Any successful accounting firm has a growth strategy in place. You can’t afford not to. But, have you ever wondered if your accounting firm growth strategy is working? It’s always a good time to take your business expansion strategy back to the drawing board. We’ve put together a list of our top six tips for business growth to help your accounting business out.
6 Tips for accounting business growth
A good business strategy has three key components:
- Enrich current clients
- Find new clients
- Expand revenue streams
We’ve designed our six tips for accounting firm growth with these key components in mind.
1. Know what your clients want and need
The world of business is constantly changing. That’s just as true for your clients as for your accounting business. Make sure you know what your clients need. There’s a chance that their needs are changing and you don’t even know it yet.
Here are some questions to ask your clients:
- Do you have plans to expand or scale back your business? Depending on your client’s goals, you can provide financial reports to help with their decision-making process and offer suggestions for the best way forward.
- What does success look like for the next five years? You want your clients’ businesses to do well, and you want them to know that. When they succeed, you do, too.
- What’s your biggest challenge right now? Part of your job is to help your clients overcome business challenges. And depending on the problem, you already have resources or services to help out.
- Are there any regulatory challenges you’re worried about? City, state, and the Federal Government often create new regulations that catch some businesses off guard. This is the perfect opportunity to help your clients navigate new challenges.
Whatever you do, listen closely to what your clients are saying. You aren’t here just to learn what keeps them up at night, but to offer solutions. If you need to hire new experts to help out (more on this later), don’t wait. Act on this knowledge as soon as you can.
2. Expand your services
Your accounting firm growth should always include new revenue streams. Talk to existing clients to learn about new opportunities. You may also want to conduct market research to see what clients are looking for in an accounting firm. You may find holes in your services that you can quickly fill with new hires.
Here are three ways to expand the services your accounting firm provides:
- Hire experts to meet client needs
- Expand into new markets
- Invest in ongoing education
1. Hire experts to meet client needs
You should always be willing to hire well-trained experts to help your accounting business grow. And, when you know precisely what your clients need, you can hire someone with the appropriate skills to meet that need.
Not only will this show your clients that you are listening to them and value their business, but it can help add billable hours to your books. If you don’t have the budget to bring someone on full-time, think about using a freelancer or contractor to help.
2. Expand into new markets
If you’ve realized opportunities for growth, you may decide to expand your services into a new market. One common market for accountants to expand into is payroll. By offering payroll services, you can boost profits, stay competitive, and meet your clients’ needs.
If you’re interested in expanding into the payroll services market, do your research on how to get started.
3. Invest in ongoing education
Don’t forget about yourself. Make sure that you have a growth mindset when it comes to your education. Don’t forget about seminars, conventions, and tax and accounting professional development. You may even consider adding on new certifications, like becoming a certified management accountant.
Make sure to keep your existing and potential clients in mind. Ongoing education should always benefit your business and enrich or expand your services.
3. Evolve with new technology
Three words: Adopt new technology. Accounting and payroll systems have come a long way over the years. Something new always promises to streamline processes and save money and time for your accounting business. Promises aren’t everything, though.
Make sure you take your time when choosing the right accounting software. Look for accounting software or services that meet your client’s needs and allow you the flexibility to grow in the future. Likewise, look for payroll software that’s user-friendly and accurate so you and your clients can use it with ease.
4. Network authentically
Sustaining excellent and lasting relationships is key to any accounting firm growth strategy. Not only does networking sustain and expand your business, it can also open new avenues for growth. Be authentic when reaching out to prospective clients and potential business partners.
Authenticity and expertise can help nurture long-lasting connections.
5. Create strategic partnerships
Sometimes, hiring new employees or continuing education can’t meet clients’ needs. If that’s the case, think about strategic partnerships.
Some potential partners to help your accounting business grow include:
- Estate tax attorney
- Business consultants
- Human resource specialists
- Software providers
When looking for potential partners, think about services that can complement your business. If you offer payroll services and find that manually doing your clients’ payroll is too time-consuming, think about working with a payroll software provider.
6. Fine-tune your marketing
If potential clients don’t know your accounting business exists, there’s no way for them to become clients in the future. While networking is critical to building long-lasting relationships, it isn’t a substitute for an excellent marketing campaign.
Marketing for accountants can include strategies like:
- Paid advertising
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
Think about your accounting business before going all in on a marketing campaign. Ask questions like:
- What’s the best use of my budget?
- Is this the best way to find the clients I want?
- What’s the best way to attract clients in my region?
- How can I expand my business to offer virtual bookkeeping?
Want to take your accounting firm to the next level? Patriot’s Partner Program offers discounted pricing, free co-branding, and free payroll and accounting software if you have six or more active clients. Make Patriot part of your accounting firm’s growth strategy. Try a free trial today!This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.