We have a large body of knowledge that teaches us how to do the work, but few resources that teach us how to get the work.
That may be oversimplifying, but certainly not over-reaching. (And assuming you do get the work, how you had to price it is another matter altogether.)
Top Issues for Practitioners
In the 2013 FVS Membership Top Issues Survey, the #1 practice issue was “bringing in new clients.” Eighty-seven percent of the survey respondents thought this issue was either “somewhat important” or “extremely important” … 87%! The other top issues from that survey were #2) retaining qualified staff, #3) client retention, #4) fee pressure/pricing of services, and #5) firm differentiation through services.
These 2013 survey findings were still relevant in the 2014 AICPA Survey on International Trends in Forensic and Valuation Services regarding the matters of competition and fee pressure.
And the trend continues. Forty percent of respondents to BV Wire’s February 2016 online poll “cite practice management as their biggest concern for 2016. This includes competition, fee pressures, hiring, succession planning, and the like.”
New clients, fee pressure, pricing, staffing, differentiation … where are the articles, webinars, podcasts, and toolkits to help BVFLS professionals with these problems? It doesn’t matter how good we are at doing the work if we can’t get, or profitably complete, the work.
How Did We Get Here?
The problem began in college. We steeped ourselves in accounting, economics, and finance classes because that’s what we needed to get on the path of becoming technically proficient in our careers. Because that’s all we thought we needed.
Who took marketing and communication classes? And even if we did, how did they prepare us for the nimbleness needed in today’s digitally connected economy? Where our clients can come from anywhere in the country, if not the world – and the can be said for our competition.
When I started doing business valuations in the mid-90s, one of the things I admired most about some of my colleagues was their competence at making this work a full-time gig. It’s not that I didn’t respect their technical chops – that was a given. But their ability to have their own BVFLS practices, or run BVFLS practices for larger (mostly accounting) firms … how did they do that?!
Yet just a few years later, starting with a handful of referral sources, I clawed my way into the ranks of self-employed practitioners. But frankly, the BVFLS life was simpler and easier back then.
Today, our marketplace is more competitive, our clients more empowered, and our value less obvious. We’re undifferentiated. The resulting commoditization of our work causes us to compete with do-it-yourself websites that offer cheap valuation solutions, giving our prospects, clients, and referral sources the impression that this is all we have to offer. And instead of invigorating their lives, I see practices draining the energy from many of my friends and colleagues.
Working harder for less profit and joy is not in the business plan of anyone I know.
A common thread among the people I talk to is the feeling of overwhelm in their practices. They want more direction (what to do and how to do it) so that they can free up more time in their lives to do the things that matter most to them.
People also mention their need for help with follow through and accountability. I can empathize with that perspective: it takes a village to create, implement, and monitor one person’s action plan.
Further, research shows that we are the average of our five closest friends. Extrapolating this, we are probably the average of our five closest colleagues. So when it comes to your work, who is supporting and challenging you to get better? Because getting better – REALLY better – will happen faster if you surround yourself with people who understand the journey.
So my solution is a group coaching program. (Individual coaching is also available.) Each group consists of 5-7 opportunity-oriented BVFLS professionals – from solo practitioners to appraisers who work in, or are in charge of, practices for small, medium, and large firms. Everyone brings something to the table.
Here’s what I offer
- Two LIVE 75- to 90-minute video calls per month with the group (recorded just in case you have a schedule conflict).
- Between-call collaboration on a private forum that provides direct access to me and your fellow group members.
Here’s what we do
- The group (not me) sets the direction of the coaching sessions because we’ll get better success if we start with your needs and solve your problems.
- We co-create a clear vision of the practice you want and the clients you serve within a time horizon that works for you.
- The group supports your vision and holds you accountable for hitting the milestones in your action plan.
- Along the way, the group will challenge you to “possibility think” rather than advocate best practices or one-size-fits-all solutions.
Here’s how you benefit
- You get the strategies, habits, and mindset you need to achieve success in your practice.
- This will help you build your confidence, expand your network, and sell your services at higher price points.
- The result will be less stress, more stability, and a greater impact in and with your practice.
Here’s your investment
- $400 per month for group coaching ($600/month for individual coaching).
- Your monthly investment never increases as long as you’re a coaching client.
- You can cancel at any time.
What to Do Now
All you need to do to get started is schedule a strategy call with me.
Just to be sure we’re a good fit for each other, I have a strategy call with every potential group member to discuss his/her practice issues, goals, and the real/perceived roadblocks that separate the two.
And in order to eliminate back and forth emails to schedule that call, this link does just that. So click on the link … select the “20-minute coaching strategy call” option … and pick an available day/time that works for you. Easy, peasy.
I look forward to talking to you, working with you, and moving the needle on your practice further, faster.
Rod has been coaching me and my group for about four months now. Each session is an eye-opener. His breadth and depth of knowledge in the areas of social media and marketing is pertinent and has immediate applicability. I’ve never thought for an instant that I was losing any of the “personal touch” by being part of a group. Nor have I ever felt that I was “on the clock,” and in fact, I’ve had at least two one-on-one sessions with Rod that have lasted an hour or more.
Rod established his coaching practice to assist professionals in building their own practices with an eye toward quality of life issues. His aim is to help professionals build practices that they actually enjoy, and which leave time for the truly meaningful things in life.
Rod is truly committed to this endeavor, and he is good at it. I wholeheartedly recommend him to anyone who wants to learn how to grow their practice efficiently and profitably.
– Ted Phelps | President, Phelps Consulting Group