How to Grow Your Accounting Firm in 3 Simple Steps
E.J. Simonsen | Aug 30, 2022
Growing an accounting firm can feel daunting, especially if you manage your firm. You have a team to take care of, clients to communicate with, not to mention the actual work of running a business. Adding in the work of planning and implementing a growth strategy can feel like a task that's totally out of reach. But it doesn't have to be.
Using these three simple steps, you can work to grow your accounting firm in a way that is strategic and manageable for you:
How to Grow Your Accounting Firm in 3 Simple Steps
Growing your accounting firm comes down to understanding your clients, offering the services that solve their pain points, and partnering with industry experts who can help expand your reach. But as with most business growth plans, that's easier said than done.
We'll walk you step-by-step through this process, so you can start to see the growth results you're looking for, fast.
Step 1: Identify Your Ideal Clients
The first step in any successful growth plan is understanding who your ideal clients are. Remember, not all of your current clients may be "ideal" clients. That's okay.
To get a better understanding of who your ideal clients are and what they need from you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Which of your clients are the most profitable??
- What kinds of services do those clients need the most?
- What challenges bring those ideal clients into your firm?
- What are the other challenges you discover after they hire your firm?
Answering these questions will help you better understand your ideal clients. In most cases, you'll find two to three types of clients who share similar situations, challenges, and accounting services that solve those challenges.
Once you have a clear picture of those 2-3 ideal clients, write yourself a short persona for each one. Be sure to identify:
- The main point of contact for that client
- Their job title or role
- Their goals for their business
- The challenges that are keeping them from reaching their business goals
- Their motivations for working with you
With these personas in hand, you've built yourself a clear, actionable picture of who your ideal client is and what they need most from you. Now, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Build Your Accounting Firm's Services to Solve Your Ideal Client's Challenges
You've identified your ideal clients, and you now have a clear picture of what problems, challenges, and pain points they're trying to solve in working with your accounting firm.
Your next step should be to tailor your services to ensure you're solving those challenges in the best, most effective ways possible. It's likely that you're already solving some challenges with your existing services, but what new or expanded services could you offer to help those clients reach their business goals?
For example, let's say you are often hired by businesses whose bookkeeping is a total mess, or they are in a financial crisis.
If you've noticed that many of your ideal clients struggle to get affordable funding from banks, private equity, or other reputable resources, maybe it's worthwhile to build a service that supports that particular need.
On the other side, if you see that many of your small business clients are struggling with bad debt, it may make sense to expand your services to aid them with business debt restructuring or a reorganization bankruptcy, such as Subchapter 5.
Examining your ideal clients will likely produce multiple ideas that will help your accounting firm grow. Improving or expanding the services you offer in order to better solve your clients’ challenges is a great way to build long-term value and revenue growth for an accounting firm.
Step 3: Partner With Experienced Industry Experts to Grow Your Reach
Beyond expanding and improving your accounting firm's services, another great way to grow your reach is to collaborate with other industry experts who support your clients in complementary ways. Collaborations are also ideal for accounting firm owners because they require a little upfront effort, yet they can exponentially pay.
Let's use the same examples from above. If your ideal clients are small businesses that need help:
- Gaining access to investment-level money from reputable lenders
- Getting out from under bad debt from MCAs, underwater loans, and more
Then a business debt relief attorney or a bankruptcy attorney might be the perfect partner.
Business debt relief and bankruptcy attorneys often work with clients like yours to halt predatory lenders and facilitate the legal side of debt restructuring. Not only could they help support your existing clients, but they can help your accounting firm reach more businesses seeking business debt relief services. These clients may come to an attorney first, but they also frequently need expert support with bookkeeping, IRS help, and other accounting services, and an attorney will be happy to refer them to a CPA or accounting firm they trust.
Partnerships like these help you gain experience in these new service areas and connect you to an expanding network of attorneys and small businesses who could use your help. If this sounds like a collaboration that could benefit your accounting firm, The Lane Law Firm encourages you to get in touch.
The Lane Law Firm collaborates with CPAs like you to bring financial solutions to small businesses in crisis. Learn more about our Texas CPA Collaboration Program today.