With over 42,000 accounting firms in the United States representing an industry that generates $156 billion annually, competition in the accounting industry is fierce. According to a recent study, 72% of professional services firms struggle to attract and develop new business. Whether you’re starting a new business or looking for new ways to generate revenue, here are five strategies to help grow your accounting firm.
New business doesn’t always come from new clients—for successful accounting firms, 25% to 40% of new revenue comes from cross-selling to existing clients. In other words, to grow your accounting firm, it’s essential to strengthen relationships and foster loyalty with existing clients.
To capitalize on potential opportunities to cross-sell and upsell, accounting firms must develop deeper and broader relationships with their clients. To promote loyalty, consider scheduling non-matter related conversations with existing clients to find more about their business, current challenges, and industry trends. Learning more about your clients’ goals and objectives can help you suggest ways that you can help.
Technology can also help you strengthen your relationships with existing clients. For example, MaxDiff survey analysis (otherwise known as best-worst scaling) allows clients to rank what is most and least important to them when choosing an accounting firm. MaxDiff surveys can help your accounting firm access actionable insights, allowing you to develop stronger relationships and better anticipate client needs.
Invest in CRM Tools
Client relationships are valuable assets for any accounting firm. Although many accounting firms invest in their customer relationship management (CRM) system, less than half of sales teams actually use CRM.
To ensure that your CRM helps your sales team strengthen client relationships, boost sales, and capitalize on potential opportunities, it’s important to take advantage of up-to-date data in your firm’s CRM database. Data enrichment and CRM data automation tools can help improve your CRM data quality, as these tools passively collect data to update your CRM database with new information. CRM tools can also significantly reduce the time required for manual data entry, enabling your team to devote more time to client outreach.
Attend Strategic Events
Face-to-face networking is a catalyst for business development, making industry events a great opportunity to meet new clients, generate referrals, and develop relationships.
Before deciding which conferences and events to attend, review the list of speakers, sponsors, and attendees to scope out potential prospects. Choose conferences and events strategically by attending the events that hold the most potential for business development. Additionally, invite relevant members of your sales team so they can engage with potential clients and prospects.
Whether you’re just starting out or running a large-scale accounting firm, staying organized is critical. Effectively managing your office space and storage can help you perform at your highest level, so it’s important to make sure everything—from paper copies of client invoices to PDFs of your tax returns—has a specific place.
Since paperwork typically consumes a significant amount of space, consider investing in storage solutions. Custom tax folders help accounting firms deliver a professional image to clients while keeping important documents in one place. Investing in high-quality personalized tax return folders that are compatible with popular tax preparation software programs can help you spend less time managing your documents, allowing you to focus on the more important aspects of running your firm.
Diversify Client Acquisition
New clients are integral to the growth—and survival—of your accounting firm. As a result, it’s important to utilize various marketing strategies to attract new prospects and convert them into loyal, long-term clients.
If you’re working with a limited budget, digital marketing techniques like search engine optimization (SEO), keyword research, content marketing, and social media marketing can help you reach a wider audience at little to no cost. To encourage new business, focus on sharing relevant content across social media, interacting with clients, keeping your website updated, and incentivizing client referrals.
Through innovative strategies like investing in CRM tools to proven methods like diversifying client acquisition, your accounting firm can beat the competition and encourage new business.