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Pick and Choose Your Battles

Pick and Choose Your Battles


by Hugh Duffy

Pick and Choose Your Battles

With social media, online review websites and endless news outlets, it is wise to be highly selective before you battle. As an owner of a public accounting firm, you are always on stage and periodically need to zip it.

Donald TrumpJust this week, the infamous Donald Trump was stumping for his Presidential campaign and managed to "get fired". That's right, NBC has chosen to fire Donald from the long standing show called "The Apprentice" and will replace him. To boot, NBC also dumped both of the beauty pageants that Donald owns, Miss USA and Miss Universe. Also, Univision announced as well that it would no longer air the beauty pageants in Spanish because of Donald's controversial statements towards Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.

Learning first hand from Donald's mistakes and the implications may save you tons of agony and grief at some point in your career and/or accounting practice.

Choose Your Battles

Choosing your battles is about being selective of the problems you take on, be it in the work place, with clients, at a membership club, or at a town meeting. When you choose your battles, you should:

1.) Evaluate the problem you are facing. Can it be fixed?

2.) Assess if the payoff of addressing the problem (or expressing your POV) outweighs the downside risk.

3.) Evaluate if the problem is going to recur and become bigger if left alone.

4.) If you ignore the problem, will it cause significant damage to your life?

5.) Can you live without addressing the problem?

For example, suppose you have an unruly client in your practice who will never be satisfied with the work product and makes several people in your firm miserable. If the problem can't be fixed after remedial solutions are attempted, then it's time to find this person a new home in a calm, cool manner. Simply, help to transition this client to another firm with absolutely no retribution and explain that this relationship is not working out for either party. Quite frankly, it is not worth losing a solid staff member over a crappy client. And continuing to service an unhappy client runs the risk of them telling friends about your practice and/or posting something online in Yelp, Google or another online review tool. Online reviews stay up for years and there is virtually nothing you can do to get it removed.

Learn from Donald Trump's mistake. Pick your battles wisely.

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Hugh Duffy, BYF CEO and Co-Founder

Hugh is the consummate marketing coach for accountants and takes pride in the impact that it has on their practice, and lives. Hugh has more than thirty years of marketing experience. Since 2003, he has been teaching accountants on how to improve their marketing and make more money from their accounting practice.