Are you stuck saying yes to every opportunity that comes through the door for fear of not having enough work? Don’t let chance determine the kind of work you do. For a truly successful accounting practice, here are five steps to help you attract the accounting clients you want.
Luck and chance seemingly play a large role in building an accounting practice. The work that comes through the door ends up defining what you do. And yet many accountants are dissatisfied with their working lives and feel powerless to change it. But you can design your accounting practice.
1. Choose your focus
Imagine your ideal practice. What do you want to be known for? What sort of accounting work do you most enjoy? It could be a transaction, an industry, a type of client or a business situation. Is there an interesting job you’ve done for one client, and others might have a similar problem or need?
By identifying a niche and understanding who your ideal client is, you’ll be better placed to start attracting the work you want – and saying no to anything that doesn’t fit the bill.
2. Demonstrate your value
When most people buy something, they consider several potential brands or suppliers before selecting one. To be chosen, you must be on that shortlist. You need to be on their radar before they need you.
Publishing articles on the Internet provides a way to inform people who are already in your network about your specific expertise and professional interests. What you write about shapes people’s perceptions of what you can do for them.
3. Say it with impact
To get attention in a noisy world, summarise your point succinctly, then find a way to make it memorable. You could use a diagram, metaphor, catchy quote, surprising statistics or a set of actionable steps. Allow your tone of voice to sound like you, not a textbook.
4. Be prolific
Produce a consistent flow of information. One article isn’t enough. But don’t dilute your efforts by writing on every subject on which you could advise. Pick a theme and stick to it, and delve deep to demonstrate your understanding.
Once you’ve written an article, make the most of it. Publish it through Twitter, Facebook, your blog and on LinkedIn.
5. Build your network
The more people who know what you do, the faster your practice will grow. Go out and network to meet people, and stay in regular contact with them. Be patient and consistent. Build your profile and you’ll get more inquiries. You’ll be able to choose your clients, not have them forced upon you.
As Confucius said, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”