The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says the demand for small business coaching industry is expected to grow by 83% in just the next 3 years. Masterminds, one-on-one coaching and mentorships have exploded in the past few years and many of you have clients who are seeking these advisory services for their businesses.
This is a growing need that tax & accounting practice owners are very well poised to fulfil – if they are proactive about promoting it. Otherwise, their business owner clients, not realizing their accountant can assume this role, will seek guidance elsewhere.
Not all of your clients want this service of course, but those that do, may not be getting it from you. So first things first, how do you start building a business consulting division in your practice?
The best first step is to do some needs and wants analysis. A business analysis questionnaire can really help establish what the priority area is for any business owner. This would start of course with what their goals are. However, no business can stand still – they are either expanding or they are contracting. Therefore, just to stay ahead of the natural attrition any business will have, as well as cost of living increases, continuing to add to their promotional efforts, is a must. Even the least motivated, will need to know that some additional efforts to market should always be made. No better person than their accountant to advise them on this need as it is an important part of their overall financial planning.
If on the other hand, your business owner has got their marketing in good shape and has much demand already for their services, then organizational issues often need to be addressed – streamlining processes, hiring, staff management issues, etc.
How deep you want to go into these areas is of course up to you. But even the fact that you enquire and show interest, will go a long way towards client retention and referrals.
If you do want to increase your consulting services, one of the easiest places to start would be with clients, who are in industries you have other clients in and thus are familiar with. You can direct your own marketing to acquiring more of those business owners to further expand your knowledge of the industry. You’ll then be best able to spot from their P & Ls what could be awry and you can also develop and use a business analysis questionnaire for that industry.
If you are interested in a sample general business analysis questionnaire, that you can adapt and use for consulting services, please don’t hesitate to use the Contact Page on this website to request your copy.