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Ben Walker, Founder of Inspire Accountants and High-Performance Accountants share some product mistakes he made at Inspire in the recent webinar called, “Creating a High Performing Accounting Firm”.

Here’s what he said:

Some of the things I struggled with along the different stages is, in Inspire 1.0, I did anything for anyone. I didn’t have an ideal client, I didn’t really work out my pricing, I was too cheap. All these sort of problems and I was spinning my tires a lot trying to get off the ground there.

In Inspire 2.0, we built up a core group of clients, but there was limited or no capacity to upsell or discuss additional services like advisory or wealth creation. And the problem with that was the flat structure. I was reviewing everything. I remember I’d go to seminars or we had something to go to in Melbourne and on the way I’d be reviewing like three jobs on the plane.

I was struggling to keep up with the delivery, let alone upselling or thinking of that sort of growth perspective. And in terms of product, when it comes to Inspire 3.0, we weren’t at a size to do a full range of services in-house. Let’s say bookkeeping or financial planning.

Some people try it, but I think that dedication to a different business inside our business needs to happen at a size where you’ve got instant economies of scale. But the challenges here have been managing the partnerships. We’ve got Roze who’s on the call today. I had to absolutely learn that managing partnerships or referral partners is not easy.

Also, training the team to help their clients with additional specialized services. Now, things like business valuations or estate planning, they’re hard things to teach. Not necessarily from a technical perspective, but from a bedside manner. How do you guide a client through that process or have that discussion where you’ve got the main client you deal with and their spouse you’ve maybe never talked to before in the room? Like how do you have that chat? 

So they’re the kind of challenges I’ve had in Inspire 3.0, is that sort of really high-value services and making sure our team can deliver that.

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