Archive: AVN Insights

How to make money while you’re on the beach


Imagine this…a two week Caribbean cruise with your family. No internet access. No telephones. No access to your business. But you are completely relaxed, just enjoying the sights and sounds around you, and making memories with those people that you love the most. Back home you know that your business is thriving – you have an amazing team of people that will ensure that the work is done and that the business is continuing to make money, and that all of the customers are truly delighted. How fantastic would this be?

I’d never really thought about the power of systems within businesses until I read ‘The E-Myth’ by Michael Gerber, and watched his video Small Business Success. Even after working for almost 10 years for a bank, the word ‘system’ had never been mentioned, although there was lots of training around ‘how we do things at the bank’.

Michael Gerber really opened my eyes into understanding the difference between working for yourself and truly running a business that works without you, and about the type of business that I want. For many people the idea of having a business that not only works without you, but is incredibly successful without your day to day involvement would be a dream come true. And for many people that is all it will ever be – a dream!

But why is that? I know only too well. As a business owner, and self confessed control freak, I know how difficult it is ‘letting go’ and giving people the authority and responsibility to make decisions about your business. Not only that, but there is the desire in all of us to feel needed and important, and having people asking you for help, guidance and support fulfills that need.

It is entirely possible to create this business, allowing you to take time off to go on holiday and to spend with your family, and to take the time to work ON the business rather than always working IN it. Over the coming weeks and months I will be explaining how this can be done and by taking small steps how you can make the changes to your business.

To get you started, for the next few days make a list of every task that you do. Which of these do you do repeatedly and are repetitive? Which could, with the help of some guidance be passed onto someone else in your business so that you have more time to work on some of the other tasks on your ‘to do list’? I’m sure with some thought, you might be able to pass on 10% of your tasks. This could potentially free up half a day a week. What difference could that make to you?

Article Source: Jenny Lukas

Fantastic Teams #2 Kill the staff…



I’ve always hated the word ‘staff’.

It immediately infers an ‘us’ the employer/manager and ‘them’ the employed.  It puts people in their place. it’s derogatory, it dates back to a time of command and control and it’s not conducive to developing a team of people who all feel a sense of ownership to the purpose of the business.

Let me share a couple of very recent examples of the difference between staff and team.

An example of staff: Last night I joined some of my friends at the local 10 pin bowling centre, as a friend was getting a round of drinks in at the bar a group of people came in through the main entrance; presumably wishing to have a game of 10 pin bowling.  The bar-man grumbled almost furiously to my friend about it.  After all, he’d just tidied the empty bowling lanes and now someone else has the audacity to come.  Clearly this barman made no connection to people coming in and buying stuff = him getting paid!  He is a member of staff, he has his duties, one is serving drinks, another is tidying the bowling alleys for the evening. He now has to put additional effort in before the end of the evening and he’s not happy about it and he has no problem letting other customers know how unhappy he is about it too.

An example of team:  Earlier that same day – Friday, Tracy Clow an AVN Team member was in the process of organising an upcoming event that we’re running which included evening meals.  As it’s a 2 day event we use the local pub for 1 of the days and the local hotel for another.  The hotel is more expensive but it makes for a change in environment.  On this occasion the pub couldn’t accommodate us meaning that the hotel would need to for both days.  Tracy decided to nip across the road to the hotel and see the manager, she successfully negotiated him down on the price of the meals for us and the drinks then came back and shared her success with me.  Tracy has no accountabilities around this, organising these events doesn’t fall within her typical remit, had she had the ‘staff’ mentality she would simply have booked the hotel for 2 nights.  But she didn’t, Tracy treats the business like it’s her own and looks out the businesses best interests as do the rest of the team.  She also ensured in her negotiations that although the price was discounted, the customer experience of our delegates would remain outstanding.

Moving from Staff to Team isn’t just about changing a word but it’s a really good starting point.  I know that to many it seems very alien to suddenly start using the word team in place of staff but it doesn’t take long before it feels natural.

Making this change is a necessary step in the process.  It begins to change the mindset. ‘Team’ means something very different to ‘staff’ and so in order to use the word in our language, our behaviour has to, and begins to reflect its definition.

