My goal for 2018 is to find balance in everything I do and build meaningful relationships and partnerships with individuals in my community that are purpose driven. One of the ways I decided to accomplish this is by attending business conferences and networking events.
This year I attended Scaling New Heights on June 17-20 here in Atlanta, GA for the very first time with an open mind to learn new ideas to grow my practice and transform the lives of my clients.
Scaling New Heights is a business conference with different themes each year designed to help accountants, bookkeepers, and everyday business owners receive practical training and knowledge on how to transform and grow their business using technology. Here are my 5 top takeaways lessons from the conference.
1 | Be strategic in your preparations for the conference
Attending a major conference is not for the faint heart and you definitely need an organized checklist. If you are planning to attend Scaling New Heights in 2019, I highly recommend you create a checklist of everything you will be doing during conference week and things you need to implement after the conference.
I used Asana to create my checklist and track the action steps I wanted to take after each session. This helped me to remain focused and motivated throughout the conference and not feel overwhelmed with the many sessions and people.
I was also very strategic in choosing workshop sessions that had tips on how to effectively market my firm and increase business profitability. You get the best value for your money and time when you choose sessions that align with your business.
2 | Guarantee Profitability for Your Clients and Your Firm by Dawn Fotopulos
Dawn Fotopulos is a powerhouse of knowledge, a believer of using the KISS method in explaining accounting to clients. She is the author of Accounting for the Numberphobic and founder of BestSmallBizHelp.com. I walked out of her session with action plans to implement in my business and ways to make reading and explaining financial statements to my clients fun and less complicated.
My key takeaway from her session are:
- Never assume that your competitor is better than you
- Grow your business using gross profit instead of revenue or net income only
- Prioritize your high growth services and align your marketing to it
- Use the 3 T's (time, talent and treasure) to assess your services and business profitability
- Celebrate your small wins!
3 | Building Strategic and Business Partnerships Panel
This panel was hosted by Damien Greathead (VP of Receipt Bank) with guest speakers Robin Hall (President of VARC Solutions), Stephen King (President of GrowthForce) and Mariette Martinez (Mompreneur of Mariette Martinez).
Key things I learned from listening to each individual share their success stories on how they have grown their firms through strategic partnerships are:
- Use the ABC method to communicate in emails - put the action first, background info second, and the conclusion last since only about 25% of people read emails. Remember culture eats strategy for lunch - Stephen King @GrowthForce
- A business partnership should complement each other not compete with each other. Look for similar core values and principles when choosing a partner. And above all don't overstep each other's roles. - Mariette Martinez @MMartinezEA
- Strategic partnerships can be knowledge sharing, education and helping each other build workflows. - Robin Hall @VARCsolutions
4. Coaching Your Resistance Clients into Action By Donna Leyens
If you have ever struggled with getting clients to listen to what you have to say and implement your recommended strategies, then you definitely need Donna's tips. Donna Leyens is an author at Provendus Group and a Certified Professional Business Coach helping business owners understand how to accept change.
The two key takeaways I learned from listening to Donna are:
- Acknowledging and validating the other person's feelings is a powerful way of diffusing resistance and getting clients to listen to what you have to say. Don't say BUT!
- Use open-ended questions to clarify the problem and empower clients using emotional intelligence.
5 | Network with Others and Make New Friends
Scaling New Heights is also a great way to network with people and enhance your relationships with vendors. I got to meet and hug all of my online friends at the conference and even make new ones. It was great to unplug from social media and have deep conversations with different people in and outside of my niche. Check out the pictures below.
P.S. I highly recommend you add Scaling New Heights 2019 to your list of business conferences to attend next year. You will walk away with a lot of knowledge that will transform your business.