Right now, you have an opportunity…
And that opportunity has been made possible through advances in technology and a changing perception of what role an accountant can play in business.
The opportunity is to help your clients with both their business AND personal goals, by offering a greater number of services to them.
This doesn’t mean to say you become a sales-driven practice trying to flog every service you can. It’s less about selling and more about serving.
As their accountant you are in a unique position as a trusted advisor.
You might know things about their financial world that even their closest friends and family don’t.
And you can use this unique position to both yours and your clients advantage by moving beyond compliance and increasing your practice’s service offering to serve them in both business and personally.
So, where do you start?
1. Identify gaps in current service offering
The first thing you need to do is identify where the gaps are in your current service offering and decide which additional services you would like to offer.
Do you want to offer a handful of higher-value services aimed towards business and financial advisory?
Or do you want to offer the full range of services that a client needs to look after their entire personal and business world?
2. In-house or external?
Once you’ve identified which additional services you want to offer, you need to decide whether these can be done internally, or if they can be outsourced externally to strategic partners.
If you go down the route of offering them internally, then you will need to do 2 things:
- Train your team
- Create systems & processes to support them
The training could be as simple as how to use the new Xero add-on that will produce the financial forecasts, or it could be something more complex like training on how your team can offer business coaching services.
Once your team have been trained, you need to ensure there are robust systems and processes in place so that the service can be scaled up to a number of clients.
This is the one most practices seem most afraid to do, yet it’s the one that can often get the best results.
Ultimately, it comes down to identifying the right strategic partners for you to refer clients to or outsource work to.
One example could be a strategic partnership with a financial advisor enabling you to offer some additional wealth management services. I personally recommend Continuum to all of my clients.
Do your due diligence, and give the process time to work.
3. Educate clients
So, you’ve decided on your services and you’ve got the resources in place to offer them, now all you need to know is let your clients (and prospects) know they’re available.
You can educate your clients about your service offering in a number of ways:
- Publish new content on your website
- Run seminars and webinars
- Create case studies of these services working with other clients
Another great way of educating them and also establishing a need, is to sit down and do a complete planning process with them identifying what their current financial world looks like, what their business goals are and what their personal goals are etc.
And from this exercise you will be able to identify which services they need to in order to achieve their goals.
F3C advantage is a great suite of software that will allow you to do this process in great detail.
“My clients don’t want this…”
It’s also worth noting here that a common response from practice owners about offering additional services to clients is something along these lines:
“My clients don’t want this, they just want their accounts and tax returns doing and that’s it”
I completely agree. There are clients who will never agree to any of the additional services that you offer and that’s fine.
The point here is that you as a practice owner need to make a decision about the types of client that you want and go from there.
There is 100% a need for this amongst businesses today, you just have to make the decision to work with them.
Become their trusted advisor
The time to act is now.
Other proactive practices are already out there right now helping clients with both their business and personal worlds.
Increase your practice’s service offering and as a result you will futureproof your practice, strengthen your client relationships and ultimately, become their trusted advisor.