It’s always been considered a swear word within AVN and although it seems odd to a new employee, it doesn’t take long before they understand the difference.

Make the ‘staff’ word a swear word in your business and kill the culture it represents.  As this series progresses I’ll continue to share different concepts that help develop a true team culture.

If you need to catch up and start from the beginning of my series you can do that by going to my blog site at

If you’ve found this useful please let me know by clicking like.  if you know others in business that would find this useful please do share it now.

Article Source: Shane Lukas

Fantastic Teams #1 – Get your team to step up

Shane Lukas, AVN
AVN Practice Growth Experts

What do I mean by stepping up? Let’s look at a scenario and forgive me, it’s a negative scenario but it’s a common one…

A scenario

Lets say a customer has reported a problem; they have a complaint.

An employee of yours takes the call, makes a note of the problem and tells the customer they’ll get you to call them back to deal with it.  Sound familiar?

That employee then comes to see you and explains the problem, you might well have been deep in concentration working on something really important, but this customer complaint has to take priority so you give it your attention.

As you listen to the problem, you feel the onus is on you to come up with the solution and because your employee has told the customer you’ll call them back, the problem has become yours to deal with.

Your employee leaves and resumes their daily routine whilst yet another problem has landed on your shoulders.  You’re now fighting yet another metaphorical fire.  But you’re the boss, the oracle of knowledge in your business and you have all the answers.  Right?

Is that really the case? Could that employee have dealt with it? If only they’d taken the time to think through the solution and dealt with the problem in a way that you’d feel happy about?  So why don’t they?

The problem

Well, largely the problem is that many people have been ‘trained’ to not think for themselves; many employers are control freaks and/or power hungry.

In both cases they feel that unless they make the decisions things will go wrong.  This quells the energy and enthusiasm of people almost the moment they get their first job and the mindset sticks – they’re paid to do as they’re told, not to think!  They’ll take the problem to their boss, keep their heads down and do what’s expected of them and little more.

This is sad because the spark of human ingenuity is suppressed, the whole is not greater than the sum of it’s parts and too much relies on you.  Let’s change this.

A better way

I’m privileged to work with amazing people who deal with problems that come in quickly, effectively and in many cases, ingeniously.  It’s not just about dealing with problems of course, they bring and implement great ideas to prevent problems happening in the first place. They bring and implement great ideas for making the business better.  And I get to focus on the important stuff that I need to that also makes my business stronger rather than be continually interrupted and reacting to day to day operational stuff that crops up.

I have a team of people that feel empowered to express themselves in the business and because of this they feel valued and have a deep sense of worth.  And rightly so.

I didn’t recruit this team from the ‘Super heroes recruitment centre’  These are ordinary people who do extraordinary stuff and you can develop your team in the same way.

Stepping up in visual context

steps of initiative
The steps to take your employees through to reignite their initiative that in turn will help you grow your business

Let me put stepping up in to visual context. This diagram of ‘steps’ illustrates the stages where people can be at in using their own initiative. Many people reside on the lower or next rung up.  Either they’re ‘Go for’s’ – They’ll simply wait to be told what to do; “Go for this”, “go do that”.  Or they get on with their day to day stuff but anything  outside of that remit, they’ll bring the problem to you.  We call this ‘Ask’ because they’re not thinking for themselves.

The next rung up is entitled ‘Recommend’ this is the equivalent of ‘Bring me a solution, not a problem’.  This is the first target rung.  I set an expectation that I’m not expecting the perfect solution to be presented every time.  Just take a few moments to think about what would be the best course of action to remedy the problem or to make a situation better and then bring that to me.  I explain this ladder and set expectation that ‘Recommend’ is the minimum level I expect of everyone who works at AVN when I recruit people.

It’s also the maximum level until I believe they’re ready.  I explain later.

This is about breaking habits.  For many, it’s a habit to come and ask rather than think first.  Also fear of bringing a recommendation that’s not right can prohibit people.  It’s your job to encourage and remind; every time someone brings a problem to you, ask the question:  “What do you recommend?”.  If their immediate response is “I don’t know!” then have patience, ask the question, “If you did know, what would it be?”.  Reassure them that there’s no such thing as a bad recommendation. Be patient and wait.

