It can be hard to ‘let go’ of your client portfolio, especially since you have built your accounting firm up from nothing to what it is today. Your clients may feel like your prized possession or a stamp of achievement; a symbol of all the sweat and tears that got you here. While it is difficult, it is also necessary to pass the baton over to a team member to allow your firm to grow. To help you hand over your precious client portfolio to a trusted team member, here is our simple 3 step process.
Step 1 – Be sure it’s the right time
Which clients are taking up most of your time and preventing you from moving forward with other areas of the firm’s development? Are you surrounded by a talented and trusted team? Do you have someone in mind who is the ideal person for you to hand your clients to? If you don’t, would it benefit you to hire someone for the role?
You need to ask yourself and have the answers to these questions to ensure that it’s the right time to pass the baton to a team member. Holding on too tightly to your clients can hurt the firm in the long term but handing them over too soon and losing key clients can also cause major problems. Find out what is taking up the most of your time, look at your team and decide who may be able to take on key clients and delegate resources and authority accordingly.
Step 2 – Invest to grow
Handing over your client portfolio is a process; it’s not as easy as handing them over and then immediately having the time to work on business development. To delegate successfully, you will need to take the time to educate the person or team who will be taking over the clients, give them the proper training, outline and document key processes, and then regularly receive updates on results and provide ongoing support.
While this will undoubtedly take up your time, every investment you make is to take your firm to the next level. In the long run, your team will be managing your clients while you spend valuable time focusing on high-value tasks that will develop and grow the firm.
Step 3 – Take a step back to move forward
You’re sure it’s the right time and you’re willing to invest time and money into handing over your client portfolio, now all you need to do is to stop being your own bottleneck. Often, accounting firm owners become the bottlenecks in their business which effectively slows down business growth. In order to scale more quickly, you need to let go.
Once you delegate smartly, you will then have the freedom to morph your role at every milestone your firm reaches. As an accounting firm owner, your job is to continue to ask the important questions and focus on what’s most valuable so that you can respond to new problems and priorities as your firm grows.
Let go and grow
Being your own bottleneck can hurt your accounting firm from scaling. To let go and finally hand over your clients, take these three steps to make the transition less painful and watch your firm grow.