Until a few years ago, the accounting sector was one where growth was easy to achieve. The market for accounting firms was vast with more and more people hiring CPAs for their accounting needs. Considering the picture today, things have taken a huge technological leap.
With everything going online, accounting firms are feeling an increasing need to become ‘tech-savvy’. Standing out is the key to improving your importance in the competitive market. The moment a firm feels the need to improve is exactly when it needs a change of plan. Here are some of the ways for accounting firms on how to survive in a competitive market:
Go Where Technology Takes You
It’s 2018 and technology is but necessary when it comes to making a mark among the competitors. For accounting firms, it is high time to start using paperless accounting systems to store data. It not only saves time for the firm and the clients, but it also saves a lot of space and cost for the firm. Thus, accounting firms who still haven’t adopted the new technology, need an instant upgrade.
Construct a Personal Marketing Plan
Apart from building the accounting firm’s marketing plan, it is necessary for every accountant to construct his/her personal marketing plan as well. A personal marketing plan is important because accountants share a special understanding with their clients. Most accountant’s look to increase their client base via references. One happy client is followed by several other clients. A marketing plan thus helps to identify where the prospective clients are and to build a successful business plan and marketing strategies around these clients.
Understand Your Client’s Needs
A successful accountant knows what the client expects. Each client comes with his set of needs, problems, and expectations. Accounting firms must make it a priority to deliver to each of its clients a unique accounting experience. Remember that every client is the roadmap to other prospective clients. Hence, quality service to clients should not be an option but a necessity.
Switch to the Cloud
This needs to be obvious by now. We are in the era of the cloud. Not willing to reach up to the cloud is only taking the firm’s growth several blocks behind. With more and more clients demanding universal access to their data it is best to make the switch to cloud hosting services. Cloud technology will help to save costs, increase the productivity of the firm and enhance its flexibility.
Make Good Use of Your Networks
Accounting firms feed on networks to grow. Contacts act as the building blocks to accounting firms. In order to improve its client base, understand the possible challenges and move ahead of the competitors, an accounting firm needs to use its networks well. Some of the ways of developing networks are to improve your presence at business events, reach out to your previous clients, know their experiences and ask for reviews. No matter positive or negative, a review will only work in the firm’s favor.
Build helpful contacts at networking events, have conversations with new people, collect as many business cards as possible, add them to your contact list and make it a point to follow up with every useful contact.
Know Where Your Competitors are Going
Your competitors will teach you more than you think. Every firm needs to be aware of what its competitor is up to. If not, it needs to make it a practice to know what is going on in the outer world. Needs and demands are changing every day and keeping up-to-date is mandatory for a successful run in the long run.
Reach Out Through Social Media
Embracing social media can prove to be one of the best decisions for an accounting firm. Social media has an amazing bandwidth when it comes to reaching out. There are several social media platforms available such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and youtube. Create an account on these platforms and stay active on a regular basis to create a significant social media presence.
Firms should make it a point to upload engaging content online on a regular basis. Client reviews, informative posts, and videos, offers and tips must be regularly provided to the followers. Keep control on all the social media handles by answering to customer queries, replying to every comment, thanking for positive reviews and follow up on complaints, if any.
A Final Word
Accounting firms in order to survive in the competitive market need to follow some basic rules. Creating a presence, both online, as well as offline, should be the topmost priority. Maintain a quality standard of the services to ensure happy clients today and every day.