Whatever response they give, work with them on it.

First of all, provide positive encouragement, it’s great they’ve put forward a recommendation.

If you feel that the recommendation isn’t quite right, question yourself first, why isn’t it.  What would the outcome be of that recommendation, is it simply that the method is different to what you might do or might it have negative connotations?  If it’s simply a different method but the outcome gets the right result then as long as it fits with your values and how you want your business to be perceived then let them run with it.  If it doesn’t fit with your values then explain why and keep it positive and work with them to develop the recommendation so that it fits.

If you foresee negative connotations then give them the scenario…”I wonder what would happen if…”

Work with your employee to come up with the right recommendation, not by telling them; but by asking thought provoking questions that help them come to a better solution themselves.

This takes patience, there’s no magic wand solution to building a great team overnight but the rewards and benefits of taking the extra time now to develop your team now are worth it.

The more your team bring recommendations forward and you work with them to shape the recommendations to fit with the way you want your business to be perceived the more the recommendations will be presented in that way.

Be the support

Of course, in every situation, don’t take the solution and run with it yourself, your employee has developed the solution so let them run with it.  Give them the assurance that you’ll support them and that you trust them to run with it. If things go wrong, support them and encourage them, don’t take it off of them.

Time to trust

The next rung up is ‘Do it and report immediately’.  Sooner or later, members of your team will be bringing recommendations that – most of the time – fit.  It’s time to now to take that trust to the next level.  This is a one to one conversation as each member of your team reaches this stage.

Tell them that their judgement and recommendations are spot on.  Let them know that you feel they’re ready to go to the next level now.

Encourage them to trust their own judgement because you do and to deal with situations themselves.  Ask them to come and see you afterwards to let you know what happened and what they did about it.

This is important.

You have to allow for mistakes to happen.  No one is perfect and what might seem like a good idea can go wrong.  If something does go wrong, you must not chastise.  Doing so will put that employee right back to the bottom rung.  Be there for support but don’t take the problem back.

Encourage the employee to take the responsibility to resolve the situation and support them every step of the way. This will make them stronger.

At this stage in the ladder you may have to remind people who come to you with the recommendation that you trust their judgement to get on and do it.

Provide genuine praise

Always provide the praise, it’s too easy to simply begin to take for granted that members of your team are dealing with these situations and forget to appreciate them.  Everyone likes/wants and needs to feel appreciated and a “thank you!”, a “well done!”, a “you’re doing a great job!” expressed genuinely, goes a long way.

Time to reduce your interruptions 

At the appropriate time, encourage your team members to move to the next step ‘Do it and report routinely’ and simply report on a weekly or monthly basis in a team meeting.  This way, you get uninterrupted time to focus on the stuff you need to focus on that’s improving your business.

Don’t let fear stop you

I’ve shared this concept with many business owners and sometimes they’ve expressed their concern that if they develop their team members too much they’ll probably end up leaving and starting their own business in competition rather than continuing as an employee.

That may of course happen, but in my experience it’s incredibly rare.  Most people leave a business because they feel undervalued.  Starting a business is not a walk in the park and is a very daunting notion.  Creating an environment where people can express their creativity, can make decisions and feel supported and appreciated will improve loyalty and a feeling of ownership and commitment to the success of the business.

Action to take.

Talk to each member of your team about the initiative ladder.  Explain to them the impact it has on you every time a problem is brought your way.  Explain that you want to help them to develop themselves and how doing so will free up your time in the long run to make the business stronger which will benefit everyone.

Get in to the habit of asking for a recommendation rather than listening to the problem.

If you’ve found this useful, let me know by clicking like, if you feel others would benefit, share it.

Article Source: Shane Lukas

Why blowing your Trumpet is a must…


Many people do not take the credit or shout about what a great service, experience or what difference they may have made to a person’s life.

We are all guilty of this and we really need to accept the recognition of this and ‘Blow our own trumpet’ and be proud of our many achievements; this can be metaphorically speaking, or in the case of one of my clients who has a visual, literal anchor from which he can now blow his own trumpet!

