Business Owners (Tabs 1-4) , Mentors and Accountants (Tabs 5-12)
The access button to the Mentor Training portal has been relocated to the bottom of this page.
Tabs 1 to 4 below provide information for business owners considering working with one of our member Accounting firms.
Tabs 5 to 9 are for Accounting Firms considering membership of our Advisor Community.
Mentors attend regular online training events and activities. They are equipped with tools and systems to ensure their clients implement strategies in a logical manner.
They also collaborate with each other meaning they have access to the experience of the entire community.
What this means for members choosing to work with an accredited mentor is that they have access to a depth of knowledge and experience to help them achieve better outcomes from their business.
To solidify the business development and profit improvement processes I recommend investing some of the gains you have achieved to work with your accountant / business advisor in perhaps a slightly different way than you are used to.
In the course Profit Improvement – First Steps I outline the link between increased profitability and accountability. The link is strong and irrefutable.
One way to increase the level of accountability within your business is to ask your accountant / business advisor to chair a monthly Management Advisory Board. One of the main functions of such a board is to track how well you and your management team implement the strategies outlined in the free courses available through this site.
In this blog post I explain why fear of failure is a stronger motivator than opportunity to gain. Working closely with an accountant / advisor familiar with the strategies taught on this site will provide an opportunity to take advantage of otherwise lost opportunities.
I train and accredit business advisors and accountants around the world, it is how I generate revenue and the reason the courses are free for business owners.
The best person to assist you with the implementation of the build a better business strategies is your existing accountant. If they have not introduced you to this site, you should recommend they review the material and consider signing up for the training. Both you and your accountant will benefit from that.
Some accountants choose not to work in the business advisory area because they already have enough on their plates. If this is the case for your accountant I am happy to recommend you to one of the member firms of this site. However I will not be able to refer you to another firm if you have been directed to buildabetterbusiness.com by your advisor. All my accounting clients who refer business owners here do so under my personal assurance the owner will not be referred on.
We receive a fee for training mentors but have no involvement in the financial arrangements between members and mentors.
The purpose of this site is to help business owners grow profit. Accounting firms who help their clients implement the strategies we are teaching will attract and retain talent and grow their fee base.
Accountants looking to advance their careers will benefit from being able to attract clients and work with them to build business profits.
This is a training program designed to help you work with clients to grow the profitability of their business. It is accompanied by a system designed to assist with the implementation of profit improvement strategies within the clients business.
You start out by learning what business owners learn free on this site, but we go into the strategies in more detail. You obtain a deep understanding of the material so as to be able to support the challenges client encounter during implementation.
I believe the path to substantial and sustained profit improvement is to first focus on increasing the profit generated from existing sales volume, and then look to grow revenue. This is contrary to what most business owners attempt, which is to grow profit from building sales. All this does is to magnify problems already inherent in the business, and consume scarce resources, particularly cash flow.
The majority of training is designed to help business owners move the fulcrum to the right so they can earn more profit without the need to contribute more resources.
You can achieve this outcome for your client through an understanding of Contribution Based Activity theory (CBA) and Pricing Strategy (which involves far more than simply increasing price).
Throughout my 32 years in practice I used CBA to demonstrate to clients:
- Areas where operational ineffectiveness was destroying profitability.
- Which customers, products, and services were profitable and those that were not, quite often to the complete astonishment of the client.
- How to set targets for improved profitability.
- How to establish systems to monitor progress against these targets, weekly.
I was introduced to CBA as a young accountant by my employer of the time, Dennis Sims a wonderful accountant who taught me if you want to have an impact, help clients grow the profitability of their business. The theory was developed by Professor Keith Cleland at the University of New England. Dennis adapted the theory over the years as he gained experience working with a wide variety of clients, as I have done in the 32 years since.
In brief, CBA relies on tracing the gross profit generated by the major profit driver in a business. This article written by professor Keith Cleland provides more of an insight.
My curriculum covers CBA in considerable detail, presenting many case studies across a variety if industries. Pricing Strategy is also a fundamental element of the profit building process, the curriculum then builds upon this base to cover a variety of business development and profit improvement strategies.
