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Marketing budget - How much?

Marketing budget - How much?

I am thinking of practice expansion £50k per year (any comments on this aspect would be appreciated). I know this is a ambitious target. I would like to try anyway.

To achieve this target- right marketing would be vital. This is my key question - what would right marketing. Is there a for formula for this? For example:

  • £x on telemarketing
  • £x on Google adwords
  • £x on other online/ offline promotion
  • £x on any thing I have not thought about.

What would be right marketing? How much should the marketing budget be?

Any recommendations on anyone who can help me with all this?



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28th Nov 2010 09:11


@MaxHeadroom - what you need to spend will be driven by your strategy, value proposition, positioning, promotional methodology, creativity, personal network and charisma. The better these are the lower the financial spend. 

I have a video I can send you which covers some of this and I’ll be launching an online course very soon because to go through all of the above one-to-one is often not an option.

Without the above you can expect 50% cost of sale. With everything on place maybe the cost would be reduced to 20%.  So, if you want £250,000 of fees getting the above right could be said to be worth £75,000. But, it will also increase profit because the clients will be better and the price higher so I'd say getting the foundations right is worth as much as £200,000.

Bob Harper

Portfolio Marketing

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28th Nov 2010 15:20

Agree with Bob on this one...

Grew my practice from 1 client worth £7,000 to 300 clients with GRF £500,000 by marketing hard over three years. The cost was 50p per £1 GRF plus working capital - about another £100k.

Albert Camus

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By 0098087
29th Nov 2010 11:52


I tried Yellow Pages which gave me very little. Card drops I believe are not allowed. I don't know what other marketing to try. We moved to Braintree a year ago and have picked up 5 new clients in a year. Worth in total around £1200. I would like more!! Is it best to try local ads or what? 

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29th Nov 2010 13:55

Test, test, test

How will you detemine the effectiveness of the investment you make? Will any prospects be impacted by more than one of your new marketing efforts? Will you attibute a success to the initial contact made or to the most recent one (even if it evidently built on the connection generated by the first contact)?

In terms of recommendations I'm sure Bob knows what he's talking about.

Those I would avoid are generic marketing consultants with little real experience of working with accountants. Whilst, in theory, their knowledge and skills should cross-over to the accountancy sector, in practice it's best to avoid being a guinea pig.



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29th Nov 2010 14:13


Try 'The Higgler' in Braintree and 'Bits n Bobs', both free mags through doors funded by small business advertisers.  Also there is a good newtorking group that meets in 'The White Hart' every week.

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By 0098087
29th Nov 2010 15:55


Was thinking of the Higgler. I've tried networking through TGLC in Sudbury, where we used to be. In fact it was going to be Halstead but it ended it being Sudbury and I got nothing out of that in a year. Paid £400 for 2 years so am reluctant at the moment.. 

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30th Nov 2010 13:13

card drops


Not that I would imagine card/leaflet drops would be very effective, but it's been mentioned that accountants are not allowed to do this, is that correct?


Tim Charles

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30th Nov 2010 14:36

direct marketing

I'm not aware that you can't use direct marketing, cards or letters. We are doing letters to local businesses and have discussed it with ICAEW re using their logo which they approved. I have also received letters from other accountants when we get new firms registering at our office. Why do you think it is not allowed?

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30th Nov 2010 21:20

Type of client

You have not indicated what type of clients you are looking for.

I am led to believe that there is an accountant on the south coast who only does simple tax returns (PAYE and bank int).  He has a number  of employees who do the processing and he has given away all other business.  I was told his fee income was in excess of £200k.

Being very choosy and taking on one type of client could be very rewarding financially.


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30th Nov 2010 22:05

No issue with direct mail for accountants
There is absolutely nothing wrog with accountants using direct mail to attract new clients, regardless of who they are regulated by. There are guidelines that you must abide by, such as not bad mouthing other firms and claiming to do something you can't, and these are in the professional bodies rule books.

I agree with other postings, in that you will probably spend around 50p to get a £1 recurring annual fee, but that is only the first year, thereafter it's got no cost of acquisition so you should be aiming to get clients that will be with you for at least 5 years.

Strategies depend on the type of client you want and would include direct mail, telemarketing, referrals fromclients and introducers, networking, social media, seminars and perhaps most importantly a really good website with good SEO and possibly a bit of ad words if you like but I personally don't see the point.

What are your current fees? If you are doing 50k a year then to double it would be pretty good going. Have you thought how you will cope with all this extra work? Whatever you do don't take on clients and let them down, it will completely destroy all the hard work you have done on marketing.

Good luck with it all please post an update on how you get on.

And to the poster who had picked up 1200 quid in fees in a year, I am really surprised at this, have you considered hiring a professional to help you won new work?

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By 0098087
01st Dec 2010 08:45


Honest question here. Who would I hire? May sound stupid but I have no idea! 

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