Kick Off The New Year With A Growth Plan

Ask any accountant what comprises a majority of their work and they likely will not say practice growth. However, maintaining and growing your firm’s client base should occupy a significant portion of your daily activities and should have a priority position on the daily schedule.

Because families move, businesses close and competition moves in, it is never too early to cultivate new relationships, clients and opportunities. If you are not already looking ahead to next year and the year after that, make it a point in 2018 to be intentional about business development.

The Future is Forward

Long-term established clients are the bread and butter of your firm. They are reliable and loyal and often provide years of revenue for a partner or firm. However, do not pass an opportunity on the road ahead because you are busy looking in the rear-view mirror. There is a fine balance between appreciating present clients and seeking new ones.

Current clients can be valuable assets in the search for new opportunities. Having a positive and open relationship with a client and providing exceptional services is the best way to gain referrals. Even in today’s social media-driven market, word-of-mouth advertising is a best value.

Make a Slow Day a Grow Day

The biggest mistake you might make is to sit back and wait for the crowds to arrive during busy season. Take advantage of off-season lulls to develop and pursue growth planning. When you use down time effectively, you will find it easy to put development first.

Think of slow days as opportunities to reach out — in person and on social media — and check in with clients, referral sources and post. Being productive means more than a day spent on billable work.

Review and Revise

You may be inclined to attribute a slow day to bad weather, client cancellations, or other unforeseeable events that affect every business and not just accountants. However, when the sun is shining and the calendar is blank, there may be other reasons the office is empty. It could mean your present development plan is simply not working.

Make a list of everything you have done in the past year to generate new clients and what points of your development plan you have accomplished. If you find yourself with an excess of off days, it may be time to come up with a new strategy.

Finally, make every day count. It does not matter if it is a slow day or the most hectic day of the year. Forward thinking accountants and managers understand the value of beginning and ending every day with a vision. Whether your plan is a new client per day, week, or month, set attainable goals and keep track of them.

When intentional thinking and practices are part of your daily routine for 2018, business development will begin to come naturally.

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Christine Nietzke