It’s 2020! Time to reflect on the highs and lows of 2019, establish our new focus, and stretch areas to set meaningful goals, right?! Don't let this time of year go up in a cloud of great intentions.
Your clients have also made it to 2020, with varying degrees of difficulty.
Right now they’re relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to crack on with the new year. Are you making the most of their New Year optimism? Before you set cruise control on your business, help your clients look back to look forward... and looking back in this instance does not mean completing their Annual Accounts!
Now is the time to reach out and ask your clients questions like:
- What thing are you most proud of from the previous year?
- What was the worst thing or biggest fail of the year?
- What is the most valuable thing you learned about yourself?
- Who were the most influential and supportive people for you?
- What three things from the year are you most grateful for?
- What do you wish you’d done more of last year?
- What do you wish you’d done less of last year?
- On a scale of 1-10, how do you rate your happiness for the year?
- What three words summarise the year?
- What skills could you better utilise this year?
- What areas should you stretch this year?
- What will success look like to you this year?
How to ask your clients.
It's pretty simple stuff. Flick them an email. Give them a call. Send the above as a questionnaire via the portal (it's ready to go for you). Or, send it as an email campaign via BOMA - we've set that up for our Gappies too. There should be no barriers to reaching out to your clients at this time of year to ask them questions of the utmost importance for their business and self. Isn't that a modern accountant's true purpose? What could be more important?
New Year also equals new beginnings.
While camping over the break, I had friends (business owners) chat to me about their guilt around intending to dump their accountant as their first action for 2020.
The conversation literally went along the lines of 'He/she is a great guy/lady and has been really helpful in the beginning of our business journey, but I need more help with the big picture stuff and <friend> mentioned how their accountant is helping them with goal setting and empowering them to run their business better'. At this point, I felt so grateful for the work we're doing and I was able to say 'this is actually what The Gap is all about' and not hear crickets.
Most exciting though, was to hear my friends speak about the next phase in their business and the new relationships they were forming with such passion and positivity.
So, ask yourself, 'Who will ask my clients these types of questions if I don't?".
Likely outcomes of engaging your clients in this way.
Don't be surprised if, during this time of reflection, your clients say things like:
- "I already feel clearer about the year ahead"
- "That was so valuable, I got my 15 year old to answer your questions too"
- "Can you help me with...?"
- "<Insert a completely random statement, such as 'Can you help me sell my business? '>"
- "Thank you"
Of course, better engagement and client stickiness will follow, as well as the opportunity to discuss a range of services you can provide to give your clients enduring value. Wouldn't it be great if next year they same your name when answering question four?
If, when answering these questions yourself, your answers to question 11 and 12 are something along the lines of, "I want to stretch beyond compliance to help clients build a more profitable and sustainable business and get a better life", trial The Gap today. We can help you get straight to the gold.