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Runagood Knowledge & Stories


3rd July, 2018

Everything you’ve (already) heard about making your accountancy practice more profitable

The widely quoted accountant guru messages to small / medium practices are to:

  1. Drop every client that can’t pay £500+ pm
  2. Specialise partner roles in the practice by matching (eg*DISC) personality types so that:
  • Highest S leads client service delivery - focused on fabulous service levels
  • Highest I leads marketing - focused on finding new clients able and willing to pay at least £500+ pm
  • Highest C leads practice finance / admin / HR / tech - focused on cashflow, profits, efficiency, reporting, processes & systems, skills   
  • Highest D leads the practice - focused on performance management and diversification.

     3. Which will build a high value practice that gives you a great lifestyle and wealthy exit

So, is it possible to make a profit from very small (rejected) clients, as well or is that it?

We suggest you can and that isn’t ‘it’.
Using AI, you can now take on the smallest of businesses, profitably whilst spotting and building your future winners.

No more loss-leading. 

Can you really make a profit on clients paying £50 pm?

Yes, because Runagood® AI has compressed consulting time by 90%
Consider this: There’s 5.5m small businesses out there, 3.7 million of which are self-employed, mostly working from home. A market that most accountants have abandoned because it conventionally isn't profitable. And the potential clients have colluded in that by doing their own accounting, using online technology.
They see accountants as a compliance service, not providing business advice, on which, they are spending at least £2000 per annum.

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And that money isn’t going to accountants. If it were, the average practice (out of 22,000) would have an extra £350K of revenue each year. But the cost of servicing it would be prohibitive under present structures.

Unless, of course, you could replace time-based consultancy with AI, in which case, at even £50 per month a client using the AI themselves still makes you at least 50% net profit for the practice. Not a fortune, but fertile ground for travelling upwards with and retaining the winners of, the future.

By simply monitoring client performance online for a few minutes monthly the accountant can intervene from that level to upsell the next monthly subscription at the right moment, providing further services, step-by-step and profitably.

This is the future.  

Contact us today to learn more

*Dominance/Influence/Steadiness/Compliance


18th June 2018

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3 Key Takeaways from CogX 2018

Artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency, and even a few robots (!) were just some of the focuses for this year’s CogX conference. Bringing together some of the most prominent organisations and people in the industry, the conference had some incredibly interesting insights when it came to the current state of artificial intelligence, and where its future direction is headed. Here are just some of the highlights from this year’s panels and sessions:

There is a gap in conversation when it comes to AI and accountancy

While attending the conference, one of the main things that stood out is where artificial intelligence is truly being applied, and where the gaps are. While there were tons of companies that offered AI transformation for HR, people, and recruiting operations, there were not as many niche companies as we were initially expecting.

 

AI has the potential to transform sectors such as finance, accountancy, and small businesses -- we did not see that conversation taking places. While there is a large focus on e-commerce and company operations in AI usage, there are clearly some sectors that were underrepresented in the conference.

AI is “overhyped and underappreciated”

One of the more interesting points made during the Financial Times session, “AI on the newsfloor” was that Artificial Intelligence and its applications were overhyped, but underappreciated.

Though it sounds like a paradox, the larger point was that just using artificial intelligence does not mean anything by itself. Rather, think of its applications and what sort of transformational change you are looking for. Artificial intelligence’s overhype has meant that it has become all the more accessible to businesses of all sizes, but if it is underutilized, it will not have as great of an impact as it could...and its potential for long-term and short-term impact is remarkable if companies choose to invest in that tech early on

AI has remarkable capabilities, but products featuring AI must have overall value

During an investor roundtable, one of the key points that came up when it comes to investing in AI tech is that while the technology itself is sound...its real-world applications do not quite match up.

Investors during the session bemoaned the fact that while they have seen many startups incorporate artificial intelligence into their value propositions, they still see difficulty in finding products to invest in that manage to combine the full scale of AI technology while still driving long-term value.

