Abundant Accountant | Ron Baker | Leading Edge Strategies

 

Staying at the leading edge is essential for sustained success and growth, requiring constant innovation, strategic foresight, and a commitment to staying ahead of the curve. Join host Michelle Weinstein as she welcomes Ron Baker, the founder of VeraSage Institute and radio talk show host. Ron guides firm owners to stay at the leading edge of their industry with the concept of strategy and plan, subscriptions, and success stories. Don’t settle for mediocrity! Tune in and learn how to propel your firm to the leading edge.

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Leading Edge Strategies: Propel Your Firm To Success With Ron Baker

We have a very special guest and our special guest is a recovering CPA. He started his career in 1984 with KPMG’s Private Business Advisory Services in San Francisco. He is now the Founder of VeraSage Institute, the leading think tank, dedicated to educating professionals internationally, a radio talk show host on VoiceAmerica.com and he’s also with the show, the Soul of Enterprise Business in the Knowledge Economy. Our special guest has also authored seven books, which you can find on Amazon.

Before we welcome our special guest to the show, I know so many of you are smart, hardworking, tax bookkeeping and accounting firm owners. You currently think that the way to get new clients or retain current ones is to just keep your fees low, do free work, or simply work more hours. It’s not true. What we know is that that ends up in burnout and growing resentment for clients for the work that you do.

The firm owners I work with charge premium fees by ethically doubling and even tripling their fees to current clients by following a much newer and far simpler method that I’ve created here at The Abundant Accountant, which allows firm owners to charge higher fees with confidence, get paid upfront.

That results in doubling their firm fees while working less and having total financial security, more disposable cash, and freedom. If you are ready to make those changes and start creating the firm that you’ve always dreamt of, book a call with me and my team at TheAbundantCall.com. Now, let’s welcome our special guest, Ron Baker, to the show. Welcome, Ron, to the show.

It’s great to be back, Michelle. Thanks for having me.

Yes, thank you so much for being here on the show. It’s always an honor to have you and have you back again and hopefully many more in the future. I just told you you’re such a great storyteller and I think one of the best ways to learn is through story. I know we’re talking about staying at the leading edge and how the strategy and positioning in your firm will keep you at the leading edge but what happens, Ron, if someone doesn’t know you? Can you share who you are just for someone who might not know who you are?

I’m a recovering CPA. I spent my early years in a Big Eight accounting firm and then went out and opened my firm after I left that Big Eight job. That’s when I realized that the billable hour was a lousy customer experience. I started offering fixed prices and then gravitated to value pricing eventually. That whole process got me so excited that I started teaching it to colleagues and then I wrote a book about it. That book took off around the world and I started spreading the message to not only the CPA profession but other professions as well. That’s a little bit about me.

That means you know your stuff and I’m very happy to have you here. Where can they buy your books? Where’s the best place to go find Ron Baker’s books?

Amazon’s got them all and none of them are on audio, unfortunately.

You need to make that happen. You need to record your own books.

They’re professional books. They just don’t have a budget for that and yes, I would have to do it on my own.

Yes, I think but you have such a great voice. I think recording them would be a real gift for many like me who only listen to books. I would be your first Audible customer.

I’ll take that under advisement. That’s awesome.

Differentiating Strategy From Plan

Ron, I know we’re talking about staying at the leading edge for a firm owner and we’ve had conversations on value pricing, on subscriptions, which is what your latest book’s about but how does one stay at the leading edge of their firm so they can prosper and grow their firm and increase revenue and increase profitability, but yet serve the clients at the highest level?

You constantly have to reevaluate your strategy, I think. Peter Drucker wrote a little book before he passed away called The Five Most Important Questions For Any Organization. The first one was, what is our purpose? Of course, that’s your why, that’s the whole Simon Sinek, start with why. The second question is, who is our customer? Who are you targeting? The third question is, what does the customer value? If you think about it, that’s probably the most important but least asked of the five questions.

The fourth question is what are our results? In other words, what are our customers’ results? Nobody buys a drill bit. They buy a hole in the wall so they can hang a picture or something. What do we want our customers to pay us for? This is what he was getting at with what are our results question. The last question is what is our strategy?

