How to diversify your accountancy services to generate more work
Whether you’re working as a self-employed accountant or running a bigger firm, the beginning of a new financial year is always a good place to pause and reflect on the direction of your business. Many of our accountancy partners tell us they are looking for ways to grow their companies and generate more work.
In this blog, we take a look at how accountants can review the range of services they offer and make changes so that they’re attracting more work – both from existing clients and brand new ones.
Do your research
Expanding and diversifying your accountancy business is best done in a thought-out, planned way. That means you need to start with some research.
Consider the type of clients you want to target – whether that’s a specific sector, way of working (e.g. freelancers) or clients looking for support with a particular issue, such as IR35. From here, you can do some research into their wants, needs and the best way to reach them with your marketing materials.
Reviewing your current client roster can help with this – what type of businesses are you currently attracting? You could even consider sending your clients a quick questionnaire to understand what they are looking for in an accountant, what made them choose your services, and what other services they would like to see you offer.
Which brings us on to…
Review your services
As part of your strategy for growth and diversification, you need to understand how your accounting business is currently operating. Which services are most popular? This is a good insight into where the demand is in the market. Where you have less take-up for services – is there anything you could be pushing more, or consider removing from your remit?
It’s also worth doing a bit of research here into your competitors – what services are they offering and promoting? You don’t have to copy them, but it could give you a bit of insight into the wider market for accountancy services, and help you identify any gaps that you could fill.
Diversify your services
Once you’ve done your research and reviewing, and got a good grasp on your existing services, plan out how you might diversify your services to plug any gaps you’ve identified. It might also be worth considering what services you could potentially offer as add-ons to your existing contractors and clients to upsell their packages?
It’s always easier to sell to an existing client than it is to attract a brand new one.
Perhaps there are skills that you learnt while undertaking your training which you could bring into your current service offer? Or you could look for where there are new growth areas of accountancy expertise that you could take training in and offer as a specialist add-on to your core services – for example, managing accountancy for portfolio careers or offering IR35 expertise.
Increase your geographical area
While previously, contractor accountants might have concentrated on self-employed clients working in their local area, the world of remote working has transformed the possibilities for expanding your client base. Pretty much everything can be done online now, so widening the geographical area that you cover is a quick and easy way to open up your services to many more clients.
You could consider different rates for different areas – a contractor in London may expect to pay more for an accountant than one in rural Yorkshire.
One thing to bear in mind with expanding geographically is that the devolved nations have the ability to set some of their own tax rules – Scotland in particular has different income tax brackets to England, Northern Ireland and Wales. If you decide to widen your geographical area, it may be wise to limit your expansion at first to tax systems that you’re familiar with, or this could end up causing you lots of extra work.
Review your marketing
Once you’ve decided what changes you’re going to make to your services, the next step is to shout about them! Make sure you update your website and advertising to list your new services.
If you have an email mailing list, send all your subscribers a message about any add-ons and extra help that you can offer them. This is a really good way to upsell to existing clients. If you’re having any client meetings, make sure you mention any other services that you think they might benefit from.
If you use social media or LinkedIn, it’s worth popping up a post or two advertising what’s new to attract attention from potential clients.
Partner with Kingsbridge
Another way for contractor accountants to generate a bit of extra income is through referrals. Team up with Kingsbridge, and for every insurance policy that your contractor clients take out, you’ll receive a commission payment. As a Partner, you have access to our team of experts with in-depth knowledge of contractor insurance.
Take a look at our partner and affiliate pages for more information.