Using the summer months to build on the value of your firm
Summer. Is. Here. The sun is out, tax season is far behind us, and after the hectic vacuum that was 2020, we finally have some time to put our feet up. Right?
It’s no secret that the summer months are quieter for most accountants. Employees take up their holidays, some businesses are less busy, and a hammock and some sunburn (we’re kidding ourselves) seems more tempting than an afternoon’s work.
It’s easy to want to take it slow.
But while it’s important to take time out for R&R, this quiet summer period can actually be the perfect time to find new business opportunities for your clients.
The quiet offers a different chance to recharge. A chance to think about the bigger picture, build your advisory prowess, and supercharge your firm. By taking advantage of businesses slowing down, you can put your firm in a much better position to handle the chaos once it’s back in full swing.
But where do you even begin?
Building meaningful client relationships
To run a successful accounting firm, you need to have clients that are onboard with every decision you make. After all, happy clients are what make your firm profitable.
How do you get clients onboard? You build their trust. How do you build their trust? Become their friend. How do you become their friend? Be nice.
It’s obviously not that simple, but the gist of client relationship building is there. In order to build valuable relationships, it’s not good enough to be seeing clients once a year during tax season and doing the bare minimum for their business. You need to be helpful and reliable.
Consistent, clear communication is essential. Be on hand to answer any questions and learn about their business so that you can relate to what their worries are. Virtual meetings are fashionable now.
If you don’t yet have a consistent communication stream in place, the summer is a great time to start. In fact, if you have the time and resources to, the summer can be the perfect time to draw up a client communication strategy (or find an app to keep on top of it for you).
Still, communication isn’t enough. If you really want to retain clients and prove your value to them, you’ll need to offer a quality of service that your clients can’t get elsewhere. Increasing your offering is a great way to do so.
Offering next-level business advisory
If you haven’t heard the buzz around “business advisory” in the accounting industry, where have you been for the past few years?
Business advisory is spoken about so often for a reason. It’s no longer sustainable to only offer basic financial assistance to your clients. Thanks to hot competition and the rise of cloud accounting, top accounting firms are now expected to support their clients by offering growth-driven advice tailored to their business needs.
Business advisory again relies on dialogue and building strong client relationships. But most importantly, it relies on your firm staying educated on what’s going on around you and understanding how it personally affects each of your business clients. In the case of COVID, that might have meant knowing that hospitality businesses were dealt a poor hand in supplier contract offers and needed a way to secure prices that weren’t extortionate (something the Reducer Ops team worked tirelessly to overcome).
The lull of summer can give you a clear head to think about the future of your business clients.
But what if you don’t have enough time this summer to become an expert on everything business? Multiply your efforts by outsourcing or using an app to handle things for you.
Making things simple, making things ‘appy
Apps are driving growth in the accounting industry. That’s clear. From meeting platforms to purchase analysis software, accountants are able to do so much more with their time thanks to the power of little robots.
The pandemic of 2020 changed how accountants meet with clients. In a week, everyone shifted from in-person to virtual meetings on video platforms. Connect4 was designed, with this shift in client relationships in mind, to offer an alternative to fragmented processes for both clients and accountants. If you’re looking to make your client relationships flourish this summer, then this end-to-end meeting platform with a unique dedicated pod approach is a good place to start.
With so much available on the market, it can seem overwhelming to add to your tech stack when there are a thousand things on your plate. But when you hit the calm of the summer months, you can shop around and trial tech at your leisure.
The lull is particularly useful when it comes to the laborious task of migrating processes and improving efficiency. Perhaps you could move towards a paperless office by opting for digital invoicing. Having the time to finally carry out these mundane but often simple tasks can have huge benefits for the future, giving you all the tools you need in one virtual space.
Reducer | How Connected Purchasing sets you up for the future
Want to use your summer to secure client success in the future?
Reducer’s one-of-a-kind Connected Purchasing platform sets your clients up for long term success in no time at all.
The partnership brings easy savings to your business clients, leaving them with the cash they need to invest in the growth of their business. This adds immediate value to your firm’s service offering and adds a little excitement to the summer slump.
By simply connecting to your cloud accounting system, Reducer is able to create personalised savings recommendations based on an accurate analysis of your clients’ spend data. Our team then handles and switches they choose to take. It’s a quick way to replace the traditional price comparison process whilst reducing the £7.6 billion set to be wasted by UK SMEs in 2021 alone.
One of our priorities is building a tailored solution to each firm and business that helps them to combat the challenges of B2B spending. So, two-way dialogue is key for both learning the needs of your clients and making their new contracts simple to understand.
There’s no better time than the quiet summer months to make space for these important conversations.
- The summer slump gives you time to catch up with clients
- You can use these conversations to offer better business advice
- Migrating to apps during this lull can improve efficiency for the future
- There’s no guarantee of a British summer, so you may as well work on business growth anyway