Runagood® AI Business Advisor is designed to meet all these needs, and provide an AI-powered solution that can help accountants and the small businesses they work with to provide qualified, impact-driven advice. To learn more, please contact us

 


13th Jun 2018

3 Key Elements for Researching and Analysing Your Market [Part 2]

In our previous post, we discussed key elements for researching and analysing your market such as surveys and how they can help you understand your market position better. In this post, we discuss some of the other ways by which you can research and analyse your market better.

Mystery shopping

Usually, mystery shopping is associated as a technique used by large retailers, but that does not mean it cannot apply to your small business. Mystery shopping is a practical way to understand your business from an outside perspective and see where improvement is needed.

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Do this for your main competitors and for your own business, ideally anonymously using someone who is not known to your company (either hired or a personal connection)

Have them conduct enquiries over the phone, internet, in-person and raise queries about product use, negotiate pricing, purchase the product and try it as well. Once they do the same with a competitor, ask them to evaluate competitor’s product(s) against yours, honestly. Use their feedback to improve your sales process, and understand the operational side of the business

Competitor collaborative research (yes, really!)

Perhaps an unconventional approach, but one that can provide tangible insights into your business. Invite them over to see your operation and to ‘discuss matters of common interest and possible collaboration’. Talk about industry trends and exchange gossip, and ask to visit them in reciprocation. You’ll probably find you don’t compete head-to-head, opening up opportunity and trust.

If these meetings go well, invite them to participate in your research. Perhaps they will have observations you had not thought of, and the information found could be useful for both of your businesses going forward.

Build a long-term Internet research project

The previous steps were short-term and immediate, but this one takes on a long-term focus to continually analyse your market. Draw up a set of words and phrases that relate to you and your industry and set these up in daily / weekly Google alerts here to self-report to you.

As the information comes in, modify the terms to more specific and add suffices such as market, dispute, cost, legal and other terms that may apply. After a week or two, you will have refined your automated search into a manageable stream of key data that you can use to draw observations about your industry. LinkedIn interest groups are another good way to find daily intelligence from relevant people in the industry.

This is only one of 200 methods extracted from Runagood® AI Business Advisor. We aim to make business advice affordable and sustainable for small businesses everywhere.


12th June 2018

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Surveys: A Key Element  for Researching and Analysing Your Market [Part 1]

When it comes to understanding your own position in the marketplace, and identifying new areas of growth, surveys are almost always a good way to start. Surveys are a key way to understand your market potential, as well as your current position. It provides an objective way for you to get to know your client base better, while simultaneously improving your business.

However, many businesses shy away from sending these out at all, but this method can provide valuable insights for your business. If it seems all too manual, consider automating the process by using tools such as SurveyMonkey or SurveyGizmo.

 

Ideally, a good survey will:

  • Range from 5-6 questions
  • Have mostly multiple choice questions
  • Have 1 open-ended question at the end
  • And should not take more than a minute to complete.

Some questions to include:

  •  How do they use your products & services?
  • Who else do / can they buy from?
  • In what ways are competitors’ products better?
  • How would they change the products & services if they were you?
  • What new products & services do they think you should introduce?
  • Do they see your market going up/down in the next 3 years?
  • What changes are happening in your market?

This should provide a comprehensive idea of what your current market position your business is in.

Aim to get a different questionnaire out every quarter. The objective here is to condition your customers into providing regular feedback about the way you meet (or not) their needs and what ideas they have to better meet them.

In our next post, we will delve into some of the other key elements needed to undertake a thorough research and analysis of your market, so stay tuned!

This is only one of 200 methods extracted from Runagood® AI Business Advisor. We aim to make business advice affordable and sustainable for small businesses everywhere. To learn more, please contact us.


12th June 2018

How To Close A Sale Fast: Some Do’s and Don’ts

Closing sales is usually one of the biggest priorities for small and medium business owners, especially in the early stages. Many seem to think of closing a sale as an art form, but usually, there is a method to it that can help boost overall closing rate.

In this post, we discuss some of the dos and don’ts when trying to convert your pitches and follow ups into contracted orders and on your terms.

