This post has been triggered as a result of my April Fool post on any answers(I was a bigger fool I think). In that post I hinted on saturation of small business accountancy services market. Please note I do not have any evidence to back up my comments below. They are based on my observations as a sole practitioner for three years.
Why so many sole practitioners?
- TV business programmes like the Apprentice and Dragons Den have had such an influence on the Nation’s psyche to be their own boss and make it on their own. I think people (including me) looked at their skills and quite rightly gone into a trade/profession they know.
- We also have women and a very few cases of men who want to combine child care with work. Accountancy practice fits well for this.
- Finally we also have franchsiors who want to make a buck by franchising accountancy services. In the main taking on people with hardly any exposure to accountancy.
All this clearly has massively increased the supply side of accountancy service. This is bound to bring down fees and making it a far more competitive accountancy services market.
Knowing all this – how can I get more business? Here are my views:
- Not by just being far better but effectively communicating that I am far better than the accountants down the road. This would be done through having a superb website, SEO and regular blogs.
- Do what I don’t do at the moment – ask existing clients for referrals
- Providing an excellent service to existing clients. Speedy output of work and responding to their queries promptly
- Systemising– this would reduce the time it would take to do the work and I would be in far better control
- Getting my pricing right not cheap and not expensive. Not sure how yet! HELP PLEASE.
- Handling new client meetings and communications effectively.Understanding what works and what does not work.
- Keeping a record of what works in getting a new client. Website? Referrals?
- Asking clients how they found me and why they choose me. Was it just fees?
- Belivable testimonials – Clients need to perceive they are from clients who are being objective
- Don’t be greedy. I have lost clients through quoting high fees thinking I may get away with it. Clients are savvy – dont under estimate them!
I am no way near my 10 point list. I will be in three months. I am currently working on all aspects.