Marketing your accountancy expertise can quickly become frustrating if you are not equipped with the right skill sets to effectively and efficiently market your accounting firm. Although marketing as a course is included in the curricular of most accounting degrees, the content of the courses are tailored towards generic marketing strategy rather than helping potential accountants market their services.
It is no longer news that getting accounting job as fresh accounting graduates is difficult. This recent ugly development has forced many accounting graduates to use their skill in starting small accounting firm that help small businesses manage their ventures in the most efficient and effective way possible.
This article gives you tips and techniques of starting and promoting your skills as finance professional.
10 TIPS AND TECHNIQUES OF STARTING AND PROMOTING YOUR OWN SMALL ACCOUNTING FIRM
- Create or identify a niche: the very first thing that you do as an entrepreneur is to identify or calve out a niche for your business taking into consideration expertise and passion. There are many ways of doing this, but I prefer using the classic market segment analysis. You scan the business environment that you are about venturing into to identify what kind of customers are there. This is where you decide on your strategic direction. As someone who is starting newly in delivering accounting services, your best bet would be to focus on small businesses as they are most likely to patronise you.
- Find out the most pressing need of that niche: now once you have selected the market segment that you want to concentrate on, find out what challenges they are facing as small businesses. You can do this by spending proportionate time on related online forums to see what they are really looking for. You can even do a poll in a relevant forum and participate for a while to identify the accounting needs of your potential clients.
- Develop a suitable product to satisfy that need: this is a rather self-explained step. Develop suitable product or service that would solve the problem that you have identified. If you don’t have the skill set required to solve this problem, you either learn it or collaborate with someone that already has the skill set. Care should be taken here so that you don’t cheaply give away your brilliant idea to someone will then turnaround to compete with you.
- Register a business name: ok, now that you are almost there, it is time to get your business identity. Registering a business name is not difficult at all. There are many practitioners that can do that for you at a very low price. But, remember that you are an accounting graduate and should be able to do this yourself.
- Create an online presence: a lot of people will not do business with you now if you do not have an online presence. There are many cheap and free web hosting companies that you can subscribe to and get your online real estate. In fact, you should be sourcing your clients online by following simple online marketing tips for accountants. You should not solely rely on offline marketing for accountants.
- Get listed in Yahoo, Bing and Google places: getting listed on these search engine directories will help ensure that whenever people from and within your locality are interested in the service that you provide, your business name, address and contact details will be displayed first. Make sure you put in the right details of your company.
- Obtain a company of yellow page in your area: a yellow page is a business directory of a given region. It contains valuable marketing information that you can utilise in your quest to launching your accountancy service.
- Write up proposals and send to prospective clients: once you have identified the businesses that would need your accounting and business advisory services write up a suitable proposal and send them out. A lot of people consider this as unethical practice, but, come to think of it, these businesses are always open to innovations and improved processes. So long as there is no law in your country forbidding you from using the contact details on the business yellow pages, then you should be fine using this method. It worked for me and will work for you if you do it right.
- Manage your client’s expectations: small business owners like trying out new things for a change. They will definitely want to test you to see what stuff you are made of. If you fail to manage your customers’ expectation on first contact, there might as well not be a second chance. Don’t be scared of asking for help when you need one. There are business coaches and business mentors out there that are willing to help you for free if only you would ask. There is no substitute for excellent customer service; consistently deliver and they would continue to knock on your door.
- Keep your house in order: people will be eager to see how you run your business before they would trust any advice that is coming from you. Think about this, if you have bad breath and you go to a dentist who has advertised to be a specialist in treating halitosis and you were greeted with unpleasant odor from his mouth, will you still trust whatever he is telling you? Same applies to rendering your financial and business management expertise to others. It is simple, practice what you preach!!!
Starting up your own accounting and bookkeeping small business is an option that is worth considering. There are ample opportunities for you to put your business advisory and consulting skill to work. Many small businesses need the services of people with accounting experience and yet are not willing to employ a fulltime accountant. And that is where you will come in.
Applying the tips and techniques outlined in this article will help you start up and run your small accounting business successfully. One last one, remember to take up cheap insurance for your accounting practice. Good luck 🙂