Somerset Accountant Says: “No, Thanks”
March 24, 2012
In my business doing accounting for small businesses here in the Somerset Area area, I’ve recently realized there are parts of it in which it’s critical to be a naysayer. We had some things happen during tax season in which I had to use this muscle — and I’m glad I did.
Our results (which we don’t just measure by “sales” figures, but also by accuracy, savings amounts on behalf of our clients, speed and a few other internal measures) were much the better as a result.But before I get there (and speaking of results), I have ONE BIG FAVOR TO ASK: (If you haven’t already done so)
Would you take three minutes, right now, to jot me a quick email about your experience with me and my staff? It really helps us to evaluate our season. Plus, it’s helpful feedback for new and potential clients. I’ve found that I can “promise the moon” with a potential client, but they really want to hear from somebody like YOU.
One more thing on this: could you be as specific as possible? You may not be comfortable disclosing savings amounts, refunds, etc, but as much as you’re willing to share, would be great! Thanks again…and THANK YOU for trusting us with your business finances this year. We know how personal it is to you! But back to saying NO … it’s much easier said, than done … but I believe this is the best way to have real victories, and not just mediocre results. What about you? What have you been saying “no” to recently — and is there someplace where I could provide some input to you? Do let me know … we’re not only here for what you might expect! I’m glad to be a sounding board for you.Your Trusted Somerset Area Small Business Accountant Shares The Most Liberating Word For a Biz Owner
In my observation, this is not unique to those of us in the Somerset Area area. Many entrepreneurs struggle with the same problem. It’s hard to say no to good ideas. It’s even harder to say no to great ideas. But when you neglect to say no, bad things happen. Here are 3 areas which you must be extremely careful to steward right–which means, saying NO.Your Main Marketing Message This is something many businesses get wrong. The key to a successful marketing message is to present one clear, concise message that’s easy for prospects to understand. There are so many great benefits to your product or service, but when you don’t say “no” to some of them, the key thing gets lost. The prospect loses and ultimately, you lose. Nail down ONE great message and then say no to all the other great ideas that come.Your Company Image This is closely-linked to your marketing message–and, often, can be seen as one and the same. But, for larger businesses, the company image is larger than just their product’s benefits.
The “brand” is what I’m referring to here. For smaller companies, this should be less of a concern…but if you have any kind of size, you need to be the one who says “no” to certain things here, too. To create a lasting brand that is recognizable to prospects and customers, and invokes loyalty, you need to define the brand in clean, simple terms, and then lock it down. If the brand is always shape-shifting, your audience won’t be able to keep up and they’ll give up trying.Your Core Products or Services This might be the most important of the three. Whether it’s a product you ship to your customers, or a service that you provide, your product is how you deliver on your marketing message and brand promise.
If messaging and branding tend to get disrupted by all the “good” ideas out there, there’s a good chance your product is all over the place as well. Let’s take the photography industry as an example–but instructive for any business: A photographer goes into business and defines her particular niche, let’s say black-and-white baby photography. If she sticks to her guns and focuses on that niche, there’s a good chance she can become an expert in that area, and people will come flocking to get baby photos with her. But, what usually happens is that as soon as a slow month passes, she begins to take on work outside of her area of expertise.
Someone requests wedding photos and she does it out of desperation. Someone else needs a family portrait. Pretty soon, she’s no longer an expert. She’s an average photographer that has no specialty.
Learn to say “No.” Your business future will thank you! And give us a call: 606-678-4372 if there’s anything we can help you with in this process.