I think where a lot of firms get hung up is they think a plan is a strategy, and it’s not. A plan is something that you can control. A strategy is not something you can control. It’s unpredictable. It’s got to be done in a world of uncertainty. A lot of strategic thinking, so-called, devolves into financial forecasting in a lot of firms. We want to grow revenue by X percent. We want to be this big in three years.

Abundant Accountant | Ron Baker | Leading Edge Strategies

Leading Edge Strategies: A plan is not a strategy. Plans involve controllable elements, while strategies navigate unpredictable situations. Strategies are essential for operating in a world of uncertainty.

 

Strategy doesn’t start with goals. Good strategic goals are the outcome of your strategy, not its input. I think strategy is vitally important to stay at the leading edge and stay ahead of your market. You can’t just react to your market. Hopefully, you can have an impact on the direction of where customers are going.

Think about innovative firms like Apple. Nobody knew they wanted an iPad when they came out with it, It was ridiculed. Now, of course, many people couldn’t live without their iPads. What’s interesting about strategy, Michelle, is we can always identify an excellent strategy in hindsight. Think about SpaceX. Elon Musk had a great insight.

The crux of what he built his strategy around was, why can’t we use a rocket? The chief insight he had was fuel was a lot cheaper than keep building rockets. Now NASA couldn’t figure this out, but he built his strategy around being able to figure out how to reuse those rockets. In hindsight, we can look at that and say, “That’s brilliant.”

We can also look at Southwest Airlines and say, “Flying point-to-point and secondary and tertiary airports is a brilliant strategy, using the same plane, turning those planes around faster.” That’s a great strategy but what’s a great strategy in an accounting firm? Most firms seem to go to the market with the same offering as everybody else. That’s why I think strategy keeps you at the cutting edge.

For a firm that might be considering their strategy, I’m wondering also, Ron, if we can clarify more what are companies that had a great plan yet. They thought they had a strategy but they felt like they were in full control. Can you help identify the difference? I still feel that a lot of people, “Michelle, I had a great plan, I wanted to do a subscription. It just didn’t work out.” No. As you said, a strategy is a theory. You don’t have control, it’s unpredictable, and you’re living in a world of uncertainty but when someone has a plan, can you share the difference and maybe a story about someone that had a plan they had control of?

I have to think about that.

It’s okay, think about it, because I think this is a, it’s a great distinction. However, it’s a confusing thing for I think a lot of firm owners. They say, “No, I have a great plan.” I would say here, for example, what comes to my mind is a sales process, the thing that I hone in on and focus on with firm owners. Having a unique sales experience to back your strategy, which might not have control and you might not have predictability and you’ll have uncertainty.

However, you have full control over how you’re going to communicate with a client, what you’re going to say, what the qualification process you’re going to take them through, your engagement letter that you’re going to have them sign, or whatever the subscription model letter that you’re going to have them sign that they can opt-out at any time, whichever way you choose to do your firm based on the strategy. Those are elements that you have control over. I call that a sales plan.

That’s how I would differentiate it because you can’t say, “My strategy and how I’m going to be unique and how I’m going to differentiate myself is like in the accounting firms or the tax firms or the bookkeeping firms, and I know you’re going to talk about that in a second, here is how you can stay at the leading edge and position yourself and have a unique strategy. Ultimately you have to have a plan to execute it and that plan is the item and the thing that we can have control over. That’s how I see it. Did I get that right or do you have anything to add?

When I think of strategy, I think of probably the biggest strategic undertaking was D-Day. General Eisenhower at the time planned an invasion of the beaches of Normandy. That was a strategy. That almost fell apart because of the weather. He had to delay the whole thing by a day because of the weather. They couldn’t see, cloud covers and all that.

A strategy is risky. You’re peering into something uncertain. Maybe, Michelle, we should start with the definition of what a strategy is. One of my favorite definitions, although there are many definitions of strategy, a good one I think is strategy is a high-level approach to achieving an objective by playing strengths against weaknesses in an unexpected way. In other words, it can’t be expected.