My client wrote, ‘Tracy went one step beyond just encouraging and believing in me: she sent me an actual trumpet! To say it made me smile is an understatement. Within our recent call, one action that came up was basically about confidence within ourselves and this can be defined as ‘Blowing [our] own trumpet’. I’ve now placed it on the top of my cabinet, so whenever I am looking at seizing opportunities. I will now use this as a prompt to ensure that I remember to take credit and recognition for my hard work. We all go on a journey when we are in business, but my biggest journey has been the building of confidence within myself, so I will carry on ‘Blowing my trumpet!’

I hope you, like my client can take the time to blow your own trumpet! Take the time to reflect and recognise your achievements… you too can seize every opportunity!

Take the time to reflect and recognise your achievements… you too can seize every opportunity!

Please let me know if you too have blown your trumpet after reading my post!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog



Article Source: Tracy Clow

When is the best time to plant a tree?


What to consider when taking the plunge to grow an online presence…

It is often very scary when you are faced with a blank page and you have to fill it. It can be terrifying to try to find the right words to express your thoughts and experiences to fill up that white space.

As a new blogger, I am feeling the very same panic right now. What do I say? What if nobody is interested? Do I have anything of value to offer the world?  It is enough to make you want to switch off your devices and head for the hills!

Anyone who knows me would be surprised to hear that I am lost for words – I am often described as a chatterbox, in fact most people will attest that it is getting me to shut up that is the trick!  But in all seriousness, I often hear from the people that I speak to on a daily basis that I am not alone in struggling to find my voice.

In today’s social climate, it seems to be more and more important to be seen to be connecting online, and as a business professional I am sure you will have been told that you need to have an ‘online presence’. The truth of the matter is that it can be a struggle to find the time and the energy to commit to ‘putting yourself out there’ in the virtual world to build a reputation as a thought leader. Even more tricky is making yourself heard above the chatter. Technological advances mean that it is ever easier to connect and share your thoughts and experiences, but with everyone doing the same thing it is hard to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

So where do you start?

The old adage The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now applies when deciding to try your hand at building an online profile. There is no time like the present so be brave, commit some time and take the plunge. It can be scary but there are a few things to take into account to give yourself the best chance to succeed:

Know your limits – don’t try to set up or contribute to too many social profiles or blogs. It is better to pick one platform to focus your energy on getting right than spreading yourself too thin.

Set yourself some goals – what do you want to achieve? How much time do you want to commit to focus on doing it?

Set a timeline – give yourself a timeframe to work in, and at the end of the timeframe review your progress in relation to the goals you set yourself. Is there anything that is working well, or anything you can stop doing?

Plan your postings – Whether you are creating your own blogs, contributing to online groups or sharing and commenting on existing content over social media, it is important to properly plan what you post and when for maximum impact and manageability.

Know your audience – who do you want to engage with? What is relevant to them? What challenges do they face? How can you help?

Stick to what you know – demonstrate your strengths, knowledge and expertise by sharing, creating and commenting on subjects that you are good at. Remember that you ultimately want to generate connections and conversations around the content you share, so make sure that you are comfortable with the subject.

Write about what you are passionate about, what inspires you. It follows that your enthusiasm for your subject will shine through in your writing and make it more engaging for readers. Who knows, you may even inspire someone else!

Quality, not quantity is best. Remember – the goal is to connect and start a conversation, not to spam the marketplace with irrelevant content that nobody will want to read, let alone share.

Make sure that what you share is valuable – you want to be associated with knowledge and wisdom. Remember your audience and what you can do to help them with their challenges and interests. They will appreciate and engage more often with content that ‘speaks to them’.

Resist the urge to ‘sell’ – there is nothing that is more of a turn off than a pushy salesman. Remember when entering into conversations with potential connections, that the goal is to highlight how you can help them, not to over face them with an aggressive sales pitch. If what you can offer is appealing, people will come to you.

And most important of all…

Be yourself – don’t try to be something you are not when building an online presence. For one it is exhausting, and secondly, people will often see that you are not what you profess to be. If you want to grow your connections and followers it is important that you show them the ‘real you’ so that they can begin to get to know you, to like you and ultimately to trust you. Because when you earn someone’s trust, they will be delighted to work with you, to share your content and to recommend you to their friends.

