Most Accounting firms have a broad range of clients. In some cases, 50 – 100+ industry types of all shapes and sizes. Where did they all come from?

If you’re like most firms you’ve grown your client base by re-actively accepting referrals from existing clients and alliances. Or maybe you’ve done a little bit of marketing (maybe with an external agency) to help you find prospective clients.

The growth strategy of most firms is to wait! Wait for a referral. Wait for the phone to ring or the email to ping. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Waiting for new business is a very slow way to build a business.

Not only is waiting a slow way to build a client base you often end up with a whole range of clients that might not be ideal clients. Often, they become a client because of the mirror test … if they’re breathing and they can pay then they’re good to go!  And sometimes they can’t pay and they still get in.

If you had your time over again would you have accepted all of them? The litmus test is “would you enthusiastically accept them again?”

To scale any Accounting firm, you need new clients. But only of the type you want. You should have an ideal client profile and STICK TO IT.

S.I.W.W.S.N.T

Success Is Who We Say No To.

It’s OK to say no – even from a referral – if the prospective client is not your ideal client.

In choosing your ideal client I coach firms to select a niche market to target. Once the niche is selected then we actively become an expert in that space and turn on the marketing machine to generate leads.

There are 4 great reasons why you would pick one niche market at a time.

  1. Marketing is so much easier – easier to target when you know exactly who you’re targeting
  2. You are more useful to them – you become an industry expert and can help them faster
  3. You are more efficient working with them – similar clients, similar systems
  4. You can charge premium fees – you’re a specialist not a generalist.

My niche market is Accountants in Public Practice. The actual firm. However, I get very specific within that niche.

In my case my ‘sweet spot’ of an Accounting firm that I coach is the following:

  1. Revenue between $500K – $5M – I’ll go higher or lower with special circumstances
  2. Partner numbers 1-5 – if there is more than 1 owner then all owners must be aligned
  3. General Practice – they have a wide range of clients offering tax, compliance, advisory
  4. Ambitious – need to have ambitious goals of revenue, profit and free time

 Who is your ideal client? Once you’ve decided that, let’s get a plan together and go after them.