When your firm is ready to grow and increase your clientele, it's important to remember that not every prospective client is well suited for your firm. Take a step back and consider what type of client will be a mutual fit for your firm's niche services and future offerings. Narrowing in on your advisory focus and fine tuning your onboarding process can help you identify the ideal client among your specific target market.
Industry expert and content creator, Jason Blumer, CPA and CEO of Thriveal and Blumer CPAs notes the importance of creating a client onboarding process that narrows down those who are a good fit for your firm and weeds out those who are not in his ebook, Client Management Strategies for Accounting Firms. Jason talks about being intentional about which clients you onboard into your firm. Read more in his ebook or listen in to his webinar on the same topic to learn about his approach.
Determine your firm's niche
There are a variety of ways to determine your niche. It can be based on your personal interests, location, work specializations, target industry, or ideal age group. We will explore a few ideas to get you started in establishing your niche.
Identify your best 5-10 clients
- How did you attract these clients initially?
- Are they involved in a particular industry?
- Where are they located?
- Do you help advise them on a particular component of their life or business?
- Is there a common theme you can identify from the questions above? Drill into the similarities and see if a niche emerges that you'd like to target.
Consider expanding your virtual capabilities
- Focusing on a particular niche can expand your firm beyond your geographic area, especially today with all of the virtual capabilities.
- When you differentiate your firm and establish expertise in a particular accounting niche, you can leverage that expertise to work with more clients remotely. This allows you to hone your specialty and expand your business with clients that are a mutual fit for your services. For example, if you are based in a less populous area, this is a smart way to grow your clientele.
- Running a virtual accounting firm can be a seamless operation when you establish your firm's niche and clients understand their expectations within the partnership.
Establish expertise and create value for your clients
- Practicing your niche can help your firm establish a deeper reputation of expertise, adding value to your ancillary accounting and advisory offerings.
- Focusing on your firm's niche will help you stand out among the competition and attract your target market. The right clients will identify your firms unique value by aligning their goals with your firm's reputable niche offering.
- Establishing your firm's expertise allows you to act as a trusted financial advisor for clients. And while Client Accounting Services (CAS) continues to trend, you can position your growing firm by broadening its offerings. The CAS approach can help your firm drive more revenue per client, while also fostering the advisory relationship that many clients will continue to seek.
Leverage your extended network
- Are there local or national organizations you can join or are already part of that can help you attract more clients?
- For example, get involved in a small business association or startup incubator in your area to build your industry network. Chances are you will start meeting many small business owners who are looking to hire an accounting firm, which could lead to more referrals.
An accounting industry niche allows your firm to focus on the most effective ways to attract clients for your specific services and offerings. Many prospective clients are likely to choose accountants by word of mouth referrals, and being visible across local industry associations and events is a great way to foster this type of growth.
Choosing clients that are a good mutual fit for your firm is a critical component of client management strategies and the onboarding process. If you want more ways to identify the right clients for your growing firm, check out this blog on best practices for finding new clients.