- Contribution Based Activity
- Understanding Profit Drivers
- Segmentation: Some Customers are More profitable than Others, as are Some Products & Services
- Nurturing the Profitable Contributors, and Fixing the Problems
- Quickly Determining the Effectiveness of Past Trading
- Establishing Targets for Increases Profitability
- Assessing Client Forward Planning
- Establishing Weekly Reporting Systems
- Pricing for Profit
- Exploring the Direct Relationship Between Price & profit
- Understanding the Psychology of Customer Buying Behaviour: B2B and B2C
- Creating the Circumstances Whereby Customers Volunteer to Pay More
- Price is Only An Issue When All Other Things Are Equal
- Understanding Why Customers Ask “How much” and How to Respond
- Establishing the Extent of Customer Price Sensitivity
- Why Discounting Will Destroy Profitability
- Competing Successfully Against Price Discounters
- How to Exploit Comparison Pricing to Boost Profit
- Adaptive Capacity Pricing
- Lessons From Pricing Experts
- Management Control Plan Process – Accountability Drives Results
- Sales & Marketing Basics, including detailed manual outlining methods to:
- Increasing Customer Numbers
- Increasing the Average Value of Each Transaction
- Increasing the Number of Times Customers Transact With the Business
- How to Build a Sales Plan
- Sales Masterclass
- Digital Marketing Basics – What Clients Need to Know and How to Implement Strategies – In House
- Essential Elements of the Business Plan
- How to Conduct a Half Day Client Strategic Planning Meeting
- The Only Two Strategic Options for SMEs Operating in Fragmented Industries
- Understanding the Business Life Cycle, Scarce resources, and Family Relationships!
- Customer Service Systems
- Performance Standards – What Gets Measured Gets Managed
- Understanding Hourly Rates, Costs, and Profit (Using the hourly rate calculator.)
- Financial Analysis
- Financial Analysis – Basics
- Financial Analysis – Advanced
- Writing Meaningful Management Reports
- How Budgets Build Profits
- Budgets that Clients Understand, and Can Prepare
- Understanding the Cash Cycle & Being Able to Explain It to Clients
- Helping Clients Select the Right Key Performance Indicators
- People Development
- Delegation and Priorities
- Customer Advisory Boards
- Team Advisory Boards
- Action Plans and Effective Meetings
- Working With the Silent Partners – A Massive Opportunity for Change & Growth
- Understanding Insecurity
- Written Reports – Essential Design Elements
- Understanding How Adults Learn – We need to change a few things surrounding the way we advise
All training courses are delivered via an on line Learning Management System (LMS).
The LMS is suitable for individual self paced study, however, my testing suggests the best results are achieved when firms appoint facilitators and adopt instructor led training using the flipped classroom approach.
Some further explanation may be required.
In the traditional instructor led teaching and learning environment the instructor delivers training, and motivated learners undertake activities after the session. In a flipped classroom turns that model on its head, participants watch a pre-recorded presentation and contribute to discussion during the formal training session. The result being greater retention of information.
“A picture paints a thousand words” / “What gets measured gets managed”
These two well used sayings are the inspiration for the tools I am creating as I develop each lesson available through this site. The booklet you can access below has a sample of the tools I have created to date.
Their purpose is to either summaries the complex, or encourage action, and in a number of cases both.
These tools are not difficult to create, they are produced in either Excel, Publisher or PowerPoint. As accountants we are very good at recording things, but sometimes our reports are so filled with numbers they are a turn off to clients. As you work with the various tools available throughout the programs on buildabetterbusiness.com I encourage you to look closely at what the tools are attempting to achieve. If you do this, you will begin to build your own tools for use with clients.
Seek out someone in your office with design flair and ask for their input into the design of the tools you create.
I encourage you to introduce your clients to the profit building program on this site, all the courses are free. If you are in any way concerned about this, experiment with your C & D Class clients to begin with (see the following section).
As a result of successfully completing the program business owners will be earning significantly more profit, and will be relying on their accountants and business advisors to take a more active role in the business.
It is made clear to business owners from the beginning of the program they will be paying significantly more in accounting fees, and the message is reinforced throughout the program, see below.
I believe the accountant is uniquely placed to guide their clients along the business development process, and it has been my personal experience that clients appreciate the value we can bring to this process.
In the Profit Improvement First Steps course business owners download a system to work with their accountants, the following quote is an extract from the system.
“Have you noticed how much easier it is for bigger companies to grow? Money may not buy happiness but it certainly buys a lot of other things, including the ability to grow a business. Big business is able to access expert advice as required, one of the great benefits of you successfully completing this course will be your increased capacity to invest in advice from your trusted advisors. The more money you make the more advice you will be able to access, which in turn will help grow profit. You will be swept along in an upward spiral of growth.]Extract from First Steps course
The video below is an extract from one of our training courses for accountants, it explains why your fees will grow when you begin to work with clients on profit improvement projects.
Every firm has under-performing clients, for a variety of reasons, mostly out of loyalty, we hang on to them when strategic sense suggests we should move them on. If you are in any way unsure about the process outlined on this site, why not test it with one of these lovable rascal clients. You have not much to lose and there is upside for both you and the client.