Abundant Accountant | Ron Baker | Leading Edge Strategies

Leading Edge Strategies: A strategy is a high-level roadmap for achieving an objective. It leverages your strengths to seize opportunities and overcome challenges, even in an uncertain environment. While the path may need adjustments, a strong strategy is always goal-oriented.

 

 

There’s got to be a certain surprise element to it, just like there was in D-Day. It’s a high-level thing and it’s not based on goals. It’s not based on financial goals or anything like that. It says we’re going to go to the market with this offering and this is how we’re going to create value. Let’s try and concretize this a bit more. A lot of strategists will tell you that you start with the toughest part of the problem, like Elon Musk did, “How do we get to use the rockets over again?” That was a huge problem. Nobody could figure that out. NASA worked on it for years and couldn’t figure it out.

He’s also started the Tesla, but he’s the only one who created the infrastructure for charging with all the superchargers around the country and now the world, where he’s licensing the Tesla plug to all these other car manufacturers that can now operate on the Tesla charger, even though it’s not a Tesla vehicle.

That’s right and he’s earning, by the way, $25 billion a year for that.

I bet. It’s genius, which is why I got a Tesla. I know a lot of people don’t like it. I said, “This is the only car that I can go anywhere and not worry that I have a place to go fill up my tank.” You get any other electric vehicle and they couldn’t keep up with the infrastructure that he was so far ahead on.

Let’s talk about the crux of accounting firms or the accounting profession. What are some of the biggest challenges firms face? Five recur when you look at the surveys and all the different ways we get a hold of this information. That is recruiting and holding on to talent. That’s number one and will be for a while.

Other firms say it’s tax season compression. Just that grind of the April deadline and even if you go on an extension, it’s a compressed year, and then the inability to identify and build a proper tech stack is starting to come up into the top five issues. Heightened cybersecurity threats. How do we deal with cybersecurity and insurance and all of that?

Overregulation and just overload for firm owners, especially small firms that can’t keep up with all these regulations. Those are the big five concerns. Now, how would you build a strategy around that? I think to deal with those issues, those are the big issues. Now, they may impact different-sized firms differently, but it seems like a lot of us or a lot of firms go to the market with a donkey strategy that says to increase sales, cut costs, and make them work harder. Build more hours.

I heard a lot of clients I work with call them workhorses.

It’s the donkey strategy and it’s not going to work. I think we need to be creative when it comes to strategy. I think a good first step in the essence of strategy is choosing what not to do. Peter Drucker, again, had this concept of planned abandonment. He had two questions. If you weren’t already in this sector, maybe it’s restaurants, construction, whatever, would you enter it today?

Creativity is key in developing strategy. A crucial first step, and perhaps the essence of strategy itself, is prioritizing what not to do in order to focus your efforts. Share on X

If the answer to that question is no, then what are you going to do about it? Drucker had this concept of planned abandonment. He said that by holding on to yesterday’s successes, we’re inhibiting tomorrow. We’re not putting our best resources on tomorrow. We’re not staying at the leading edge, if you will. He wanted you to abandon yesterday’s, even if they were successes, because tomorrow is going to be different. After all, markets change. It seems like humans have a natural discharge, but firms don’t. They’ll hold on and cling to yesterday, but that inhibits them from moving forward.

Honing Positioning And Strategy

What do you recommend and what do you see for firm owners to stay at the leading edge? Having the positioning right, having the strategy right, and being able to identify what not to do.

Of course, a lot of this is driven by your purpose. You start there, but we’re taking that for granted. When you start getting into strategy and positioning, you’ve got to narrow down. I’m not just talking so much about niching. We can have niches. You can be in the medical space, the restaurant space, or the construction space, but even once you do that, I think you need to narrow it down even further.

Some CPA consultants, for example, will only work with solo firms of a given size, say between 250,000 to a million dollars. Anything about, if there’s another partner, they don’t take that customer on. Now you can say, “That limits their market.” That’s true, but by being narrow and being focused, you’re able to speak and understand that segment’s particular needs and issues. What keeps them awake at night and what are their possibilities?

I think that so many CPA firms try and be all things to all people. It’s almost like if we were veterinarians, we’d also say on our sign that, “We’re a vet and a taxidermist. Either way, you get your cat back.” That doesn’t work because strategy is all about trade-offs. You can’t be all things to all people. In other words, you have to put yourself in a box because if you’re not in a box, there’s no strategy.

