Accounting is one of the most competitive businesses out there. There are literally thousands of accounting firms out there. How do you stand out in the crowded marketplace? How do you find a niche the works for you in accounting?
First, let’s understand why it is so important to find your niche in accounting. Most of your clients are experts in their businesses. As an accountant, you should endeavor to become an expert in their industry. You don’t have to be an expert on all industries. There should be some, such as restaurants or retail stores, where you should be really good at.
The key is to develop your expertise and skills and become a leader in a particular space. Specializing in an industry will make you an authority within your niche. This gives you an edge over the competitors and helps you win more clients over a period of time.
While identifying a niche, you should ask yourself which industry or specialty you want to work in. Do you really like the work and are you really good at it? Do you see any potential for you to become a leader in that particular field? Is there is a skill-set you have developed which you can benefit from – for example, have you considered becoming a virtual CFO or a specialist in payroll management?
What about cloud accounting? Have you considered cloud-based solutions such as QuickBooks Hosting, Tax software Hosting etc. for your business?
Keeping this in mind, let’s discuss how you can develop your own niche in accounting.
1: Understand your clients’ problems
You can only achieve success in your niche by earning your client’s trust. The way to do that is to understand their problems at a much deeper level. Try to get a much better sense of their underlying business issues and how they affect different areas of their business. For example, analyze the consequences of a missed sales target and how that would affect their business. Business owners want an accountant who really understands their business and the industry in which they operate at the same level as they do.
2: Find the best solutions for the niche
The next step after winning your client’s confidence by sharing your expertise on their issues is to find the right solution for their problems. For this, you will need to have a very good understanding of how their business fits in within the industry and the market that they operate in.
You will have to do your research and update yourself with the latest marketing trends. You will need to anticipate changes over the next 2 to 3 years in the industry and formulate a strategy based on that. You must become an active learner, find yourself a mentor and learn from the best.
3: Focus on providing the right advice.
One of the things you can do as an accountant is to automate low-value tasks so that you can focus your time and energy on providing your clients with the right advice and perform other critical high-value tasks that make a huge difference to their business. This is how you help their business grow and become recognized as an authority within the niche.
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