Five Tips For Accountants Looking To Start Their Practice
You’ve spent your professional career at firms large and small. But now, it’s time to take matters into your own hands by opening up your practice. Leaving your firm's comfort may seem daunting, but opening your practice may provide you with an experience that can’t be matched.
To help you get things off the ground, here are five tips to help you launch your practice.
- Let your current clients know about your plans
If you did not sign a non-compete agreement with your firm before leaving, it’s best to let your clients know about your future endeavors. This is not to say you should actively pursue them and poach business from your soon-to-be former employers. Instead, it’s best to reach out to them and let them know you plan to start your practice, and should they want to continue working with you, they could contact you on your cell phone. If they're going to keep your services, they have the freedom to; however, if they decide to stay with your former firm, they still have your contact information in case they want to refer individuals they know to you.
You mustn’t actively poach your former firm’s business. While advising your clients of your plans helps keep them aware of why you decided to leave the firm. The option to follow you should remain theirs.
- Referrals are your best friend
You spent a long time developing your relationships with your clients. The same will continue once you start your practice. If you take care of your clients, they will take care of you. As a professional, if you can provide a service, you should reinforce what you provide through constant communication, honest expectations and deadlines, and proper time management. There will always be moments when you find yourself balancing multiple assignments for your clients, if that’s the case, a quick phone call to update them on the progress of the job you’re completing helps make sure there is no miscommunication and the deadlines can be met or adjusted if necessary. Even if it’s not what they want to hear, it’s better to tell them the truth than risk deteriorating your relationship through radio silence. However, if you set expectations, be prepared to meet them. Missing deadlines regularly will ruin your client’s trust in your work.
This is all to ensure that your name immediately comes to mind when someone asks your client about an accountant they should use. For clients to refer you and help your practice grow, establishing a relationship built on trust is the best way to gain business through referrals.
- Find your niche
While your license grants you a broad array of options to practice, and in the beginning it may be advantageous to operate as a full-service firm, finding an area to focus your practice may allow you to target a specific population looking for accounting services. If you are good at a specific area or passionate about a particular subject, focusing on it may allow you not just to enjoy the work you’re doing but find a deep pocket of business through marketing and word of mouth.
- Use social media
Starting off and finding clients may be difficult, but through social media, you can reach individuals looking for your services. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are your best weapons for finding new potential clients. Maximizing the rewards from these free marketing opportunities doesn’t take a lot of effort. All you need to do is market your services and prices and add a splash of creativity. Keep in mind that there are multiple ways to find new followers. Videos are a great way to keep social media users’ eyes on your posts which means your account may be more likely to appear on their feed. Hashtags can reach broad audiences that might be looking for a tax professional or one that provides a specific service. And don’t forget to include links in your post to your website; it’s a quick way to convert followers into clients.
- Don’t hesitate to network
Begin by going to networking events, seminars, and civic gatherings. Speak at professional gatherings whenever feasible. Suggest that family, friends, and other accountants remember you, as they may be able to connect you to potential clients. If you haven't already, you should consider joining your state society. Look for methods to collaborate with other businesses and enterprises, as well as networking opportunities in the community. The local chamber of commerce is a great place to identify new clients that require your services.
How Taxfyle can help
Getting your practice off the ground may be a slow start. While you’re building your business, you can leverage your experience and time by freelancing as an accountant. Taxfyle connects talented tax professionals like yourself with individuals and businesses looking for help with their taxes. Don’t hesitate, becoming a Taxfyle Pro is an excellent way to increase your income at your desired pace without pressure from a boss because you’re your own boss.