I was speaking to a managing partner of a local firm in northern California a while back and he was lamenting that, as he was reducing his hours (as he prepared for retirement) and also cutting back on some of his "rainmaking" activities, the firm was simply not generating enough new business. When he founded the firm many years before, he was in the enviable position of knowing a significant number of business owners in his community. He had great relationships within the agriculture sector and developing new business was not a challenge for him. But when we fast forwarded to the current situation, his team of partners did not have those same benefits. They were not well known in the business community and the firm's marketing was in transition, moving from relying on the powerful personality and strong relationships of one person to a more institutional brand name recognition, built based on industry expertise and a community commitment.
He was uncomfortable with his partners not being rain makers and wanted them to follow his lead and build the practice as he had done so successfully in another generation. But they did not have the same connections, history, skills, or desire to generate opportunities as he had done three decades before. Instead they embraced a more structured approach, leveraging niche depth and getting involved in the business community.
Today CPAs cannot afford to rely on one or two or even three rainmakers to assume the burden of filling the pipeline if they want to grow their firm. Marketing is everyone's responsibility and everyone can assume some initiatives that contribute to the firm's pipeline of opportunities! Let me know what you think - and what is working at your firm.