Finding a niche market for your accounting firm can help you focus your workload, create a thriving practice, and potentially command higher fees. Concentrating your efforts on a niche market lets you get to know that segment well so you can offer the best possible services and set yourself apart as an expert.
Assessing the Market
Researching your local market before you choose a niche market helps you decide which direction to take. If you want to focus on accounting services for small business owners, make sure you have access to plenty of potential small business clients. If you want to focus on providing specific accounting services, such as cash flow management, you might spend time talking to your clients to make sure the need exists. If you don’t have a certain niche in mind, consider asking your clients what type of services they want or need. This can help you narrow down the niche options or come up with something you haven’t thought of on your own.
Assessing your local market isn’t a one-time task. You can regularly take stock of the potential client pool in the geographical and professional marketplace where your operate your accounting firm. Think outside the box. In a major city, your accounting firm may be able to turn a nice profit with a focus on providing accounting services for creative or performing artists or various types of freelancers.
It’s also a good idea to think about your own preferences and expertise. Consider the types of accounting tasks you enjoy most. Maybe you love preparing taxes or helping clients slash their tax liabilities. Perhaps you’re more of a payroll person. Your previous work and life experiences may inspire a niche. If you have experience in the food industry, you might focus on restaurant owners. Or maybe your hobby is tinkering with web design, so you decide to focus on the web design industry. If you already have familiarity with a specific area, it may be a natural fit to specialize in it.
Accounting Niche Examples
Not sure how to specialize your accounting services? Focusing on one of several types of niches can help you. One option is to specialize in businesses within a particular industry. You might primarily work with physicians, freelance writers, technology companies, or real estate agents. By honing in on one industry, you can immerse yourself in the intricacies of running a business in that niche. The more you know about the industry, the more you can customize your recommendations to help your clients excel.
Another option is to narrow your business to a specific type of accounting service. Examples include business payroll, tax preparation, and auditing. It’s a good idea to consider how confident you are in your knowledge of the service. Consider whether or not you might enjoy only working on that specific type of accounting task before you cut other services.
If you want to help people or businesses in certain situations, you can turn that into a niche. Some accountants focus on estate and trust accounting or wealth management, for example. Maybe you want to focus on accounting for mergers and acquisitions. Or you can specialize in small businesses that want to grow.
Some accountants transition into consulting and advising roles. If you take that route, you can continue to specialize in your niche area. For example, if you focus mainly on payroll services, you might decide to advise companies on how to set up and manage payroll.
Establishing Yourself in the Niche
Once you settle on a promising niche market, it’s time to let current and prospective clients know about it. Consider creating a separate or updated accounting business website and marketing materials specifically tailored to clients who fall within your specialization. It’s a good idea to include proof of your expertise. For example, on your website, you might highlight your experience in the area. Going to industry conferences specific to accounting and your niche market can help you network with potential clients. You can also use the events to help build your credibility as an expert service provider for your chosen niche market.
Incorporating the latest technology at your firm frees up time you can use to grow your client base. Providing clients with automated tools makes their lives simpler and cuts down on the time you spend doing things for them. For instance, you might consider putting a client portal on your firm’s website that allows clients to access their personal and business financial information directly. A high-tech business operation also helps present the image of your firm as expert and superior to your competitors.
Managing Your Firm in the Niche
By concentrating on a specific market, such as wealth management or agribusiness, you face the risk of neglecting other niches and the broader market as a whole. Even if you decide to focus on one niche, you may choose to continue offering more general accounting services, at least until you build a solid client base in your niche. If you have several accountants working at your firm, consider letting each person focus on different niche markets. Spreading the focus and scope of the services your firm offers helps you reach a wider client base and manage risk to your firm’s bottom line.
Your firm can thrive by focusing on a niche that’s most profitable to you and beneficial to clients in the marketplace where you operate. Successfully and efficiently meeting specific client needs is the key to prosperity for any accounting firm. Having the best tools in place can help. Collaborate with clients, stay on track, and grow your firm with QuickBooks Online Accountant. Sign up for free.