‘Mindshop has provided us the tools and confidence to essentially smash the traditional compliance model.’
‘Mindshop Growth Hubs have had the single biggest impact on my business.’
Clients become advocates
Mindshop Growth Hubs allow advisors like Mike Burke to build communities within their client base, drawing on individuals from a diverse range of industries and specialisations to meet on a quarterly basis for regular professional development and networking. Mike runs three Growth Hubs totalling over 20 members with the assistance of Mindshop.
Mike’s thoughts on Growth Hubss are unequivocal:
‘Delivering Mindshop Growth Hubs has had the single biggest impact on my business. Growth Hubs bring both my clients, and prospective clients together in the room, the leaders become great advocates of both Mindshop and myself. It has lifted my own capability as I am forced to present latest thinking, ideas, tools and concepts which helps my overall learning. After all, the best way to learn is to teach. Finally, the groups help my clients grow as they hear from others and not just from me. Mindshop do all the organisation behind the scenes as far as invites, follow ups and venues. I have neither the capability nor the inclination to undertake these tasks, and so frees up my time to focus on the important issues. Mindshop have the process nailed.’
Constantly challenged with new IP
‘Also, Mindshop pull together all the intellectual property which again would take me days and weeks to find. I get presenter notes, tips and ideas which I combine with my own war stories and knowledge to present, which according to the feedback are great sessions. The ongoing feedback is that leaders feel as though they walk away with real take-aways for their business and without being lectured at.
I could run Growth Hubs without Mindshop, but my view is that these groups would die very quickly. With Mindshop’s assistance I have three very dynamic leader groups that are continually challenged and are never bored and never feel as though they are going over the ‘same old ground’.
‘The training days are really valuable; I always feel energised afterwards.
Global collaboration, local training
Being an independent business advisor in the top end of Australia was a lonely business for Colin Hall, until he found Mindshop. What he gained was not only a network of like-minded peers and collaborators, but also professional and personal growth.
Confidence to take on new challenges
‘The discussion forum is fantastic, I check it almost every day, there is always a whole range of contemporary issues being discussed, and people sharing ideas or solutions. Advisors post a problem and very soon garner useful responses, not only from local colleagues, but also from around the world. This shows the collaborative nature of the network. The training days are also really valuable and I always feel energised afterwards.I knew I could help my clients in many ways, but often the time required to invest in preparation or research made this prohibitive. Mindshop has significantly increased my fluency as an advisor, and given me the confidence to take on things I might not have previously done. If you’re looking to start or grow your advisory business, don’t rush it. Start with a few Mindshop tools, and use them well. Practice, practice, practice.’
Professional and personal development
‘One of Mindshop’s core principles is ‘Value to Others’ this is a pervasive theme throughout the resource base and is often explicitly stated when advisors communicate with each other, it’s a value that has multiple layers to it and since joining Mindshop I have drilled down into these layers more often and more deeply than before, it’s helped me to help others in both a professional and personal context.’
‘Mindshop has given me the tools to help the client focus on what is possible inside their business.’
A solid process foundation brings results
Matt Sharwood is a strategist for Advise Accountants, an accounting firm that specialises in bringing a strategic view to their small and medium-sized business clients. Before joining Mindshop Matt’s main challenge was simple – where to start?
‘Using Mindshop tools gave me a process framework that formed a great foundation for our advisory solutions and produced great results for our clients’ says Matt. The number of tools available anywhere, anytime to solve clients’ problems is awesome, the Mindshop Online training platform has to be one of the best on the market, and add to this the strength of the members in the Mindshop network and you have a perfect combination to provide clients the best possible advisory services.’
Asking the right questions
‘Know Mindshop tools and have faith in them. They do work. Remember you do not know all of the answers and often the client knows the answer but is simply not asked the right question. The Mindshop tools help you ask the right questions.
Our business has been growing rapidly over the last few years. I put this down to the fact that we are not just accountants but rather a firm that is about helping clients run the best business possible. I made the comment the other day to a client that over the three years I had been working with them we’d doubled their profit. That’s one of the achievements I am proudest of, Mindshop has given me the tools to help the client focus on what is possible inside their business.’
‘The result is a substantial new income stream in the hundreds of thousands of pounds per annum.’
The lightbulb moment
One particular incident sticks in Will Abbott’s mind when he reflects on the lightbulb moment that led him to becoming a successful business advisor.