Abundant Accountant | Ron Baker | Leading Edge Strategies

Leading Edge Strategies: A strategy is all about trade-offs. You can’t be all things to all people.

 

If you’re diversified and you’re taken on all comers or customers in different industries, that’s not a strategy. That’s a lack of a strategy. It just shows that you don’t know what you’re doing, I think. Yet a lot of firms try and do that. I go out to some firm sites and I look at the industries that they say they serve and the services that they offer.

They do audits, they do tax, they do IRS representation, they do consulting, advisory, and all of this. All these different industries, too. I look at it and say, “They’re a firm of 40 people. How could they possibly have expertise in all of these areas?” There’s no way. That’s a problem from a strategy and a positioning standpoint. You can’t be McDonald’s and Morton’s. You have to choose because a brand can only stand for one thing. That’s it. You can’t sell Chevy and Rolls Royce out of the same dealership.

No, you cannot. Let’s say they narrow it down. If you’re going to work with solo firms or firms or businesses above 5 million, whatever you choose, they choose the industry. All of that is done. What would be the next steps to hone in on being able to make a difference, be at the leading edge, and have the positioning in a way that they stand out? Just like Elon, he stands out.

He positioned himself so well that no one really could keep up with him. I know one of the things we talked about in the previous episode is the subscription model. What do you recommend would be next after figuring out what trade-offs you’re going to have? As you said, strategy is about trade-offs. You cannot be all things to all people. Once we eliminate some of that, what would be the next steps?

I think this is where subscription brings us to the space where we can go to the market with a very different offering. I have a basic philosophy. When everybody’s zigging, I want to zag. Everybody’s buying, I want to sell the type of thing. Everybody’s out there talking about CAS, tax planning, advisory services, and all of this stuff.

If you want to implement a strategy and you want to go to the market with something uncommon, I think that one of the best things you can do is change your language. The subscription model enables us to do that. It not only insists that we go to the market with a plus offering but that we change our language around that offering.

It’s like what Walt Disney did when he built Disneyland. It wasn’t an amusement park. It was a theme park. It didn’t have rides. It had attractions and adventures. He didn’t have staff and carnies. He had cast members and they were on stage or backstage and they were putting on a show and they were selling happiness.

This language persists in Disney parks around the world to this day because that was an uncommon offering. By the way, the four largest amusement park owners at the time that Disneyland was in planning said, “It would never work. It would never, ever work. You’ll never be able to build a park that has only one entrance. You’ve got to have an entrance on each side. You can’t have all these things like Main Street because they don’t produce any revenue.”

“You’re spending way too much on landscaping. Nobody’s going to notice the cleanliness of the park. Stop hiring so many janitors.” Disney did everything completely different and he charged dearly for it, although not at the time. At the time, his pricing was neutral. Now, it’s more of a skim pricing strategy, but it was a neutral pricing strategy, but it worked.

What is skim pricing, Ron?

Skim pricing is when you only care about skimming the cream off the milk, like Apple or FedEx. You’re not about building market share. You don’t care about market share. You care about creating value and capturing a good portion of it. Porsche, BMW, and Disney, they’re all skim prices. A more neutral pricer is somebody like Toyota because Toyota doesn’t emphasize pricing in their advertising.

They emphasize that it’s got a lower cost of lifetime ownership because it’s going to be worth more at trade-in, as it’s quality parts. They hardly ever talk about price. That strategy is very unique, what Disney. I would also point out that the DPC doctors, the Direct Primary Care physicians, and the Concierge doctors before them went to the market with an uncommon offering. They didn’t know if it was going to work. They didn’t know if customers would go for it because they didn’t have insurance.

Everybody equates going to the doctor with filing an insurance claim or having insurance pay it and just pay your copay. These outfits don’t take insurance, and yet they’re overwhelmed with the demand for customers who want to get into them. They all have waiting lists and that’s because they went to the market with an uncommon offering. They made a promise to patients, whatever you need that we can do, there’s the constraint and we can come back to that, but whatever you need that we can do as a general physician, you’re covered. We’re not going to charge you per service.

