How do you decide on your Target Audiences

I know that lots of accountants are happy to deal with pretty much any type of client in any industry but over and above this I am curious of the processes and approaches accountants use when deciding on particular target audiences for their services. 

Some of the methods I have come across are

*  Market research - online surveys, telephone surveys etc

*  Matching up target audiences working backwards from qualifications and experience

*  Reviewing existing client portfolios to see what clients have been attracted so far

*  Working out which audiences are most profitable

 

Is it a combination of these methods, or just one or two, or do you do anything different?

Perhaps this would help other accountants think about this as part of their business planning?

 

Comments
David Winch's picture

Identifying Your Niche

David Winch | | Permalink

Maxxy

I think you are confusing two important issues here connected with targeting your 'ideal customers'.

Firstly you need to identify a niche with whom you have a strong affinity.  By doing this you will be acutely aware of the worries and anxieties they are facing, and so you can promote your business to them in ways which has them (rightly) thinking, "She knows exactly what we're going through."  There are elements of this in your second point, as I read it.

Secondly, you need to know how to personally contact a significant proportion of this niche.  This is what I feel you are describing with your first and to an extent your third points above.  Conducting joint venture promotions with other 'mailing list' owners who sell non-conflicting products and services into your ideal market is a very good technique here.

I think your fourth point is a red herring.  Profitability will come as a result of serving extremely well a niche with whom you have a strong affinity.  Reviewing your existing client portfolio can of course play a part here too, as mentioned earlier.

I hope this is useful to you and many other readers.

David Winch

Make Sales Without Selling and Get Paid What You're Worth

P.S. You can of course have more than one niche, but do keep them well separated and promote to them one at a time 

Old Greying Accountant's picture

From a personal viewpoint ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... may not be true these days, but when I trained you learnt on your employers clients, so you tended you get "expert" knowledge in whatever their speciality was, so you would be attacted to similar in your later career.

Where I am near Heathrow we have a pre-dominace of air freight forwarders so that is the main type of larger client and one that does need specialism as there are very strict rules on VAT and duty in the sector.

It is also very rewarding as they generally receive VAT refunds each time and I like to see an ebb tide when it come to HMRC and money!

bookmarklee's picture

Strong affinity    1 thanks

bookmarklee | | Permalink

Agree with David and would add:

I encourage accountants to review their client base and then to identify their preferred niche. Which clients do they most like working with? Which industry events do they most enjoy attending? Which location/district is most convenient for them? What areas of expertise seem to be most highly valued by clients? And so on.

This is fine if you have an established practice and are looking to grow further. But it's more of a challenge if you are still building up your practice - and I guess, from @maxxy's question, this is a more common experience.  Here you have to ask where is there the greatest  credibility, interest and commitment? Or as David put it, a 'strong affinity'?

 

Mark

Positioning for Professionals

Cruncher42 | | Permalink

I would recommend to read Positioning for Professionals by Tim Williams, it will lead you through a process that brings you to a target.  A highly worthwhile investment of time.

Accountants South London

Add comment
Log in or register to post comments