Blog

Jul 09

Scaling Up skills for accountants to help their clients.

Posted by Andrew Geddes at Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Learn new business improvement skills from our Scaling Up Masterclass workshops scheduled for Brisbane August 21-22, Adelaide Sept 4-5' Sydney October 9-10.

Bring two clients and come for free.

Learn these skills as you work with your clients on thier business.

1. Goal setting with clients including business development direction and vision

2. Sales and marketing analysis to identify profitable customer types

3. Building your Senior Leadership Team

4. Setting three key strategic initiatives we have to nail this quarter and Project Groups to drive them

5. Creating a "pattern of meetings" to ensure communication and engagement throughout your business

6. Planning cash needs and managing cash flows including capital raisings

7. Planning your leadership improvement for 2019/20

Check this video on Scaling Up skills for accountants now.

clicking here.

Download a detailed brochure from our home page.

  

Sep 26

Crowd Sourced Funding opportunities for accountants.

Posted by Andrew Geddes at Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Legislation passed the Senate on Sept 12 allowing small companies (less than $25m in assets/revenues) to raise up to $5m in capital annually from up to 50 existing shareholders, unlimited employee shareholders and unlimited Crowd Sourced Funding (CSF) shareholders. It will be operational on Oct 15th. Register for a free webinar on the details here... 

·         Crowd-Sourced Funding Webinar (click here)

There is a need for your clients to understand the role of Crowd Sourced Funding Intermediaries and the process through to the preparation of the Crowd Sourced Funding Offer Document. All CSF raisings need to go through one of the approved intermediaries.

This work will probably involve preparation of...

  • Business Plan
  • Budget/Cashflow Forecast for 3 years
  • Company Valuation
  • Share Price Determination
  • Assisting clients in negotiations with Crowd Sourced Funding Intermediaries
  • Crowd Sourced Funding Offer Document
  • Preparing a system for the ongoing compliance with the Crowd Sourced Funding Equity Raising Private Company Reporting Requirements

Some clients may also be interested in engaging your accountancy firm to supply a virtual Chief Financial Officer Service.

This potential work represents a significant a significant amount of professional fee income.

Why not prepare a client matrix identifying clients that?

  • have group annual turnover under $25 million.
  • have group gross assets valued at under $25 million.
  • are interested in:

-       expanding their business

-       acquiring other businesses

-       paying off debt

-       doing something audacious that makes business sense!

  • have the energy and ambition to operate a larger business and will respond to the extra discipline required to operate a “de facto public company”.
Which of your clients may need assistance?

Jul 01

Do you have a succession solution?

Posted by Andrew Geddes at Saturday, July 01, 2017

Competitive pressure is definitely on the increase!!! If you are not innovating your product and service offering, you’re going backwards.

Trying to do this by yourself is a tough ask…you’re a busy business owner already!!!

We have assisted dozens of small businesses and professional service firms build Senior Management Teams to deliver improved product and service offerings in the last few years.

It’s simple…decide who you think will be able to come up with business improving ideas and start meeting for an hour every week and listing actions to be done by your team members.

Have daily stand up five minute chats with all customer facing team members and ask what’s happening both good and challenging.

Take this to your Senior Management Team and be the leader of the improvements that are needed.

To kick this off, bring your Senior Management Team to our “Leading Profitable Business” workshop in Auckland on Sept 26th. This could be the start of you creating a succession solution. You can register on our home page just click "workshops".

Jun 22

Where does work pride come from?

Posted by Andrew Geddes at Thursday, June 22, 2017

“Where does work pride come from?”

We have been attending conferences to learn new trends and skills and develop our industry insights during the last few months.

Recent research suggests pride in work comes from…

1. Optimism…how much people believe in the company’s future

2. Mission…how much people care about the company’s vision and goals

3. Social good…how confident people are that the company is making the world a better place

We also learnt that millennials want…

1. Self-development and personal growth opportunities

2. Flexibility around working conditions and expectations (they may have classes out of hours)

3. Up-to-date technology 

4. The opportunity to have an impact and feel they belong

5. The ability and encouragement to innovate

A coaching specialist suggested we break a job into small do-able pieces with our less experienced direct reports so it seems less daunting to them when we ask them to accept new responsibilities.

Then we were told what sets successful CEO’s apart…and it wasn’t integrity and work effort!!!!

It was…

1. Deciding with speed and conviction after soliciting multiple points of view from a carefully cultivated “kitchen cabinet” having asked “What’s the impact if I get this wrong?”; “How much will a delayed decision hold other things up?”; and “Should this decision be made lower down?”.

