waiting list.

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Your Accounting team offshore

There is a growing trend around the world of what is called offshoring. This is where you set up a permanent team (in another country) who work directly for you. The cost savings for office related jobs are extraordinary. As an example you can hire a fully trained (say 6 years) CPA for around $12 per hour ($2,000 per month). And that cost includes the desk, the chair, the office space, the phone, the internet access and every other ‘on cost’ you can imagine.

Yes, $24k per year get’s you a ‘fully loaded’ Accountant ready to work. And it’s not just the Accountants. You can hire any role you can imagine (that is non-customer facing) for a 1/3 to a 1/10 of the cost of hiring locally. So admin, marketing, processing, book-keeping, HR etc. You can hire a ‘virtual assistant’ for $5-$10 per hour. This is an excellent salary BTW.

In the Philippines alone there are 800,000 people working in the offshoring industry. The government estimates that this will rise to 1.3M in the next 3 years. They can’t build the office towers fast enough!

The way that is is mainly done is you go through what’s called a “BPO” – a Business Processing Outsourcing business. The BPO arranges the office, supplies the equipment, supervises the people, hires the people and then you lease the person from them on a permanent basis. There is even an association for BPO’s – check it out.

The hot spots tend to be Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and India. My experience is in India (43 people working for me last year to build some software on a project basis – currently we have 3 people in India) and the Philippines where I have a permanent team who are ‘mirroring’ Australian jobs and a contract team for telemarketing.

The global workforce is changing. Cloud computing makes the data lite and more transportable and qualified labour reduces the cost of business. According to my friend Scott Jones (author of the excellent book – The Third Wave and founder of Easy Offshore) that approximately 1M Australian office jobs alone will be moved off shore by the end of this decade.

This is not only a great opportunity but a serious problem at the same time. I would not want to be in the office tower business in a capital city – there will be a lot of vacant space. This subject raises many questions about the future of the employee, client data

I personally believe the Accounting firm of the future will have a local team that is client facing and the rest is done elsewhere. What are you going to do about this growing trend? If you are remotely interested do what a bunch of my clients are doing and hoping on a plane and check it out in person. A friend of mine runs ‘globalsourcing’ tours (not for profit – around $500) which I have been on. Check it out.

Disruption is the new normal. This trend will certainly disrupt the Accounting profession. To give you an idea what someone is capable of check out the video below.