Having come hot off the press from the Xero roadshow, one of the key messages was on the process of building a next-generation accounting practice. Some interesting questions to ask include:
- What is your vision for your practice in the next 5 years?
- What is the value of your brand?
- Are you attracting the type of clients you want to work with?
- Will the next generation of accountants be interested in purchasing an established practice without an online presence?
- Are there quick wins with efficiency gains you can leverage for your practice by embracing technology?
Even in a smaller community, having an online presence gives you an opportunity to present your ‘best face’. And potential new clients will not only search for your website online, but will often also check their phones for your business location for a first visit.
Starting your digital journey
Xero’s Amy Vetter goes into more detail on ways to modernise and accounting firm in this great post. Her advice to ‘start small’ is particularly important as you begin your digital transformation journey. So what are the next steps?
1. A website
Okay, so half of small businesses still don't have a website, according to Inc.com. But if your own clients include business owners and you are involved with business advisory services, this is hardly leading by example. If you give any consideration to your business attire, your website is like your online self. A modern, clean website can enhance your brand and enable you to present a professional image.
2. A regular Blog post
Now you have your website up, how about writing a regular Blog post? This is intimidating for many of the accountants we talk with. Whether it's making the time to write content, or the actual thought process of 'but what can I possibly write about?' a blog post seems to rate low on the priority list. The best way to start is to commit to a monthly post on a topic you are passionate about, or an industry specialty you have knowledge about. This has the added SEO benefit of helping your website to rank more highly on search engines like Google too.
3. Engage with current clients
Send out an email newsletter linking to the content on your website. This keeps you front of mind, and also creates opportunities for engagement for strengthening your business relationships.
4. Spread the word
Those word-of-mouth referrals are fantastic. What happens when you expand your referral network? Many of the accountants we talk with cut their teeth on social media with professional business network LinkedIn. Get your Blog post up on LinkedIn for your connections to link back to your website and read. And if they 'like' your post it then goes out to all their contacts. Therein lies the power of social media! From there setting up a LinkedIn Company page is a breeze.
So while your business relationships will always be the most important contributing factor to your success, it may be time to consider the bigger picture. If you'd like more information on a lead generating website for your accounting practice, contact us for more information.