Of course, the topic of NY resolutions will be a buzz over the next few weeks, with everyone claiming to have to secret sauce to make 2024 a phenomenal year!
Here is a formula that, if applied, will definitely ensure you make major progress this coming year!
The 3 key steps of this formula are:
1) Firstly, it starts with having a good goal. Best to make it a big juicy one, worthy of your true potential! Otherwise, it will fail to motivate you. You have to feel like you’ll be very proud of yourself – if this time next year, you accomplish that goal. Small goals just don’t have the power to achieve that effect. What difference is a 10-15 percent increase really going to make to your existence? How much change is going to occur to your lifestyle with that additional revenue – in relation to your spending power? or ability to have more time etc.? Probably hardly any! So how motivational is that going to be, when you need to push yourself to take some of the actions required – that may be potentially uncomfortable?
I recommend “thinking big” when it comes to setting your goals. For example, 10 mil is a goal that many of our owners consider very real these days. As, once they have the technology, the talent as well as the client acquisition processes in place, there is no reason they can’t accelerate their growth.
Will next year be better than the last? The reason it will be better is because you have in your mind a clear vision of your goal and a plan to obtain it. In the past, you may have procrastinated on making your goals happen! There may be situations you have put up with for far too long. 2024 is the year we overcome the obstacles to achieving these goals.
2) That brings us to the second point – the need to do some uncomfortable things to generate more than a modest increase this year. Growth is never about “staying comfortable” – so, in some cases, that might mean hiring higher level staff than you’ve been willing to do thus far, or raising your fees or other area of the practice that needs to change. It may mean investing in the practice in ways you have been trying to circumvent. 2024 is definitely the year to muster up the courage to go there – even if you haven’t been successful with similar efforts previously.
3) No goal worth achieving comes without challenges. So identifying what challenges you are likely to have ensures you’re well prepared. Some typical ones for many are going to be:
(i) Less pandemic related work than previous years – so, replacing this revenue requires planning. Your business development strategy going forward needs to be very specific – not just in relation to who to market to and how – but also the execution of your Plan. Too many marketing ideas remain just that – ideas.
(ii) This brings us to number (ii) – the biggest challenge most CPAs have is carving out enough time – to work “on” the practice. Many owners, even, in some cases, up to 3 – 4 mil in annual revenues are stuck being their own best employees – leaving no one at the helm, driving growth! They are afraid to move away from directly servicing clients – for fear no one else can do what they do.
(iii) If you are in an area where CPAs are retiring – then your challenge this year may not be generating the work. Instead it may be finding good staff to service the growth. Many practices these days have “wait lists” – as they lack the staffing to take on any more clients – thus impeding their growth.
Ask yourself this key question – which of the above or other challenges are most significant to the phase your practice is currently in? It’s important to know which is the highest priority so you are laser focused on addressing that thing – rather than becoming overwhelmed trying to handle too many things.
The decisions you make in the first month of this year, will shape your 2024 outcome. Even if you don’t implement much of your growth plan during tax season, I always recommend having your goal and plan to achieve it worked out in January. This is because it will direct your actions and cause you to do things and take advantage of opportunities, you may not otherwise have even seen. So, my advice is to not to fall into the trap of “just let me make it through tax season” but instead, be longer term focused.
While January is not the time to make certain types of changes e.g. changing your tax or other software, there are changes that can be made even in tax season that will make a major difference to your revenues this year.
There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Just like you tell your business clients to leave their accounting to the experts (you), it may be time to acquire outside expert help in areas of your practice that are not your expertise/comfort zone.
It’s a very exciting time to be in the tax & accounting industry as the demand for your services has never been higher.
Let’s take every advantage of these opportunities!
Here’s to a very prosperous, happy & healthy 2024!!!