We’re not going to be on this fee-for-service treadmill. We’re just going to take care of whatever you need. Now, if you come to us with something that we cannot do, like cardiac surgery or oncology services or whatever, we’re going to refer you to a specialist. That’s part of our network, and we’ll even quarterback those relationships, but for whatever you need that we can do, you’re covered.

By the way, what they can do is expand every year. That’s the plus in the offering. They’re adding blood lab work, diagnostic equipment, or 23andMe analysis. They’re constantly adding the offering. The consumers are eating it up because it’s convenient. It’s easy. It’s 24/7, 365 days access to your doctor via text, email, FaceTime, whatever. Patients love it because it saves them time. I think we waste our customers’ time by sending them to under-page organizers. That’s a crime. We should know.

With one-click shopping and same-day delivery, customer experience is paramount. The worst mistake we can make is to waste their valuable time. Share on X

It is a crime. I hate that thing every year I get it. I’m like, “Oh God.”

It’s amazing. You know why it’s a crime because your accountant or CPA should know everything that you’re going to fill out. They should know if you got married, sold a house, or bought a vacation home. They should know all that because they should have multiple points of contact with you throughout the year. The reason they don’t have those conversations is because they have too many customers. Therefore, a lot of these issues that we talked about, the five big issues of retaining talent and attracting talent, people join this profession to help people.

I can’t help people if you put me in the back room and expect me to do 350 tax returns in a year. That’s not why I became a CPA. The medical profession has a very, very profound term for this. People talk about burnout. It’s not burnout, Michelle. It’s moral injury. This is not what we signed up for. I didn’t become a CPA to bill the most hours, do the most tax returns, or work the most days. I became a CPA to help people and I can’t do that if I’m on a hamster wheel. That’s moral injury, and I think it is a bigger problem than burnout.

Transforming The Firm

Exactly, because the outcome of the way things have been going is burnout, but that’s not the actual problem. If you were to ask how an accounting tax bookkeeping firm owner turns their firm into Disneyland and create the plus offering and create the concierge doctor approach. What does that look like for a firm owner today who wants to make this change and say, “I am going to completely flip my firm on its head upside down and go drastically and make these shifts?”

Well, this is going to sound challenging and I don’t think it’s that challenging, but if you’re serious about pivoting to subscription. I think the best thing you can do is start up another firm and have it gradually cannibalize the old one because I think this is such a new model and a new mindset. It requires a different offering, it requires different pricing, it requires different KPIs, even different accounting.

The income statement for a subscription firm looks different than a typical income statement for a regular value pricing firm or hourly billing firm. Everything about this model is different, and therefore, starting up a new company where you have a clean slate means you can do things the way you want and not be inhibited by legacy systems. I think that’s your highest odds of success. That’s what we’ve seen so far, the highest odds of success with subscriptions is launching a new firm.

I want to hear about the firm or the story and you can make up the name of that you feel has made the pivot, they start a new entity, and they are truly staying at the leading edge and they have completely shifted their strategy and positioning. I’d love to hear the story of what they’re doing today versus what they were doing before. Someone reading can say, “I can do that too.”

Now, keep in mind, Michelle, we don’t have a lot of living examples of this in the CPA space. This is still a very nascent model in our world, but there are some shining examples. I’m thinking of one, and most people know this gentleman, but I won’t give out the name. He had a very traditional bookkeeping. You would say CAS and tax practice.

Of course, he’s read that he read about implementing value pricing, and he moved from hourly billing to value pricing. He refined that in this, this firm he had, and he got good with value pricing, he swore by it, he taught it to other accountants and then he read Time’s Up and he said, “I think this makes more sense.” This is where the future is headed.” “This is where I want to be.” “This aligns more with how we’re going to attract future talent, and bright, knowledge workers into our firm.”

He planned to pivot to subscription. Now, he didn’t necessarily create a new firm. He did a hybrid, but what he did do was reevaluate his strategy. He asked himself Peter Drucker’s planned abandonment questions. “If you weren’t in this industry today, would you enter it?” “If the answer is no, what are you going to do about it?”

