Finding a niche market for your accounting firm to focus on can help you create a thriving practice and potentially command higher fees. Concentrating your efforts on a niche market may offer you a competitive advantage over firms that lack a focus on any particular accounting specialties.
The Importance of Assessing the Market
Research your local market before you decide on a niche market to pursue. If, for example, you’re thinking of focusing on accounting services for small business owners, make sure there are plenty of potential small business clients around. If you’re considering a focus on providing certain specific accounting services, such as cash flow management, then spend time talking to your clients to learn what types of specialty accounting services they might be interested in receiving. This alerts you to specialties your firm can focus on and also helps you build stronger relationships with current clients.
Keep in mind that assessing your local market isn’t a one-time deal. You can regularly take stock of the potential client pool in the geographical and professional marketplace where your business is operating. 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.
Utilize Targeted Marketing
Once you settle on a promising niche market, consider creating a separate website and separate marketing materials specifically tailored to clients who fall within your specialization. Going to conferences specific to accounting and your niche market is a good way to learn how to more effectively reach potential clients. Attending appropriate conferences can help you grow your client base and build your credibility as an expert service provider for your chosen niche market.
Technology Is Your Friend
Incorporating the latest technology at your firm is a good way to free up time that can be more efficiently used growing your client base. Incorporating automated tools clients can use 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 to present the image of your firm as expert and superior to your competitors.
Be Smart About Managing Your Risk
Remember that 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. It may be wise to avoid putting all of your apples in one cart. If you have a number of accountants working at your firm, consider letting several of them, or groups of them, 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.
Depending on the size of your firm and the length of time you’ve been in business, you may be able to start with one niche market and then use that market to find subniche markets that open the door to growing your client base.
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.