There’s a quote from Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop, from back in 2013, which was…

“We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost.”

And it got me thinking….. maybe they didn’t do anything wrong, but they didn’t do the things which were right either. And those things were…

They didn’t anticipate and they didn’t innovate.

And as progressive, forward thinking accountancy firms, we must always be anticipating and always be innovating. Put simply, we must always be looking as far down the road ahead as we can, and be constantly making small adjustments to avoid obstacles and keep us on track towards our goals.

HOWEVER….. (capitalised and emboldened for dramatic effect)… there was one MAJOR thing they did wrong, and that was that Nokia saw themselves in the “telecoms” business.

And this same thinking is why the railway companies shut down in America when the roads came along, because they saw themselves in the “railway” business.

They had failed to see that they were in fact in the “transportation” business. Because had they thought that, they would have naturally moved over to road transportation when they came along, rather than clinging onto a ship that was sinking.

When Apple launched the iPhone, they realised they weren’t in the “telecoms” business.

They realised they were in the “communications” business.

They were in the “keeping people connected with their friends” business.

They were in the “shopping” business.

They were in the “banking” business.

They were in the “keep businesses growing” business.

They were in the “film and photography” business.

Hell, they were in the “movie” business.

Basically, they were in the “keep people connected to what’s most important to them, wherever they are” business.

As accountancy firms, we must realise we are no longer in the “accountancy” business or even in the “finance” business.

If that’s your thinking, you’re going to lose….. and you won’t know why….. because you will have done what you thought you were meant to do…. what you were trained to do.

You will have done it well, and you will still have lost, because that’s not the game we’re playing anymore.

Once you realise what business you’re REALLY in, you will move from an industry which is in its winter months, and move into the spring of something really exciting.

So this is my question….. what business are you REALLY in?

James Ashford

James Ashford

James is the Founder of GoProposal, Director of MAP., Keynote Speaker & Bestselling Author of "Selling to Serve". He helps accountants and bookkeepers around the world to price more profitably, sell more confidently and to give significantly more value to their clients.