Define Your Ideal Client to Save Money and Grow Your Accountancy Practice with Clients You Want
Building a profile of your ideal client or niche makes a massive difference to the cost and impact of your marketing. It also ensures you grow your practice with the clients you want.
Profiling your ideal client vital for your marketing and for your business. If you get this right, everything else will follow.
Here are the 2 key points businesses often overlook:
- No service or product appeals to everyone.
- You do not want to have anyone and everyone as a client.
Let me explain.
- There is no such thing as a universal product or service provider. The Big Four are a good example of this. None of them are likely to eclipse the other three so as to become the only high-end accountancy firm of choice. Everybody wants a choice and different things appeal to different people. Some people choose to only deal with people they know, like and trust, others stick to well-established brands, some select the cheapest option and a good number will select the “odd man out” or quirky option. We are all different. It is an error to think that everyone who can potentially use your services is the right client for you.
- There are some prospects you don’t want as clients. You don’t want clients who won’t pay or permanently complain. You don’t want clients who won’t listen to your recommendations or action your advice. You don’t want clients who put you under pressure by leaving everything to the last minute and then blaming you when things are late. The list goes on.
It is worth, at this point, making a list of attributes of clients you would not want to work with such as those mentioned in 2 is a good starting point. Sometimes, it is easier to do this before you start profiling who you do want.
Given your answers for above, we need to profile who you do want as a client.
Profile Your Ideal Client/ Niche
You need to start by defining the type of companies you want as clients. You should profile them based on the 80/20 rule, i.e. if 80% or more of your prospects are based in Oxford then, even though, you have a client in Devon and one in Glasgow, you are focused on Oxford rather than the whole of the UK.
The best way to go through this process is to think about your top 3 clients when answering the below:
- What industries/ sectors do I enjoy supporting? You should have no more than 3 industries for each partner in your business to an absolute maximum of 9.
- What is their turnover and/ or profit?
- How many people do they employ?
- How long have they been around?
- What stage of the business cycle are they at? Start-up, growth, maturity or decline?
- Where are they based? It is easier to get to meet and work with businesses close to you.
- What are their values? This is very important. Businesses who share the same values get on well together.
Every accountant has different answers. This is the way you cut-down your competitors- you only compete with practices with similar answers. Accountants who are asking for anyone and everyone will find it difficult to cut through the noise created by other non-focused accountants.
It is worth noting here that some companies will only deal with business above a particular size. You may well be able to service them well but, in some cases, if you don’t have the right turnover and number of staff, they are not interested.
So you should have an upper, as well as a lower, limit on turnover and number of employees. Remember the larger the business, the longer it takes to make a decision and the more likely it is to forget about you.
By knowing these answers, you can save a lot of time you had previously wasted by chasing after businesses who were too small or too large for your practice.
It is worth investing some time in working out who you want to attract. If you would like some support with this, then please contact Nikolai today who will be happy to help.