Marketing for Accounting Firms
Accounting firms for any business house monitors the financial condition of the company and holds a very important position in the finance market. They provide very essential services of tax planning and monitoring the cost and expenses of a business house. On the other hand the marketing department is responsible to manage and develop the sales of any business.
There has been a good amount of competition in this field also. Like any other business accounting firms should also market their business to its existing and potential customers. Big accounting firms who have branches across the country often employ a marketing team and PR specifically assigned the task of monitoring the marketing area of the firm
- Strategic Plan: At first instance it may sound very obvious. But it is the first and the foremost thing to be done. Planning and strategizing is the first step towards marketing planning. It should include your marketing target and then SWOT Analysis should be done, which includes identifying the STRENGTH, WEAKNESS, OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS. Keeping in mind the above points; a marketing plan should be made. Accounting firms are having expertise in certain areas which definitely should be the part of the plan. Weakness to be identified from past experiences and efforts to be made to cover the gap. Opportunities to be created by focusing on the existing customer base and trying to gather their word of mouth about their satisfaction levels. Threats to be identified which may be coming in from the competitors; should be taken care of with precautionary measures taken in advance.
- Networking is the key: Networking areas for expanding your business are having many options than before. Now networking is not limited to collecting business cards and distributing your cards. It involves arranging workshops and events and attract the potential customers and highlight your own proficiency areas. Whats app messages play a very important role. Suppose there is any new tax law announced by the Government, then the key pointers can be circulated by putting whats app status and forwarding in groups with proper branding done on the pics circulated. Other social media options are also to be utilised to advertise your expertise and create a brand name in the field
- Cloud technology: Cloud technology helps you achieve broader markets then the traditional markets. Cloud based applications are now considered the standard procedure of accounting rather than the old book keeping method. It gives you more security, cost efficiency and more flexibility rather than the traditional methods. If you want to survive against the competitors you need to apply cloud technology which is both safe and cost effective
- Be in touch with the customers: “ Be in touch” holds importance in the business world also like in our social life. Once the work is completed you should always have a list of customers you have served. You need to be in touch with all your customers and provide regular updates about your new services and changes coming in the accounting field. This can be in the form of mailers, text messages, whats app messages, news letters etc. Birthday and anniversary wishes also help to create a good connect. Hence what revolves around comes around. You remain in mind of the customer and your name immediately clicks in his mind for reference as well as personal work.
- Referrals the added bonus: Satisfied customer will definitely be a medium to get good referrals. Asking for referrals was considered bad earlier but now it is a myth. If a businessman is satisfied with your work he will definitely like to refer you further to his customers. Later the service and prompt revert part lies on you. You need to get in touch with the referrals immediately as in this competition world you may miss the bus in case you delay in getting in touch with our referrals.
- Hire a Digital marketing expert: You cannot and should not under estimate the power of digital marketing via medium of social media. Hiring and experts will definitely help as they are experts in the field and will apply the required techniques to help you advertise your business and key areas. Also if one business strategy is not working then amend the plan of action and try to get good results. However the cost part also needs to be considered as per the Company’s budget.
- Appoint a CRM: A Customer Relationship Manager definitely helps in bridging the gap between the customers and the Company. CRM remains in touch with the customers and provides prompt resolution for their concerns. He also works as a marketing person while interacting with the customers by promoting their areas of expertise. Here you need to be very careful while handling the grievance part. Grievances should be handled with patience and due diligence. A dissatisfied customer will lead to bad impact on the Company’s reputation
- Offer free 10 minute consultation: Offering effective free 10 minute consultation does not involve lot of time. But it can lead to paying customers if the first interaction is effective and satisfactory. The framing of 10 minute session needs to be done with utmost care in order to create a good impression on the customer’s mind.
- Optimise your website for mobile users: With the increase use of smart phones and social media you need to design your website which is user friendly and easy to access on mobile phones. Well-designed- website is one of the most attractive feature to attract any customer. Options of sharing and commenting should be there in order to know the concerns and feedback immediately on visit
- Brand your accounting firm: Create a good logo, company name, brochures and newsletters. You need to make sure that your material effectively reflects what your firm is capable of doing and how you can be connected to get your services
The effects of good marketing strategy is more than just creating leads into customers; it involves long term connections between your firm and other individuals as well as businesses that help you sustain even during the ups and downs of the market