Understanding the future value of your firm starts with understanding more now about both your existing clients and those you wish to secure in the future.
You may believe you know what your “ideal” client looks like, but chances are that this has changed significantly in recent years and you may be missing a range of easily captured opportunities.
We know that by setting quantitative and qualitative criteria detailing the “ideal” client, accountants can allocate their time and resources more effectively.
But up to 45 per cent of accountants surveyed recently, admitted they did not segment their client base, according to Bstar’s “The 2015 Accountants Research Report”. This report states that it is SME clients who have the business growth, improvement and succession needs, which make them “ideal” clients for advisory services.
But how are accountants able to “go the extra mile” to pinpoint how clients may be serviced in the best manner possible?
Firms should strive to provide clients both an outstanding experience, as well as insight.
Many, including ourselves at Prime, are increasingly focussed on “co-creating” a new experience with and for clients. Without building a framework to segment clients and identify their needs, it’s hard to deliver beyond a basic, bland experience.
Don’t just give clients a product “off-the-shelf” or simply something you wish to sell them unilaterally.
Firms should understand that clients are seeking tailored experiences and wish to participate in the services they’re going to be receiving and consuming.
Worryingly, there are still accounting firms which retain no definition or understanding of what their ideal client may look like. This should be addressed as a priority consideration.
Otherwise, how can you possibly build a successful marketing, business development and client engagement model – quite apart from having a discussion on firm value?
Quality accounting firms are shifting their focus toward servicing clients who are genuinely seeking “advice” and “multiple services” through the one location or client contact. This maximises value for both the client and the firm and is a great starting point to developing a more specific target client profile.
At Prime, we work in partnership with accountants to do just that – to make sure that their clients benefit from multiple services, including wealth management, finance, legal and other complimentary services. It can be that their clients are professionals or executives, business owners or retirees. Importantly, our starting point is to explore with each of our accounting partners, which profiles they are seeking to target and what “client needs” they are primarily addressing.
It’s also crucial to identify:
Do you have the right mix of clients to fit within your growth plan?
Once this is clarified it’s easier to identify what the ideal future client looks like and how best to build future value.