There’s no question that the accounting industry is changing pretty rapidly in today’s business climate. As these changes unfold, some accounting firms are thriving and others are dropping by the wayside. If you want to ensure that your accounting firm continues to grow in the midst of change, you need to come up with a strategy for scaling.
5 Tips to Help You Grow
While it’s never easy to grow a business in a competitive industry, there’s a pretty clear formula for scaling an accounting firm in today’s landscape. Keep the following advice in mind and you won’t have any trouble with growth.
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1. Provide a Stellar Client Experience
With so many different accounting firms to choose from, clients have the luxury of being picky. In order to increase your chances of landing big accounts, place a bigger emphasis on providing a stellar client experience.
“An essential part of good client experience is providing your clients with peace of mind. And knowing that their financial data is safe and sound contributes substantially to that peace,” says Isobel Moulder of The Receipt Bank, a leader in bookkeeping automation. “In 2018, investing in trusted security software can and will be a key differentiator for your firm, so you should begin researching your options. Mimecast and Symantec are good places to start.”
It’s also important to provide one-on-one attention. In a world where other businesses are prioritizing personalization, connecting with clients goes a long way towards making them feel special.
2. Price Services up Front
It’s always smart to price services up front. Not only does this take some of the guesswork out for clients, but it helps you understand if you’re meeting your own internal goals.
“Price based on outcomes and value, and manage costs by targeting an average hourly rate,” consultant Shannon Vincent suggests. “One of the first things you need to be doing is looking at your average hourly charge rate by client. Why is it that you can get $70 an hour on some jobs and $300 an hour on others?”
3. Never Stop Recruiting
Most businesses view recruiting as something they do when a position becomes open in the firm. However, you should be recruiting on a perpetual basis. That’s because you never know when someone is going to switch firms or take a leave of absence. It’s also possible that your firm will scale and you’ll need to hire new people to satisfy this growth. Therefore, if you wait to recruit people, you’ll end up with a very limited supply of candidates.
4. Start Specializing Your Services
Is your accounting firm trying to do a little bit of everything? If you’re offering tax prep, auditing, bookkeeping, advisory services, and every other service under the sun, you’re doing too much. Not only are you spreading your resources thin, but you’re also watering down your value. Clients would much rather know you specialize in one or two services than get average results with everything.
5. Launch a Social Media Strategy
Are you using social media to market your firm? If not, now’s a great time to launch a strategy and connect with people in a personal way. Specifically, you should be using it to disseminate relevant, timely content.
As marketing expert Becca Fieler points out, “Social media users show a distinct preference for hyper-relevant, in-the-moment content over regurgitated updates or retrospective posts. In addition, most social media newsfeed algorithms now prioritize posts based on a degree of perceived relevance, rather than based on the time of publication.”
Say Goodbye to the Status Quo
It’s time to stop limping along and pretending that your business is doing fine. If you aren’t evolving with the industry, your accounting firm is going to find it difficult to remain competitive in the coming years. Do yourself a favor and say goodbye to the status quo. There’s a bright future ahead for those willing to reach out and seize it.