Singapore businesses need to maintain a healthy financial report by updating their books and complying with all the responsibilities stipulated by the ACRA.
They must declare the estimated chargeable income by filling out the ECI form and submitting it to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore within three months after the end of the financial year.
Currently, there is a high demand for professional accounting services in the country.
Only accounting firms that have the required set of skills and marketing know-how will reap profits from the industry.
Here are great tips for marketing your accounting firm in Singapore.
Network with Entrepreneurs
Most of the companies in Singapore are owned solely by entrepreneurs and various financial institutions.
Networking and letting them know the kind of accounting services that you offer. Concisely, disseminating information about the services that you offer to this select group of people will increase your clientele base.
Investment forums and conferences are some of the best events that you can use to network with the target entrepreneurs.
Be Part of Conferences and Trade Fairs
The Global Conference on Finance and Accounting that is scheduled to be held on 25th August 2017 is just one among the many conferences and trade fairs that you can attend to network with industry leaders and market your accounting services.
Ask questions, be opened minded, and discuss current trends in the industry with other attendees to get the most results.
Rest assured that in these conferences, you would meet prospective clients who will at some point need your services.
Word of Mouth
Word of Mouth has been proven to be the most effective marketing strategy.
Due to the delicate nature of the accounting industry, most people are only comfortable seeking accounting services from a firm that they are sure will deliver the expected results.
Disclosure of private financial information could spell doom for a company.
Therefore, request existing clients to refer you to their peers and colleagues to expand your network of customers.
Finally, your account firm needs to be actively involved in digital marketing.
Marketing an accounting firm is challenging since clients already have a preconceived idea of how accountants should function.
This is why you need to work extra hard to convince them that your firm is the best fit for their needs.
You can use various techniques to gain trust and establish credibility, but ultimately you want to position yourself as the expert they turn to when they need help with their numbers.
The Biggest Mistake
The biggest mistake you can make is assuming that your clients will automatically believe in your ability to provide expert advice.
Instead, you want to earn the right to be believed by convincing audiences that you are indeed the expert they need to consult when they have accounting questions.
Prove your expertise by being prepared to give advice on even the most complex topics.
For example, if a client comes to you with a question regarding payroll processing, you can confirm your expertise by providing step-by-step instructions on how to complete the process.
Or if they ask for help with tax filings, you can confirm your expertise by walking them through the process of completing the forms.
Being able to answer questions about even the most complicated accounting topics shows that you are qualified to answer their questions about their business.
Make Sure You’re Credible
While it’s great that you’re willing to provide expert advice, your client also needs to believe that you can back up what you say.
One way to achieve this is by creating detailed, clearly presented materials that support your advice.
This way, even if your client doesn’t have a background in accounting, they’ll be convinced that what you say is correct.
If a client comes to you with a question and you don’t have the answer, look for the information they need to make the decision in the first place.
Then, provide them with the evidence that shows you are credible.
For example, if they’re wondering how much stock to issue to their newest team member, you can provide them with a detailed, easy-to-understand chart that clearly illustrates the differences in various types of stock.
In addition, make sure that you cite relevant sources so that your client isn’t overwhelmed by the choice of data.
Being able to trust what you say and know that you’re credible makes your client more likely to believe you when you give advice on how to handle their numbers.
Ultimately, your credibility will be on the line if you give bad advice, so make sure you do everything you can to assure them that you’re the expert they need to turn to.
Understand Their Needs
Marketing an accounting firm is difficult because you need to understand your client’s needs and goals.
In order to do this, you have to get into their head and understand what makes them unique.
This is why it’s important to get to know them on a personal level before pitching your services to them. During this time you can determine what they’re looking for and whether or not you’re the right fit for them.
It’s important to find out what makes your clients different from other accountants.
If you can discover their weaknesses you can position yourself as the one to fix them. This is why you want to make sure that you fully understand what your client’s needs are before you begin your pitch.
Know Your Audience
If you want to succeed in marketing an accounting firm you need to understand your audience.
Who are you talking to, what do they want and how can you provide them with value? After you figure out the answers to these questions you can begin to craft your strategy.
The first and most important step in the process is identifying your target audience.
You can do this by brainstorming with a colleague or friend and listing all the people you think might be able to benefit from your services.
Next, eliminate any names that don’t seem professional or respectful. This will depend on your own personal feelings towards these people, but generally, you want to be selecting a client base that you feel comfortable pitching to.
For example, if you feel that women are underrepresented in your industry you can decide that it is a good sign to include people with stereotypically masculine characteristics in your target audience.
Craft A Powerful Pitch
Once you have your list of potential clients you can begin to craft a powerful pitch.
This is something that will serve as your selling point to convince these individuals that your accounting firm is the one for them.
Your pitch should be concise, interesting and easy to understand.
In order to achieve this, you have to begin by laying down the foundation.
Start by defining the problem you’re trying to solve and the benefits your client will receive by having your services solve their problem.
Next, try to engage your audience by revealing a little bit about yourself.
What makes you different from other accountants?
Why should your clients hire you? This will help establish credibility since they’ll be able to connect with you on a personal level.
Finally, wrap up your pitch with a clear call to action. This should be an action that your client can take in order to get the most value out of your service.
The ideal pitch should be around 15 – 20 minutes long and include a combination of the following elements:
- An overview of the problem the client is facing
- Key takeaways from your analysis of their current situation
- An action step your client can take to improve their situation
- A personal story about why you are the right person to help them
- Make sure To Follow Up
Follow up with your potential clients. This is a very crucial step in the marketing process and one that cannot be overlooked.
Even if you’ve secured a meeting with a potential client, you need to follow up to ensure that the meeting was indeed a success.
You need to follow up with your potential clients by sending them a written report. This should be followed up by a phone call two weeks later.
Follow up even if you think the meeting was a success.
Someone may have gotten the idea that you were the right person to help them, but it’s not enough that they had a good feeling about you.
You need to prove to them that you were indeed the one to help them by providing them with fantastic service.
Follow up with your written report. Start by thanking them for their interest in your firm and continuing from there with a summary of the problem you were able to solve for them.
In addition to solving their accounting problems, you should be able to tell them how your service will make their life easier by taking away some of the stress that comes from growing their business.
Finally, make sure that you follow up with a call. This should be a brief phone call where you provide your client with an update on the progress that has been made and answer any questions they may have.
Be Confident As An Accountant
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when marketing your accounting firm is to be afraid to take the reins.
Clients want to work with a firm they can trust, so it’s important to establish your expertise by giving advice on even the most complex topics.
Do this by being confident in your ability to provide excellent service and advice.
For example, if you’re advising a business on its audit requirements, you can show your confidence by being able to cite relevant IRAS guidelines and filing requirements.
Or if they’re wondering how much money they should list as assets on their balance sheet, you can show your confidence by being able to provide them with a reasonably accurate answer.
Ultimately, your confidence will be on the line if you give bad advice, so make sure you do everything you can to assure them that you’re the expert they need to turn to.