The past 12 months have been an incredibly exciting and eye-opening experience for me - Blue Ribbon Accounting's client base has increased significantly, with referrals coming almost daily during tax season, and regularly outside of tax season as well!
It reached the point where I really started to think:
have i made sure my business image reflects what i stand for, and my ethos of accounting?
In this post I'm going to attempt to take you through the journey that I went on to firm up the specifics of my ethos of accounting.
I am so excited to show you this journey and the exciting launch point that I've reached as a result of these thoughts.
the development of my ethos of accounting
From starting Blue Ribbon Bookkeeping in 2010, and completing my first tax returns in 2011 (approx 50 in total), by 2015 my tax return client base had increased to over 200 (!!), and I was developing a strong reputation by word of mouth - particularly from clients who normally hated accountants, hated the work involved in tax returns, or felt patronised because they weren't good at numbers or record keeping.
This was the beginning of my ethos of accounting - hearing time and time again that I made tax fun, that people didn't feel judged when I was doing their accounting, and that I seemed to be able to translate tax into language for anyone to understand.
I started to get specific referrals from artists and micro-businesses that couldn't afford the fees of a larger firm, and also didn't want the hassle that came with it. The 'we come to you' program and out of office hours appointments were always a huge draw-card, and I started to attract larger businesses and family groups to the tax return side of my business as well as the bookkeeping side.
But how do I put it into words?
By this time last year I was well and truly settled into the mental idea of my ethos of accounting, and I managed to express it through this website which I launched a year ago. The imagery, the text and the service offerings are all representations about what I believe about accounting - and the response has been huge! I've had a 25% client growth this year alone, and the new clients coming on board have only served to further cement that people are responding to my beliefs about accounting.
But still - how could I more firmly describe these things? I knew exactly what I believed, but I had no idea what those beliefs were in words, nor how to show them more explicitly in my business communications.
I looked up an abundance of accounting firms - looking at their logos and reviewing their websites to see if I could draw any inspiration or information from their public image.
You know what I found out?
I don't want to look ANYTHING like an accountant.
So I had to look and think further. I outlined exactly what I believe Blue Ribbon Accounting should be:
1. Small business and individual accounting to the standard of a large accounting firm, including tax planning, business structure advice and industry specialisations.
2. Pricing – not cheap-and-nasty, but definitely the highest value. Better than average pricing, for exceptional service.
3. Not starting the clock every time I receive an e-mail - the fees cover a reasonable amount of check-ins and quick questions.
4. Becoming a true partner in the growth and progression of each business via proactive advice, and suggestions for future-proofing business structure and record-keeping set up.
And then from these service standards, I came up with the absolute, fundamental basis of my ethos of accounting:
Giving power back to business owners via knowledge and high service levels. Giving convenience back to business owners and individuals via on-site visits (at home or workplace) and off-site consulting as desired.
And there it was. I didn't want to look like an accountant because fundamentally I didn't want to be an accountant - or at least not what people picture when they hear the word 'accountant'.
I wanted to be a revolutionary.
expressing this in the most important format
My lovely graphic designer Sean Dowling Design (also a client of mine) got a brief from me for a new logo, which basically said (with a lot of extraneous detail) 'I want to look nothing like an accountant'.
To their credit, Sean and Ash absolutely NAILED it on the first try, and the results speak for themselves.
I hope you'll enjoy this new iteration of Blue Ribbon Accounting - revolutionising accounting.