This year, we were fortunate enough to attend The Australian Accounting Roadshow, Start, Grow, Merge or Sell – hosted by the team at Practice Ignition and NAB. As the name probably suggests, we heard quite a bit about the successes, failures, and everything in between from some industry bigwigs.
Here are five important lessons we learned about expanding your own firm:
1. Swim or die: you need to adapt to changing business needs
The number one reason clients change their bookkeeping or accounting firm is that their business has grown and altered structurally. Consequently, we as the financial team can no longer fulfil their needs. It’s the natural selection of the financial world – evolve with your clients or someone stronger will take your place. Which brings me to the next point…
2. Let’s talk: communication with clients is key
Customer input really does matter. Seek regular feedback and you’ll already be ahead of the curve, because not many businesses do really internalise this one. One in four businesses say their accountants have never sought any feedback from them– and the first step to adapting to a client’s needs is to know them first. What better way to find out something than to ask directly?
3. The future is digital: integrate apps to your firm
Do a little research on some apps. Not just the obvious ones like QuickBooks or Xero. There are entire hosts of apps out there that are more than capable of streamlining your work and making the old nine to five a whole lot easier. Check out ones like Receipt Bank and Hubdoc for the accounting/bookkeeping side of things, but don’t forget apps such as Asana and Slack that help with in-office communication and organisation.
4. Billboards & bus benches: spend some time and money on marketing
Your business may be up to date on the latest software and run like a well-oiled machine, but you’ll never get any new clients if they have no idea who you are. Get a website done up professionally, hop on social media, post a few memes, and hashtag the hell out of everything. Let the world know who you are and why you’re here.
5. The wolf pack hunts together: you don’t need to go it alone
In the words of Practice Ignition CEO Guy Pearson, “The journey to start, grow or sell doesn’t need to be a lonely one.” Don’t be afraid to branch out and network, ask questions, field answers, and hear some ideas from people who’ve been there and done that.
Thanks to Practice Ignition, NAB, and all of the sponsors for an insightful day!