DO be persistent

It might seem easy to get disheartened by negativity and lower your follow-up accordingly. Just remember, it takes up to 10 contacts to secure a new client. During the sales process, be ready to think on your feet and don’t let the fear of pushing take over the sale.

It will cloud your judgment and hamper your confidence, and that will only demotivate you further. Be persistent, and open to a dialogue throughout the sales process to keep the momentum going.

DO keep the relationship going

Even when all hope is lost, that does not necessarily mean you should cut off all contact with the potential client. Instead, work on being credible in all things to keep a level of trust going. Prepare well for your meetings, and always keep listening for more information with which to update/modify your quotation.

In the event that the sale is lost, keep in touch. Ask for feedback as to why you might have lost the sale, and use that to improve the process going forward.

DON’T make it a one-sided conversation

Just remember, the deal isn’t dead until someone else has it and is operating successfully. A lot of times, sales are lost because the salesperson did not ask enough questions, and did not take the time to learn about what the client actually needs.

Fearing an adverse answer might mean that you never directly ask for the order - do not fall into that trap. Sales is about give and take and talking too much without listening can often be a detriment. The more questions you ask the client, the more you will learn about what they need and you can modify your pitch accordingly.

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DON’T be afraid to practise

Persistence is encouraged, but it needs to be in moderation. In pushing for a sale, you do not want to make an enemy. If you are worried that you are not striking the right balance and losing sales, why not practise? Work with a pushy friend or colleague who gives you a hard time to bolster your capabilities.

Their feedback can help ensure that you are not displaying too much anxiety while selling, or giving away too much advice before you have the order and help you improve your overall sales process.

Closing sales might seem like a challenge on the onset, but it does not have to be. With practise, dedication, and persistence, you can increase your closing rate and gain the confidence you need for long-term success.

This is only one of 200 methods extracted from Runagood® AI Business Advisor. We aim to make business advice affordable and sustainable for small businesses everywhere. To learn more, please contact us.


7th Jun 2018

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The AI powered way to understand a business

The way we work, produce and live is rapidly changing mostly thanks to the current state of information technologies. We are in an age where every SME is able to harvest unprecedented amounts of information on any aspect of their business. Hence, it is no longer the problem of gathering or storing of these data but making sense out of it in a fast, efficient and cost-effective manner.

AI isn’t expensive

Certainly, advanced computing technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), available to large enterprises make the process much more potent and profitable. Yet, in most cases investing in these expensive technologies for small/medium sized businesses is not an option.

Fast decisions at low cost

Created with all these problems and opportunities in mind, Runagood ® pioneers affordable, intelligent data analysis for small business and accountants. It offers AI-powered “cloud business advice” where machines learn, analyse and streamline business decisions and implementation within minutes for fractions of the cost of conventional business advisory/consultancy services.

Small Firms Database

Runagood ® ’s AI collects and processes industry-specific, real-life data to calculate the value, forecast growth and health of any organisation by reference to its unique small firms’ database and algorithms. These originate from its founder Duncan Collins’ 22 years of government consultancy work with over one million small businesses, that raised the UK’s competitiveness from 21st to 7th place in the international league table.

Scalable even for start-ups

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Runagood ® AI is scalable for both new and established small businesses wishing to discover vulnerabilities, opportunities and unleash potential. The strength of the system is that not only does it give current state and health of the organisation but also future projections to help make informed decisions.

Intuitive, user-friendly interfaces make its powerful analysis tools accessible, provide detailed insights and effective implementation methods, empowering small businesses to do more in increasingly competitive markets.

Wholly new market for accountants

Runagood ® technology blended with accountants’ existing knowledge and expertise opens a completely new market for a previously unreachable new client base of 5.5m small businesses in the UK alone. By automating and standardising business analysis, planning, performance and value improvement actions, accountants can offer a comprehensive, high value, high volume business advisory services to their clients, however small.

Accountant diversification

Runagood ® ’s promise to offer reliable, professional and fast advice to small businesses anywhere, anytime is a critical asset especially in times of social and economic uncertainty.

Get in touch to learn how Runagood ® could enable you to become a full stack business advisor.