If you run an accounting firm, you’ll likely need a steady stream of new clients each year to keep your business healthy and replace existing clients who decide to leave. However, since most accounting firm owners are busy focusing on the day-to-day work of running the business itself, this can leave little time to focus on new business activities.
Additionally, acquiring new customers will often involve a cost, either to fund marketing activity and/or additional internal or external resources, such as a specialist agency. The time and money you spend on finding new customers will likely depend on current customer churn as well as any plans for the future, such as a desire to expand.
Below, we’ve outlined some basic tips that point accounting firm owners in the right direction and should allow for a more informed choice on what resources to devote to new business activities.
1) Improve your website
Your website is the face of your business. If you want to win (and retain) more customers, you need to make your website as professional, useful, and engaging as possible.
For those on a very limited budget, there are platforms like WordPress that are free and can help you create professional-looking, device-friendly, and search engine-friendly templates. Along with a professional template, you need to make sure the pages aren’t too cluttered with confusing or irrelevant information. Additionally, you should add a clear call to action (CTA) on all of your pages, such as “book a consultation” or “contact us.”
One way to really make your website stand out is to include positive reviews and testimonials. By reading about the positive experiences of your current clients, potential clients will be encouraged to learn more about your accounting firm. If you also include an “about us” section, these potential customers will get to know you a little more and consider you more trustworthy. Finally, make sure the site loads quickly, ideally in less than two seconds, as slow loading sites are proven to increase bounce rate.
2) Use software tools to improve your efficiency
It’s no secret that potential clients want to work with an accounting firm that gets the job done accurately, efficiently, and in a timely manner. So if you want to win more customers, you need to show potential customers that you adhere to these basic principles. Additionally, potential clients will also be much more likely to work with an accounting firm that can help them automate tasks and increase productivity.
For example, creating a portal that customers can log into and self-service will not only save you time, but will also be more efficient and convenient for a customer. Plus, being able to partner with one or more reputable cloud-based accounting software providers means your clients can access their data 24/7 from anywhere. The overall result of being more efficient is that you will have more time to focus on new business opportunities while potential customers can see the benefits of working with you.
3) Focus on digital marketing
Building your online presence is one of the most important and effective ways to acquire more customers. However, the options on how to do this are vast, so you need to make sure you have a cohesive plan for what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it. This will again be dictated by your goals and also your budget.
For those who just want to dip their toes in the water, there are inexpensive activities you can try, such as writing useful, knowledgeable content on your blog. Done right, it can position your accounting firm as a leading voice in the industry, which will dramatically boost your reputation and help you attract more clients (check out this blog for tips)
Another inexpensive option is to check social media and ensure that your business has a presence on all relevant social media platforms (eg Facebook, Twitter and especially LinkedIn). Try to post regularly to maintain engagement and reach new audiences. Posting your articles on social media is a great way to boost your business identity and reputation.
4) Get referrals
Despite the undeniable influence of marketing, many clients will still prefer to find an accounting firm through recommendations from friends, family members, suppliers or business associates, etc. were directly recommended by someone they know and trust.
If you are a good company that provides excellent service, you should organically seek referrals over time. However, you may want to encourage this process by attending networking events, some of which are specifically designed for referrals from companies such as BNI.
5) Target High Value Customers
When it comes to winning more clients for your accounting firm, quality is sometimes better than quantity. Rather than acquiring a plethora of new customers who don’t add much monetary value individually, you may instead want to focus on winning a few high-value customers who are likely to stick around for the long term.
To win those high-value customers, it can help to clearly define your niche and what your business really specializes in. Once you do that, you’ll probably have a much better idea of which clients would be a better fit in the long run. your accounting firm, and then you can start tailoring your marketing strategy to those particular prospects. This guide has more great tips on how to win more valuable customers.
As mentioned in the introduction, most small business owners prefer to work on the day job rather than marketing and new business. However, it’s also true that neglecting these two activities for too long can potentially put your accounting practice in life’s danger, so it’s important to make sure you have a plan in place based on what you want to achieve.
This doesn’t necessarily mean spending thousands of pounds on more staff, advertising or agency fees, as there are several lower cost activities to get you started, as outlined above. If these aren’t generating the volume of new customers you need (or the wrong size of customer for your business), there’s always room to invest more resources in trying to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. .