- About Us
- Contact Us
By Liza Robbins.
Once a month, if you walk into the WeWork LaFayette offices in Paris, you’ll see a familiar sight.
You’ll be greeted by a banner featuring Kreston’s logo, as well as the logo of Exco Nexiom, one of our French firms.
And behind a glass wall, you’ll notice Djamila Bendellali, partner at Exco Nexiom, as well as one or two other directors.
They’re there to offer their free advice to local entrepreneurs working in the building – people setting up their own companies, owners of small firms with just a few employees… plus a few budding businesspeople whose rapidly-growing empires are turning over significant sums.
Many accounting firms would ignore the people in the first two categories, because they do not currently have much money to spend on our services.
Djamila has a different approach:
“Today’s entrepreneurs are tomorrow’s CEOs of a good company – so don’t look down on them!”
At our recent conference in India, she told delegates how she built trust and long-term relationships with these entrepreneurs. Her session was so valuable that I caught up with her afterwards, so I could share some of her insights with you too.
Djamila, who is in charge of start-ups at Exco Nexiom, told me that starting to build up relationships with entrepreneurs when they are very early in their journey is a strategy that has paid off.
“Many of our clients used our services or had contact with us when they were solopreneurs, and then came back to us when they had built up a much larger company,” she said.
By talking to them before any other accountancy firm takes them seriously, you bring them into your network very early – essentially bypassing the competition.
Her strategy to capture their attention – and eventually, their business – is to deliver “value in advance”.
So, each month, Exco directors offer a 2-hour “financial clinic”, where they give entrepreneurs completely free advice on taxes, payroll, how to set up a company – literally anything within their accounting expertise.
“They usually have very precise questions,” she says. “We try to understand what they’re trying to build and show them the best way to do it. They like the fact we understand that they are looking for growth.”
Locating these sessions at WeWork – the same shared office space where Kreston Intl is headquartered in London – was a strategic choice.
“When WeWork opened in France, we knew that their offices would be full of entrepreneurs and saw the opportunity to meet them there,” Djamila told me. “You have to go where the entrepreneurs are.”
No one is turned away from getting free consultancy – although often, at the end of the session, the Exco representatives tell the entrepreneurs honestly that they can’t help them… At least not yet.
No matter – because they have delivered value, they have created a bond.
In addition to meeting people 1-to-1, the sessions create a wider visibility for Exco, as they are advertised on WeWork’s app and in the building during the day.
They also hold regular “lunch and learn” sessions in the building, where they present on financial topics which will be of interest to entrepreneurs.
“We always hold these events where we’ll be seen, so people know we’re there. We have our pictures displayed prominently in the entrance, as well as Kreston and Exco’s names.
“That alone prompts conversations – people asking who we are and how we can help them.
“The challenge is to make accountancy interesting! We try to show how we deliver value rather than focusing on anything too technical, and that makes people want to work with us.”
Running these sessions is a small investment on their part, and just a tiny part of their overall marketing strategy – but there some larger lessons we can all learn from this approach.
First, building up a good sales pipeline is not something that happens overnight.
To develop a steady stream of clients, you have to think long-term – because the marketing and sales work you do today may take months, if not years, to pay off.
As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago….
…And so if you want to grow in 2020, 2022, 2025, 2030, you need to get your marketing in gear right now.
Second, we have to open our minds to seeing opportunities where others do not.
Djamila is looking at these small business owners – many of them solopreneurs – and seeing their potential 2, 5, even 10 years down the line, while many other firms ignore them.
That strategy may take a while to pay off – but when it does, it will give Exco a competitive advantage.
Lastly, there is the value of the “soft sell”. The sessions Exco provides do not promote their services very directly and aggressively. But that does not mean that they are not selling!
Showing people how you can help them – by providing “value in advance” – is a powerful sales method, because they get a taste of what you can do whilst building the relationship.
By Liza Robbins. Two Kreston firms… At opposite ends of the European continent… Both looking to uncover * why *
By Liza Robbins. If you walk into Exco Poland this week, you’ll find a colourful scene. The firm has literally
By Liza Robbins. “People used to be focused on doing their job. But now they see things differently. They’re here
By Liza Robbins. What makes Apple products so compelling and so popular? After all, they’re just computers, phones and smartwatches…
By Liza Robbins. It’s that time of the year when people are thinking about the passage of time… Looking back
By Liza Robbins. We’re coming towards the end of the year… So just before we move on to new topics
By Liza Robbins. Do you know the 2nd quickest way for your firm to grow? I know, I know. It
By Liza Robbins. Once a month, if you walk into the WeWork LaFayette offices in Paris, you’ll see a familiar
By Liza Robbins. Rich Howard had a client doing business in 5 countries. Because he had visited several of the
By Liza Robbins. “This programme was one of the reasons I sold my firm to you.” “I was able to
By Liza Robbins. When something isn’t running smoothly in your business, you might look in different directions for a solution.
