Are You Your Clients’ Problem Solver?

We often hear business owners’ talk about how running a business is becoming harder and harder each day, and I don’t know whether anyone else is finding this at present, but trying to get anything completed successfully when dealing with third parties just seems to be becoming that much harder. It’s driving me nuts at the moment, all the time and energy I am expending just trying to get basic tasks done. You know, if I think about it, of all the tasks I have completed over the past 6 – 12 months, I have lost hours of time on these activities. Activities such as setting up NBN for a family member, assisting with the implementation of single touch payroll, changing signatories on a bank account – two months for that one alone, changing contact details for an electricity bill – six calls, changing one detail on an insurance policy – so far two e-mails and two phone calls.

As you can see, all but one of these tasks isn’t even related to my business activities. However, like most business owners, I am time poor and don’t wish to have to learn or know everything about everything. So, for me, it’s about outsourcing the need for expertise in key or core areas, whether these are business related or personal. IT is a great example.

Now I appreciate most of the above activities have very little to do with professional advisers, be that accountants, financial planners or lawyers. However, each of these professions have a specialist skill area that general business owners and individuals don’t possess and typically need, thus highlighting the opportunity to review the current services offered by such firms, as well as considering any new service streams that could be introduced to better meet the needs of their clients. Stop and consider for a moment, what services are your clients asking for that you don’t currently provide? What services do you provide but could be better promoted across your client base? What future problems of your clients could you potentially address in the future? I recall recently being out with a bunch of girlfriends and we somehow got onto the topic of wills and powers of attorney and guardianships etc. Out of five of us, at least two didn’t have these documents in place and one of them has four children.

Yes, it’s definitely about leading the horse to water and trying to make it drink when it comes to getting clients to realise the importance of such services, however I would kill at times to have someone take the lead and fix some of these problems so I didn’t have to spend hours on them. That’s where advisers have the opportunity to generate growth. Be that problem solver for your clients in the skills that you possess or could possess. For accountants concerned about revenue or client loss in basic compliance work, solving problems will keep your clients coming back, in part for two reasons – they trust you to solve their problem because of your relationship with them. This is massively powerful.

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