Here’s a sobering thought: a business owner can now take the ‘pulse’ of her business while sipping a cocktail on the beach in Bali. The “monthly figures” are now a thing of the past – everything is available in real time.

Each of us experiences more access to more information, more quickly. In finance – be it accounting or bookkeeping – where, traditionally, knowledge is the key to both power and money, this is, as the cliché goes, a game changer.

If you’re delivering services based on the monthly figures your services will – equally rapidly – become obsolete.

Real-time customer service

Access to data will increase. Smartphones, website interactions, not to mention the hundreds of add-ons now being optioned in accounting software packages, guarantee an ever-increasing capability of generating data. As the amount of data increases, so will the depth at which it is analysed.

If analysis is not your thing (and that’s a big problem) the imperative is to deliver great and timely service has gone up a notch or two.
Tell your existing and potential customers about why (and how) you will meet the needs of a contemporary, cocktail-sipping business owner

You’ll want to have a mantra that communicates to your customers exactly what you stand for and why your firm or practice should be retained. Your mantra will set expectations for your customers.

It’s much easier to win new customers when you offer a great service. Everything flows from quality—mediocrity is the enemy of small-business and professional services success.

Consider this winning /keeping customers checklist

• SELL SOMETHING UNIQUE AND VALUABLE That customers can’t get anywhere else (like a customised, weekly report)
• FOLLOW A COMPELLING MANTRA That customers can relate to (no generic, template statements)
• FOCUS ON EXISTING CHALLENGES to better benefit the customers (more than BAS!)
• MAKE IT EASY For customers to do business (think cloud!)
• BE AS GENEROUS AS POSSIBLE (give time to better understand your client’s business)

Then there is the question of being future-proofed against the deluge of data, automation and speed of (analysed) information. Here productivity is the key. And that’s a topic for another day. Or, check in to