You’ve been a good accountant for your clients. But there is greater opportunity for you to become a trusted advisor and solidify your relationship with your clients, solve their business issues and increase your billings.
Your clients already trust you for compliance work. Now it is time to leverage that trust to provide business advisory services. Take the time to discuss with your clients the business issues that are weighing on their minds. Explain to them how you can provide services that will help them resolve those issues and reduce their stress. Discuss their “needs and wants.” Then develop customized solutions and services to meet those needs and satisfy those wants.
The struggle for many professional services firms is the perceived competition between various options for the niche you will try to develop. There is certainly something to be said for an approach that chooses the niche to focus on by just deciding that you like a particular industry or a particular type of work best.
So often, practice development in professional services firms relies on a few good rainmakers within the organization who seek out new clients and close new business. These few are most likely the principals who started the firm and have their names included in the firm name or, for larger firms, have attained the position of Partner or Stakeholder. Over the years they have developed networks, built a referral base and created a name for themselves in the marketplace, which in turn has driven in new clients.