Chapter 2: How to Attract and Keep Small Business Clients
Part 3: Strategies for Increasing Revenue by Attracting New Small Business Clients
Growing your practice necessitates gaining new clients and wading into unknown territory. Do you feel prepared for it? There are plenty of prospective clients out there, but the pool of small businesses is large and can seem daunting. Like a patient fisherman, the enterprising accountant is going to have to know where to look and how to lure them in.
So what should you include in your client tackle box? How do you get business owners to notice you and take interest? Consider the following tips:
- Build relationships with existing clients so they spread the word. If you currently serve small business clients, they are your biggest allies in advertising your practice. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, so give your clients plenty of reasons to rave about your services.
- Implement a referral program for getting new clients. The individuals and businesses you serve have networks of their own, so tap into them. Incentivize referrals for both parties, and be proactive about asking for referrals. Make it clear that you're interested in helping other businesses that may need it.
- Tailor your marketing materials for small businesses. Highlight the [Link to earlier section, "What SBOs Want"] things that small-business owners care most about, including the services we've explored in earlier sections. Your website, business cards, and ads are all opportunities to focus on small businesses.
- Listen first, talk second. In all meetings with prospective clients, find out what their specific pain points are, and then frame your services (if they're a match) in a way that meets the client's needs.
- Highlight any niche experience you have. Are a majority of your existing clients in a certain industry? Do you serve mostly independent contractors? Have you come from another field to pursue your passion of accounting? Take stock of your experience and focus on specialties. There's no need to compete with hundreds of CPAs for every client out there when you're one of the few who has expertise in underwater salvage companies, for example.
Carve out a niche to help prospective clients find you.
A successful approach to attracting clients will take a bit of effort, but the payout can be well worth it. Be mindful about maintaining the strong relationships you've already developed and find ways to better serve your clients. Growing too quickly can backfire if your old clients feel that the care they're used to has deteriorated and may even find a new accountant if you prioritize growth over their needs. It will take balance, experimentation, and good communication to pull off, but an ocean of clients is there for the taking.
Next: Chapter 3: How to Avoid Lawsuits from Small Business Clients