About once a quarter, I hire Tony to completely detail my SUV. He always comments on how dirty it is. Today will be no different as he drives up to pick it up. I know it is muddy as I have been over at camp and had it off on a trail looking to fish our oxbow lake.
"Good morning, Tony!"
"Whew, you got it really muddy this time. Why do you get this nice truck so muddy? I would never take a truck like this off the road."
"Tony, that’s why I bought the four-wheel drive. I want a vehicle that can serve me well on the highway but also work for me when I am hunting and fishing. I know I will get a scratch or even stuck at some point. You wouldn't believe some of the spots I have put my boat in so we could get to a certain fishing spot. My fishing partner, Bruce, talks me into lots of challenging launches so I need the power and traction to keep us rolling."
As Tony drives off in my dirty SUV, I reflect on how many people have these capabilities on their SUV but never take them off-road. As CPA and professional service firms today, we are faced with the same decisions.
Our firms are fully loaded with capabilities, knowledge, experience, technology tools, etc. The real question for us might be — are we taking our firms off-road enough to serve our clients and their ever-changing needs?
Are we missing big opportunities because we haven’t driven on that surface before? Are we scared we are going to get stuck or scratch our brand? Would we grow faster if we went off-road more often? Is there an advantage to having experience in off-road opportunities?
My final thought: What does your firm look like? Brand new and shiny or muddy and scratched? Wonder which one will be carrying clients long-term?