Take your Practice to the next level
Elizabeth McMahon | 7 September 2010
Ahead of our series of workshops on “Marketing Your Practice” and “Social Media for Accountants”, Richard Sergeant, Managing Director of PracticeWEB discusses ways of taking your firm to the next level.
Don’t stop marketing
It’s unlikely that the comprehensive spending review in October will hold any good news for those connected to the public sector and it’s not at all certain how the markets will react and what the wider effects will be on the UK business world. From our research and conversations with clients some of the old basic truths are still winning through:
- Put your clients first – always. You need to be out there with them, as well as be in their minds.
- Don’t stop Marketing - it is an important part of your armoury during tough times- resist the temptation to make cuts here when actually keeping your profile high has never been so important.
- Demonstrate your expertise - Competition is circling and the pressure on fees is growing. Demonstrating your service and client care online widens your sphere of influence and reinforces your position.
It’s all in the plan
A plan is better than no plan, but we all understand that the plan that sits on the shelf is an even greater waste. So yes, your plan must be realistic, achievable, targeted, and absolutely grounded in the business aims and ambitions of the firm – but also you must have the resources and space to implement and coordinate. It’s important not to reinvent the wheel here… it is best to add fresh investment in being more thoughtful, focussed and coordinated in your approach.
The number one issue that comes up repeatedly – whether it is in doing the thinking and planning, executing and delivery, or reporting and measuring - is what if you simply don’t have the time? Well, time waits for no firm. And the time not made or resourced to do plan will result in chargeable time leaking from your business.
How even the time poor, can deliver more
Time poor for more activities is one thing. Being time poor to do the basics is another. So, start with your own time management. Think about how you are utilising to the best your internal resources and staff to help clear your desk of some of the things that don’t need you. This will help release some of your precious head space.
Next get some support. Attend events, workshops and training that will not just inspire but can lever real benefit. Think seriously about bringing an external resource in at the planning stage to help widen the scope of your thoughts, and bring a pair of fresh eyes.
Two things that every partner can do - and should
- Meet up with your clients face to face. And for those that are already doing this, invest in getting to know them better and know their businesses better. Look for, seek out and uncover new opportunities to sell in additional services, and don’t be shy about it. If you can help, and you can prove you can help, your story can be compelling and only enhance your client relationship.
- Connect through social media: Ask for referrals and recommendations through linked in, recommend different business that may be of use to them through twitter, point them to interesting and relevant articles via facebook. Ignore this channel at your peril – it provide an accessible, instantaneous way of communicating and building relationships. Some of the biggest professional service firms in the world are now passionate advocates, and the whole thing is essentially predicated on individual relationships and professionalism.
Our new Marketing your Practice and Social Media workshops have been developed in conjunction with clients faced with, and working their way through what is still a tough overall market. These real world insights are all incorporated across the two workshops, and I strongly urge you to attend – not just to validate your current approaches, but to learn something new, and to engage with our professionals and your peers. The sessions are pragmatic, powerful, insightful, and grounded in the insights gained through working with firms of all sizes across the UK.
To find out more about the workshops, click here
If you've got any feedback about this article, or any thing that PracticeWEB does, I'd love to hear from you. Email me or call me on 0117 915 3349.