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On-Line Directories

Accountants are constantly being encouraged to pay for listings on internet directories, and to join accountant's clubs for accounting software such as Quickbooks and MYOB. How successful are these internet listings? Have many practices gained new business from being in the Quickbooks and MYOB schemes?
James Clifton

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12th Oct 2000 14:05

Increasing your profile.
I have been carrying out a survey in the South Wales area amongst businesses to see where they start to look for specialists and consultants. Of companies who use specialists and consultants 76% of respondents look at the Internet first. Those respondents also commented that their searches would pull up anything from 2000 to 25000 web pages. This was far to many for them to look through.

We proposed the concept of a directory or register of consultants and specialists and it was considered a great improvement to their searches.

We are launching www.consultantsregister.co.uk in five weeks and have received considerable interest.

The outcome of the survey has shown that although you might have your own website it is easier to find you if you are in a directory or register.

There are two types out on the ether. The agency type, which charges a commission and keeps your information offline (these do not charge for your details but levy a commission of anything up to 15% of the contract value should you secure work through their site)

The fee type publishes your details online for a basic annual fee. You can update your information during the year (something you cannot do with a paper based directory) and you have complete exposure to the market place. Some of these sites also allow you to publish articles about your area of specialism which helps to further promote you.

At the end of the day do you need to increase your exposure? Are you looking for more work? How much do you want to invest in the future development of your company?

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By admin
12th Oct 2000 14:35

Cast your bread upon the waters...
If you don't try them, you'll never know what you may be missing out on. I know of a law firm which was about to cancel a Diorectory which they had paid £700 per year for, for 2 years and no business gained - when they picked up a £120,000 commission.
In summary, simple lsitings provide little chance for you to really promote who you are so it's worth paying for those which allow you to profile yourself and allow the searcher to make some form of on-line comparison - even one new client is worth the minimal fees eg I know www.bizwise.co.uk charges £10 a month for a full page on your firm.
With years of marketing experience myself, inlcuding work at Charetred Accountants, my view is that so few take up the new opportunities open to them - word of mouth, the golf club and other professionals are no longer enough.

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By gbms
08th Oct 2000 03:30

Join AccountingWEB for free
Add your details to the AccountingWEB firms directory for absolutely nothing. The directory appears on a number of ISP portals, so it's a good way of picking up business.

If you want, you can have a more prominent profile in the directory - but that's up to you.

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