I work in an industry that for such a long time, has been incredibly slow in reinventing itself. A large portion of the accounting industry still finds itself using what it used 20 years ago – software, methodology, communication, you name it.
As a result, our clients are becoming increasingly frustrated with the way things are done and before long, you’ll find your retention dropping, your rates having to be lowered and struggling to find new business.
This is why you need to create change in your industry.
Times are Changing
We live in a period that has ushered in more changes in the past decade to the way we communicate, interact and do business than there has ever been in the history of the human race.
The internet is the ultimate equaliser.
Gone are the days of middle-men charging exorbitant fees to gain access to information and distribution. The modern-day consumer has the luxury of having the answer to any of their questions at their fingertips thanks to Google and YouTube.
And as someone who owns a business in an industry that still has archaic practices, it’s incredibly disconcerting to see this shift and potentially being left behind.
While Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have no interest in the accounting industry, there’s a lot that can be learnt from these innovators and many others in their respective industries which you can apply in your own industry.
Do Things Differently that Benefit You and Your Clients
We cherry-pick some of the best practices found in other industries that we believe will benefit us and more importantly, our clients.
- We don’t use physical timesheets
- We charge on a fixed-fee subscription pricing model vs. billable hours
- We don’t invoice after completing the work
- We harness cloud-based technology to streamline work
- We apply automation to processes and systems
And in case you haven’t noticed, we’ve also spent the best of this entire year producing free content almost every weekday to build on our reputation and trust while educating contractors and small business owners.
Employees Can Also Make an Impact
You’re probably reading this thinking that it’s well and dandy that I can make changes when I own my own business but what if you work for someone and change isn’t so easy to implement?
The classic adage that actions speak louder than words is incredibly important to understand when it comes to imposing a change in your workplace. Humans are naturally change-resistant because we fear the unknown.
But if you could start small and chip away at making changes, the ripple effect 6 – 12 months down the track can be massive. Practising these changes and then showing them the net positive results speaks far larger volumes than just simply trying to explain the benefits to your boss or colleagues.
While you may not have the luxury of a big budget to spend on new software and tools, you can look for small, free options that can be a catalyst for further change when you prove yourself.
Consistency is Key
Ideas are one thing but the execution is far more important. Quantity leads to quality by consistently doing rather than talking about making these changes. James Clear, author of NY Times best-seller book “Atomic Habits” best sums this up:
“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.”
What’s equally important is to focus on the process rather than the result as results are not necessarily always immediately evident:
“You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.”
Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, finding out how other industries are doing things can spark some great ideas for change to help you improve how the business does things. Often, we find ourselves looking at other competitors doing the same old things and feeling like you’ve reached the ceiling. This mirroring often stagnates an industry and results in widespread Jurassic-age methodologies. By being the catalyst for this change, there are some incredible opportunities to have a huge impact on the business you own or work in.
Sign up to our monthly newsletter where we share exclusive small business and contractor advice!
Please note that every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this guide is accurate. You should note, however, that the information is intended as a guide only, providing an overview of general information available to contractors and small businesses. This guide is not intended to be an exhaustive source of information and should not be seen to constitute legal or tax advice. You should, where necessary, seek your own advice for any legal or tax issues raised in your business affairs.