Everyone needs an accountant, from a work-at-home freelancer rapidly growing their career, start-ups paving the road to a bright future in the field, all the way to the biggest names in the industry. Needless to say, starting an accounting firm can be a lucrative career move, provided that you enter the market with a sound plan and a bit of unrelenting dedication.
Why the second one, you ask? Because the accounting industry is an extremely competitive one, and if you want to separate yourself from the rest of the herd and land top-quality clients, you will have to prepare a strong battle plan. Here to help you grow your new business quickly are five pieces of advice you want to keep in mind.
It all starts with a business plan
Much like every other business venture, kick-starting an accounting firm requires thorough preparation in the form of a business plan. Tailoring your business plan to accommodate the needs and adopt the best practices in the industry is not an easy task, so make sure you give this stage plenty of time to grow and develop.
This comprehensive and wildly exhaustive document should contain all of your long-term, mid-term, and short-term goals, including the related strategies and underlying tactics that will bring those goals to fruition in a realistic timeframe. Without a doubt, you will have to brainstorm innovative ideas that will set you apart from the competition, tend to deep market research, and devote time to branding and positioning.
Develop your brand
The need to develop a strong brand people will connect with on a rational and personal level cannot be stressed enough. In a highly competitive arena such as the accounting industry where every company is fighting for its piece of the proverbial cake, you cannot afford to fall into the abyss of faceless brands and uniformity.
Your business needs to be different. Different in its visual presentation, different in its messages, stories, and tone of voice – different in its approach to accounting itself. Within reason, of course. While you should stick to proven tactics and methods in the field, you should also drive innovation and adopt modern processes that will make your life, and the life of your clients, infinitely easier. This brings us to the next crucial step.
Charge for your services the right way
Invoicing. How did something so basic become so nuanced and complicated? Why does the simple act of charging for your services have to become a complicated game of chess with problematic clients? Late payments, invoice disputes, and the downright inability of the client to pay within a specific timeframe open up a myriad of problems for you, and the people you work for.
This is why it’s important to be flexible, and offer additional payment options for the people you work for while receiving the payment when it’s due nonetheless. A great idea is to provide a fee financing for accountants payment option that will allow you to maintain a positive cash flow while allowing your clients to pay in installments. Remember, diversifying your payment options can eliminate numerous problems down the road, and help you not only maintain solvency, but a positive relationship with your clientele.
Learning the ways of marketing
No matter how small a niche might be, a company cannot hope to reach its full potential in terms of growth and recognition if it doesn’t market their brand and services. In your particular case, you’re opening a business in a highly competitive environment, and the only way to stay ahead of the game is to disseminate your brand across relevant social media, and learn the ways of online marketing.
Not only do you want to have a rich pool of potential clients in your back pocket, but you also want to create a winning marketing strategy that will get your message across to a wider audience, and help extend your reach in the industry. To that end, you want to use SEO, social media, and content marketing to become a leader in the field.
Strive for top customer experience
There is nothing that can drive a 21st-century business straight into the ground like poor client feedback. No matter the industry, no matter the niche, every company must strive for top customer experience in order to stay relevant and attract more potential clients down the road. This not only means that you should strive for excellence in everything you do, but that you should maintain proper communication with your clients and resolve every issue promptly as well.
The accounting industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world due to the inherently high demand for accounting services across the globe. While this does present some challenges on the way to long-term success, there is not a problem you won’t be able to overcome if you choose to act on these industry insights.