Ric Payne wrote a piece outlining the 6 characteristics of under-performing clients. He noted they:-
- Do not have a vision
- Are shocking at setting goals, accordingly have nothing to aim for or monitor progress against – there is no basis upon which to manage, other than in the form of reactive crisis control
- Lack discipline and tend to allow themselves to be drawn into dealing with short-term problems and issues by treating the symptoms, rather than addressing the root causes
- Are cost focused rather than value driven
- Are appalling at managing their own time
- Have a parochial view of the world and believe the problems they face are unique to them or their industry, and that they are doing the best they can given the circumstances
I have met and worked successfully with numerous clients exhibiting some or all of these characteristics. Although far from every encounter has been a success, the relationships where advancement was achieved all started with convincing the client there was a better way, and helping them craft a plan for improvement.
The Build a Better Business program helps business owners appreciate the potential in their business, and offers a system to help them achieve it. I believe accountants have a critical role to play in helping business owners implement the strategies that will deliver improved performance.
Your Clear Point of Difference
We offer our member firms a clear point of difference. It allows you to submit proposals to prospective clients outlining a capability to:
- Deliver profit improvement strategies
- Address cashflow concerns
- Offer tools and resources to assist business growth and operational effectiveness
- Grow profits in difficult economic conditions’
- Predict unfavourable profit outcomes and offer solutions (you will use Contribution Based Activity theory to deliver on this promise)
- Work with the client to overcome their key frustrations with the business
- Develop performance standards for team members, and customer created reporting systems to monitor adherence to the standards, so owners are aware of the level of customer service within the business
- Assist with the development and execution of a sales and marketing plan with the aim of delivering a constant stream of quality, profitable work / sales
- Introduce and adapt proven pricing strategies developed by successful corporations throughout the world
- Assess and monitor the health of the business across 9 key areas
- Develop higher levels of accountability, as accountability drives results
- Establish and oversee a Management Control Plan so as success is not left to chance
Nice Comments Accountants Have Made
“I have found the training sessions to be excellent and very insightful. It is great to be working at a firm that values this sort of training as I think most accounting firms do not do anything like this, certainly not from my previous experience.”
Loved this training session. The debrief after was a great avenue to get everyone participating and exposed some areas that we might need more basic training on. Great work Phil!
“Hi Phil, This session today was probably the most useful session so far. I felt it put everything into a logical structure, and pulled together what we have covered previously. Today’s session provided an easy and non threatening approach to speak to our clients. Concepts for me are really starting to fall into place. Thank you, and have a good weekend,”
“Great session today, really enjoying these and will have a look at the YouTube this evening or over the weekend.
One quick query, the Speeding in a Slow Down on Tuesday 30 August, is that free, or do the clients pay for that, and
how do they access it, will it be a case of sending them a link like we receive for our fortnightly sessions?
I definitely have one client, corporate travel agency, who I would be keen to have them listen in, and another client
in mining who would benefit as well. Thanks Phil, have a great weekend,”
Just to say thanks for the training as its been great.”
“Thanks Phil. Informative and comprehensive. Numerous take away’s. Also, simple structures for implementing.”
“Great new format”
“Thanks Philip, I will definitely download the templates. FYI – was speaking to xxxxxxx (client name redacted) who’s having cashflow issues, I suggested he come in and we look at doing a cashflow and a budget module together”
“Will ask staff to review the video again on Tuesday. Am putting together an introductory checklist for reference. We need to allocate a certain amount of time per job to do the assessment. We broke the video into 2 parts of 10 minutes each. We had a discussion after each and passed our notes made around the group for review. The video has a lot of specific process information in it and is a very good template going forward.”
This note was from a team member that moved on to another firm: “Yeah these things happen sad thing is, I see what you are doing with this training is incredibly amazing and so beneficial for businesses in general and clients, that I will miss the training sessions & discussions that you present and provide.”
And from another team member moving on (different firm) “…you have been a very inspiring person to learn from and have a lot to offer others.”
“…look forward to the notes for our April sessions, I have now bought ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman
(discussed by you and xxxxx) and am noticing pricing strategies everywhere I go.”
“Thank you for all your time and energy on Tuesday and Wednesday the sessions were a great launch to get some
momentum in the advisory area.”
“Thank you for a very exciting, challenging and informative session. XXXX and I are both buzzing from all
the ideas! You will be glad to hear we have just removed our rates from our website 🙂
We look forward to working with you to grow our business.”
“Thank you! you are a superstar! this is greatly Appreciated.
HI xxxx and xxxx
“Phil’s online talk was very fantastic. Phil mentioned that he would be doing another online seminar for those who missed the April lecture. I would be interested to hear that as well.
Phil is a very good communicator.
The two take home points for me were the impact that price reduction has on your bottom line as a
function of your profit margin and requirement for significant increased volume and associated attendant
costs of increasing that volume and the second point was the importance of communicating to your clients
exactly what extra service you are providing which your competitors aren’t providing and not taking for
granted that they will work that out for themselves.”