So that is my first blog post, and it wasn’t as scary as I thought! Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments so please feel free to post below.


Ellen Woodbine – Practice Growth Expert, AVN




Article Source: Ellen Woodbine

The hidden jewel of recruitment that you could be missing


Looking back to the 1980’s when I was growing up there were set roles within a family. Once children were born the mums took a back seat in their career and took on the new role as housewife/full time care giver to the children while the dads continued with their career journey.

My parents generation (born in the late 50’s) were the first to start breaking this tradition, my mum started to work nights to bring in a second income while still being there in the day for the children. She was a very skilled nurse who before children got to a senior ward position being responsible for the care of entire wards. She was lucky that that skill set and career allowed her to work post children.

My mums generation was a turning point for working mums but there are still hurdles in our way now 30 years later!

My scenario

Childcare costs for 2 children – At its peak I was paying £500 a month for nursery and £100 a month for after school club. Then there are holiday clubs to pay for during xmas, Easter, summer and 2 half term weeks (that there is a untapped gold mine in itself for businesses that could provide school holiday childcare).

For others 

Part Time positions – these are very rare especially if you want to work in a specific industry. I have degree educated friends with 18 years working experience who since having children are struggling to get back to work in a part time position suited to their working knowledge.

Flexible working hours – some firms are stuck in this 9-5 regime. Stuck in an office clocking in clocking out!

A different approach

So how can employers reduce or even remove these hurdles so they can gain access to this pool of workers with years of experience, talent, ideas, knowledge and more?

Firstly look at the hours you offer –  Could the role you want to fill start that little bit later (say 9:30) so school/ nursery problems do not get in the way of employment.

Could the role finish earlier for school pick up times (say 2:30/3:00) is there a reason you need someone there 9-5?

If the right person could get the work done in less hours would you consider them?

Could the role be job shared between 2 people from this pool of talent rather then having to completely train someone new to the world of work?

How much time could be saved by getting someone who can hit the ground running with flexible hours vs someone who can work any hours, but will need guidance for months taking up your time to work on your business?

Helping with childcare costs would also be a huge pull for this pool of talent. Do you offer childcare vouchers as part of your pay scheme?  Could you offer an onsite nursery? (ok that is quite far fetched but if it could mean you had the best talent in your industry at your fingertips is it something you could consider).

As a part time working mum to 2 little boys I feel very grateful I get to work in a job I love where I can demonstrate everything i can bring to a company. My 18 years of work experience is not going to waste by being replaced by a fresh out of uni graduate who can work all hours needed but having to have help all the way through as they learn.

This is not a rant against hiring the fresh out of uni graduates (why, I was one many years ago!) But it is just to say in this century where we can plug in to work anywhere and at any time I think its worth being flexible and forward thinking, allowing yourself access to the pool of talent that lies on the other side of maternity leave.

Thank you for reading (and hopefully changing the way you hire)

Laura Newby


Article Source: Laura Newby

Times are changing!


For centuries accountants have been seen as the trusted advisor and held in high regard. A source of incredibly valuable financial information and insight. Essential to helping businesses make sound financial decisions so they can plan ahead.

But now the rate of change in the world is far too rapid for a set of year end accounts to serve any meaningful purpose other than for the requirements of HMRC or Companies House. Business owners now view the cost of production of their year end accounts as a quasi tax, not something of benefit to their business, but a legal requirement to produce. They are therefore questioning value and looking for the cheapest solution, this in turn is putting the fees accountants can charge for compliance under pressure.

Businesses are now operating in an environment where they need to adapt to change and serve their customers instantly. Questions can be answered in an instant with Google, you can make a purchase with a fingerprint and everything is happening in real time. As such this is how Business Owners need their financial information and their accountant to support them.

For accountants who focus on compliance fees alone you are now at a crossroads. Stick with compliance services and struggle with the increased competition from other accountants, and technology devaluing what you deliver or step into the role business owners are looking for and willing to pay for.

Accountants have an incredibly important part to play as they step into the business advisory role. Embrace change not only within how you produce a set of accounts, but proactively work with your clients so they can embrace these changes as well. Where you can make such a difference to a business that clients are more than willing to pay your fees.

