A few months ago, in the dead of winter, my wife Colleen said she wanted ribeye for dinner that Saturday. My mouth salivated at the thought of the char-crust-coated steaks, hot-seared on the grill and then slow-cooked to medium rare.
Then I thought about the fact that it was about 20 degrees outside and my grill was covered in five inches of snow. The desire for ribeye evaporated quickly.
Two days later, the January 2013 issue of Bon Appetit arrived. An article inside promised the secrets to "pan-roasting" pork chops, ribeyes, and other meats I thought should only be cooked on a grill.
Weighing the pros and cons of bailing on a trusted and proven methodology (as well as the potential for frostbite) we ultimately decided to see what this new method could offer. So, with a bottle of red wine in tow, we tried the technique of pan-roasting and broiling our ribeye in the oven.
Not only did I avoid the 20-degree weather, the steak was the best, juiciest, most perfectly cooked steak that Colleen and I had ever tasted.
Here's what this whole process reminded me of and how it relates to firm growth: You don't know what you're missing until you give it a shot and consider that there could be something better out there. And of course I wasn't even looking for it. It just came to me, and I accepted it -- I gave it a shot.
The discipline of growth in your firm will require trying new things, and trying new ways of doing old things. The most experienced and sophisticated marketers and growth officers try new things all the time, and they balance their risk with the potential reward. Some ideas flat-out fail to produce measurable results, while others generate seven-figure engagements. The problem is that you can't be sure what will work until you try something new.
So the next time you think you have perfected your sales technique, lead-generation program, new client on-boarding process, referral source network, cross-selling program, Web site, social media presence, internal marketing culture, staff training program, niche focuses, M&A strategy, or even your overall approach to growth, do not block out the possibility of doing things an entirely new way -- and achieving results you never thought possible.
Art Kuesel is the president of Kuesel Consulting, which helps CPA firms perfect their growth strategies and actions to drive revenue in the door. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 208-8774.
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