Business growth is absolutely essential to ensure your company survives long-term, no matter what sector your business belongs to. So, this week, we decided to reach out to professionals in the accounting industry to find out what they recommend accountants should be doing to ensure they continue to grow.
Gary Green – Key Business Consultants
Our number one tip for growing your business is to concentrate on your current clients. Getting a regular stream of new clients can be challenging for even established businesses, but you don’t need new clients to see growth.
By ensuring your clients are receiving the best possible advice and building a strong relationship with them, you open up new opportunities to offer them additional services by cross-selling. These other services can bring in substantial revenue from your current clients, without needing to undertake a marketing/outreach campaign to attract new leads.
If clients are satisfied with the level of your service and don’t run into any issues, they are much likelier to recommend you to other prospective clients. Referrals and word-of-mouth are perhaps the most effective ways for long-term, sustainable growth for businesses – at no extra cost. They tend to be high-quality leads that convert well to long-standing clients.
Gary Green, Principal of Key Business Consultants https://www.keybusinessconsultants.co.uk/
Our second tip for growth and optimising conversions of leads is to set your business apart from the others. With so much business visibility and competition, your prospects are likely to speak to several businesses before settling on one.
Demonstrating your expertise to the client and showing you understand their needs is the best way to stand out. But you should also ensure your onboarding process is as smooth and streamlined as possible, edging out your competition. You can do this with the help of a range of automation tools and efficient customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Additionally, you should ensure you have a concise set of onboarding documents ready to be handed out or filled in by your clients. These documents should cover every aspect of your relationship, from engagement letters, know your client documents, information about yourselves, next steps, and result in speeding up the data-gathering process and allowing the client to lay out their expectations as well.
While most firms will have a similar process in place, you can further stand out with effective branding of these documents. It may sound rather simplistic, but the little details matter when it comes to building rapport and impressing a prospective client.
Our third tip for gaining new leads and seeing growth is to invest in a strong digital presence. If you don’t have a website yet, developing one should be your number one priority. A website is crucial for gaining new leads and impressing those that come across your firm.
But simply showcasing your services through your website isn’t enough.
As well as looking to create blogs with the latest industry updates to attract search engine visitors, you should consider paid advertising to drive traffic to your website. For your industry, the most effective platforms could be Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Instagram or Facebook with the platforms allowing for highly-targeted ads to increase the chances of getting a qualified lead land on your website or call you.
By getting your web presence and online branding right, potential clients are more likely to buy into you and your values: a solid basis for a long-term, lucrative relationship.
Key Business Consultants employs these processes as part of their growth strategy developed by sister company Key Business Marketing – originally established to cater to small businesses looking to get to the next stage of their marketing journey. “Digital needn’t be daunting”.
Carol Tompkins, Business Development Consultant at AccountsPortal https://www.accountsportal.com/
Carol Tompkins – AccountsPortal
My top business growth tip for firms is to embrace the latest, most effective technologies. For instance, our online accounting software, Accounts Portal, assists small businesses in improving operational efficiencies, and gleaning relevant insights that can be used to optimize their business strategies.
My top tip on generating more leads is to build an authentic brand that is memorable and easily recognizable by potential customers.
Bottom line: Embracing the latest technologies, and integrating these into operations, as well as building an authentic, memorable brand, are my top tips for promoting business growth and generating more leads, respectively.
Charles Tateson – The Tax Faculty
Business to Business relationships cannot be underestimated when looking at generating more leads and especially when converting those leads into clients. When a business that already has a positive relationship with a particular client recommends you to that client, you don’t just have a foot in the door, you’ve already been welcomed in for a chat.
I would recommend that any serious accountancy firm has such relationships with a number of businesses who are deep specialists, assisting the practice with their particular areas of expertise.
By utilising such specialists, the accountancy practice gains three distinct benefits. Firstly, they are safe in the knowledge that these specialists are appropriately qualified to assist in dealing with complex and often contentious areas of work that the accountant themselves would not be comfortable in handling alone.
Secondly, the firm can concentrate their time on what they do best – providing a first class accountancy service to their clients (as well as perhaps using this time to look for more clients?).
Finally, these are mutually beneficial relationships, where the specialists often refer clients through who require accountancy services.
Charles Tateson, Managing Partner of The Tax Faculty LLP https://thetaxfaculty.co.uk/
Gary Massey, CPA and Managing Director of Massey and Company https://masseyandcompanycpa.com/
Gary Massey – Massey and Company CPA
Adopt cloud-based accounting tools like QuickBooks Online or Xero. This saves significant accounting time every month and you will impress millennials with how tech savvy you are.
Harness the power of Google Drive, Dropbox or other storage tools so that you can work with a remote workforce. This helps you cut costs and increase efficiency on every project.
Sign up for a workflow management tool. You can’t grow a practice without this. The days of using excel to manage tasks for a growing client list are over! I personally use Monday.com and I love it!
Slack is a must to fuel business growth if you have a team of more than one or two.
To get leads, let people know you are out there and what you do. YouTube is great for that. I also like Facebook groups. And above all, ask for online reviews on Google. There is nothing more powerful than reviews in the eyes of prospective clients.
Tim Yoder – FitSmallBusiness
Networking and referrals are a crucial component of growing your business as an accountant. In order to network effectively, you need to get out of your comfort zone. The formal networking events put on by your chamber of commerce are certainly helpful, but there are plenty of informal methods that can help grow your business too. If you run, join your local running club. If you golf, join a golf league. If you volunteer, volunteer as the accountant for a nonprofit.
Don’t show up on the first day (or even first month) and try to sell your services. Show up to make new friends and have fun! People want a personal connection with their advisors. When your friends and acquaintances see a need, they’ll naturally think of you.
Tim Yoder, Tax and Accounting Analyst at FitSmallBusiness https://fitsmallbusiness.com/
Michael Hammelburger, CEO of The Bottom Line Group https://thebottomlinegroup.com/