It is a question you might ask your clients. It is also a question you might need to ask ourself: “What are you doing about your under-utilized assets?” Under-utilized assets hide in plain sight in many CPA firms, sometimes for decades. They are the technical partners who are not bringing in business. They are partners and principals who are smart and gifted in accounting and business matters, but cannot sell. How do you help them? Building a micro-niche is a powerful way to help them bring in business.

If you had a client with significant under-utilized assets, you would tell them to do something with those assets. Your clients might have a different type of assets – a poorly run factory, cash not invested for future needs, an empty office building, excess inventory, production downtime.  In challenging economic times, many accountants and financial advisors encourage their clients to do an audit of their assets and identify under-utilized assets. They then help their clients think creatively about ways to turn them into hidden treasure, using those assets to create a new revenue stream.

Your under-utilized assets – these gifted partners and technical partners – are probably doing low-value work because they cannot sell. They tend to get the low-paying work passed to them by other partners who focus on high-value clients. The firm’s challenge is to find a way to help these under-utilized assets become high-value performers.

Many CPAs do not know how to sell or what to sell. Some think selling is a four-letter word. The reason the micro-niche method works for these individuals is that it is about giving, not selling. The micro-niche method is based upon the recognition that people
naturally want their difficult needs met by an expert, and they are willing to pay premium prices for those expert services. It is effective for CPAs who cannot sell because it enables them to offer their expertise to people who are in need of it – there is no selling.

Building a micro-niche focuses an individual’s work on his or her unique and specific combination of knowledge, skill, experience and interest. By building it around micro-focused expertise, the clients it attracts will need a particular type of services that capitalize on the individual’s unique expertise. The in-firm expert will have a profound understanding of the needs and the pain points of those prospects that need his or her expertise. In that market – business type, industry, etc. – the expert has no need to sell,
only to give insights drawn from his or her expertise and offer the services needed in a way that removes pain for the client. For these services, clients will be prepared to pay premium prices. Premium prices (or high-revenue work) result in improved profitability for the individual and for your firm.

Assume for a moment that you lead a firm with four partners and only two of the partners bring in new business. You are losing a huge amount of potential revenue. The same is true in any firm with a number of technical partners. Most technical partners have outstanding technical ability and should be bringing in high-value – premium – work. Because premium work is high revenue, it is typically high-profit work, as well. What are you losing by continuing to under-utilize these assets?

If you will take the time to conduct an audit of your firm’s under-utilized assets – the people in your firm who are doing more low-value work than their technical expertise should warrant. Think about the profitability of the individual and the firm if they can build even a small book of high-value and high-realization work.

Once you calculate the revenue – and profit – your firm is losing by allowing your assets to remain under-utilized, take the next step and identify the unique combination of skill, knowledge, experience and interest for each of these assets. Ask yourself and the individual if a micro-niche could be built around that person’s expertise. If your firm is like most, there will be potential to build at least one micro-niche within your firm.

Leveraging under-utilized assets is a business strategy you probably suggest to your clients, especially in difficult economic times. The accounting profession is experiencing a decrease in the number of CPAs, a decrease in the number of CPA firms and increasing competition between firms. Building a micro-niche is the best way to leverage an under-utilized asset and remove that asset from direct competition with other firms.

The micro-niche method is enabling firms to turn liabilities into assets and leverage under-utilized assets into high-value winners. What is the potential of your firm if your under-utilized assets generate premium revenue?

David Wolfskehl

It
is a question you might ask your clients. It is also a question you might need
to ask yourself: “What are you doing about your under-utilized assets?”
Under-utilized assets hide in plain sight in many CPA firms, sometimes for
decades. They are the technical partners who are not bringing in business. They
are partners and principals who are smart and gifted in accounting and business
matters, but cannot sell. How do you help them? Building a micro-niche is a
powerful way to help them bring in business.

If you had a client with significant under-utilized assets,
you would tell them to do something with those assets. Your clients might have
a different type of assets – a poorly run factory, cash not invested for future
needs, an empty office building, excess inventory, production downtime.  In challenging economic times, many
accountants and financial advisors encourage their clients to do an audit of
their assets and identify under-utilized assets. They then help their clients
think creatively about ways to turn them into hidden treasure, using those
assets to create a new revenue stream.

Your under-utilized assets – these gifted partners and
technical partners – are probably doing low-value work because they cannot
sell. They tend to get the low-paying work passed to them by other partners who
focus on high-value clients. The firm’s challenge is to find a way to help
these under-utilized assets become high-value performers.

Many CPAs do not know how
to sell or what to sell. Some think
selling is a four-letter word. The reason the micro-niche method works for
these individuals is that it is about giving,
not selling. The micro-niche method is based upon the recognition that people
naturally want their difficult needs met by an expert, and they are willing to
pay premium prices for those expert services. It is effective for CPAs who
cannot sell because it enables them to offer
their expertise to people who are in need of it
– there is no selling.

Building a micro-niche focuses an individual’s work on his
or her unique and specific combination of knowledge, skill, experience and
interest. By building it around micro-focused expertise, the clients it attracts
will need a particular type of services that capitalize on the individual’s
unique expertise. The in-firm expert will have a profound understanding of the
needs and the pain points of those prospects that need his or her expertise. In
that market – business type, industry, etc. – the expert has no need to sell,
only to give insights drawn from his or her expertise and offer the services
needed in a way that removes pain for the client. For these services, clients
will be prepared to pay premium prices. Premium prices (or high-revenue work) result
in improved profitability for the individual and for your firm.

Assume for a moment that you lead a firm with four partners
and only two of the partners bring in new business. You are losing a huge
amount of potential revenue. The same is true in any firm with a number of
technical partners. Most technical partners have outstanding technical ability
and should be bringing in high-value – premium – work. Because premium work is
high revenue, it is typically high-profit work, as well. What are you losing by
continuing to under-utilize these assets?

If you will take the time to conduct an audit of your firm’s
under-utilized assets – the people in your firm who are doing more low-value
work than their technical expertise should warrant. Think about the
profitability of the individual and the firm if they can build even a small
book of high-value and high-realization work.

Once you calculate the revenue – and profit – your firm is
losing by allowing your assets to remain under-utilized, take the next step and
identify the unique combination of skill, knowledge, experience and interest
for each of these assets. Ask yourself and the individual if a micro-niche
could be built around that person’s expertise. If your firm is like most, there
will be potential to build at least one micro-niche within your firm.

Leveraging under-utilized assets is a business strategy you
probably suggest to your clients, especially in difficult economic times. The
accounting profession is experiencing a decrease in the number of CPAs, a
decrease in the number of CPA firms and increasing competition between firms.
Building a micro-niche is the best way to leverage an under-utilized asset and
remove that asset from direct competition with other firms.

The
micro-niche method is enabling firms to turn liabilities into assets and
leverage under-utilized assets into high-value winners. What is the potential
of your firm if your under-utilized assets generate premium revenue?

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