Practices grow significantly faster when they move to digital. But making the switch to a cloud platform won’t automatically result in growth. To grow fast, you need to reassess your workflow, revisit the services you offer and consider the kinds of relationships you build with clients.
If your firm is keen to expand, we’ve highlighted five core ways to achieve this growth.
1. Attract the Right Kind of Client
80% of positive results usually come from your top 20% of clients. So it’s vital to understand your client base and to rate targets based on the value they bring to the firm. Working with demanding, disorganised clients, is inefficient, so aim to work with businesses that fit your ‘ideal client’ mold.
To promote the best client growth:
- Build long-term relationships with the right clients (and lose the bad clients)
- Target companies that are tech-savvy, organised and ambitious
- Make sure clients and targets understand the value you bring to their business
In short, attract your ideal client, and make the firm more productive.
2. Grow Revenue by Improving Efficiency
Digital practices see a 34% increase in revenue-per-employee. Using cloud technology allows greater efficiency, by automating client’s bookkeeping, streamlining their payment options and cashflow, and improving client communication through 24/7 access to their numbers.
To grow your revenue through efficiency:
- Use software to reduce data-entry time and improve workflow productivity
- Allow your team to service a greater number of clients, in a shorter time
- Increase fees by servicing a bigger client base, without additional staff
Use tech to make your firm more productive, and see the increase in revenues.
3. Expand Your Services Beyond the Basics
AI and digital efficiencies offer an opportunity to reduce compliance tasks and increase your advisory work. Accounting insight by Accountex UK claims that business advisory services will soon make up 80% of revenue, so it’s vital to expand beyond being a ‘number cruncher’ and to offer a wider range of value-add services.
To create the most valuable service offerings:
- Listen to clients, understand their business and find out their pain points
- Refine the specialisms, talent and key skills of your staff
- Use your people and tech to offer services that cure clients’ pains
Offer the services your clients demand and bring in higher-value fees.
4. Become a Virtual Fd to Your Key Clients
Hiring an FD is a big investment for any business. So there’s value in offering a ‘virtual FD’ or CFO service – becoming a part-time financial director on clients’ boards and offering the kind of forward-looking strategic advice, scenario-planning and decision-making they need.
To boost growth through a virtual FD/CFO service:
- Identify the entrepreneurial clients who will benefit most from FD-level advice
- Upsell a virtual FD role as part of your advisory and financial support packages
- Increase your fees by delivering this high-level strategic role at board level.
Take on the CFO role with top clients, and strengthen your business partnerships
5. Use Digital Marketing to Raise the Firm’s Profile
Marketing strategies have changed in the digital age. Mailing out an occasional newsletter no longer cuts the mustard, so it’s important to focus on online marketing that uses business blogging, social media and email campaigns to attract new clients.
To get your marketing up to speed:
- Update your website so it’s mobile-friendly, modern and easy to use
- Write regular content that highlights your specialisms and key advisory niches
- Use social media to widen your audience, increase engagement and add followers
By marketing your firm's unique selling point, you carve out a more profitable niche.
Boma’s digital marketing solution takes the hassle out of creating and managing your online content – giving you back time to focus on your other practice growth areas.
About the Author: Steve Ash is a specialist in accounting, marketing, business software and fintech apps.