2. Engaging for impact by getting buy-in from stakeholders by aligning them around the goal of value creation; identifying detractors and turning their concerns into identification of options; remaining calm under pressure; handling clashing viewpoints by engaging in debate about conflicting perceptions and opinions; and realising consensus takes too much time to get to decisions!!!

3. Adapting proactively by having a longer term viewpoint honed by plugging into broad information flows (how much time do you  spend reading?) and admitting mistakes quickly.

4. Delivering reliability by being a predictable leader who sets realistic expectations up front, digs into budgets, sets a pattern of meetings that delivers a sense of urgency, uses dashboards of easily understood metrics, has multiple channels for monitoring results and making rapid course corrections. 

They surrounded themselves with a strong team and moved decisively to upgrade talent.

In summary, they were leaders who were coping with a changing business and community environment by using decisiveness, engaged stakeholders, adaptability and reliability.

We will build these leadership characteristics into our Leadership Self Assessment Tool  which we will use in the next free webinar “Does your team think you are a good leader?” scheduled for 23rd August at 12 noon AEST.

Register now!

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5987631744858246403

Basic character traits to build a "trustful" work environment 
Business management leadership essentials 
Your leadership emotional intelligence and inter-personal skills 
Assessing your skills working session 
Building an improvement plan for 2017/18

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

 

Fond regards to you all.

Andrew Geddes 21st June, 2017.

May 19

Some insights for Accountants who want to offer Business Advisory Services

Posted by Andrew Geddes at Friday, May 19, 2017

So you want to offer Business Advisory services?

The accounting profession is being bombarded with advice about moving into “high margin” Business Advisory work.

Most of the people telling us this are trying to sell us software or business coaching advisory IP.

To assess this opportunity, let’s firstly ask what our customers need and want?

Individuals need help with minimising tax, creating wealth, and managing risk to their income streams and assets (protecting their families).

So traditional proactive compliance services (accounting and tax) plus financial services (wealth creation and protection via legal structure and insurances) deliver what individuals need/want.

SME’s need help with the above and the following…

                *improving profit and cash flow in their business

                *improving the value and saleability of their business

                *planning and managing their succession

To assist clients in these three things needs specialist knowledge and skills that comes from study and experience.

Not all accountants have this knowledge and experience.

However, specialists can be engaged  and  “project managed”  by accountants who have learned how to do so.

Functional areas like digital marketing and sales, stock control and logistics management, and information and communications technology come to mind.

The FMRC/Geddes approach has always been to formally Needs Review our clients using our one page questionnaire… then design the service offering for this client that will meet their goals and achieve their desired outcomes; scope the job for value delivered and production cost; then price it with the client.

Usually firm partners and senior advisors are involved in delivering these services. Less experienced team members can do some of the preparatory work and then sit in on meetings and learn. Being a “minute secretary” for a Business Advisory project is a great way to be involved.

Experience suggests doing a couple of Needs Review discussions initially then delivering on these projects. Momentum can then be built over time depending on your communication skills and the receptivity of your client base. Having a set of four BA service offerings described in language the SME clients understand helps tailor written proposals following Needs Review discussions. Eg.

Possible Business Advisory Service Offerings…

1. Your External Chief Financial Officer

Managing cash flow and profits is a challenge for most business people. 

We can help you…                                              

                *get your bookkeeping happening efficiently and easily via the cloud

                *support and train your accounting team

                *set cash flow and revenue budgets to monitor with you regularly

                *set actions to improve cash flow and profits

*build relationships with your funders and re-finance with the bank when needed

We become part of your management team and meet with you regularly (monthly or quarterly) to plan actions and monitor implementation.  It can be done for a fixed monthly fee once we have scoped the job and assessed the amount of work needed.

2. Your Strategic Advisory Board

What three things do you need to do better in your business in the next quarter?

We can help you…                                            

                *set your annual strategic business plan with detailed actions to be implemented

                *design financial and action reporting to assess progress regularly (weekly and monthly)

*be accountable to an advisory board (with external independent specialists if needed) 

Setting two or three quarterly improvement imperatives and managing them as projects can really make a difference to your business success.  And having a formal board to assist you ensures implementation and accountability!!!

3. Getting ready to sell your business

Making a business saleable involves improving lots of little things and making you (the owner) dispensable so it runs without you.

We can help you…

                *understand the value of your business now

                *identify actions to improve your business’ value over time

                *identify what to delegate and how to teach others to do it well

                *get a better sale price

                *plan how to invest the proceeds and minimise any taxes

This is a special project and needs to be run well. We will make sure this happens.

4. Planning and managing your business succession

Your retirement can be staged over a long time if necessary. You don’t have to sell your business if you don’t want to. You can involve family members or senior employees if you wish as well.

