Friday, March 17, 2006

Five Steps to Becoming a Great Small Business

Not being an practitioner, I generally leave accounting firm strategy to front-liners Jeff Moore (Solo Accounting Practice), Rick Tedford (BSG Trendlines) or Will Keller (Vanilla Accounting--see links at right). Patrick McEvoy, however, has written a superb article in Accounting Web which spells out five steps which can be implemented in about two months to become a dominant force in a given niche of accounting. The first step is to only aim at one niche at a time until you have mastered it. He compares this to a young man's efforts to court his dream lady. Step two is to create a dynamic message which will address the main desire or fear of your customers. The example here is Domino's assauging the fear of cold, boring pizza with a maximum delivery time promise. Step three is to become an obvious expert. McEvoy believes that most professionals meet the criteria here--but then need to identify WHO is interested in this expertise. Step four, therefore, is to identify 100 important present or potential customers/clients and contact them at least every ten days with your best marketing message (see step two). Among marketing steps here would be a direct mailing, an e-mail list, a special website and phone calls every three weeks. Step five is to develop a referral system which would include features such as asking for introductions, developing an industry group and appreciation activities.

McEvoy's advice is well done and deserving of consideration by a wide range of people from new CPA firms to marketing faculty.


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