Knowing your ideal client is essential for scaling your accounting firm

Your accounting firm can't be all things to all people.

If you want to scale your firm, you need to narrow your focus

By finding and focusing on a niche, you can produce, standardize, replicate and execute processes that are suitable for many individual clients.

If you can do that, then you are more likely to be able to scale your firm using the resources you already have.

But in order to build a client base around your niche, you need to really understand the motivations that drive them, the pain points that frustrate them, and what their desires are.

Essentially, you need to find your ideal client.

But how do you know who your ideal client is?

Who is your ideal client?

A great place to start is by taking a look at your current roster and finding commonalities between your clients.

Do they work in the same industry? Do they have the same long-term goals?

Identifying your firm’s perfect niche isn’t an easy task—there are many variables in play.

But you can narrow things down by asking yourself one question: Do you want to work with them?

For example, you might be having difficulty choosing between two niches: 

  • Small medical centres

  • Local cafes

While you might see more stability in the medical centres, you’re a genuine coffee lover. So, the answer is clear.

It’s also important to remember that your current clients might not necessarily be your ideal clients.

Once you’ve narrowed your focus, you then need to get to know your clients.

Understanding your clients

Deeply understanding your clients will help you identify their commonalities on a greater level. And this is what you can leverage when standardizing your repeatable processes.

You need to understand a mixture of personal and business-related aspects of your ideal client.

Personal

  • What motivates them?

  • What role do they see themselves playing in the long-term?

  • What is their vision?

  • What are their biggest frustrations?

Business-related

  • What are the business’s long-term goals?

  • What stage is the business in on its predicted trajectory to success?

  • What is success?

  • What are the biggest day-to-day challenges?

  • What are the biggest blockers to success today?

  • What is an ideal day, month and year for the business?

Consider sending out a survey, or having some one-on-one discussions with some trusted clients to gather this information.

This intel will help you to further define your ideal client, while helping you to design everything you do—from your firm’s messaging to the services you offer—to suit your niche.

Importantly, you can begin to connect the dots between your clients and your processes. You will identify how you can standardize your workflows so you can serve them all, without having to reinvent the wheel for each client.

For example, if your niche focuses on wineries, you’ll know to create a standardized workflow that includes the appropriate processes to calculate product cost with relevant taxes and POS reconciliations, etc. for all your clients.

If you already use Karbon, you’ll benefit from the ability to build your own templated workflows, or customize existing workflows from our Template Marketplace.

Narrow down and scale up

Sometimes, trying to do everything to reach as many people as possible reaches no one—least of all, your ideal client.

Creating multiple products or services for various ‘ideal’ clients is like spinning plates—you have to be everywhere, all the time. Instead of scaling your firm, it could derail your accounting firm’s path to success.

Instead, consider focusing on the magic of one:

One solution for one ideal customer for one year.

As you make the shift to a narrower niche, you will attract your ideal clients. And at the same time, you will be able to transition away from the clients you aren’t as passionate about.

The path to scaling your firm by finding your ideal clients:

  1. Identify your ideal client

  2. Build a base of ideal clients

  3. Create a targeted solution

  4. Create marketing messages that continuously generate leads

  5. Standardize processes

  6. Automate as much as possible

  7. Keep your team on the same page

You can't be everything to everyone

Defining your ideal client may seem overwhelming, but it's one of the most important steps in creating the standardized foundations that will help you scale your accounting firm without needing to hire.

And remember, when your firm is ready to scale, stick to your specific niche. Avoid falling into the trap of trying to please everyone.

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