Jay Abraham, business and marketing guru, famously said that there are really only 3 ways to grow a business:
- Increase the number of clients
- Increase the average transaction value
- Increase the frequency that the average client buys from you
Most accountancy practices think that in order to increase their revenue, they need more clients.
9 times out of 10, “we just need more clients” is the response I get from practice owners when asking them about their plans for growth.
And whilst this might be true, the other 2 ways shown above often prove to be simpler and yield better results.
Here is a purely hypothetical example looking at some numbers:
As you can see, in the year where the practice just focused on getting more clients, and even in the year where the focus was on increasing prices, the increase in revenue wasn’t that great.
However, in the year where the focus was on selling even more services to existing clients, the revenue doubled as a result.
What this means is that it’s often better (and most of the time easier) to increase your revenue by focusing on your existing clients, instead of focusing on winning new clients.
With the above in mind, here are 3 proven tactics to increase revenue from existing clients:
- Broaden your service offering
The first place to start is to look at what services you currently offer, and more importantly, what services you don’t currently offer.
If all you’re offering is the basic accounts and tax package, you’re seriously leaving a lot of money on the table with each and every one of your clients.
Over the years, I’ve found that there are 3 key ways you can broaden your service offering:
- Train your staff – By training your team on more specialist areas of accounts, tax and even other services e.g. coaching, you can then go on to offer these as services
- Leverage technology – By utilising the latest technology, you can offer services that would have previously taken too much time or not been possible. Using Float to generate quick and easy cash flow forecasts is one example.
- Outsource to A+ providers – If you can’t offer the service in-house, why not outsource it to an A+ provider. One example might be offering financial advisory services by outsourcing it to a company like MyContinuum.
As a practice, your service offering should serve your clients entire financial welfare.
Here is an infographic with 61 different services you can offer to do just that.
2. Communicate more frequently
Once you’ve added some more services to your arsenal, it’s time to find out what your clients want and need.
If you’re only speaking to your clients once or twice a year, chances are you’re missing all the opportunities to serve them with these additional services.
When you increase the frequency by which you communicate with them, you will identify their needs as and when they occur, and from there be able to offer your services as a solution.
One way to do this is to consider holding quarterly review meetings (especially if you provide bookkeeping services). These meetings are a great way of reviewing progress throughout the year and identifying any additional needs that they might have.
Another approach that one of my clients took as part of their customer service strategy, is to implement a client courtesy call system. Each week, the managers in his practice are given a small list of clients to call just to have a quick chat to ensure everything’s on track, and to find out if there’s anything else they can help with. It’s quite amazing to see the results that he’s getting from this strategy so far!
3. Focus on client retention
Once you’ve mastered the 2 points above, you should be in a position where you are communicating with your clients more frequently, addressing their wants and needs and serving them at a much higher level with additional services.
Therefore, the next step in increasing your revenue is to focus on client retention.
It’s simple maths, the longer a client stays, the more they’re worth to your practice. But in today’s market where competition is rife, and technology has removed barriers, your once ‘lifetime’ clients are no longer so secure.
Improving client retention ultimately comes down to one thing – customer service strategy.
I created a guide with 33 ways you can increase client retention which you can download for free here.
You’re sitting on a potential goldmine
As an accountancy practice owner, you are sitting on a potential goldmine.
You have a client base of business owners, paying you recurring fees each year, all with problems and pains that you can help solve one way or another.
By serving your clients at a much greater level, you can increase your practice revenue and make a real difference to the lives of your clients.
About The Author
Rudi Jansen is the Head Coach at Accoa and the author of the Amazon best-selling book ‘The Highly Profitable Accountant’. He runs the UK’s leading coaching programme for accountancy practice owners helping them to increase their profits, work more efficiently and extract themselves from the day-to-day running of the practice. To read more of Rudi’s content, click here. To attend one of Rudi’s upcoming seminars, click here. To connect with Rudi on Linkedin, click here.
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