Too frequently, in the pursuit of growth, many accounting firms will go asunder. Their infrastructure can’t keep up with the new bulk of clients, or costs of advertising campaigns derail an annual budget. If you’re ready to expand your small accounting firm, follow these few easy steps to grow your business – the right way.
1. Become a Trusted Small Business Advisor
If your accounting firm only offers simple point services, such as tax preparation, try developing strategies to nurture client relationships into a broader business advisory capacity. As an advisor, you’ll need to exhibit a strong commitment to helping your client’s business grow. To do that, you have to learn the ins and outs of his or her business. Understand its goals, challenges, opportunities, and threats. Focus on your client’s pain points and the ways in which you could alleviate frustration to add value to your sales pitch. Always have proof to point to that backs up your claim and your ability to do what you say you can. A relationship built on trust is essential when becoming a business advisor.
2. Move Your Firm into the Cloud
Are you still running an analog tax business? If so, it’s time to harness the power of technology and switch over to cloud computing. Using Intuit’s software for professional tax preparers will save a tremendous amount of time and allows you to ditch the old days of filing tax forms by hand. Other benefits of cloud-based accounting include:
–Accuracy: using automated filing systems will avoid the potential risk of committing errors on tax returns.
–Communication: increased communication over the cloud will result in better decision making thanks to simultaneous access for both you and your client to view and edit files.
–Access: work on files remotely from anywhere in the world on any device with internet access.
–Security: you will never need to worry about data loss again because your files will be automatically backed up and saved on the cloud. Plus, you’ll save a lot of space by getting rid of those archaic, bulky filing systems.
3. Stop Being too Busy
Do you spend too much time working in your business than working on your business? If so, you might want to pause, take a step back, and schedule some time to work on strategy. If you want to fix roadblocks and build your profits, you’ll need to make a plan, and then find more time to implement those changes. As previously mentioned, online tools are a great way to free up time. You can have face-to-face meetings without leaving your office, chat with clients or colleagues on various messaging platforms, simultaneously edit documents and databases, create and share reports in real time, plus reduce or eliminate the need for data entry. Many of these technologies are free, while some require purchases or subscriptions. In any case, the upfront fee is usually worth it. More efficient systems will help grow your accounting firm by lowering internal costs and creating more time.
4. Adopt Workflows
A workflow is a step by step approach to a project. Most accounting firms perform the same regular tasks that only vary slightly in degree. Creating a workflow, along with time goals for each step, will keep you and your employees productive and costs lower. Fine-tune your firm’s work flow to grow in efficiency and accountability. Chances are many of your jobs are very similar and can be broken down into chunks more easily. For example, instead of having the same person filing a ton of tax paperwork, break it down into smaller steps, each assigned to a specific person. This will reduce errors by having each participant ensure their portion of the job was performed well. Ultimately, a workflow can lower internal costs, help you pay off debts quicker, and grow your business faster.
5. Expand Your Marketing Roles
To expand your accounting firm, trying altering your current marketing outlook. Understand that it’s not the result of one advertisement campaign that makes you successful, it’s the combined result of all of them. When it comes to marketing, everyone has a role to play. It’s essential for each member of your firm to realize the need to act their best anytime they interact with a potential client. These interactions will directly impact a client’s perceived quality of your firm and mediocrity will not help your growth. With this attitude in mind, an ordinary receptionist becomes the director of first impressions. Always stress the importance of maintaining your image.
If you’re looking to grow your small accounting firm, stick to these tried and true methods to scale to size and prevent collapsing under your new weight.