It’s already December, and your firm is likely focused on wrapping up 2012. And while your firm may be in year-end mode, you should also give some thought on what you want to do differently in 2013. Below are some New Year’s Resolutions every firm should consider to take their firm to the next level, and attract new clients in 2013.
Build your brand – Your firm’s brand is more than your logo. It is everything you do, and it must be consistent. Start the year by drafting a brand promise, vision, and principles that drive everything you do, from the font you use in emails to the look and feel of your Facebook page.
Time management and prioritization – Be responsive and timely with clients without overworking yourself or your employees, and determine a definition for “urgent.”
Evaluate your current clients – Identify your best clients by creating a grading system to qualify A and B clients. For any clients that don’t make the A or B grade, think about how you could elevate them to become a top client, or mull over firing them altogether.
Increase prices – If you haven’t implemented a price increase in a while, consider doing so in 2013. Remember that how you communicate this to your clients is everything, and you should put a plan in place to handle push back.
Engage with your clients – Interact with your clients on a regular basis, and not just during tax season; check in on them periodically and determine how you can best help them be successful. You are a valued business partner to your clients and they will appreciate your proactive approach.
Sell an experience- Focus on creating a flawless client experience, no matter the time of year or level of interaction. Be there for your clients, show your value as a business partner, and they will reward you.
Ensure your business can be found online – Invest in search engine optimization for your website. This will go a long way in helping potential clients find you. Now more than ever, smartphones and tablets are being used to access the web, so make sure your site is optimized for these devices.
More information on all of these resolutions will be available early next year, in the new Sage Accountants Network “Fundamentals of High Performing Firms” curriculum.
Jennifer Warawa is the Vice President of Partner Programs at Sage Software North America.