Launching a new small business as an independent professional accountant requires more than just good accounting skills. For your business to be successful, you first have to connect with people and get them in the door as clients or at least as potential clients. In addition to being a skilled accountant, you also need to be skilled at marketing your services. When you’re first starting out on your own, it’s helpful to design a well-planned advertising campaign that concentrates on lean marketing techniques that don’t put your new small business deep into red ink on your cash flow statement.
Word of Mouth Referrals
Referrals from friends or business associates are an excellent, low-cost way to secure new clients for your business. Nearly 95% of business-to-business buyers acknowledge that referrals are a factor in their buying decisions. The nature of your business as a financial professional makes personal recommendations especially important because of the significant trust factor involved in working with a financial professional. You can begin to build trust with a prospective client by having someone they already trust recommend your services or vouch for your expertise and trustworthiness. Network with professionals who offer services complementary to yours, such as attorneys who are well-positioned to steer their clients to you for accounting services.
Focus on Your Unique Value Proposition
In designing your marketing campaign, you have to make choices on how to present your business. Think about the brand image you want to create for your accounting business. What are the main thoughts that you want to instantly come to someone’s mind when they see your company logo? Be mindful of the basic realities of competing for business in the marketplace, the fact that you need to give prospective clients a reason to choose your accounting firm in preference to others. Identify your unique value proposition the factor that sets you apart from and above your competitors. Perhaps you have especially high levels of professional certification. You may have special experience or expertise that puts you a cut above in offering specific accounting services, such as accounting for businesses in a particular industry or in relation to particular services, such as estate planning. Once you identify your unique value proposition, craft your marketing content to put that value front and center.
Establish an Online Presence
Establishing an online presence is one the most cost-efficient methods of quickly reaching large numbers of prospective clients. At minimum, consider setting up a website and establishing accounts on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Engage potential clients by publishing helpful information. Giving away some free information through a blog on your website can open the door for people to seek your paid services. For example, you might publish a blog about tax implications in estate planning, concluding with a highlighted call to action: “Need help in determining the tax implications of making changes to your estate plan? Call to arrange a free initial consultation.” Make sure your contact information is displayed prominently on every page of your website. In launching your small business as an accountant, give your marketing efforts a focus on your unique value proposition, and take advantage of low-cost marketing opportunities designed to reach and engage large numbers of potential clients.