Help clients to navigate through the vast array of overwhelming information. Allow them to focus on the real indicators that will make a difference to their businesses. Complement this by giving recommendations and strategies that will help to improve these numbers.

This change in focus will not only allow accountants to maintain their profitability, but allow it to grow and the status of a “trusted advisor” will become a necessity for every business who wants to be a success.

But is this a role that comes easily to accountants?

Our research suggests that this is not an easy role to just move into. It is one that accountants have not traditionally been trained for. As such you require the systems and solutions that make it easy and give you the answers before you are put in awkward situations.

If you want to grasp this opportunity and make your future a bright one join Shane Lukas MD of AVN, Author and Speaker and Martin Bissett Founder of the Upward Spiral Partnership and International Adviser to the Accountancy Profession as they explore the challenges that lay ahead for 2017 and beyond. Giving practical tips on how you can transform into a truly outstanding advisory practice and develop this into a steady pipeline of business.

If your an Accountant in Practice register for their FREE webinar “A Changing Profession: Maximise Your Success” by the 28th February at 10:30a.m by clicking the following link


Article Source: James Miller

Why did I choose to pay more?



I have had many discussions as a Practice Growth Expert about how your first impression when you are quoting really makes a difference and could allow you to increase your prices. Until last week I have never experienced this as a customer… that was until i needed a new/replacement garden fence.

The lovely UK weather of the last few years had destroyed our fence to the point where we ended up with a shared back garden with our neighbours. This meant the dreaded search for someone to fix the situation. We had a recommendation from a friend of a friend and by looking on social media I found what looked liked two more reputable firms.

Next came my 3 quoting experiences –

Firm A – Friend of a friend

A letter was posted through my door with a quote from them viewing my garden from my next door neighbours. It had a few sentences on (some with question marks) for the job and the quote was £840

Firm B – Found on social media

I called and left a message. I was called back within 10 minutes and we picked a date that suited us both for someone to come see the job required. They arrived on time that day with a folder and the man who was quoting had a branded uniform and van.

They listened to me as I showed him the job and took some notes. He then asked me a number of questions that I had not thought of including; did i want the vegetation near the boundary removing; did i want them to remove the old fence; did i want to save the existing concrete posts?

They then showed me some examples on his phone of previous jobs he had done to help me choose the panels I wanted as well as the Facebook page of testimonials he had.

I chose the panels I wanted and he said to save me time for only £4 a panel he could get them treated in my choice of colour (with 12 panels I was happy to pay the £48).

He then asked me for an email address and said he would email me a quote within the next 2 hours.

I received an email an hour later with a quote broken down in to all the aspects of the jobs for £1140

Firm C – Found on

I called and left a message. I was called back the following day and we arranged a date that suited us both. On the day they arrived 15 minutes late. They measured up for the job and said they could save the current concrete posts. They asked what type of panels I wanted (I said same as i have now as I didn’t know what was available) he said he would call me later with a quote.

He called later and left a voicemail message asking me to call back. I did and whoever answered didn’t say a company name so I was unsure I had reached the correct person. He said it was the business I was looking for and said it would cost £950.

My other half said let’s save money and go for the cheapest option. However, the phrase “cheap is never great and great is never cheap” sprung to mind.

Looking at the service I received from each of the businesses I was truly blown away by firm B and happy to pay £300 more.

Why did I choose to pay more?

Each of these businesses were offering me the same service a new 12m fence. I was not enquiring “just incase” I literally had no fence left so I was a definite client.

I thought I would wait to see if any of these businesses would chase up these quotes to see if I was going to take them up or if I had any further questions.

Surprisingly within a week none of them had contacted me but with my mind made up I called and booked Firm B. Again he gave me a number of options on dates and said he will email me the week before to confirm.

I have a clear idea of exactly what I am paying for, what extras I have chosen (and how they benefit me) and I have confidence in the company providing me the service.

So yes it is costing me £300 more then the cheapest quote but as a customer I am confident in my purchase.

As a business how you quote could be the difference between a sale and losing a potential client, the difference of a cheap quote and a quote that provides the client with value and how your business is viewed by other potential clients through recommendations of satisfied customers!

