COO, Tax Firm Coach, LLC
As the COO of CPA firm Gheen & Co., Mark Tuggle helped provide a wide array of business consulting services to the firm’s business owner clients. He leverages The Value Builder System™, along with personnel management consulting to transform a traditional accounting practice into a modern, profitable business.
With his background in business consulting, Tuggle joined Gheen & Co. to add consulting skills to the CPA firm. The goal was to move beyond numbers with the clients. Gheen & Co. wanted to simplify the financial ecosystem for their clients, save them money in taxes, and grow their businesses.
Gheen & Co. was initially billing quarterly. They wanted more sustainable revenue but couldn’t justify an invoice unless they had a deliverable, such as a tax return or performed billable hourly work. They decided to shift to monthly invoicing.
To support a new pricing model, they needed to invest heavily in their third goal: to help grow their clients’ businesses. “Initially, it was going to be me,” Tuggle acknowledged as the resident consultant. “But we wanted to find something that was more scalable, more repeatable, where I didn’t have to create custom content on an ongoing basis.” This new offering would help Gheen & Co. cross-sell existing clients beyond accounting services. To be successful, they needed a software solution that provided robust diagnostic tools and marketing material to attract clients to this new consulting service.
To sell this new business-growth service, Tuggle knew he had some convincing to do. Reaching out to existing clients and pitching them on a new paid service wasn’t going to cut it. To be successful, he knew there needed to be commitment on the part of the business owner. To gain interest from their customer base, Tuggle developed a series of emails telling owners the value of each of the three diagnostic questionnaires available in The Value Builder System™. These questionnaires were designed to reveal insight into the business and trigger a conversation with Tuggle. He began with one monthly email for each of its questionnaires: the Value Builder Score, PREScore™, and Freedom Score™.
The first email covers the Value Builder Questionnaire. The answers to these 34 questions assess the business through the eyes of a potential buyer. The result is an easy-to-understand score.
In the second mailing, Value Builder’s Personal Readiness to Exit Score addresses the owner’s state of mind. The PREScore™’s 12-question assessment determines how ready the business owner is to exit their company.
The third email covers the Freedom Score™. This metric indicates how well the owner can fund the next chapter of their life outside the business.
With these three assessments in action, Tuggle’s clients are given a holistic view of their business, providing a wealth of both qualitative and quantitative data for a consulting conversation.
Tuggle also crafts follow-up emails around the 8 Key Drivers of Company Value. These foundational concepts describe how a valuable business is based on eight metrics important to acquirers.
The three questionnaires and the 8 Key Drivers of Company Value provide Tuggle with enough material for a year’s worth of emails. “With the resource library Value Builder has right now,” Tuggle says, “I could build out a calendar for two or three years.” Instead of creating custom content, he modifies the existing assets in The Value Builder System™ to offer proven value to his clients. When discussing how he can bypass content creation, Tuggle said, “I can do it in a lot less time and for a lot less cost.”
Tuggle also leverages Nurture Cycle. This automated email program has implemented a hands-off communication cadence. By simply entering contacts into Nurture Cycle, each of them receives value-add emails each week, which offer podcast episodes, workshop invitations, and articles. Together with the three diagnostic questionnaires, Tuggle has developed a reliable communication strategy that has proven to engage clients in conversations. Describing how it’s helped them double their revenue, Tuggle said, “The Value Builder System™ has proven to be the turn-key system we were looking for.”
Tuggle has also found the perfect tool to complement the firm’s existing accounting services. “Because we’re a CPA firm,” Tuggle says, “we already have the numbers.” This eases the burden on his clients during their consultation. It also allows Tuggle to focus on the Value Builder Score, a report that is autogenerated after a client completes their Value Builder Questionnaire. He plugs the numbers in during the call, so the client sees their value estimate in real time. “That gets them excited and lets them see where their business is now and where it could be,” Tuggle said.
Tuggle has also developed a reliable sales funnel. Of the clients who initially took the Value Builder Questionnaire, 86% scheduled a follow-up call to discuss it, and most of those committed to recurring consulting services.
What keeps the client interested, Tuggle says, is not accounting. “A conversation about taxes usually means money leaving their bank account. Value Builder allows them to talk about growing their bank account by growing the value of the business.” By leveraging The Value Builder System™, Tuggle is able to keep his clients engaged year-round with relevant and useful information. A crucial aspect for Tuggle is that he doesn’t have to research or develop his own assessments. The Value Builder System™ saves him time, energy, and inclination. And, Tuggle says, “Value Builder keeps adding to their library, which helps keep it fresh. I’m not worried about running out of assets, and I don’t have to create them myself. I just download them and attach them!” “The Value Builder System™ does the heavy lifting,” Tuggle continues. By providing expertise on how to grow the business, “that’s real value for our clients.” Most potential clients still reach out because they need accounting, Tuggle says. But he thinks, “They’re going to stay with us because they’re getting more than accounting.”
Gina Catalano has been helping business owners grow their companies for over 20 years. She is a prolific speaker and.
David Oyadomari is the Executive Vice President of Customer Experience and Operations at American Savings Bank Hawaii. With over 25.