Business development is not a new thing for any accounting firm and should be used for sustainability and growth in the market. Previously, accounting firms used to be counted on as a stable profession. When a client hired an accounting outsourcing firm, that partnership tended to last because changing to a different firm was expensive and time-consuming. But scenarios and the industry are both changing: almost a third of clients consider switching to a different accounting outsourcing firm if they don’t get the desired services from their current accounting partners. Good news – it’s getting easier for businesses to shop around. New technology means that moving to a new accountant isn’t as hard as it once was. This is opening up the market and improving customer choice.
Below you will find a guide that will help you understand how you can make a marketing plan for your accounting firm, retain clients, and also includes trends that can open new opportunities
Create a Marketing Plan
Marketing for accounting firms begins with understanding. You can’t market your services to potential clients unless you know their needs and requirements. Needs and requirements can be assimilated through consultative selling.
Staying relevant is very important when you want to expand the reach of your accounting firm. A structured and detailed marketing plan must be in hand before executing this step which in return will help you be more focused, as well as garner the attention at the right moment within the right time frame. With it, your business plan should gel to make business development more successful than before.
Although the marketing plan seems complicated, with a proper guide you can easily take the first step for your accounting firm and start executing.
Your unique marketing plan must include:
SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis
Know what you’re good at, and where there’s room for improvement. Be aware of business risks and opportunities.
Jot down a list of the most suitable potential clients. Where they are from? Which state, region, or country has potential clients for your business? Start with local ones, then work outward.
Services to be Marketed – Accounts, Bookkeeping, Tax Preparation
Which of your firm’s services are the most profitable? Which ones are likely to be of interest to prospects? Which are the easiest to sell?
Realistic Goals and Time Frames
What are you aiming to achieve? How long should it take you to reach your goals? How will you measure your progress? Which software are going to use to scale your short and long term goals?
Put together a schedule of the actions you’ll take to reach your goals. Marketing new ideas to your clients in their line of business can also help build trust in you in the capacity of an accountant and in the capacity of the organization.
Build a Brand
Building a brand is another way to get recognized and remembered by your potential clients. Start with your website and then move towards social media. Communicate with your base why it is good to invest in your services rather than your competitors.
Power of Social Networks
Maintain your social media accounts with the latest updates on how your company works, team members, engagement, etc.
When selling to a client, try to do consultative selling. Consultative selling helps sell your services but will also help you to build trust. Make sure you are asking relevant questions about their pain points which will end up creating trust with your potential client.
List of Trends Every Accounting Firm Should Know
Technology is so transparent these days that every client knows some part of it and demands it to grasp the benefit of it. Now accounting doesn’t stop at the pen, paper, and calculator. It takes computers and complex softwares to ease the complexity and increase the productivity of any work. Many third-party apps like Xero, QuickBooks, etc. make a positive impact with their software in accounting firms. Digital tax is the best example of it.
Hiring the right staff is a major concern and of great importance for your business development strategy. Either a company must spend a lot of money on internal training for their existing team members in new softwares coming in the market, or they can utilize outsourced accounting services which take advantage of experts, leading to high-profit margins as well as a gain in competitive advantage.
Specialization Makes Differentiation
To establish themselves in the marketplace, firms devote years and years to make their business unique with the best client experience. Specialization in a few tasks makes a world of difference which can create an advantage over your competitors. Make sure that if you are better with the technology that you nurture it and showcase it on your website. If you have a strong bookkeeping base of employees, try to gain more clients. Make a list of your USP (unique selling point) which will help you understand why prospects should hire you instead of your competitors.
How to Level Up
With the major goal of growing as an accounting firm, you should be clear with your goals. Make a list of how you can attract new businesses, retain your current clients with your services, skill up your staff with new technology, and increase ROI. For instance, AcoBloom International helps accounting firms & CPA firms in the USA to deliver high-quality accounting work to you so you can spend more time making decisions in business development.
Retain Your Best Clients
The client is always first.
Clients are the first priority when it comes to any business. Any accounting company must prioritize their client according to their needs. Understand each client’s project needs – are looking for a help on a smaller project or a more time intensive one?
Build and foster relationships.
Getting clients is the first thing every accounting firm should want to achieve but its not the only goal. Customers are looking to test every possible service which will suit their nature of business. For retaining these clients, building relationships is one of the factors every company advisor should opt for. Make efforts to understand how you can better their business with your services.
Know their preferences.
Many accounting outsourcing firms in USA have their own models to execute the outsourced accounting & bookkeeping services inflow. But these models can’t be used as a one size fits all approach. Every client has unique preferences to serve their business. Try to understand and make note of the deep understanding of the accounting businesses and changes to its nature.
Create the best client experience.
Now there is a difference between customer service and client experience. Customer service is a delivery that you are offering for what they pay to you, however, providing great client experience is going beyond just customer service and solving their problems as consultants which they may not realize!
Positive client experience makes clients come back to you again as a repeat customer and suggest your practice/company to others which makes a positive impact on your revenue! It becomes imperative to offer personalized services to your clients. The overall idea is to provide efficacious client experience (CX) & not only great customer service.