As of August 2018, thirty-one American states, plus the District of Columbia, have laws that broadly legalize the use of marijuana. What does that mean for accounting firm’s looking to increase the strong hold in this area? Opportunity!
As with any new industry upstart, accountants have an opportunity to increase revenue within this niche by providing tax, accounting, audit, and business services, like bookkeeping, internal controls, workflow, payroll, and cloud-based solutions. In this article from CPA Trendlines, the “green rush” is akin to that of the gold rush days, when investors were interested in the new market and investing money, which means business valuation opportunities for you.
Here are some ways to leverage marketing to ensure you’re reaching your target market and to help them to understand what you can do for their business.
Tip: If you’re concerned that marketing to this audience could negatively influence the more mainstream industries you serve, consider creating a different brand strategy for your new industry vertical using industry-relevant brand names, such as High Standard Accounting or Maryjane Accounting and Tax Services.
Risk Management Opportunities
Be very clear about the risk involved in this industry and how your firm can help business owners to manage that risk, including financing, legal issues, tax-related concerns, especially for multi-state providers, and more. Promoting your firm’s risk-management, startup experience is a good place to start. If you plan to do this with online advertising, you must know the rules about cannabis marketing that may impact the words you use in your advertising and placement options. You can find several of those rules at https://cannabiz.media/marketing-challenges-in-the-marijuana-industry/.
Think Outside the Box
With the many regulations around this sensitive product, you too must be sensitive in how your firm markets its services. Now is great time to get back to basics and to think outside the box. If you plan to use mailers, consider using lifestyle photos and words that resonate with this audience. Your goal is to put the business owner at ease with your firm and to help him/her understand you know the challenges he/she faces.
If you plan to use online advertising, such as Google or Bing Ads, then consider graphical ads placed on industry- and brand-specific websites your target market views. Graphical ads do not cost more to use than a text ad, other than for design work.
If you plan to use text ads, consider unique ways to attract clients, from the services you offer, to the phone number you’re using. For example:
High Standard Accounting: Denver Co. – Serving the cannabis industry for more than 5 years. Financing relationships, tax + accounting services, and more. Call today. 1-800-HIGH-CPA
Once you have a good amount of emails in your database, continue to share relevant information cannabis clients can use, including tax regulations, tax filing dates, human resource tips, bookkeeping tips, cloud-based storage solutions, and more. Keep the email short with one, focused called to action, such as contact us for a free 30-minute consult, register for our upcoming webinar, attend our conference to learn more, etc.
Social media is a much more forgiving media than online advertising or even traditional marketing. Therefore, it may be a channel your sales team will want to leverage to draw in new clients. With the term “cannabis” having a high-popularity rating, be careful how you use it. Be more specific if you plan to target medical marijuana companies by using the hashtag #medicalmarijuana or #mmj. Consider following industry influencers to see what they are sharing and determine if you can share, comment, or draw from their posts to create content of your own. Influencers like @JoinGreenRush, @WeedFeed, @TheMMExchange, and @InvestorIdeas are some you may want to watch. Finally, create a Twitter list, Facebook group, and/or Instagram feed to stay in contact with your target market. Those direct connections to your audience give you and them a unique opportunity to start conversations, increase brand awareness, and influence market share.
As with any new industry vertical venture, consider a solid amount of target market research before jumping into any marketing initiatives. The more you know about your target market — where they are; what they are reading; where they spend time online; what social media tools they use; etc. — the faster you can get in front of them with your solutions.
See inside August 2018
August 2018 Payroll Channel
Big Changes for the New W-4 Form By James Paille, Thomson Reuters The pre-draft 2019 W-4 has been released, and it’s a major change from previous versions of the W-4. The new W-4 doesn’t have a way to number allowances — instead, four new boxes that instruct the taxpayer to predict income and deductions replace […]
August 2018 Small Business Channel
Entrepreneurs Optimistic About Business Outlook By Isaac M. O’Bannon, Managing Editor Business owners have a generally positive business outlook, feel good about their ability to find new customers, and are relatively optimistic about the state of the U.S. economy. That’s according to data from the first Paychex Business Sentiment Report, which polled 500 randomly […]