It’s made me (quite a thrifty person) spend £300 extra.

What could it do for your business?

Laura Newby




Article Source: Laura Newby

Fantastic Teams, and how to create them


Team AVN 

What does a great team look like in business?  

Well, I’m sure many will have differing opinions about that.  In my opinion it’s a group of people who are 100% committed to the cause of the business, who selflessly act in the best interests of the business even if at the expense of their own working conditions and who collaborate to get the best results.

I’m privileged to say that I work with such a team of people at AVN.  

The benefits of working with such a team…

  • No internal politics
  • ‘Management’ is unnecessary 
  • Stuff gets done
  • The business grows
  • The environment is productive
  • Customers are wowed

What a great team acts like…

  • Every individual is innovative and takes ownership of ideas to make them happen.
  • The won’t hesitate to argue and put up a fight for something they believe in.
  • They give good honest candid feedback to the business owner – no holds barred.
  • We’re all in it together – no us and them attitude.
  • Everyone acts like they own the business and own it’s mission.

The problems…

Problem 1.  Reversing the damage that previous employers have done to people when they employ.  Most employers suppress the initiative of their employees because a) often they like to feel that they’re the ones with all the power and want to feel that people are only doing what the employer tells them to do or b) they’re control freaks and simply can’t let go.

Problem 2.  Recruiting for skills rather than attitude.  Skills can be taught and developed, attitude is based upon values, beliefs and a ‘buy in’ to the companies mission.  For someone on a mission, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Problem 3.  Incorrectly persevering with the people who just aren’t right for the business.  It’s wasted effort and it means neglecting the right people in your business who then feel unappreciated and move on, leaving you with the… crap!

How that culture is developed..

I don’t believe you need to be a natural born leader of people to develop a great team culture of people who are behind you every step of the way.  A great team culture is developed by following systems that work.  Systems that help you recruit the right people, systems that help you bring out the best in people, systems that create time for you to spend with each and every individual within your team to understand them and fully appreciate them as individuals and their strengths.

What those systems are…

Over the period of the coming weeks I’m going to post a blog here about everything we do here at AVN that develop and maintain a great team culture.  Each blog will be short and succinct and give you something that you can go and implement immediately in your practice.  Remember though, these are systems I’ll be sharing and that means stuff that should be implemented regularly and form part of the norm in the business, not simply something to try once when the moon is a deep shade of blue.

Do this now…

Go out and buy a pack of thank you cards, enough for every single member of your team and write something unique about each of them to them.  Write about why you value them, what specifically they bring to the business and how much you value them.  You will likely find that for some people, this is an easy exercise, the words just flow.  For others it’s really difficult to think what to put.  I would suggest that either these people aren’t right for your business or you haven’t taken the time to understand them.  Give those thank you cards out.  It doesn’t have to be for a special occasion.

Get these bloggs…

This blog was intended to set the scene for my upcoming series of postings on exactly what to do to develop a fantastic team culture.  To ensure that you don’t miss any of them click the follow button and you’ll be informed every time I release a new posting.

Also, please don’t be shy, if you have any thoughts about this and any future blog posting please do comment below.  I’d love to get your thoughts and discuss with you whether you agree or disagree and if you’re experiencing specific challenges then I’ll be happy to give suggestions.


Article Source: Shane Lukas

9 years 4 months 6 days…


The 1st October 2007 I started my journey working with Owner Managed Accountancy firms helping them to become the most successful and enjoyable to run in the world.

Starting out slow it was a case of answering reactive queries slowly building my relationships and gaining that ‘know, like and trust’ factor.

Over the years I have worked with hundreds of firms helping with subjects including pricing, marketing, systemising, cross-selling and growing.

I moved to proactively calling firms, becoming a monthly touch point to ask questions and brainstorm ideas with.

I then began my role as a presenter, running live training events to members at our head offices and running training webinars online on a number of topics that were being discussed on the one to one phone calls.

Now I would like to start to record these ideas in this blog. Bringing these ideas on a new easily accessible platform which i hope is productive and helpful to all that read it!

Thank you for taking the time.



Article Source: Laura Newby



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