To create a successful accounting firm, you need to be better at what you do than your competition. Because accounting firms frequently offer similar services, it can be a real challenge to make your firm stand out from the rest.
To maintain a competitive edge, many accounting firms have identified a market niche and established themselves as experts in those areas that appeal to a subset of potential and current clients. You can also choose a market niche and accelerate the growth of your accounting firm.
Why does my firm need a market niche?
In every industry, there are going to be segments of people who need a specific service yet somehow, they are overlooked. Your accounting firm can capitalize on their unmet needs and connect with those potential clients to let them know that your expertise is exactly what they are looking for. This is known as a market niche, which is a subset of the accounting industry that is specialized and requires a certain level of expertise.
"Choosing a niche allows you to claim expertise status, which gives you the pricing power you need to grow your firm in a whole new way," Jason Blumer, founder and CEO of Thriveal, says.
When you offer special services, your firm can target clients who have those specific problems that only you can resolve. With a well-defined target market, you can focus your marketing efforts effectively. You’ll also be able to develop your accounting firm’s brand as the go-to expert in that field. In turn, this brings in higher revenue and increases your firm’s reputation.
Profitable accounting market niches
The first step in identifying the market niche you want to dominate is identifying that unmet need in your area. Another factor is to determine what kind of niche marketing you and your firm are good at. Look at the competition and strategize ways that your firm can move into that market and be competitive. Then create a business plan that incorporates the niche market into your firm.
Successful accounting firms across the country have claimed these niche markets:
Business consulting and coaching
With a record number of new companies starting up, entrepreneurs are seeking the financial expertise of business consultants. From payroll and taxes, business loan preparation services, business succession planning and more, there are numerous areas of starting and running a business where owners seek coaching. If you are in an area that is particularly favorable for new businesses, your accounting firm can potentially capture this highly profitable market niche.
Financial advising and wealth management
Add value for your clients by offering wealth management services, including life insurance, retirement planning, and investing options. Adding wealth management to your offering generally means hiring a dedicated professional financial advisor or partnering with outside experts. Because current clients are already trusting you with part of their finances, it makes sense to introduce them to all the wealth management opportunities that you can provide.
Estates and trusts
Estate and trust accounting is one of the most in-demand niches and you can seamlessly include it into your accounting firm’s services. People from all walks of life need estate and trust services. Focusing on life insurance policies, inheritances, estate taxes, and more, you can help families sidestep future complications with early planning.
Accounting information technology and systems
This is a highly specialized area that combines IT with accounting and is one of the fastest growing niches in accounting. It integrates the latest technology with traditional accounting principles, simplifying storage and boosting security. In an increasingly digital world, your firm can have the competitive edge by demonstrating you have the accounting skills and technological prowess to work with companies that are interested in moving that direction.
When the government needs someone to look over business records of people or entities they are investigating, they want a forensic accountant. Your accounting firm can provide forensic accounting services to law enforcement agencies in your area. Forensic accountants scrutinize financial documents for evidence of fraud, embezzlement, and more.
Often, forensic accountants must testify in court about their findings. Because forensic accountants are in high demand, this market niche could be especially lucrative for your accounting firm.
The future belongs to firms that specialize
The focus of your accounting firm should continue to be providing general accounting services for numerous businesses and individuals in your community. However, capturing a market niche where you can specialize can bring in more revenue than you would otherwise. It also sets you apart from your competition and helps new prospects find you.
Far from being a trend, niche accounting allows accounting firms of all sizes to build up a client portfolio that simply cannot succeed without your experience, knowledge, and credibility.
Want to learn more about marketing your niche services to potential clients? Download our free marketing ebook.
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