Sustainable Innovation: How to Pull It Off

Young woman acrobat performingSounds good. But what actually is it, and how do you do it?

By Gale Crosley

Everybody’s talking about innovation these days.

MORE CROSLEY: Think Growth, Not Marketing | Channels, Not Referrals | Technology Will Solve Labor Shortages | The Three Elements of Growth Strategy
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The “i” word may be overused, but when it comes to growing your firm, I’m an unapologetic believer in the power of innovation. This is especially important for mature service lines.
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Think Growth, Not Marketing

Man and woman chatting over a cup of coffee inside a cafe or restaurantAdd product management skills to the mix.

By Gale Crosley

The next time you’re in a Starbucks, conduct an informal survey of the Millennials sitting and sipping around you. Ask their college major, or the field they’re working in currently.

MORE CROSLEY: Channels, not Referrals   |  Technology Will Solve Labor Shortages  |  Four-Part Plan to Re-ignite Revenue Growth  |  Not All Fish Need Audits  |  The Three Elements of Growth Strategy  |  Defining the New Business Model  |  The New Growth Evolution  |  At the Best Firms, Growth is No Accident

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I’d wager that in the time it takes you to order and consume a grande iced coffee or chai latte, you’ll have identified at least three people whose answer included the word “marketing.”

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Growth Strategies: Think Channels, not Referrals

Just as CPAs apply rigorous discipline to deliver services, so too can firms achieve growth.

By Gale Crosley
Crosley Co.

You know the services your firm has to offer and you know who your target buyer is. In order to drive growth you need to align these elements in an act of strategic matchmaking. If you’ve been relying on referrals as a way to achieve this you’re operating with about one-and-a-half hands tied behind your back.

MORE CROSLEY: SURVEY: Technology Will Solve Labor Shortages  |  Four-Part Plan to Re-ignite Revenue Growth  |  Not All Fish Need Audits  |  The 4 New Growth Engines in Today’s Marketplace  |  Change Catches Up with Auditors  |  The 6 Elements to Sustainable Growth for CPA Firms  | Jody Padar’s New Vision for the ‘New Accounting’  |  Reality Check: Achieving World-Class Growth Requires Real-World Intelligence  |  Crosley: The New Growth Evolution  |  Expand Your Vision and Expand Your Business  |  Leveraging Leadership: A New Way of Looking at Growth  |  Are You Creating a Sustainable Firm?  |

VIDEO: The Three Elements of Growth Strategy  |  Defining the New Business Model  |  The 3 Hallmarks of the ‘New Accounting’ Business

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The required firepower cannot be unleashed by occasional meetings and introductions. Instead you need to energize your efforts by cultivating focused channels of distribution. This will take your efforts from tactical to strategic and lead to a more powerful growth experience.

A distribution channel is the way you find your buyers and they find you in large numbers. Distribution channels are the individuals, businesses, organizations, websites, events, publications and places your buyers prefer. The possibilities are limited only by your knowledge of your prospective buyers and your ability to seek them out. The best channels are those your competitors have never considered. READ MORE →

SURVEY: Technology Will Solve Labor Shortages

Business BackgroundInternational networks continue their boom.

By Gale Crosley, Crosley Company
The Rosenberg MAP Survey

In the past year and a half, major trends have taken form.

MORE FROM THE SURVEY: New Leaders Promoting Positive Changes | Accounting Profession Demands Swift Change | Next-Gen Leaders Getting Restless | Accountability, Equity, Compensation Are Concerns
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In audit, data analytics and continuous auditing concepts are starting to be widely discussed. The Big Four are investing in cutting-edge audit approaches, and these technologies will significantly change what auditors do in the future.
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Four-Part Plan to Re-ignite Revenue Growth

Sprout growing on money pile of glass jar bankNew times call for new expansion strategies.

By Gale Crosley

It’s been a long slog, but we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel known as the Great Recession. Both job creation and the gross domestic product are robust. Interest rates remain low, and the stock market is showing solid gains.

MORE by GALE CROSLEY: Not All Fish Need Audits  |  The 4 New Growth Engines in Today’s Marketplace  |  Change Catches Up with Auditors  |  The 6 Elements to Sustainable Growth for CPA Firms  | Jody Padar’s New Vision for the ‘New Accounting’  |  Reality Check: Achieving World-Class Growth Requires Real-World Intelligence  |  Crosley: The New Growth Evolution  |  Expand Your Vision and Expand Your Business  |  Leveraging Leadership: A New Way of Looking at Growth  |  Are You Creating a Sustainable Firm?  |  Don’t Confuse Marketing with a True Growth Strategy  |  Overcoming Four Imaginary Barriers that Limit CPA Firm Growth  |  How Firms Unleash the Power of Diamonds, Cash Cows and Fat Cats  |  How Smart Firms Use Market Research  |  Got Leads? Get Real. Learn How to Qualify Big Opportunities  |  It’s a New Generation in Lead Generation  |  At the Best Firms, Growth is No Accident  |  Four Keys to Success at Seiler CPAs  |  How Accounting Firms Are Re-Building Their Sales Pipelines  |  How to Get Started on IFRS in One Easy Step  |  [PRO Member Exclusive. Log in required.]

VIDEO: The Three Elements of Growth Strategy  |  Defining the New Business Model  |  The 3 Hallmarks of the ‘New Accounting’ Business

While these bright spots are welcome, I urge firm leaders not to be lured into believing that it’s back to business as usual. The light at the end of the tunnel may look like, well, light. But the market conditions illuminated by that light are substantially different from those of the pre-recession environment.

What’s changed? Nearly everything, from an upsurge in globalization to stiffer competition, increased standards and regulations, more specialization and a growing reliance on technology. Today, clients can engage CPA firms around the corner or around the globe. Just because you’re in the neighborhood doesn’t mean you’re in the running. READ MORE →

Not All Fish Need Audits

fishing lures AdobeStock_103169363 crop2Market segmentation and why you need it.

By Gale Crosley
Crosley+Co.

Successful CPA firms are typically open to approaches known to yield positive growth. So why are they so reluctant (dare I say impossibly stubborn) when it comes to embracing the concept of market segmentation?It’s often perceived as complex, difficult to understand, and therefore optional. However, it is so fundamental to strategy development that bypassing market segmentation can result in years of wasted effort and disappointing growth results.Market segmentation is the foundation of specialization, a natural outgrowth of mature markets like ours. CPA firms no longer have the luxury of being all things to all clients. Today’s market conditions require that we hone in on the needs of focused buyer groups with similar attributes. But first, we need to know what those groups are and what they need.
 

It’s a lot like fish. Not all fish are the same, and they certainly don’t all need audits. Some trout need tax work. Bass require business consulting. And flounder, well, they “flounder” and need help with everything!

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The 4 New Growth Engines in Today’s Marketplace

Vector check engine icon

Things are changing and the old growth model no longer fits.

By Gale Crosley
Crosley + Co.

From the outside it might appear that public accounting is much the same as it has always been. CPAs pursue traditional activities such as tax, audit, and consulting services. To build their business, they lunch with lawyers and attend after-hours cocktail receptions.

Yet beneath this familiar scenario, our profession is undergoing a seismic shift, one set in motion by changing market conditions, technological advances, demographic transformation, and other factors. As a result, much about the way we practice is being forced to change. That’s certainly the case when it comes to growth.

Jack Welch, the former General Electric CEO turned guru, urges business leaders to “Change before you have to.” That’s advice accounting firm partners should heed.

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