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Iceberg Principle

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Business Model Mindset

Have you ever heard of the Iceberg Principle?

It’s a fantastic illustration of what our clients see vs. all the stuff that we do.

Even more important….there’s a way to use this Principle that helps us with Pricing our services.

As the Iceberg Principle shows us, most clients have NO idea how much work goes into preparing their taxes or financial statements.

Nor do they CARE!

….so why not price those services in the way that they do CARE?


  1. BUrt Brassard on October 16, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks Erik for another good video!

    Have a nice weekend.

    • Erik Solbakken CPA on October 16, 2020 at 2:58 pm

      Right on Burt. You as well.

  2. Wayne Lock on April 1, 2022 at 9:31 pm

    Hi Eric
    Agree with you however l am wondering whether clients appreciate everything that goes into creating the value or everything that happens below the waterline?
    Should we make that visible to them to ensure they have an appreciation of it??

    • Erik Solbakken CPA on April 28, 2022 at 12:19 pm

      Hi Wayne,

      Great question – and my apologies for the tardy response!

      No, I’ve found that showing them how much work and effort goes into the process has both of us focussing on the wrong side of the equation. I want them foscussed on the result, not the effort.

      The effort is the expense and resource side we have to deploy to deliver the service. Clients only care about what they’ll receive as a result of the service – not what it takes.

      I’ve also found that showing them the underwater side has a slight begging component to the conversation….”please value my services because it takes a lot of hard work for me”. It also slides us back into the billable hour mindset which I’ve found unbearably oppressive.

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