As an accounting firm, it’s easy to forget that sales and marketing are an essential part of doing business. Nowadays, most accounting firms are dealing with clients in difficult financial positions, over-leveraged staffing pyramids and attempting to find new leads and convert new prospects. Here are some thoughts on keeping an eye on the bigger picture while still helping your customers.
Turn All that Marketing Into Sales
You’ve spent all that money marketing your business and getting the word out about your services, now it’s time to produce new results. Don’t forget that the main purpose of marketing is to funnel prospects into the sales process. If your marketing campaign is not generating any leads, it’s time to reevaluate the whole process. As an accounting firm you can appreciate the goal of any business is to generate profits, don’t let a failed marketing campaign prevent you from expanding your client base. The goal of any business is to generate profits.
Use Technology to Gain the Upperhand
Is your business using the latest technology and software in accounting? By using top-notch technology you can lighten the burden on your workers by allowing technology to do some of the work for them. It will also make your customers happy because their projects will be done quicker and more efficiently. It’s a win-win for everybody.
If you have an opportunity to attract new business, make operations run more smoothly or operate more financially efficiently, seize the opportunity. There is no such thing as standing still in business: either you are moving up or you’re spiraling downwards. Furthermore, if you, personally, have an opportunity to show some leadership, do not let this opportunity pass you by. Don’t wait for someone to bestow this leadership on you.
Revise Your Client Acceptance Procedures
Look back at the clients you accepted over the past year. How many of them have been “problem” clients? By “problem” clients we mean that they required a lot of resources from you and, in the end, their project(s) were not very profitable. If you had a lot of these “problem” clients, consider making your client acceptance guidelines more stringent. This will not only save you precious financial resources, but also a lot of time for you and your employees.
Make a List of Best Practices
Not all your employees may have years of experience. This is why you should create a document with accounting best practices. Think of it as a prophylactic measure. Don’t wait until something goes wrong. Try to prevent problems before they even begin. As a bonus incentive, firms with a best practice manual are 19 times more like to show superior revenue growth.
Dust Off the Strategic Plan
Great! You have a strategic plan. Are measuring your progress according to this strategic plan? Or did you create it and it’s gathering cobwebs on a shelf somewhere? Every business, regardless of industry, needs a vision and a plan. Otherwise you will keep going in circles like a ship without a captain. If you took the time and invested resources into this plan, then follow through with it. According to the latest statistics, only 28% of CPA firms have meetings to check on their progress in respect to their strategic plan and they are 15 times more likely to be successful.
It Only Takes One Bad Experience to Push Away a Client
You made a great first impression on a client. Great! Now you have to keep up the good work. Remember, it only takes one slip up for the client to say “Their service going downhill.” The best way to safeguard against this is to go above and beyond for the client. So treat every client as if they are coming to you for the first time and you must “Wow” them with your service. It’s amazing what this will do to your client retention rate.
Start a Blog
People have a lot of questions about money management. You have the necessary expertise to give them tips regarding how best to spend and save their hard earned cash. You will establish yourself as an authority in the field and it will also help you build an organic audience which, in turn, will translate into more revenue.
Expand Your Writing Operations
Since you are a specialist in the field of accounting, you can write articles for your clients which in turn could be posted on their websites. These articles can be about business in general, business plans or developing financial statements. Better yet, you can try publishing articles in newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, etc. Some publications even pay $1 per word.
Tap Into E-commerce
People are turning to the internet to buy and sell things. The services you offer are no exception. Set up an e-commerce store and try selling your products and/or services that way. You will have more of market to tap into and it will be more convenient for you and the customers. Try integrating into an e-commerce solution and sell your services online, and use online meeting programs to meet with your clients virtually, allowing you to quickly and easily scale your potential customer base