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Four Steps to Building an Elite Practice
by Paul Saganey, 10/31/22
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What does the success of your CPA practice have to do with Nike and Adidas? What does it have to do with Jesse Owens and Michael Jordan?

The answer: everything.

For nearly six decades, Nike and Adidas have vied for supremacy in the cut-throat world of sneakers. Before Nike, Adidas sat comfortably atop the market for over 40 years. Adidas was the footwear of choice for athletes like Owens, who wore them in the 1924 Olympics.

But in 1968, Nike’s Phil Knight came up with the idea that the state-of-the-art sneaker technology in Japan could upend the U.S. market. It would take less than two decades, an endorsement from Michael Jordan, and one of history’s greatest marketing campaigns. Nike surpassed Adidas and became the world’s most recognizable brand.

What made the difference now for Nike? Being different and rethinking sneakers as fashion instead of form. It was the brand that wanted to be different and another had grown complacent.

Do you want to be Nike and become one of the elite? That process begins by integrating wealth management into your CPA practice. Here’s four steps to being elite.

  1. Know thy client: Elite wealth management is very straightforward; it begins by understanding your client. As a CPA, you are uniquely positioned to understand their needs and goals better than anyone else. You can anticipate and be proactive.
  2. Don’t be basic: Elite wealth management optimizes the financial lives of clients, but the only way to do so is to be able to provide solutions that are state-of-the-art.
  3. Balance your savvy and your skill: When it comes to being technically proficient, advisors have the basics covered, but elite advisors can deliver any solution. Fewer than one out of 25 wealth managers are knowledgeable about what financial strategies and products could be used to mitigate or eliminate the taxes on an investment portfolio. Only about 70% of advisors admit that a 401(k) plan is the only type of qualified retirement plan they know about. Offering different solutions to your clients’ challenges helps you stand out from the crowd.
  4. Don’t fall in love with your acumen. Even when savvy advisors are familiar with cutting-edge products, they are not necessarily elite. In these situations, there is a tendency for some to “push” sophisticated solutions. Sometimes, these advisors love the shiny object so much that that they lose sight of the client.

Whether you’re a great sneaker brand or a great CPA, being elite requires you to constantly focus on your clients. Being elite is about optimizing their lives while using every solution available to make that happen. Being elite is a journey that begins with a desire to be different from the sea of sameness in the CPA market.

If you don’t choose to be different, captivating and unique, someone else will. So, it’s time to Just Do It.

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