We can help you…                

*build a senior management team (SMT) so you can start handing over responsibilities in a careful way

*grow new leaders in your business

*delegate successfully

*work towards your retirement in a planned way

*create an employee share participation scheme if you wish

Succession has many options. You can sell to a big corporate, to a competitor, to employees, to family members or simply put in professional managers and retain ownership. We can help you explore each option and select the one that is right for you.

We will work closely with you to help you set your goals and desired project outcomes.

We will scope the work and provide you with a fixed monthly fee where possible.

Then we will work with you to ensure all planned actions are implemented in a timely way.

Some firms have created a vast list of services in technical accounting language and simply listed this on their website. And asked clients to tick a box!!! This has not worked very well !!!!

The four Geddes Business Advisory service offerings are a natural progression from being an experienced compliance advisor.  You can subcontract specialised marketing and sales projects, ICT improvements or stock and logistics system developments. Sticking to your experience set and delivering actions with clients will build credibility and confidence. 

Making your  Business Advisory service offering project a success involves working through a series of steps…

1. Creating the service offering and resourcing the people to deliver (apps, skills, time)

2. Creating the Needs Review process (clients to be visited and conversation structure plan developed from your Needs Review questionnaire before each interview)

3. Website questions for the home page clicking to service descriptions (see above)

4. Website testimonials from clients

5. eNews articles/blogs on projects regularly as they are delivered

Creation of a Senior Management Team (SMT) to plan, implement and deliver the services to clients will often ensure its success.  Senior advisors will have to delegate existing duties to create capacity to be involved in the design and delivery of the new services.  Regular sales meetings reviewing Needs Reviews conducted, service offerings designed to achieve client goals and desired outcomes, proposals delivered and job scoping (timings, value delivered, production cost and prices) will build your team’s experience in this new offering.

It is not as easy as the spruikers make it out to be.

Remember, “Prior preparation and planning prevents p*** poor performance!!!!”.

Good luck.

Andrew Geddes

May 07

Will your business survive disruption?

Posted by Andrew Geddes at Sunday, May 07, 2017

March/April eNews…

“Discover the 3 major Business Disruption solutions that keep SME owners ahead of their competitors!”

We have just returned from running our March SME Leaders’ Forum in Niseko, Japan.

The two topics most discussed were digital disruption and whether we had a Big Exciting Audacious Goal (BEAG) to really inspire our teams.

Obviously a BEAG needs to incorporate the effects of business disruption or it won’t be achieved! The business will be gone before reaching it’s BEAG!

Disruption is very obvious in some sectors (eg…taxis and Uber) but less obvious in other sectors (eg...recruitment).

However, we all agreed the rate of change was escalating in all our sectors and that meant we needed to create a climate inside our companies that encouraged innovation or we might not survive.

Daily stand-up reviews with front line team members on “What delighted customers  yesterday?”  and “What created angst for customers?” fed into weekly Senior Management Team (SMT) operations meetings was regarded as the best way to create a sense of urgency in our companies for innovation.

The critical factor was “What action did the SMT take?” and “How long before things changed for the front line team members?”.

The creation of a faster pulsing business in terms of both communication and actions brings a willingness to try new things as long as management don’t jump on things that don’t work!!!

Research published by global advisory firm PwC suggests Amazon has invested heavily in logistics so it can get product into consumer’s hands in the markets it operates in within a few hours of order placement.

If you try to compete on price or convenience with this offering, you may not last long.

However, if you can differentiate your offering, you may survive.

Take Portugese fashion firm Farfetch which works in nine languages to link 481 traders in 42 countries with buyers across 190 countries. Based in Portugal’s north-west coastal city of Porto, with offices in nine countries, a global staff of close to 1500 and $US800 million in gross sales in 2016, Farfetch is a private company with a market valuation of more than $1 billion.

It is the number one full-price online destination for luxury shopping in terms of traffic, according to several web analysts.

Obviously they set a Big Exciting Audacious Goal to inspire and motivate their team members. 

There is no doubt that digital and technological change is affecting all stakeholders of every business in the world right now.

Ask yourselves the following big questions each quarter in your strategy review sessions…

“How do our customers want to communicate with us and do business with us?”

For example, Oroton announced it would not renew the contract of Australian actor Rose Byrne as the face of the company, preferring “younger influencers” to represent the brand.

Influencers are young media users like Indy Clinton, 19 years old with 97,000 Instagram followers, who charges companies $50 to post on Instagram.

Brands and companies particularly in the fashion and lifestyle sectors are teaming up with sociol media stars across all platforms to spruik their goods, favouring them over sponsorship deals with celebrities.

