Hear that? It’s the sound of a new business starting. And if you can pinpoint exactly what that sound is (a car engine revving, maybe?), you’ll hear it about 450,000 more times this year.
(Now, admittedly, that number is a 40-year low for the US, and overall entrepreneurship is down, at least based on the 2014 census. But 450,000 new businesses still equates to a sizeable opportunity for your firm.)
Many of these businesses run on a shoestring budget. We’re not sure where that term came from, but we know it means they’re cheap. Maybe they can’t afford strings for their shoes? Are all small business employees restricted to loafers and Birkenstocks?
Anyway, with such tight budget restrictions, most small businesses tend to keep their accounting in-house. So what are some things you can do to attract (and keep) the elusive small business client?
Partnering with other local businesses is a great way to generate more awareness for your firm and attract new clients. Jointly sponsor a charity event or invite employees from another business to your next function and turn it into a meet and greet.
By now you’re probably sick of hearing about the importance of social media, but since so many small businesses rely on it for marketing, we have to mention it. It’s where small businesses live, so if you want to attract and keep them, you need to have a strong social presence.
Post things that are insightful, exciting, and relevant—pictures, videos, links to articles about small business accounting, etc.
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Stay in touch
Once you’ve recruited some small business clients, it’s easy to let them get lost in the shuffle. They aren’t paying you very much, so it’s tempting to neglect them.
If you do that, you’re sure to lose them. Worse, they’ll pass on the word to the their small business buddies and those businesses won’t want to work with you either.
Be sure to stay in regular contact with all of your clients, no matter how small. It can be as simple as shooting them an email once a month just to let them know you haven’t forgotten them. And along the way you can go for the upsell—suggesting products and services that can help them but they may not have considered.
Do a little bit of everything
Small businesses can’t possibly afford to hire separate firms to handle their taxes, books, payrolls, and other accounting needs. They’re looking for a one-stop-shop that does it all.
If that’s not you, maybe small businesses are the wrong target for your firm.
But if you are a shop that does a little bit of everything, be sure to create all-in-one packages that are easy for small business clients to purchase and understand.
Small is still big
There are about 30 million small businesses in America today, and small businesses employ close to 50% of all Americans. The market is there. The only question is: Will you snag the opportunity, or give it away to another firm?
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