‘I met with a client for our usual accounts meeting, and their profit was low. We talked about all the non-chargeable work he was doing and how he might go about changing that. Twelve months later, we met again and had the same conversation! The client jokingly said ‘you’re a bit of a one trick pony aren’t you?’ and that really brought it home to me.
Our clients wanted to do more than just talk about the numbers, they wanted someone to help change the numbers, and I felt that I did not have enough knowledge or tools to really help. I could see what they needed to do, but couldn’t help them with the how to do it.
I was aware that some of my other clients were working with business coaches and seemed to be paying them a lot more than they were paying me to do their accounts. That was a lightbulb moment – it was time to do something, and that something was Mindshop.’
Becoming a facilitator of change, not just a consultant
‘So after joining up, I completed all the online courses and became accredited as a ‘Mindshop Expert’ which was more than enough skills to build an advisory offer. But I found what takes time to learn is that we are not acting as consultants, but as facilitators. Our role is to help and guide the client to develop their own solutions and then hold them accountable for taking the necessary steps. The Mindshop toolkit is the key to drive this facilitation, the resources are all there, including workshops, which means a lot of the work is already done so there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
Picking a ‘favourite’ Mindshop element is difficult. Being able to draw together my clients into a Growth Hub keeps me up to date with new thinking and enables me to promote my advisory services to new clients. Then there’s the combination of online resources (accessible in my own time and at my own pace), access to an experienced coach and a network of like-minded individuals which together is very powerful.’
A substantial new income stream
‘Mindshop has given me the ability to talk confidently with clients regarding a broad spectrum of issues from profitability, sales growth and strategy. What client would not want to have a conversation about those issues? The result is a substantial new income stream in the hundreds of thousands of pounds per annum. Even better, 50% of our advisory service work is coming from clients where another firm does their compliance work! Plus advisory is generating opportunities for other departments including compliance, tax planning and corporate finance.’
What tips do you have for other accounting firms looking to grow their advisory business?
‘Accountants need to stop trying to get paid for every minute spent with clients and recognise that every conversation is an opportunity to help, which clients will value and pay for. Try to take the time to really understand what a client is trying to achieve and how their business fits into those bigger plans. Focus on the outcomes clients need, recognise the value in what we do, then share these stories with prospects.
This is challenging, as it requires a complete change in mindset, a move away from time-based billing. Unfortunately, most accounting firms will stick with what they know, leaving these valuable opportunities for others.
I think one of my longstanding clients says it best, ‘you help us understand the issues and make us do the things we need to do.’
‘It’s not only the additional revenue, it’s also about effectiveness.’
Efficiency to focus on clients, effectively
Providing strategy and leadership for next generation leadership, Wayne Davies, Principal Consultant at NextGen Success talks about how Mindshop Online allows him to coach effectively.
‘Apart from providing the platform to add value to my retainer-based business through coaching, Mindshop Online gives me an ongoing touch point with my clients. But it’s not only the additional revenue, it’s also about effectiveness. I probably would be able to deliver coaching without Mindshop, but much less efficiently, Mindshop’s support gives me the ability to focus on my clients, because I don’t need to spend energy on travel, I can keep in touch constantly and suggest tools and courses within the platform, Mindshop does the heavy lifting for me. Plus knowing that I will be reminded on key actions prior to meetings means I’m kept on track and accountable.’
‘Having discussions with senior Mindshop executives about workshop content means I am coached and extending my knowledge at the same time. By ‘sharpening my own saw’ and delivering the content provided by Mindshop, it keeps me up to date with issues relevant to my clients.’
The tools and resources online are an invaluable benefit to my advisory services. No matter what the issue, I can go to the toolbox and find exactly what I need to quickly provide the service to my client. The online platform with access not only to the resources but also to the global network of advisors is unique. No other consulting provider offers this type of access.
‘We fit like a glove.’
Without a doubt, the ability to have structure and credibility behind my advisory work has been the biggest benefit to me in being a part of Mindshop. I can say ‘we can help you with that’ and know that we can and will be successful in doing so with the support of the Mindshop tools, processes and platform.
What sets Mindshop apart in the market is the online platform, it’s unique of course but I think it’s a network that has a set of values that match my professional and personal ones. We fit like a glove.