"The client's actually accepted a monthly fee of £750 per month and that's been ongoing for a year now and it's all virtual."
This is one of the many wins that Aaron has got after joining Reza's mastermind programme.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I'm Aaron Mcleish, I'm the Sole Director and Owner of Together We Count, a virtual accountancy practice in England. I've been with Reza for about six months now.
What was life like before joining the Mastermind group?
Just the typical problems which every (or) most sole traders probably have in the accountancy industry. Undercharging, not having real strategy or vision on where you wanna take the business. Taking on any (old) clients, yeah, just having no real vision really.
Where did you first hear about Reza?
I heard about, well I've known Reza through his training videos, which he does and I know he's been on Value Pricing, but he takes it to another level - he brings his value pricing into this decade if you like.
So he brings it into real time and I think Reza's been on Mark Wickersham's program as well, which I've been on as well, so his teaching's were the stuff which Reza knows and teaches and it comes from the same path which I've been on and am on.
So that's what mainly attracted me to Reza and his teachings because he's been there, he's done it, he knows about value pricing and he's in there in the here and now, he's running his practice. He practices what he's preaches.
Yeah, so all the advice which he gives us, it's not a case of he's read it. It's a case of, he probably has read it, but he's also done it and he's implemented it and he's got the resources to share with us so we can go away and implement the resources straight away.
What were your feelings about the mastermind before you joined?
My feelings were quite open. I'm quite open to leanings and teachings and hearing other people's opinions, 'cause I feel like everyone, you can speak to loads of different people and they'll give you advice, but you need to go to the person who'll give you advice which is relevant to you in the here and now and I feel that Reza, because he's in practice now and he practices what he preaches, is an ideal mentor. So my feelings were positive, all positive and raring to go.
What are some of the benefits you have seen after joining the programme?
There's been a lot of benefits! So one thing which Reza teaches is a Virtual Finance office role and he produces a brochure and the one page brochure to accompany that to offer virtual finance office services where we cover everything for a client and I implemented that and adapted it to a certain client. The client's actually accepted a monthly fee of £750 per month and that's been ongoing for a year now and it's all virtual.
I'm up North and the client's South. So it's literally Zoom calls, telephone calls and emails and that was all off the back end of Reza's teachings and Reza's resources which he shares. So loads of successes!
Since being on the program with Reza, Reza's a big advocate of having a niche, so being a specialist in a certain area that I've always had an interest in. I've worked in the plumbing and heating industry as an accountant, so just hearing it from Reza and also hearing it a few times and implementing it, I am now an accountant who specializes in the plumbing and heating industry.
I have niched my practice and because of that I can charge higher prices for the plumbing and heating businesses because they don't just get general advice, they get specific industry advice. A lot of this has been encouraged by Reza just to say how important it is to have a niche. So Reza's encouragement has made me proper niche my practice even more.
How long did it take you to see the benefits of being part of the programme?
I saw the benefits from the Mastermind straight away! So I get a one to one with Reza where literally we sit down for 45 minutes and I can pick his brains about anything which is bugging me in my practice or I need some help with and having a face to face meeting, Reza has ideas and questions me to then bring out my own answers, which to me is beneficial straight away. It's not a case of, oh I'll email Reza and I'll wait for a week for a response. It's a case of no, if I've got questions I can ask him there and then during our one to ones and we can get to a solution of a problem.
Even today, we've had our one to one session and I've potentially worked out a tax saving strategy for a client to save them £17,000. So I've discussed with Reza how to present that to the client, how to offer the client options and what sort of fee I should be charging for that tax saving advice. Usually, before the program or before I knew about value pricing, it would have just been a fixed hourly fee. So I would have charged the client maybe £400 for saving them £17,000, but now I'm seeing my business and the way I price in a different light and that £400 is not enough because we need to think about the benefit which we're bringing to the client and so, straight away it (Mastermind programme) pays for itself - Yeah, Reza's (programme) pays for itself!
So like I said, I'll probably save the client £17,000 in tax and having sought advice from Reza I'm gonna present the client with four different options. Option one, don't do anything, pay the extra £17,000 in tax, then there'll be options of bronze, silver and gold at 5%, 10%, 15% retrospectively.
But the main point for the 15% fee is that we'll have a fee guarantee, so if what we execute isn't accepted by HMRC then we won't charge the client anything. So it's more of a nudge to the higher end. So hopefully the client will move from a 10% fee to a 15% fee just from presenting this additional service and little things like that, I'd never have thought of, but yeah, it's very refreshing to get some hands on advice.
How does this mastermind compare to the others?
So I've trialed a few other accounting networks, mentors, one on one's, some of them only lasted a couple of months because I couldn't get on with them, but Reza, I've been with him for over six months now and it is a lot better because I get the one to one, you get the Mastermind, you also gets lots of resources which are shared, you can also log onto his website where he's got loads of resources and training videos.
So you can learn as you want and at your own pace. Reza knows I'll never turn up to his online sessions because I just watch the recordings, but I do watch the recordings, I do go over his resources and his slides and I implement it. So, I can learn at my own pace, or I can implement something as it crops up, so just like I mentioned about the virtual finance office, luckily that meeting was a couple of months before I presented it to a client.
So it's a case of, you can learn all these different topics or areas, which arms you for down the line for when something might come up and you know you can just go back to your old resources and, oh, I've learnt a little bit about that. I can implement this pricing strategy or I've now got an advert to hire new staff or I've learned some marketing techniques or referral techniques. There's so much knowledge which is shared which is relevant for the here and now.
What would you say to someone thinking of joining?
If you're thinking about joining the Mastermind program, just do it. Literally just do it! The return on investment is a lot. For me, it's probably about 200% or something like that and it's only ever gonna increase. It's only gonna keep on increasing. So even though it is a cost, but it's a cost if you don't do it. And the main cost is not taking action. You don't take action then nothing's gonna change, so just do it!