On May 19, 2019, the Swiss Corporate Tax Reform was approved in a popular vote. Most of the new measures
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. As you know, part of our long-term vision is for all Kreston firms to bear
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Let me ask you… When was the last time you went to a networking event,
The UK has recently released the first full year’s figures for the Diverted Profit Tax (DPT) – the so-called ‘Google
December 2018 saw changes in many tax regulations, to be initiated that month or in January 2019. These included:
The UK has previously set out a number of scenarios which might possibly reduce friction in terms of the customs
Why you should offer cybersecurity services to your clients (and an easy way to start) Cyber security, and the
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Kreston members – Did you catch my announcement earlier this week? Drumroll please… The Kreston
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. How many times have you felt the pain of rejection from a potential client? You
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. If you’re thinking of doing more business internationally, this probably isn’t the first region you
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. How much of your business is taken by the Big 4? Losing out on business
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. “We all want to grow to the level of the Big 4, but it’s difficult
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Benjamin Franklin supposedly once said: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” But
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Last week I received an email from the chair of a large Kreston firm, telling
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. “I was very attached emotionally to my firm, and it was difficult to let go.”
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. ‘I should have started sooner’… We’ve all felt that regret. When you assess risk for
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Last week I left you with a question . When all your competitors claim that
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. “We provide high-quality accounting and taxation services.” “Our mission is to provide top-quality financial advice.”
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Recently, a Kreston firm in Asia was looking to help a business they work with
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. What’s the connection between muesli…. taxi cabs…. And Kreston? In theory, nothing! But in 2014,
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about what accountancy firms have to do
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. For the past three years, the average annual growth rate of Kreston GCG in the
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Petra Uylen’s client had a problem. They needed a tax advisor, an accountant and a
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Since I became CEO last year, I have been visiting Kreston firms across the world.
Kreston member Duncan & Toplis is now an accredited centre for the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) and will
Irish accountancy firm BFCD recently moved from its existing accountancy association to join Kreston International. We spoke to partners Margaret
Kreston Iberaudit has updated its Spanish regional fiscal guides for 2019. You can access all the guides here: Fiscal Guide
By Elena Bargados Varela, Tax Manager at Kreston Iberaudit S.L. Due to the recent surge in the number of software
From 1 April most VAT registered businesses with turnover above £85,000 will have to file VAT returns through new Making
Author: Sarjit Singh, Executive Chairman at Kreston member firm, Ardent Associates LLP. The future of work is not just about learning a
By Andrew Griggs, Kreston Board Director and Senior Partner of UK member firm Kreston Reeves. In February, the Institute of
“The China One Belt, One Road is going to be the new W.T.O – like it or not.” These are
“A crushing, horrible, unfair disaster”. That’s how President Trump described inheritance tax; he aims to abolish it by 2025. Other
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been garnering a lot of media attention of late. And for good reason – its potential
Earlier this month, the Senate voted in Donald Trump’s controversial $1.4 trillion tax reform bill by the narrow margin of
To say that there’s been a backlash against globalisation in recent years would be an understatement. From demonstrations in France
“May you live in interesting times” goes the Chinese expression. In fact, it’s actually more of a subtle barb to
Earlier this month, the Slovenian Prime Minister, Miro Cerar, stated that he “want[s] to position Slovenia as the most recognised
In the UK, they’re known as Generation Y, in Germany Generation Maybe, and China has labelled them as the generation
Rodney Sutton, head of manufacturing at Kreston Reeves, recently shared his thoughts on the UK manufacturing industry following the referendum
The adoption of international accounting standards has brought many benefits to the private and public sectors. This being said, there
Remote working is becoming a way of life for many professionals and the ability to work in a variety of
A common global language for business affairs, IFRS Standards are required by more than 120 jurisdictions in the world. Recently,
Automated technologies and artificial intelligence in our society will challenge many professions in the future. Some of them may be
Crowdfunding is still relatively new but should still be considered as a viable source of equity. Nowadays, it is providing
A legal amendment to the Finance Bill recently accepted by the UK government may pave the way for big changes
In the business world, there are bumps on the road and financial setbacks. In this situation, it is easy to
Day by day, technology is becoming an essential part of our lives, as the way we manage our financial life,
A new generation is coming to challenge the market. The Millennials make up a quarter of the US population and
Managing change is one of the biggest challenges for businesses as it requires a huge effort from managers and organisations
Sustainability reports are released by companies and organisations of all types, sizes, and sectors, from all over the world. A
Accounting is an indispensable tool for entrepreneurs to manage their business. The data provided by competent
Thinking about the risks involved in business has become an essential part of an enterprise’s strategy. Risk management enables organisations
When a business does not achieve its expected results, it may be time to think about implementing change. In these
The Financial Times recently reported the dispute in the courts between the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s and MasterCard. The Competition
For many, the accounting profession may not seem the most attractive in the world. But with technology and innovation at our hands, this is about to change.
By following these five steps, communication has everything it needs to flow better, regardless of where your business is located and where the people you
The need to go global is something that has emerged over the past decade and promises to challenge business for the next coming years.
Recently a considerable change in the SME market was announced through business news on the internet. The Big Four have
There are five topics that we must remember when dealing with working personal relationships in international business…
Slowly, one of the last socialist countries in the world is preparing to make changes to its economy, but how will this be done?
Developing countries attract the attention of investors by offering good opportunities and new markets, making them attractive for anyone thinking of expanding their
Through a mobile app, a small business can promote its brand, products, and services, expand its sales channels, interact with the target audience and get
Last month, experts at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles looked at certain megatrends and predicted several economic scenarios for 2040 to
Your browser (Internet Explorer) is out of date.
It is no longer supported by Microsoft and therefore may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser here