According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, there are well over 46,000 accounting firms scattered throughout the country at this time. There are also always new accounting firms opening up all the time. It’s going to send that number soaring even higher soon.
With this in mind, you might not think that it’s going to be possible for you to start up your own accounting firm and get it to stand out in the crowd. But there are certain business growth strategies that you can use to accomplish these goals.
If you would like to set up and grow an accounting business, you’ll need to have a long list of business growth ideas established from the beginning. There are so many ways to grow a business, and you’ll need to be familiar with them all.
We’ve put together a bunch of business growth tips for you below. They should help you figure out how to grow a business in the accounting world in no time at all.
Make Your Accounting Firm Look as Professional as Possible From the Start
When you first start an accounting firm, you might not have a whole lot of money to spend on it. As a result, you might not be able to snatch up office space in an ideal location and put up a fancy sign in front of it.
But you should use whatever money that you do have to make your accounting firm look as professional as possible. This is one of the first business growth strategies that will produce real results for you.
To make an accounting firm look professional, you’ll need to:
- Legitimize it by registering it, coming up with a name for it, etc.
- Find dedicated office space for it (even if it’s not situated right in the center of town!)
- Invest in a website for it
- Create a social media presence for it
- Purchase marketing materials for it (letterhead, business cards, etc.)
Your accounting firm might not be well-established within your community just yet. But you can make it feel like it’s been around for a lot longer than it has by taking the steps that we just laid out.
Set Both Short-Term and Long-Term Goals for Your Accounting Firm
When you say that you want to get your accounting firm to “grow,” what exactly do you mean by that? Do you simply want to get your accounting firm to the point where it’s profitable enough for you to support your family—or do you have dreams of turning your accounting firm into a national brand?
Whatever the case, you should set some short-term and long-term goals for your accounting firm from the start. These goals will give you something to work towards as you look to get your firm off the ground.
It would be worth reading up on how to set business goals for your accounting firm in advance. The goals that you set should be rooted in reality, but they should also push you to build the best accounting firm that you possibly can.
Bring the Best People On Board to Work For Your Accounting Firm
There are some accountants who will start their own accounting firms and serve as the only employees for these firms. You’re welcome to take this approach to establish an accounting firm if you would like.
But if possible, you should try to bring some other people on board to work for you. Your staff should include a good mix of fellow accountants as well as general office workers who can assist you with things like answering phones, mailing out invoices, etc.
Regardless of which kinds of employees you choose to hire, though, you should only hire the best of the best. They’re going to make or break your small business in a lot of ways, so it’s important for you to be able to trust them to do a great job for your firm.
Define the Target Market for Your Accounting Firm
What is the target market for your accounting firm going to be? You might be tempted to say “Everyone!” in an attempt to bring in the most business that you can. But you’ll be so much better off honing in on one specific group of people versus trying to appeal to everyone at once.
Some accounting firms make it their mission to work almost exclusively with individuals who need accounting services. Others make it a point to work with nothing but businesses.
You’re free to work with whoever you would like. But you should center your accounting firm around one particular target market. It’ll help you market your services to them more effectively in the long run.
Generate a List of Services That Your Accounting Firm Can Provide
Once you know what your accounting firm’s target market will be, it should be easy for you to create a list of services that your firm can provide. Each of the services that you’re able to extend should fulfill a need for those within your target market.
Some of the services that you might want to think about providing will be:
- Tax planning and preparation
- Fraud investigating
- General accounting
Some accounting firms will try to do too much by offering every possible accounting service. It would be smarter for your firm to focus on specializing in offering certain services over others. It will help to separate you from the pack by giving you a strong identity.
Set the Right Prices for Your Accounting Firm’s Services
As you’re working on building your accounting firm, you should study some of the other firms that exist in your area. It would be well worth seeing what their target markets are and which accounting services they provide.
It would also be well worth sneaking a peek at the prices that they charge for their services. It’ll make it possible for you to come up with the right price points for your different services.
You don’t necessarily need to just make all your prices cheaper than all your competitors’ prices. But you should make sure that your prices are on the more affordable side so that they can compete with whatever prices the competition is offering.
You might also want to take a look at what accountants are charging their clients on a national level. It’ll help you to concoct a price list that will appeal to those in your target market.
Aim to Create a Collection of Positive Reviews for Your Accounting Firm
These days, most people check out the online reviews that have been left for a company before they consider working with them. Keep this in mind as you look to grow an accounting firm.
You can employ all the different business growth strategies that you want. But if you have a bunch of negative reviews from your past clients, they won’t do you much good. You’ll struggle to bring in new business.
You should, first and foremost, try to provide each and every client who comes through your front door with a stellar experience. They should walk away raving about your accounting firm and what it brings to the table.
You should also try to convince your clients to leave positive reviews for you online. By doing this, they’ll be helping to spread the good word about your business so that you’re able to bring in more clients moving forward.
You shouldn’t underestimate the power of positive online reviews when it comes to the success of your accounting firm. These reviews could get your accounting firm growing a whole lot sooner than you may have anticipated.
Find Creative Ways to Market Your Accounting Firm to Those in Your Community
Gathering a collection of positive online reviews is one easy way to market your accounting firm. But it shouldn’t be the only step that you take as far as marketing your firm is concerned!
There are also many other ways in which you can successfully market your accounting firm. Some of your options will include:
- Hire an SEO company to create unique content for your website
- Teach people about the importance of accounting services through your social media pages
- Run commercials on your local TV and radio stations
- Sponsor Little League baseball teams, 5K runs/walks, school plays, etc.
- Hand out promotional items with your accounting firm’s name on them
The more that you’re able to market your accounting firm to those in your community, the better your brand awareness is going to be. It shouldn’t be too long before almost everyone in your community knows your company’s name.
Attempt to Attract New Types of Clients to Your Accounting Firm Over Time
Earlier, we really tried to stress the importance of figuring out what your target market is and focusing on appealing to that market with your accounting firm. And we stand by that! At the start, it’s super important to do this.
But as your accounting firm begins to experience some growth, you should also look into branching out into new areas. For example, if you haven’t traditionally helped many businesses to do their taxes, that might be something that you’ll want to start doing through your firm once it’s established.
You might also want to segue into offering things like financial planning services. These types of services often go hand-in-hand with accounting services and will make all the sense in the world for your firm.
There are programs set up for accountants to teach them about how to offer financial planning services to their clients. You should look into finding out more about these programs so that you’re able to expand your firm’s areas of expertise.
Review Your Accounting Firm’s Goals and Adjust Them Accordingly
In a perfect world, your accounting firm is going to start hitting some of the goals that you’ve set for it almost from the start. It might take some time to reach all your goals. But eventually, you should be able to do it.
For this reason, it’ll be important for you to review your firm’s goals every now and then and adjust them as necessary. Once you’ve hit a goal, you should take a step back and come up with a new goal to put in its place.
It might seem as though it would be frustrating to constantly be moving the goalposts and creating new goals for your firm. But you’ll actually find that it’ll work wonders for your psyche as it’ll prevent you from ever getting bored with the process of building a successful accounting firm.
You’ll love hitting each and every goal that you’re able to hit. But you’ll love coming up with new goals and striving towards them even more. It’ll give you an appreciation for your accomplishments and allow you to recognize just how far your accounting firm has come.
These Business Growth Strategies Can Take Your Accounting Firm to the Next Level
You aren’t going to be able to build a successful accounting firm overnight. It’s going to take weeks, months, and sometimes even years to do it.
But you can speed the process up slightly by putting the right business growth strategies into place. By using each of the strategies that we’ve mentioned here, you should be able to grow an accounting business and turn it into a success before too long.
Would you like to get your hands on some additional tips on how to grow a business? Look for them by reading through some of the other articles that have been posted on our blog.