Every accounting firm needs to make time to grow their business. Increasing your client base is an important way to create a sustainable, long-term business that will be able to withstand bumps in the road and still prosper. Here are five tips for busy accountants looking to grow their practice.
1. Invest in long-term marketing
Marketing isn’t a one-off investment. To keep new clients coming through your doors, you need to continue to focus and invest in long-term marketing campaigns. Step one is to create a detailed marketing plan that outlines your marketing goals and clearly sets out the strategies you’ll use to achieve them. In the digital age, your website will likely play a lead role, so ensure a search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy is included in this. It will help ensure your website ranks high when your potential customers search for accounting services online.
2. Create a business referral network
Teaming up with complementary businesses in your local area can connect you with a rich pool of new clients for a very a low investment. Make contact with other professional services businesses such as lawyers, financial advisors, and IT providers nearby to create a professional referral network. But be sure to do your due diligence first – recommending under-performing providers to your clients may affect their trust in you.
3. Build your personal profile
You’ve probably heard the term ‘thought leader’. These are people who have built a strong personal profile in their industry through blogging, media appearances, and speaking events. Start by creating a killer LinkedIn profile, then attend networking events, share your expertise in a series of blog articles, and send out media releases that promote you as an expert interviewee.
4. Upsell your existing clients
Growing your practice isn’t just about attracting new customers. You could already be sitting on a mountain of unrealised revenue potential that will drive the growth of your firm. Audit your existing clients to find opportunities to upsell additional services. For example, a client that initially came to you as a modest startup might now have grown into a thriving small business and may require additional accounting services.
5. Optimise your work processes
With new clients rolling in, you might need to increase your capacity to keep your customer service standards high. Rather than automatically hiring new staff, assess your current work processes and identify where any workflow bottlenecks are limiting productivity. Best-practice accounting software such as QuickBooks Online can be useful for automating repetitive tasks – which will help you expand your client base without dropping your profit margin on unnecessary new hires.