Value in Practice Management
Business development – If everything goes as planned, your accounting firm will grow and evolve over time. There is a whole new set of problems associated with this growth, but it can be managed and used to thrive. As you grow, you’ll begin to experience more competition: pricing, services, client management and retention, and so on. Be prepared to step up your game; with the new challenges comes great rewards. Other possible problems with growth are building size and accessibility. Will you have enough room to handle the increased inflow and outflow of clients and employees? Are you accessible to your clients, or to a potential new market of clients? There is a huge range of ideas that need to be pondered over as your firm experiences growing pains.
Specialization – One choice that is important to make as your firm increases in size is whether or not to specialize your services. There are many accounting firms that are successful as a specialized firm, and just as many are successful with a general accounting practice. There are pros and cons for each.
As a specialized firm, it is likely you’ll be able to charge more for your services since you will be considered an expert in your division. At the same time, you could be cutting off clients who aren’t in need of your specific service. Specialization can also make it easier to structure your firm and allow for growth. With a focus on one or two services, it isn’t as difficult to establish structured systems that can be scaled as growth occurs. General accounting allows for a much wider client base, making marketing much easier. Large, structural business decisions are key to practice management. Choices have to be made so that your firm can commit and produce the best quality work possible.
Networking and marketing – Without clients, no accounting can be done. It is an overly simple fact, but it remains relevant. Your firm should strive to bring in new clients. With practice management, you need to decide how that should be done. Traditional face to face networking is often very successful, but can be harder to obtain these days. Connecting through professional social media sites such as LinkedIn can be a great way to offer services. As always, word of mouth recommendations are excellent recruitment tools. You have to make sure your marketing message is being delivered properly. When speaking with potential clients, make sure you fully understand what they are looking for. Can your firm handle extra clients? Are there structures in place to complete the work required? Being able to understand how to connect, develop, and maintain relationships with clients is absolutely essential to being a successful firm.
In conclusion, practice management is simply about operating and regulating procedures of the entire firm. Overlooking the functions of the non-accounting areas is a costly mistake. By standardizing the firm, fewer mistakes will be made, productivity will increase, and with those improvements comes growth and success. If you are looking for advice on where to start improving your firm’s structure and regulations, feel free to contact us at www.getoffthewheel.com or 800-841-0212 and we’ll be more than happy to help you!