Are you looking to expand or grow your accounting firm? Chances are your answer is yes. After all, business growth is key to future success – something you no doubt advise your current clients on a regular basis. However, finding new clients isn’t easy and can become a major pain point. To overcome this, here are five strategies your practice can implement that won’t just bring you new clients, but will deliver the right kind of clients.
1. Use digital
When people are looking for accountancy services today, a Google search is guaranteed. Make sure your website is optimised so it appears on the first page for more clicks and enquiries. Also, try running some targeted paid ads with optimised landing pages. In addition, up your social media game. Make sure you’re regularly posting useful and entertaining posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and again, run some targeted social ads. Also, make an effort to join and participate in local business groups and forums.
2. Form alliances
Accountancy is definitely a networking game – it leads to referrals. And a great way to get high-quality referrals is to network, partner, or co-host events with businesses that aren’t competing with you, but with whom you have some cross-over. Reach out to lawyers, insurance companies, banks, insolvency firms, and even recruitment or technology firms. Basically, anyone with clients that would have a good probability of using your services. Assure them the benefit can work both ways. You could even team up with bookkeepers – you push work to them while they send work to you.
3. Become the experts
If people know you know your stuff, the more likely they’ll be to pick up the phone to give you a call. However, reputations need to be built, so put the effort in and start promoting your expertise. Raise your profile by speaking at local events and conferences, and by running regular breakfasts, talks, or seminars with locals and other businesses. You could also write articles for community publications or newspapers. Other tactics include creating and sharing high-quality content – such as blogs, ebooks, videos, and podcasts on accounting-related topics. Also, add yourself as an expert on Quora and start answering questions.
4. Instigate referrals
As well as encouraging mutual referrals through partnerships, there are plenty of other strategies you can adopt to get people talking positively about you and your services. You don’t need to wait for them to happen naturally. Most obviously, ask your existing clients if they’d be happy to recommend you – many will, they just need some prompting. Speak to them face-to-face, but also add a link to your email signature that directs them to your social media or other review pages. To be even more effective, zone in on some key clients and make them your advocates. Sweeten them up with days out, and regular calls and visits, and referrals will come.
5. Acquire or merge
Thinking bigger – mergers or acquisitions – can be an extremely effective way to grow your client base in one fell swoop. You can approach this in two main ways. First is the direct approach. Maybe you know someone who is looking to move on or is close to retirement? The other way is by contacting specialist brokers. They can give you a list of accounting firms up for sale. To assist you with the former, make sure you dedicate time to maintaining relationships with owners of other accounting firms. If there does come a time when they’re looking to sell, you’ll get the heads up and will be top of the buyer list.