I am thrilled to announce our 6th annual coachingclub conference. From March 17-21 2013 we will be in glorious Queenstown NZ. In 2012 we had 385 people attend. In 2013 we are trimming numbers so we can go to Queenstown. Maximum numbers are 270 people. The speakers include… An ex monk – yes an ex…
Another interview with a 20 year veteran of the Accounting profession – Tim Molloy. Tim knows the technology space and he knows Accountants. He was initially at Ceedata (acquired by Solution 6) in the 90’s then onto Solution 6 (acquired by MYOB) then he started his own company, Exonet, which was subsequently acquired by MYOB…
I have left my MYOB vs Xero blog post alone for 2 weeks. I wanted to see how many people viewed, shared, tweeted etc. So far around 500 shares, forwards and a thousands upon thousand of ‘views’. Cloud accounting is clearly a hot topic right now. I have got some other interviews coming…
I’ve been too busy to post every day since arriving into the UK on Monday night so here is a summary of a great 6 days in the Olympic city.
Day 1 – Tuesday. Started with a 7 hour breakfast with the world famous Thomas and Penny Power. Fabulous time catching up and solving the world. Then off to a cocktail party with Virgin Galactic. Busy first day.
Day 2 – Wednesday. Off to the Farnborough airshow as a guest of the world famous Sir Richard Branson. It was awesome to see the (replica) spacecraft that I will be going into space in. Richard announced some new space/satellite initiatives which had a swarm of press in a frenzy over. It was absolute hoot to meet some other “Future Astronauts” (FAs) like me. Around 120 of us FAs there + partners.
The airshow was a sight with a low flying A380 which was busting some moves over head. I’ve been on the A380 10 times and never knew it could move like the late Michael Jackson! Unbelievable. The other jets where impressive but the star of the show was definitely the Virgin Galactic spaceship.
Then off to a legendary Virgin party that night. Got to spend some time with Richard & caught up with his mum again which was cool. Mrs Branson told me her book is finished called – “Mums the word”. Full of juicy details she said.
Day 3 – Thursday. Wee bit seedy after a BIG night at the Virgin party. Off on a bus trip to get a behind the scenes tour of the Olympics. It was fascinating to hear how the area where many of the games will be held (Stratford) had very little infracture 7 years ago. Today is has the largest shopping centre in Europe, new accomodation and 5 new sporting stadiums.
Our tour guide said that a train every 14 seconds will be arriving at Stratford International train station bringing spectators to the games. Also met with the world famous Giles Brennand who is interesting in taking our business to Hong Kong later in the year.
Day 4 – Friday. The world famous Colin Dunn & I did some market research and met with a bunch of Accountants and would be licensees of ours all day. Great to know that our business is directly transferable to the UK – just need to find the right people.
The world famous Nat Nixon started her 3 day “how to be a great speaker” course with the equally world famous Joanna Martin today. We’re starting a charity next year, which Nat will head up, so she is learning some new skills.
Day 5 – Saturday. I flew up north to see my awesome (and world famous in Northumberland) Grandfather. He is 91 and we all reckon he has at least another 9 years in him yet. Still as whitty as ever. Great to see him and his wife of 24 years – my step grandmother (who too is world famous in Northumberland) – Nancy.
Day 6 – Sunday. Did very little. Nat was at her course all day (I did pop in and say Hi to the group and tell a quick story) so I was on my own. Had a very long breakfast, went shopping, had a massage at Harrods (that was cool) and then went to Hyde park for a walk. Off to dinner tonight at a swish restaurant with Nat. Looking forward to hearing all about the course.
Off back to Australia tomorrow. Nat is staying on for the Olympics. We have a friend competing. The very talented (and who actually is world famous) Natalie Cook. It’s Nat’s 5th Olympics in a row (Beach volleyball) which makes Australian Olympic history. She’s won gold before – time to do it again!
Our company theme for the year is “Revolution”. This is what we are getting all of our Proactive Accountants Network member firms around the world focused on.
Specifically revolutionise …
- Your clients – only work with the clients you want to work with, make sure they are properly serviced and you are efficiently doing the work.
- Your team – only have the “A” team on your team, make sure they are well looked after and in return make sure they perform.
- Your time – as an owner of an accounting firm make sure your time is focussed on 3 things only 1) extremely high end work, 2) nurturing existing clients (sales) and 3) leadership – driving performance and looking for new opportunities.
- Your cash – clean out your work in progress, clean up your accounts receivable and make profits (dare I say it obscene ones) that are in line with your intellectual property and value!
Are you ready for the challenge?
Very quick 4 day trip from Australia to the USA. Arrived Wednesday afternoon on Qantas (via LAX) and then right into tourist mode. Went down to the world famous Fisherman’s Wharf for a quick bite and then dinner out with the world famous Alex Goldfayn & Freda Valassakis.
On Thursday did lunch with the world famous Simma Leiberman and John Weathington, bit of work then dinner out with some lovely guests from North Carolina (Steve & Karen Moss) and some old work buddies from the 90’s. It was awesome to dine with the world famous Natalie Nixon, Colin Dunn, Wendy Gleeson & Shannon Vincent.
The reason I was here was for Friday when I presented my “7 figure business coaching” model to a bunch or people who had flown in from all over the country. The feedback was awesome – they loved what I do – and more importantly a bunch of them want to do what I do – 7 figure business coaching.
On Friday night I booked a private room at ‘The Boulevard” restaurant for 8 of us. Truly magical to be with many including the world famous David Lingle.
On Saturday it was all being a tourist. Met up with our dear friends and the world famous Mark & Molly Smith to spend the day together. We dined, went on the rocket boat, cable car, union square, out to dinner at an awesome restuarant then caught the live show of Christopher Cross (Sailing, Ride like the wind, Best that you can be) – simply awesome.
Sunday was very subdued, lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf then a taxi out to the world famous Cliff House restaurant on the Pacific Ocean.
Time to go home knowing that what we do in Australia is directly transferable to the USA. Very cool few days. Enjoy the pics.
Yesterday I celebrated my 20 year wedding anniversary. It’s been a great relationship – complete with extreme lows and massive highs. The highs outweigh the lows by an order of magnitude – that’s why we are still together. We are still in love and looking forward to the next 50 years together.
As you can see by the photo I was very young. Guess my age in the comments.
Anyway, I got to thinking about how Accountants select their business partners. Being in a partnership is like a marriage. It’s an interesting process that you go through. You have employees who come through the ranks and then they are “made partner”. This is business by default. Often not much thought goes into the individual, what they will be doing and how they will be doing it. As a result of this very weak selection process we have a glut of partners who are overpaid Accountants!
And don’t get me started on mergers. It seems like a good idea at the time. However, in most cases you just end up with more of the same. Here is a 21 point checklist of the ideal business partners. See how many you can tick off for your current partners!
- Brings something to the table – complements existing partners
- Is a good cultural fit in the firm
- Is a good communicator at the partner level
- Is a good communicator with team members
- Is a good communicator with clients
- Is stable – emotionally and financially
- Is profit and growth motivated
- Has a good work ethic
- Is reasonably fit and healthy
- Is at the same stage in life mentally.
- Shares similar values and ethics
- Has an ability to respect other partners
- Knows what they want – goal orientated
- Is supportive of new ideas
- Is flexible in their thoughts and actions
- Is a good business builder
- Is fun to be with
- Shares the vision
- Walks the talk not just talks the talk
- Acts in the best interests of clients and the firm at all times
- Can bring in new business.
If your partners do not stack up then maybe you need a divorce. I don’t!
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!
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.
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.