Mike Bark, Partner at EdgeAdvise, has created a firm with many arms and he's ready to show you how to add profit centers in multiple arenas. You'd be surprised how far you can stretch, including into marketing and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) In this episode of the Growing Your Firm Podcast, David Cristello and Mike Bark cover:
- How Mike was able to start his first accounting firm through purchasing his existing clients from his employer
- How to find (and recruit) the *right* partner to help you add profit centers that are new
- How to determine which profit center to launch, and the timeframe to expect breakeven points
- Mike's direct line: 414 - 759 - 9629
- Mike (AT) EdgeAdvise . com
- Mike's website: http://www.edgeadvise.com/
- LINKEDIN - Mike Bark
- The secret to a Million Dollar firm (interview)
How to Build an Accounting Firm Without Finding New ClientsMike Bark of EdgeAdvise, started out like many in a large accounting firm. I met him as he's a user of Jetpack. He says at this large firm he had reached the ceiling. He was a manager and the partners didn't want to bring in any new partners. On top of that, they were a pretty 'old school' firm. They used old style timesheets, got clients the old-fashioned way, and didn't want to expand much. Mike wasn't going to twiddle his thumbs, so he approached the partners and asked to purchase his client list and bring it with him to his own firm. The niche was medical, but Mike wanted to expand outside of just one niche. To start his expansion, he began working with an outside professional (Andy) who worked in M&A. They weren't competitors but they complemented each other's businesses. That's when the light bulb went off. What if they created a one-stop-shop service for small businesses including M&A, tax, wealth, even niche consulting (like hygiene business consults). For many, they worry about starting new 'partner agreements' for fear they will be locked in for life. But, Mike advises that you don't have to set anything in stone if you don't want to. It might just be a joint venture or a yearly agreement. Mike and Andy's partner agreement was essentially "we will respect and trust one another not to go into competing businesses." Now, since 2012, they have 23 people on payroll so their method has worked.
DAVID'S TIP: It pays dividends to have service people you can rely on for the long haul. They are also the best people to tap into with new employment opportunities.Because their respected businesses complemented each other, Mike was able to open up doors to Andy's clients and vice versa. They were able to reach different platforms that they couldn't by themselves. Mike realized he was referring out a lot of business to other outside contractors but was seeing little to no referrals back. That's when he realized "why am I giving away all this money?" Are you giving away a lot of money to other businesses and not seeing the dividends? It's not selfish to want to keep that business to yourself. Add profit centers to test out some of your ideas.