Our sponsor and friends at @Expensify took over the chat, providing questions focused on starting your accounting business. Natalie manned the @Expensify handle and as you’ll see, it was an inspiring, helpful, and lively chat.
Q1: How did you find your first client?
Getting that first client is so important, it helps set the foundation for your business and it’s a great confidence booster. There are numerous ways to find clients: networking, previous co-workers and employers, former classmates, word of mouth, getting involved in the local community, by being a QBO ProAdvisor, and the list goes on. Optimizing your company’s website by integrating SEO can help as can social media, especially LinkedIn.
@ChristineGalli: Leave a great legacy and the accountant will refer you without even meeting you!
@billcom: Some firms get referrals from podcasts and the venture capital community. Startups often need acct help
@alisonatintuit: One more tip – put flyers on Trucks at Home Depot if you want constructions clients. Do this on weekdays though – not on weekends
Q2: What are some of your favorite ways to continue growing your profession?
To continue growing a business, an essential part is to continue to grow and/or retain clients. But how do you grow the profession, and yourself as part of the profession? Here’s what @billcom, @accountingpeace, @getclockshark, @ChristineGalli, @alisonatintuit, @brightbooks, @SherrellTMartin, and @CalebLJenkins had to say:
- Going online to expand geographic reach
- Build expertise with specific types of businesses (like restaurants)
- Joining new committees
- Join local chapters of niche associations.
- Seek public speaking engagements
- Going to industry events/conferences like @qbconnect or @sleetergroup
- Expand into strategic consulting, technology integration, pricing strategy
- Social media and internet/content marketing such as blogging and tweeting
- Having a great work product
@QBOchat: All of these points show all the different aspects that we need to work on to grow our businesses -training, sales, operations, etc.
Q3: How does word of mouth grow your business?
“Profit in business comes from repeat customers; customers that boast about your product and service, and that bring friends with them. “ W. Edwards Deming
Word of mouth is a great way to grow business. According to Neilson, 92 percent of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over advertising. As @ServelloCPA tweeted “Friends trust friends.”
@BizBooksCloud: My one original Florida client is now 4 clients there due to word of mouth
@Growbizwealth: We grow by focusing like a laser on the client responses to important questions – and always providing a range of solutions
@BrightBooks: I work with CPA’s that do not use QuickBooks. This is the best referral source because their client already wants to hire you.
@Kimtuitive: True story on “Word of Mouth”: talked my dental hygienist into moving to #QBO for the church her husband is the treasure for!
@Billcom: The basic process for WOM referral is: Build Awareness ; Foster Trust; New Client Sign Up
Q4: Share an amazing client experience. What made it so remarkable?
Customer service excellence is always an advantage for a business. As Siebel Ad said, “Good service is good business.”
@BrightBooks: I like when clients tell you how much easier you make their lives. It is rewarding.
@SherrellTMartin: New client said “my books have never looked this good” she referred me the next week
@CathyIconis: I get excited when I send over month-end reports with my insights on a client’s business and them getting energized about it
@TaxPlannerPro: When I helped a client sync to QBO he found out his tax bill wasn’t as bad as he thought he started to cry 🙁
Q5: Do you belong to any organizations that provide support/inspiration to keep growing?
Professional development organizations and business development groups are beneficial ways to keep up with industry trends and network with professionals. Many of our chatters are members of their local chambers of commerce, young professional group, nonprofit committees and boards, and women in business organizations. Another (and possibly more convenient) way to get support and inspiration is through social media. There is a great weekly chat you may have heard of that provides tips, tools, and inspiration for many, #QBOchat. Other organizations mentioned are:
- @ICBUSA (@CathyIconis)
- Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (@alisonatintuit)
- Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce (@ServelloCPA)
- Working Women Connection (@QBOPro)
- Intuit Accountant Council (@accountingpeace)
- Woodard Network (@CalebLJenkins)
- @sterlingwomendc and @hercorner (@SherrellTMartin)
- Bookkeeping Buds @bkbuds (@BrightBooks)
Thanks again to our sponsor and friends at @Expensify for providing great questions for the chat on starting your accounting business. Don’t forget to sign-up for our newsletter to get the most up-to-date news on #QuickBooks and #QBOchat.