He answered that question concerning his tax practice. He said, “No, I would not do this again. It’s a pain in the butt. We have 500 returns that we do every year.” We get caught like quicksand and, in doing, these compliance 1040s and he says, “It’s killing us.” He jettisoned it. He sold it before he made this pivot to subscription.

Now he’s a pure cast practice, full service, he’s got advisory in there as well and he did a hybrid where he said to his existing customers, “We are moving to the subscription model.” “We are still going to give you a plan that is very similar to what you had under the old firm.” “All new customers are going to be put on like a DPC, all-you-can-eat subscription price.”

Of course, the prices went up for that for the new customers. It went up dramatically, like 2 or 3 times. There’s going to be a transition there with his current customers. We’re going to have, and we’re waiting to see, you know, how many of them we’re going to stick with it. You’re going to move up to plus at some point. How’s he going to deal with that? He’s working it out. He’s building the plane as he flies it, but he loves this model because he thinks it’s easier to sell to the customers.

It’s a better offering and you change the conversation with the customer because no longer are you talking about services. You’re talking about how we can guide you through these transformations, and we can take you from where you are to where you want to be in your business and your personal life. That resonates with customers. I’m not buying the drill bit. I’m buying the hole so I can hang a picture. He’s talking about hanging the picture, not drilling the hole. Again, that changes the conversation. It changes the language. That’s what strategy is all about in my mind doing something different unexpectedly.

I want to play devil’s advocate because I know some firm owners ask you this and I always think we can’t hear it enough, but let’s say someone makes this shift and they’ll say, “I’m going to be like the DPC doctors. I’m going to offer everything in the store.” I’m already overwhelmed and burnt out, Ron. If I open up the floodgates, then they’re going to take up all of my time. How could I possibly do that without charging?

I want you to get two times to four or five times multiple on what you’re charging now, which means you’re going to have to shed some customers as this person did. He got rid of his tax practice, and he got rid of some low-value cast customers, too, by the way, who didn’t fit the profile that he’s now going after. He’s refocused in there too.

You’ve got to raise your prices and have fewer customers. You always have spare capacity to service them, and when you do that, you could have more touch points with them. You know everything that should be in the organizer already. You don’t have to send out organizers because you’re talking to your customers regularly.

You incorporate the questions and the organizer in your conversations and you gather the data on your own so people like me don’t even need to see the organizer. They see that you’re very valuable because they don’t have to dread every January, February, or March, whenever you send that thing out to us and then we go all frantic because most people don’t like to fill it out. It’s daunting, it’s exhausting and it is a time waster, but it’s also that you’re eliminating the pain. If we’re going to offer a transformational offering of service, you’re transforming someone’s life the day they don’t have to fill that out.

That’s exactly right. I think the worst thing we can do in today’s world, where I can go on Amazon with one click and get something on the same day on my doorstep is waste our customers’ time, either through our bad portal experience or by sending them an organizer or just what a pain in the behind it is to get ahold of us and get a return phone call or whatever.

DPC docs don’t have this problem because they don’t have 2,400 patients. They have 600 patients and they always have capacity. They’ll come to your home, they’ll come to your office. If you go to their office, there is no waiting room and they won’t spend five minutes with you. They’ll spend, on average, 45 minutes with you, sometimes up to 2 hours, because they’re not overwhelmed with patients.

They can help you get your weight loss, your exercise goals or your nutrition goals. They can help you with all those things to keep you healthier, not just cure you when you’re sick. I think CPAs are privileged to be in the same position. We can keep our customers financially healthy, not just by solving their problems but also by helping them move to new places, achieve new potential, and pursue opportunities.

We get so caught up in solving problems. What keeps you awake at night? What’s your problem? Problem-solving is a big part of what we do, but, and this is a big but, if all we’re doing for our customers is solving their problems, we’re just reverting them to the status quo. We’re not advancing them, and we are in a privileged position to advance our customers.

Abundant Accountant | Ron Baker | Leading Edge Strategies

Leading Edge Strategies: If all we’re doing for our customers is solving their problems, we’re just reverting them to the status quo. We’re not advancing them.

 

We need to advance and transform the client’s lives.

