Love the Problem, Not Your Solution

Posted by JasonBlumer on Jul 20, 2017 in

One of my favorite startup bloggers is Ash Maurya, author of Running Lean. Though he writes about tech startups, a lot of his principles apply to the consultative world of service firms that I live and breath in.And one of my favorite blogs is "Love the Problem, Not Your Solution." As he states in his post, we fall in love with our solutions before we even know what our clients want us to solve. We have to become lovers of the problem first. Our 'big ideas' are normally the solutions that pop into our minds. But this is not the path to market dominance. The only thing that matters are solutions that solve problems. Maurya built a Lean Canvas to help entrepreneurs get to a problem faster. What is the problem? Answering this question is what you must love if you are to build a company and business model…

Givers and Takers in Your Company

Posted by JasonBlumer on Jul 12, 2017 in

This was a fascinating TED talk by Adam Grant:Per the norm for TED talks, Adam's style was funny and engaging, but enlightening on the topic of Takers and Givers in companies. While working with many companies around the country, he noted that company cultures had Givers, Takers, and Matchers. The Givers are always doing for others, the Takers are always out for themselves letting others do most of their work, while the Matchers tend to give and take depending on what has been done to them (e.g. an eye for an eye). But across the board, he noted that all company cultures thrived when the company was loaded with givers. He also pointed out that givers are often taken advantage of in companies, so he asked the question "how can we build cultures where givers excel?"Here are some points from his talk on how we can help…

Building Depth on Your Team

Posted by JasonBlumer on Jul 6, 2017 in

We've added a fewnewteammembersto our firm this year. It's an investment we are making this year to build a strong foundation to grow on in the future. We've noted that a company with fewer people doing fewer jobs can actually be risky. It feels shallow. It can be risky because a lot of the operational work falls on the shoulders of the owners. So when you lose a big client, or a process doesn't work out the way it was supposed to, then the owner has to step in and feel the full burden of correcting those immediate situations. When owners are forced to address immediate problems, they typically stop doing the important work of building the company (like selling, writing, marketing, speaking, etc.). Growth can stop in these situations.We've specifically added team members that bring 'depth' to our team. That…

Eggs on Toast, Every Morning

Posted by JasonBlumer on Jun 29, 2017 in

Almost every morning, my breakfast is one egg on a piece of toast with cheese and mayonnaise. Here it is:It takes about 5 minutes to make each morning. Making the same breakfast every morning is one way I take thinking out of my day.I need to think a lot during each day. The knowledge we create in our firm, and my thoughts, are often the things we sell. So I need to save a lot of my brain power for the right thinking. But there is a type of thinking I do not need to do each day - making breakfast. I use a toaster and the microwave to make it quickly while I read or do my morning devotions.Being a virtual firm also means I don't have to worry with the types of clothes I wear each day. Nothing fancy - shorts and a tshirt most days.…

A Review of Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini

Posted by JasonBlumer on Jun 16, 2017 in

I'm enjoying Dr. Robert Cialdini's latest book, Pre-Suasion. Similar to his first book, Influence, this book is full of stories, anecdotes, and science experiments supporting the main point of the book. The point of the book is: "Trust is one of those qualities that leads to compliance with requests, provided that it has been planted before the request is made." The book supports the premise that you can influence people to do what you want to a high degree that you do something before you ask them to do the thing you want them to do. And, it is even more effective, if the first pre-suasive trigger you use to build trust is associated with the request you make immediately after. If the premise of this book is true, this could be fascinating to experiment with before team meetings, before sales meetings with potential new clients, or before you ask…

Planning Helps Me Write

Posted by JasonBlumer on Jun 8, 2017 in

I write a good bit of content. There is a lot I've learned in leading and growing businesses, and I like to share it with anyone who will read it. Most of the content I write here is short and digestible. That is both for me (so I can produce more content) and for you (so you can consume it quickly). It's a win-win.Writing posts used to be something I just 'fit in' to my schedule. But if you are busy running a business (or doing anything in life), important things don't just 'fit in' to your schedule. You have to plan for things to fit into your schedule. Now, I block off my calendar and it says 'Write Blog Post.' You'll see that block appear on my calendar 4 to 5 times per month. I had to plan for the time to write, or it would never happen. One…

Does Leading a Business Feel Natural?

Posted by JasonBlumer on May 30, 2017 in

If you are leading a business with a team, then you are a leader. You are a leader of people. And just like many things in business, you may not feel fully equipped to lead a team the right way. It may feel awkward or weird at times for you to do the things you need to do to lead a team (like have hard conversations, or praising a team member for doing great things).But don't let that dissuade you from doing the things necessary to take care of your team. Leadership may not always (and doesn't have to) feel natural to do it well. In fact, many things on a leader's plate may not feel natural. That doesn't mean they are wrong, or that you are even doing them wrong. It just means you are being stretched in ways that will ultimately improve you as a leader and…

Stay In Your Lane

Posted by JasonBlumer on May 16, 2017 in

If you are trying to grow a company, then you have to stay in your lane. As the Founder or CEO, your lane may involve the strategy and vision of the company. If you keep scanning documents, then you are stepping out of your lane. And when you are partners, then you can often cross over into each other's lanes. Your company will be 2x more productive if the partners and team will stay in their lanes.What is a lane? Your lane is basically your Job Description. And your team has a Job Description, too. Everyone has to have one. When everyone has a Job Description describing the lane they are supposed to stay in, then it's harder to step over into someone else's lane without them noticing. And if you have a culture of trust, honesty, and accountability, then someone will feel the freedom to say: "Hey! Stay…

We Are Strategic Business Accountants

Posted by JasonBlumer on May 8, 2017 in

We support the tax, accounting, and business growth endeavors of creative agencies all over the US. Some leads want us to be tax experts only, while some clients are confused as to why we offer business coaching to help agencies grow. We have intentionally crafted our business model and built a team that allows us to manage all of the strategic business needs of the creative agencies we serve. In essence, we have become experts at what an agency needs to operate, stay compliant, grow, and monitor/analyze how they are doing during the process of growth. We are the full package!Our value is in knowing how all of these strategic business building blocks fit together. Here are questions we know the answers to: - How do complicated tax elections affect the personal taxes of the owner(s)? - How can we use new technology platforms to turn the…

Sowing and Reaping

Posted by JasonBlumer on May 2, 2017 in

Business building can be confusing. You will enter seasons of prosperity and possibly seasons of decline. It's hard to know what to do when these seasons show up. In some seasons you may overspend, while in other seasons you may deal with the fear of making payroll each month.The concept of sowing and reaping is an important principle to help you understand what you are experiencing. Sowing and reaping happens in all of life; growing your business is no exception. Here are some sowing and reaping principles that may help you deal with the ups and downs of building your business:-You don't reap in the season you sow - consistent marketing, solid accounting principles, and new hiring processes are all concepts you will see benefits from months, or years, later. Build now, but be patient to reap the rewards in a later period. So, if you need clients…