If you're going to niche, do your homework
A lot of accountancy firms like the idea of specialising. Whether that’s by working with clients in a particular sector, of a particular size or by offering very specific services, it can be highly beneficial to do so.
But too many don’t do the work and research necessary to learn about all the niche tax reliefs or every compliance factor in the specialisation they want to enter.
This could hurt you in the long run, so you need to invest in your own professional development or bring talented specialists into your firm.
Why should you find a specialisation?
There are a number of benefits that specialisation can bring to your accounting firm.
First and foremost, potential clients are more likely to view your firm as an expert in your field if you specialise in a specific area, boosting your reputation as the go-to firm for a specific service.
This can help you stand out from the crowd as a unique firm with genuine experience and expertise while attracting the exact type of client that you most enjoy working with.
You may find you get fewer clients contacting you each day, but the increased value of the services each buys can make up for that.
If you play your cards right, your workload will be perfectly manageable and you’ll get exactly who you want to work with through your doors, all the while turning a decent profit.
How to pick your specialisation
Choosing a specialisation is no simple task, nor should it be. You need to think hard and test the market to reach a proposition that suits you and your firm.
Many firm owners look to their past experience to choose which direction they want to go in. Others search for gaps in the market they could take advantage of.
Sometimes, it can be as simple as choosing to exclusively work with the kind of clients you’ve enjoyed working with so far, or choosing the ones who are the most profitable.
Particularly ambitious accountants take on something completely new. For these individuals, the homework doesn’t stop at market analysis and customer research but focuses on topical knowledge and training just as much.
Becoming an expert in a new field
While hiring specialists into your firm can get your services off the ground, as a firm owner, you should also be clued in. So, what can you do to help yourself become a true expert in your field?
First, you will need to understand your specialisation inside out. That means more than reading a couple of guides to understanding the minimum you can offer to clients, but learning the not-so-obvious tax reliefs and loopholes to perfectly tailor your services to each business and individual you work with. An evening or two spent deciphering HMRC’s internal tax manuals will go a long way.
Connecting with other professionals in your specialisation can be especially useful to learn the finer details, whether that’s by meeting them at events or reaching out to them through professional associations.
Stay on top of current trends within your specialisation too. If you focus on a particular industry, for instance, follow some specialist news sites and organisations.
Meanwhile, if you offer specific services, such as audits or corporate governance, stay up to date with technical resources like the ones offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Then, why not write up your findings as a series of guides or reports on your blog page? Some people find this a great way to test their own knowledge and drill it into their minds. Not to mention that a well-kept blog can cement your image as an expert in your field.
Many firms keep a blog for exactly this reason, so don’t pass up these as resources, including our own. You can read on a range of topics there, including more on niching your firm.
Reach out to us on 0203 322 5578 or by booking a demo with us to find out more about preparing for your firm’s specialisation. Join Capium this September to receive 33% off all modules. Ready to redeem this exclusive offer then click here.