What Services Can You Offer?

Jan 9th, 2009 | By | Category: Marketing Professional Services, Marketing Through Practice Specialization

I’m starting to become a blog-a-holic I think. Wandering around seeing what all the accounting guru’s are writing about. A couple of days ago I was reading Marty Koenig’s blog and it set me to thinking.

Marty is a freelance CFO for small firms who can’t afford a full-time CFO. He steps in and manages the in-house accounting duties, leaving the year-end work to the outside accountant. You know, the taxes and any legal reporting that require an attest function. All of his work is done on premises and with the firms tools and systems.

Sounds like a cool gig to me.

Well, Marty’s post was an answer to a question from a small manufacturer who was wondering what services his outside accountant could provide, since Marty was providing pretty high level staff functions, and the outside guy wasn’t having to do the monthly writeups and reconciliations.

Why would he if the business has a CFO, even if it is only a part-time contract service? After all, with someone in that position, any accounting work is already going to be balanced, reconciled, and reported in spiffy looking financial and cash flow statements before it goes to any outside service.

Marty made a few recommendations, but the one thing that was missing is also one of the most powerful Rainmaker methods available to a practitioner in public practice.

I’m sure that if you are a regular reader here, or are a member of the Instant Practice Builder, you already know that offering education and training to the management and staff of the small business is a powerful Rainmaker method of attracting new clients. And, offering that education and training is a service that a CFO is not going to be in a position to offer.

Take for example the system used by the members of the Instant Practice Builder, who offer a series of six week training courses in a variety of small business management subjects, from business planning to inventory management. By teaching these courses in a classroom setting, these practitioners are developing their reputation in the community while creating fees which come across as more affordable to the small business.

With the relationships that develop with these classes, these practitioners followup with private sessions which they use to develop extensive consulting engagements, including advanced training and education of staff and management.

Upshot of all this is that as an independent practitioner in public practice, you need to be aware of the environment you are working in, and develop the systems and products which you can use to meet your local situation. In this case, with the growth of freelance and part-time CFO’s, you need to have a system in place to generate new revenues and expand your practice.

Offering training to small businesses in your area, and combining that with back-end sales can result in increased fees and a solid, stable practice.

Think about it.

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2 comments
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  1. Kevin,

    Thanks for the mention and comments. I believe you are on to something here. As a solopreneur backed by a national partnership, the one thing that remains a challenge is sales and building a practice.

    You say “offering that education and training is a service that a CFO is not going to be in a position to offer.” but I disagree. A competent CFO is a great person to help a small/mid company build their practice. At the end of the day if a CFO can’t add value to building the business, then the firm has the wrong CFO. That’s a key difference between a CFO and a controller, CPA, accountant or tax advisor that I made in my postings on StartupNation. Actually, I may have forgotten to add that a good CFO will help increase the company’s sales.

    One of the key things I do with my clients is train them and coach them using best practices and proven systems usually starting with the accounting and finance areas, but moving into sales, marketing, operations, IT, HR, etc. I spent 28 years in consulting, and built a practice to $150M. I have acquired lot of great methodologies, tools and systems. So have my 105 partners that average 25+ years CFO experience.

    I have not seen the details of the Instant Practice Builder, and my guess is its very good material along with a very good process. Thing is, it brings much more power and has higher chance of adoption if the business owner relies on senior executive level advisors to offer up a proven programs because they have seen proven results.

    As a practice owner, one of the reasons I joined B2B CFO is because they have a proven model for built and enhanced over the last 21 years. That’s not to say there are other, great ways to build a professional consulting practice and do rainmaking, I’ve built seven of them and help my clients build theirs.

  2. Kevin,

    Our firm offers similar services to Marty. As a point of validation for your thoughts on this topic, we have found tremendous success offering training and education. It has been a real rainmaker for us!

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