When you start your own firm you may be tempted to try to be all things to all people in order to get the biggest number of customers in the shortest amount of time. What you’ll find though is that this shotgun approach will actually slow your growth, and perhaps even kill it. Let’s talk about a better approach to developing your firm and how virtual accountants can help your growth.
Think vertical, not horizontal.
Horizontal growth probably won’t lead to real growth at all. By “horizontal” we mean adding services that are an attempt to break into markets you previously had no experience or reputation in.
So if your firm has been focusing their services and marketing on the niche of (for example) dental offices and you now suddenly start pushing out new services aimed at retirement fund management, you may end up causing confusion amongst your clientele.
Without a proper segue into the retirement world all you’re doing is watering down your firm’s branding. You’ll go from being the dentists’ financial champion to that firm that has done some dentist-related stuff and they also do some retirement stuff.
Even with your virtual accountants ably taking on the new work, your service packages are going to become confusing. Dentists, your previously strong niche, are going to be overwhelmed with this new array of services. It can get tiring for clients when they have to sit and be told why this and that package is no good for them and they should go for Package C instead, even though to them Package B looks better despite it being geared towards the retirement management crowd.
Also, you’ll now be taking on new competition. And your new competitors will already be well established in the retirement management arena.
Additionally, your marketing costs will take a big jump because you’ll have to gear it towards a whole new field that previously had no idea of your firm’s existence.
Use your virtual accountants to help build on your strengths.
Focus instead of building vertically. This means expanding on the expertise you have already displayed and used to build a happy roster of A-list clients instead of trying to suddenly break into entirely new markets.
First, tap into your already existing clients. Find out if they still have any financial woes. If all of your dentists seem to bring up the same financial hurdles then you’ve just discovered a new service that you can add to your menu of services in order to expand your firm.
But what about when you already have all the dentists? After all, there are only so many of them to go around. How can you continue to grow from there?
You have two main avenues to explore. The first is to look at markets that are related to your dentists. Do general practitioner offices face the same financial hurdles as a dentist office? What about people that work with and supply dental offices like dental equipment suppliers? You already know the field and can get referrals from your established clients.
The second avenue is to make your firm into a referral funnel. If you feel that a horizontal move will water down your firm’s reputation too much, even with your virtual accountants turning around quality work, then can you arrange with other financial institutions to pay you a referral fee? You send your dentist clients to a retirement management expert, and they in turn send you clients who need help building up their dental practice.
The best part about this second option is that it doesn’t cost you a dime but can bring in a nice chunk of change in referrals. It’s all profit with no overhead, and if you so choose you can pump those profits back into your firm so that you and your virtual accountants can offer even more value to your clientele.