This is just another example of disruption sweeping across a sector.

Accounting firms and their clients are moving to cloud based accounting so the accountants can have access to business data and apply various analytical apps to provide timely relevant reporting on business activities and so the annual compliance production process is more efficient. They are then adding specialist advisory service offerings like help with computing and website design and social marketing  to complement this more timely reporting approach.

Join us at our free webinar Tuesday May 16th 12 noon AEST to discover the 3 major Business Disruption tools that keep business owners and their Senior Management Teams ahead of their competitors.

Feb 07

How do you create a business that can cope with change?

Posted by Andrew Geddes at Tuesday, February 07, 2017

How do you create a business that can cope with all the current changes going on?

The internet and consumer usage is driving changes in all industry sectors as new ways of meeting customer demand are created and service delivery is evaluated and comments posted daily!!!

Employees want different working conditions and engagement and meaning in their work.

Older business owners want a succession solution.

Competition keeps evolving new ways of delighting customers.

Governments keep changing their rules and red tape.

Nothing is constant…change is the new norm.

If you keep doing what you’ve always done in your business the way you’ve always done it, someone will invent a quicker, easier approach and steal your customers.

So you need to change your internal culture to one focused on innovation.

Have a daily 15 minute stand up huddle with your customer facing team members.

Ask them “What delighted a customer this week? How can we do more of that? What help do you need from me?”.

Ask them “What annoyed a customer this week? Why? How do we avoid that next time? What help do you need from me?”.

Then drive these insights into your weekly Senior Management Team operations meetings and constantly change your processes, services and products. Change your marketing communications?

Both the messages about the outcomes your customers like and the methods of communicating this.

This daily download with front line staff and creation of solutions with your SMT will drive innovation in your business.

Change will become exciting and not feared by your team members.

Then set a Big Exciting Audacious Goal with your SMT like dominating your market and creating the best product and service delivery in your industry sector within 5 years.

Clearly define and articulate your focus and purpose in terms of customer outcomes they want.

Set clearly understood core values that govern acceptable behaviour in your business.

Identify the three things your SMT have to nail this quarter (new digital eNews about customer outcomes they value; new point of sale stock management system; new added value service promise).

The set daily huddles with front line staff, weekly operation improvement meetings with your SMT, and monthly board review of implementation of the three things we must nail this quarter and make sure you drive these habits and communications consistently.

Then you’ll lead your business to new and better ways of pleasing your customers.

Watch our free seminar next Monday at 12 noon Brisbane time “What’s your plan for 2017?”.

Click here to register.

And bring your SMT to our next day workshop in Auckland on February 21st “Leadership for profitable business”.

Click here for a programme and to register.

Fond regards.

Andrew Geddes

6th February, 2017

Jan 18

“Do you have an exciting One Page Strategic Plan and engaged Senior Management Team (SMT) driving innovation for 2017?”

“I need to clone myself to get stuff done!!!” is a lament we often here.

Do you feel the same way?

Back in 2007 I took my CEO and CFO of Greencross Limited to a Verne Harnish seminar in Brisbane. I was the company chairman at the time. I had been using tools promoted by Verne for decades so wanted to expose my colleagues to his teachings. Here’s a brief summary of what we were exposed to.

“Do you have a Big Exciting Audacious Goal for your company?”

We wanted to grow to 10% of the veterinary market in Australia and New Zealand. It meant growing our turnover and profits by more than ten times!!! We did better than that.

“Do you have a passion and purpose that unites your team and focuses them on innovation?”

We wanted to provide the most professional veterinary care and advice for passionate pet owners.

“Do you have a great team meeting often enough to create a sense of urgency to implementing actions to improve the business?”

We created a Senior Management Team or executive group, met daily for 15 minutes to identify what’s happening for you, how are we going against our daily targets, and what roadblocks exist?

We referred folk to where they could get help, allocated resources to assist, and got actions happening to unblock solutions.

These meetings were no more than 15 minutes…debate solutions elsewhere. This is a SMT download on stuff to be done and where to go to get help.

Refer debate on process changes or new opportunities to the Weekly SMT Operational Meeting for detailed discussion and action planning where there is time to do so.

This meeting rhythm allowed us to improve communication between the SMT members and actually saved time for all team members. We set priorities for unsticking customer and team member concerns and created a more dynamic decision making process in the company.

SMT members then added daily stand up huddles with their direct reports and took the same lessons into their teams.

Front line team members in sales, admin or “job doing” in its many forms in different parts of the company then were listened to daily and got immediate encouragement to fix stuff instead of waiting weeks for it to go up to SMT meetings and struggling to get the go ahead.

