Kick-Starting Business Development Efforts

In today’s dynamic environment, accounting firms must begin employing business development strategies. It’s hard to do and most accounting firms don’t have a clue as to where to begin the process. Small to mid-sized firms have primarily relied on referrals and networking to increase their business – or through acquisition. However, to stimulate true growth, savvy accounting firms have begun hiring business development specialists. Those sales specialists, who have accounting industry experience, are a rare breed but can be cultivated, if the firm has the “right person on the bus.”

Beyond hiring a business development specialist, firms can kick start their business development by creating a process for going after coveted prospects. Many consultants in the industry suggest creating a “pipeline report” that lists potential new business or prospects for the firm. Partners and managers can review and discuss the pipeline report to create more synergy and direction for the firms’ business development efforts.

Even firms that aren’t ready for a sophisticated or integrated sales process can benefit by merely identifying a profile or profiles of the types of clients they would like to obtain. Understanding the type of client you would like to work with is at least a step in the right direction. Utilizing the profile created, firms can then identify specific prospects in key niche areas to create a pipeline report.

The key in any business development area is maintaining the momentum and the focus on the effort. Tap into the resources of your marketing director or marketing department to develop the process or enlist the assistance of a consultant in the industry. But most of all, start thinking of “selling” and the accompanying process as an opportunity rather than a dirty word.

Written by Audra McIntosh,
Marketing Director,
Whalen & Company, CPAs and Consultants

www.whalencpa.com.

You may like these other stories...

Remember the old joke about the devil showing a guy around Hell? There were great parties, swimming pools, and sumptuous food. The guy liked what he saw, lived a bad life and went to Hell when he died. Upon arrival the devil...
Due to fierce competition in the accounting industry, some CPAs may feel pressure to compete for business using pricing alone. However, this is a losing battle in the long run: Competing on price will lead to the need for...
If the thought of blogging makes you as nervous as an executive facing an IRS audit, stop worrying. You can overcome your challenges with these tips.1. Blogging is good for business. You'll benefit as your blog displays...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Aug 26
This webcast will include discussions of recently issued, commonly-applicable Accounting Standards Updates for non-public, non-governmental entities.
Aug 28
Excel spreadsheets are often akin to the American Wild West, where users can input anything they want into any worksheet cell. Excel's Data Validation feature allows you to restrict user inputs to selected choices, but there are many nuances to the feature that often trip users up.
Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.
Sep 11
This webcast will include discussions of commonly-applicable Clarified Auditing Standards for audits of non-public, non-governmental entities.