Over the last couple of years, I have been raising the issue of the need for Accountants to develop industry and service specialisations to grow their practice revenue and attract new ‘ideal’ clients. Accountants considering developing service specialisations should tailor these solutions to the key needs of their clients.
Our SME Research confirms each client segment has different needs, but I believe 5 key service specialisations are integral to the growth of accounting practices who offer business advisory services.
The key need for most SME business operators is to grow and improve their profit and cash flow. Consequently, we recommend Accountants build service specialisations centred on Risks SWOT Workshops/Reports, and CFO Programs (featuring budgets, benchmarking and business planning).
These services are financially focussed ‘operational’ business advisory solutions that can be delivered by Senior Accountants, Supervisors and Managers.
The key need of larger private and family business clients’ is to create, grow and transition the value of their business so they can achieve financial independence and security.
Business Valuation, Succession Planning and Board of Advice services are highly sought after by this valuable client segment and we recommend Senior Managers, Associate Directors and Partners/Directors take the lead in providing these ‘strategic’ business advisory solutions.
Separating ‘operational’ and ‘strategic’ advisory solutions and their delivery is essential to creating financial leverage in an accounting practice. Skills development programs should be focused on providing sounding board services as over 70% of all solutions purchased by SMEs fell into these types of service specialisation categories*.
SMEs are willing to pay their Accountant for services that provide them with the information, technical advice and support they need to make informed decisions about changes to their business. Furthermore, this support generates greater confidence and accountability that will enable the business to thrive rather just survive.
New clients are attracted to practices that offer service specialisations. Succession Planning is the #2 concern for business owners* and 8 in 10 business owners want to value and benchmark their business*. Accountants not providing these services face the risk of losing clients to leading practices aggressively promoting the 2 adviser model to their clients.
We recommend Accountants promote their service specialisation through dedicated content pages on their website, via social media and to their centres of influence.
Success doesn’t happen overnight, Tim Lane, Partner, Accru Hobart can attest to that. Over the last 6 years, Tim has focussed on implementing a business valuation specialisation service in his practice using Bstar’s patented Business Valuation Tool.
Tim’s results are very impressive. He is now recognised nationally as an expert in business valuations and has substantially grown his practice revenue with existing and new clients.
Tim has agreed to be interviewed by Bstar on his successes in providing Business Valuations Specialisation Services.
Bstar supports Accountants to grow their business advisory services and attract new clients through research, education and the online viba Alliance Partner Program.
*Bstar’s 2016/17 SME Research Report.