Strategic planning needed to attract new breed of clients

An astonishing new survey has revealed that 93 new businesses were created every hour across the UK in the first half of 2022.

Data from Companies House shows over 402,000 businesses were registered between January and June 2022.

According to the data, despite economic headwinds, rising inflation and rocketing energy costs, the number jumped by 18 per cent year on year.

That’s a lot of new businesses and a lot of potential for accountants to tap into.

What practices need to bear in mind is that many of these are not their traditional kind of clients and that a new breed is on the rise.

That calls for a change of tack for many with a need to look at the services they offer and how they present themselves to clients.

Keeping pace with technology

Once considered a staid, conservative profession, the advent of cloud-based accountancy has seen a sea change in how accountants operate and the need for a new breed of employee to keep pace with the technological revolution.

That means planning for the future. Instead of the usual round of compliancy stuff, practices need to be more methodical about how they are going to build up their business.

It could be as simple as sitting down with a piece of paper and mapping out what the goals are, where are the leads coming from and how much profit is expected.

That means taking a good hard look at the operating model and deciding how to improve it.

Hope and luck are all well and good but no recipe for success. Careful planning is needed.

Develop what works for the practice

Firms should take a look at what works and what doesn’t and be ruthless. Develop what has worked and abandon methods that don’t.

So plan out a strategy for the long term. It could be a one-year or five-year plan. What investment will be necessary in technology? Who are the people to drive this forward?

Accountants taking on these challenges need to be more than a team with a couple of superstars.

Successful sporting teams are not about a single star player, they achieve success by having square pegs in square holes with the right players to do the job they have been asked to do.

Brian Clough was a brilliant exponent of this, building two championship-winning sides at Derby County and Nottingham Forest, from what appeared to be journeyman players. They became an unstoppable sporting force.

Thinking outside the box

In more modern times, you can look at how that methodical approach has led to the current success of the England women’s football team. This can also be seen at Arsenal with manager Mikel Arteta, England’s men through Gareth Southgate and at Newcastle United with manager Eddie Howe.

Team players are key and it means owners and partners need to think outside the box about attracting new business. Do they want to offer higher value to fewer clients, or offer a slightly lesser service to more clients?

Do they hire someone who may not be an accountant but is skilled in developing business?

Could a business champion could be appointed to monitor progress, and report to weekly and quarterly meetings?

This means developing the minutiae of planning what can be offered and making sure it is carried through.

Incremental change for maximum results

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so look at the competition, are they doing something you should be doing?

A slick, well-presented professional outlook will impress potential clients. We have spoken before about how the physical appearance of an office makes a difference. The same principle applies here if potential clients can see a professional outfit offering a clear detailed service at the right price.

Incremental change can produce maximum results. Again we have mentioned this before with the performance of the British cycling team led by Sir Dave Brailsford, where he turned them into world beaters. The same is true for other top sports people where small changes to diet or training regime can bring maximum results.

Inspired to take next step forward

There is a book by Simon Sinek which is called ‘Start with Why’, which shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way.

Sinek calls it The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organisations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired.

That kind of connection, inspiration and teamwork pretty much guarantee success. UK business is constantly evolving and accountants have demonstrated their willingness to evolve with it.

It’s time to take the next step forward.

Contact our UK-based team of account managers today to find out how we can help your firm.

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