In every CPA practice, there are endless ways to spend money. But where are you really getting the best ROI?
While every firm is unique, there are several key areas where a practitioner’s investment is seldom wasted. If you’re looking to make some changes to your budget for 2019, think twice about trimming expenses here:
I’m placing the mega-important one first. You can’t shrink from marketing and expect a profitable practice to magically grow by itself. It just won’t happen. Have you heard the saying, “If you want to meet the handsome prince, you have to kiss a lot of toads?” (If not, don’t worry – I only heard it recently myself.) But believe it or not, it has something of value to say to CPA practitioners.
For our purposes, the “handsome prince” is a winning marketing initiative – one that reaches the right clients and brings them pouring through your doorway. Not every form of marketing we try will be a winner. But we have to “kiss a lot of toads” – test some marketing ideas that may give us lackluster results – in order to find that winner.
So even losing marketing initiatives ultimately lead us to success, as long as we take note of what works and what doesn’t and let that data guide us in future decisions.
With today’s technology, there’s no excuse for being inefficient. Technology can do marvelous things, saving us staggering amounts of time and effort, and so much of it is affordable.
Any firm that wants to be competitive must invest in its technology, particularly that which improves work processes and helps deliver a more accurate work product.
When we invest in marketing, we devote money to client acquisition. When we invest in technology, we spend on tools that will allow for the quick delivery of quality work.
Together, these two things might seem like enough – getting the clients and serving them. But in order to create a truly competitive practice, we have to go above and beyond.
That’s where client nurturing comes in – it elevates service to world-class service. Client nurturing takes many forms. It could mean providing targeted content that addresses your clients’ needs and concerns and gives them an edge in the pursuit of their goals – content like a print newsletter, blog posts, white papers, webinars, educational or motivational emails, etc. It can also look like taking a client to lunch or sending a birthday gift.
Never underestimate the value of continuing education for both yourself and your team members. For myself and my practice, I’ve consistently enjoyed healthy ROI from ongoing learning.
Educating team members pays off in a number of ways. The more they know, the more valuable they will be to your practice. They save you money by learning to work more efficiently.
The quality of their work improves. They’re more likely to generate creative ideas. Their confidence improves, and with that, their willingness to do more. Increased confidence can also improve the quality of their interactions with clients. And knowing that you’re willing to invest in them will solidify their loyalty to you.
As a practitioner, I know that being an “eternal student” has a direct effect on the profitability of my firm. I become more creative, motivated, and knowledgeable. I also grow my network – people who can teach me even more and maybe even send me business.
At any given time, you’ll find me engaged in some form of continuing ed: workshops, classes, webinars, seminars, coaching, podcasts, books and more. It’s simply priceless.
These are some of the best investments you’ll ever make in the growth of your practice. Put your money where the ROI is!