I think that’s it. That’s the unique offering. That’s a new strategy and you know what? When I tell that to CPAs, who are, of course, the practitioners in this field, they don’t like it. I say to them, “I want you to think about how your customer would respond to it. Who are you selling to? Your peers and colleagues who poo every innovation, just like they did with value pricing over hourly billing, or are you selling to the customers?” You’re selling to the customers

Yes, it’s about how they feel, and it’s about their experience. I think you shared it so clearly. This is truly how an accounting tax bookkeeping firm owner can stay at the leading edge and understand the difference between the strategy and the plan and know which one. Sometimes, when you make the new strategy, you’re going to be in the unknown and you’re going to be in this area of trial and error.

We have to be getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. I think when you start to offer transformational experiences, that’s what you can create. Ron, thank you so much for being here with us. It’s always such an honor. I wanted to make sure, is there anything you want to add that we haven’t talked about in our conversation?

No, I think that what you just said was a great summary. Strategy is not a choice from alternatives, it’s designed. You have to design. I know we’ve talked about the DPC docs and all that, but you take that basic model, and you’re going to tweak it for your firm, but it’s designed. I don’t think we pay enough attention to our strategy when we go to the market.

We tend to go to the market with best practices, and if all you’re doing is adopting best practices from other firms, you’re always behind. I don’t want you to be behind. I want you to be a leader like Elon Musk. He punched Detroit in the face. They didn’t come up with EVs. He did it and of course, now they’re all in. Every one of them has got their own EV division now, but he’s way out in front of them because he went to the market with a unique strategy.

If all you're doing is adopting best practices from other firms, you’re always behind. Share on X

He was willing to get uncomfortable and be okay with the uncertainty and the unknown. I think that’s a really hard thing for firm owners to become comfortable in that space but I think that is really what will have you stay at the cutting edge. The leading edge of your industry is being able to be unique and different, and you never have to think about your competitors, the firm down the street, or any of your peers. This is how you can be different and stay ahead. Thank you so much, Ron, for being here with us. It’s always so fun to have you, and it is an honor. Thank you.

It’s always great to talk with you. Thanks again.

Thank you all so much for joining Ron and me on a very amazing episode. It’s truly an honor to be here and have Ron on the show to talk about subscriptions and be at the leading edge of your firm. If you want to focus on a plan, the thing that you have full control over, because you are a smart, hardworking bookkeeping, tax, or accounting firm owner, and you want to get your fees up, change to subscription but understand that you need a new plan to make that happen, then make sure to head on over to TheAbundantCall.com to book a call with me and my team.

The firm owners we work with are charging premium fees. Some are doing a subscription model. They’re even doubling, tripling, and quadrupling their fees by following a very much simpler method that I’ve created. It allows firm owners to charge fees with confidence, get paid upfront and first all the time, and never have accounts receivable.

You can have total financial security, more disposable cash, and the freedom to travel and do what’s important to you. If you’re serious about making the change, focus on your plan, be at the leading edge in your industry, and separate yourself from all of the competition, head over to TheAbundantCall.com. My team and I look forward to speaking with you. We’ll see in the next episode.

 

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About Ron Baker

Abundant Accountant | Ron Baker | Leading Edge StrategiesRonald J. Baker started his CPA career in 1984 with KPMG’s Private Business Advisory Services in San Francisco. Today, he is the founder of VeraSage Institute—the leading think tank dedicated to educating professionals internationally—a radio talk-show host on the www.VoiceAmerica.com show: The Soul of Enterprise: Business in the Knowledge Economy.

Ron has authored seven best-selling books, including: The Firm of the Future; Pricing on Purpose; Measure What Matters to Customers; and Implementing Value Pricing. His latest book, co-authored with Paul Dunn, Time’s Up!: The Subscription Business Model for Professional Firms, was published in November 2022.

Ron has toured the world, spreading his value-pricing message to over 275,000 professionals. He has been named on Accounting Today’s 2001-2007, and 2011-2022 Top 100 and Top 10 Most Influential People in the profession; and inducted into the CPA Practice Advisor Hall of Fame in 2018. He is a faculty member of the Professional Pricing Society. He presently resides in Petaluma, California.

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