We found the quality of debate around improving the company and developing smart strategies to deliver what customers really valued also improved.

It sure beats trying to run a company on your own and feeling you have to make all the decisions and do all the stuff that needs doing.

It engages and energises all your team members.

But it is not about simply delegating responsibilities…it is more about creating a faster pulsing communication process between front line team members and your SMT.

This approach allowed us to grow from a micro listed company to the top ASX 200 over 10 years.

We’ve taken the lessons from Greencross and all the other businesses we’ve been working with into our new “Leadership for Profitable Business” workshop.

The next one is scheduled for February 21st in Auckland.

It’s a one day learning experience…click here for a detailed programme and registration process.

Bring your senior team members and create a SMT to work on improving your business and finding you time.

Then set an appropriate “Pattern of Meetings” and meeting rhythm to get decisions happening much faster than before.

You’ll profit from this experience.

Cheers.

Andrew Geddes 17th January, 2017.

Feb 15

Does your business have any goodwill?

Posted by Andrew Geddes at Monday, February 15, 2016

Every day I read about vastly indebted governments, bloated bureaucracies, rampant addiction to welfare, budget deficits, trade deficits, asset bubbles and global deflation!!!!

Resource prices have tanked too.
And wars seem to keep getting more entrenched in various parts of the world.
No wonder the stock market is volatile!!!!
Then the politicians keep their snouts in the short term troughs of getting re-elected.
And the baby boomers are going to sell their businesses to fund their retirements in ever growing numbers.
As a bloke who’s worked all his life with business owners, it makes me worry about the future.
What can we do to protect ourselves from this risk of not selling our businesses or no goodwill?

Here’s my 40 year’s take on it…
  • take some uninterrupted time to think about how you can make yourself redundant
  • list all the things you do and who else might be able to do them
  • list which things might be automated 
  • list all the things to have documented processes (quality management concept)
  • get this done and delegate much of what you do 
  • focus on creating quality products or services and do it better than your competition
  • focus on quality customers and ask them what they want, like and need
  • put examples of outcomes achieved for your customers on your website and in your eNews and in social media
  • go on 6 weeks leave and see how the team handle it
If you can’t find an external buyer (big corporate or competitor), consider selling your business to your senior management team (SMT).
If you haven’t got a SMT, create one.
Have a planning day with them.
Set budgets and report monthly financial performance.
Identify three critical areas to improve in the next quarter (your strategic imperatives).
Establish project groups in your business to action these imperatives.
Exhibit contagious enthusiasm for these projects.
You might have to offer small percentages of equity to them at first and maybe vendor financed.
They have to sit around the board room table to feel the heat of decision making.
Send them to our “Leadership for Profitable Business”  workshop Nov 24/25 in Brisbane so they are further educated and their confidence builds.
Educate their spouses too!!!!
Then maybe you can create a succession solution for yourself in time. Good luck with it.
Andrew Geddes
5th February, 2016.

Sep 23

Research says "Self-focussed CEO's kill profits!!!"

Posted by Andrew Geddes at Wednesday, September 23, 2015

(Fred Kiel Return on Character Harvard Business Review Press or watch his TEDx talk “Psychopaths in the C-suite at bit.ly/itb-kiel)

My 35 years of assisting managing directors and sitting on boards agrees!!!

Leadership of your business involves creating a team of people (we refer to this group as the Senior Management Team… SMT hereafter) whose job is to implement actions to improve your business.

The first step involves communicating an exciting future where we all work together to build a business in which it is fun to work, challenging personally, and rewarding to be part of (vision, focus and values).

The second step is to set goals (financial budgets and improvement initiatives) and to allocate responsibilities within the SMT.

The third step is then to design a “pattern of meetings” which creates a focus and work habit (culture of accountability) throughout the business.

Stuff then gets done!

Leaders can then continue to improve their interpersonal skills so that the SMT becomes even more effective over time and consolidates the whole business.

These so called “soft skills” are not taught…they must be honed through direct experience!

We can help you with this process if you are open to learn.

In fact, we know becoming a better listener and humbly serving your team is the start to growing trust and becoming a better leader.

Just being a highly experienced technician does not create a motivated SMT and ultimately restricts  your business performance (watch Fred Kiel’s TEDx please).

So take the Leadership Test!!!!

Click this link to download our Leadership Assessment Tool.

Do this with your SMT colleagues.

Then come to our “Leadership for Profitable Business” workshop with your SMT on November 19/20 in Brisbane (click here for a brochure).

It could be the best investment you’ve ever made.

Research says positive leadership and resulting culture create profitable business long term.

My 35 years board and coaching experience  backs this.