Let’s face it – if your firm isn’t innovating, you’re screwed.
Why, you ask?
It’s simple: if your business model is outdated, that means you’re still solving yesterday’s problems – not today’s. On top of that, if you fail to update your marketing tactics regularly, you’ll quickly fall behind any competitors who are updating their strategies based on changing demands.
That’s why it’s so important for you to prioritize experimentation. Instead of simply focusing on what has been effective in the past, experimenting allows you to learn how to maximize your revenue and power your business forward.
How Your Firm Can Start Experimenting
We see a lot of marketing departments today setting aside part of their marketing budget for experimentation work (sometimes up to 30%). As a result, they often find themselves using new tactics that help them stand out from the competition, which results in a memorable brand and more sales.
But you don’t want to change just for the sake of change – that would be pointless. Instead, you need to start the experimentation process strategically, thinking about what you could do differently to bring in the big bucks.
If you’re not sure where to begin your thought process, ask yourself these questions:
1. Does my website look like that of every other firm? Am I using meaningless jargon in my messaging?
Trust me – widely-used filler phrases like “full-service,” “wide array,” and “breadth of experience” won’t help you build credibility and position yourself as a trustworthy authority in your industry. In fact, what those words actually do is make you seem out of touch, pretentious, and just plain boring. (Ouch.)
Your website is your firm’s chance to create a compelling online presence that draws in the clientele you want, but you can’t expect those kinds of results with bad website copy and a design that makes you look as bland as every other firm.
2. What valuable niche is nobody helping?
Let me guess: you’re way too scared to define a narrow niche for your firm because you think that doing so will decrease your clientele.
Well, get over it, because the exact opposite is true. You can actually increase your profits by helping a unique niche and establishing yourself as the go-to firm for those specific clients. Think about it – everyone prefers a specialist who can definitely help them over a generalist who might be able to help them.
3. When’s the last time you’ve analyzed the pain points of your ideal client base?
You aren’t going to win over your ideal clients if you don’t take the time to learn what problems are keeping them awake at night. So, take on the role of physician and ask clients about their symptoms. Then, apply some creative thinking to possible treatments. You may discover entirely new ways to approach client problems that you can use as a selling point.
4. Are we only spending money on the same marketing tactics that we’ve been using for several years?
If so, it’s time for you to invest in new ideas to determine whether or not they will work. Marketing – especially in the digital world – changes quickly, and you’ve got to keep up if you want your firm to survive. Stop bullshitting yourself into thinking you can get away with using the same ol’ tactics you’ve been using the past few years – you can’t.
5. What frustrations do clients have with CPA firms, and what can I do to let them know that our firm is different?
Overcoming objections is huge when you’re trying to sell. That’s why it’s so important to understand why your clients might not want to work with you (or any other CPA firm).
Once you do, you can start letting potential clients know that they don’t have to fear the typical CPA firm frustrations when they choose your firm. (Unless, of course, they do have to fear those frustrations while working with you. In that case, it’s time to revisit the way you’re running your business.)
6. Are employee goals based on chargeable hours, or do I reward employees for non-chargeable activities that help my firm succeed?
Even the most motivated employees can become disinterested in the success of your firm if they are not rewarded for their hard work. So, recognize your employees for their contributions and reward them accordingly. In doing so, you’ll encourage a culture of innovation and your most impactful employees will feel empowered to continue helping your firm succeed.
7. What are the capabilities that most client organizations would never attempt to develop in-house, and can we meet those needs?
Successful businesses anticipate client needs and find ways to meet them. Yeah – you’ve probably already done that to a certain extent. But that doesn’t mean you should stop looking for new ways to help your clients.
If you want to really blow their minds, try understanding their business so well that you provide them with solutions to problems they didn’t even know they had. After all, you don’t just want potential clients to feel lukewarm about your firm – you want them to say, “Damn, you’re good!”
Still not sure about investing in experimentation?
I get it – your firm has a set of “best practices” that you think you must follow to succeed. But, consider this: if they haven’t been updated in a while, they probably are dated and old.
And if those “best practices” aren’t helping you get the results you want anyway, why the heck are you opposed to throwing them out the window or at least revisiting them?
My point is this: don’t let your aversion to change get in the way of your firm’s growth. You aren’t going to win the customers of today and tomorrow using yesterday’s marketing tactics, so step up and make the bold changes necessary for success.
If you’re ready to start experimenting and learning how you can differentiate your firm to promote growth today, check out our Complete Business Audit.