The bundling of services model involves engaging clients for more than bare minimum services. Practice owners know what business clients really need because, as with any area of information specialty – law, real estate, marketing etc. – the professional knows better than their clients what information they need. For tax & accounting clients, this will vary depending on whether the client is a start up or further along in the growth of their business.
To provide services on an “as asked for” basis, doesn’t really do the client justice in terms of the best service, because they really need to understand the complete picture to benefit fully from your advice. A structured ongoing consulting relationship with clients, where you educate them on the various different aspects of running their business IS what is truly going to service them.
This would involve a program that consists of bundling of services, including all of the areas a business client needs to know – from whether or not to incorporate, entity selection, to what tax deductions they can & cannot avail of, to keeping track of expenses, how to pay themselves etc. This also ensures that clients value the relationship with you as their true business partner.
Taking a keen interest in their businesses can even extend to such matters as advising on ways to increase the bottom line, such as staff bonus programs that incentivize staff to generate more revenues. These are many areas that I work with practice owners on in relation to their own operations and I also show them how to help their clients in a similar fashion. Often, they are already getting questions from clients on areas such as cost allocation, cashflow planning, how to set up or navigate retirement plans but these are ad hoc questions and often asked after the client has become confused and sometimes made errors.
My suggestion would be to take responsibility for what clients don’t know they don’t know! Get away from services that consist only or mainly of compliance work, which doesn’t “wow” clients to the same degree. If the only or predominantly only service they get from you is in tax season, your ability to help them is severely hindered.
Looking at a way to provide better value is a win-win – improved off season work and revenues for the practice, as well as clients who see you as a true partner and are getting so much service that they can’t help but tell others about you.