Necessity is the mother of invention

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We live in a highly connected world. This makes it so easy to ask more than few accountants for a quotation for compliance services required. I need to wake up to this world and face reality.

The reality is that it is inevitable that potential clients would look around (I would). I just did a Google search for accountants in my area, they have increased substantially only in the last three months. All of us are fighting to be on page 1 of Google or on the local address listing.

I do not think I can brush this off as they are price sensitive clients so they are just not worth spending time on. Let’s face it all of us are price sensitive. I think I need to change to take account of price sensitive clients. In other words to survive I need to adapt to what the market demands.

In my opinion stiff competition means that the market demands supermarket style of pricing. For the services sector like ours it means quality service at the lowest price possible.

I get fed up reading about niche markets on AW. What they fail to account of is locally niche market is just not big enough to earn sufficient fees. To remain local I need to remain general?

Bottom line, I need to reduce my fees without the service quality. I need to become a Tesco to survive and not remain a local grocery that will certainly fail.

Would this be a viable business? I think with some real thought and changes in my practice it can be. Necessity, as the phrase goes, is the mother of invention.


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04th Feb 2013 22:29

To make the race to the bottom work...
... You need scale

It's what makes Asda and Tesco cheap

None of us have the scale to do this.

Why not operate nationally?

SJD do, starting from a kitchen table

I do starting from an office in a northern town?

Pick a business you like being around and become an expert in it. I love boxing, so I am making myself the guru of boxing accounts and tax

Sure if GP stuff falls in dead through the door, I'm not turning it away, but what gets me up is being around the boxing world.

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By SteveOH
05th Feb 2013 11:24

The trouble with trying to be the cheapest... that there is only ever one winner; i.e. the accountant who is actually offering the cheapest service and in all probability that won't be you.

I also disagree with your basic premise that we are all price sensitive. Nothing could be further from the truth; otherwise we would all be driving the cheapest car and buying our clothes at Primark. Price is only one factor in determining our buying habits and it's often the least important. Quality, or perception of quality, is a big factor.

Whatever you do, don't reduce your fees. All that will happen is that you will earn less money for the same amount of work. And Steve McQueen (good acting by the way; especially liked you in Papillon) is absolutely correct when he says that you don't need to operate just as a local accountant. Whatever it is that sets you apart from other accountants, capitalise on that and spread your net (get it?) far and wide.

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05th Feb 2013 11:03


Please keep the response coming. It is helpful. Thanks

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05th Feb 2013 14:11

hmmm Tesco...

Personally I disagree that you need to enter the race to the bottom.

However, if you do want to be in it, why not price like Ryan strating point and charge for extras?



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