Create Your Own Marketing Roundtable

In the course of business we’ve all heard of the networking groups who meet on a regular basis with the sole objective of referring business to each other.

Rather than hope that they will have a vacancy for an
accounting service member at some stage in the not too distant future, give some consideration to establishing your own networking group – your own marketing round table.

Sounds difficult to implement?

Actually it’s not! However you do need to approach the task systematically by using the following steps:

How to Create a Marketing Group that Gets You Clients


* Reflect on those types of businesses who can send you referrals and for whom you can reciprocate. Professionals in the insurance, real estate, legal, and medical industries, just to name a few, are a great place to start.

* Prepare a list of business operators whom you feel would thrive on this concept and who own and operate the types of suitable business which you have already identified. It’s prudent to have more than one person in each business category on your shortlist as it’s not out of the question that some may decline your offer. You don’t need to already know the people you’ve shortlisted as this is an exercise to cast out your networking further than its present reach.

* Select a suitable venue (restaurant) for a breakfast meeting. The venue owner may also become an informal member of the group as he or she is definitely in a position to refer business to your network members.

* Contact your prime candidates for round table membership, discuss the concept and invite them to the initial breakfast meeting.

* At the initial meeting outline the concept in detail and propose to meet on a regular monthly basis and at the same venue if everyone is happy with it. Emphasize that the success of the group will depend upon the number of referrals each person generates — to get leads, a person must be willing to give leads.

Starting Your Own Marketing Group Gives You an Edge Over Joining an Existing One


The major advantage in establishing your own group is that you are the natural chairperson of the group. With only a minor administrative workload you are perceived as a leader and ‘mover and shaker’ in the business community and, along with other round table members, benefit from the mutual referrals.

Create Your Own Marketing Roundtable

In the course of business we’ve all heard of the networking groups who meet on a regular basis with the sole objective of referring business to each other.

Rather than hope that they will have a vacancy for an accounting service member at some stage in the not too distant future, give some consideration to establishing your own networking group – your own marketing round table.

Sounds difficult to implement?

Actually it’s not! However you do need to approach the task systematically by using the following steps:

How to Create a Marketing Group that Gets You Clients


* Reflect on those types of businesses who can send you referrals and for whom you can reciprocate. Professionals in the insurance, real estate, legal, and medical industries, just to name a few, are a great place to start.

* Prepare a list of business operators whom you feel would thrive on this concept and who own and operate the types of suitable business which you have already identified. It’s prudent to have more than one person in each business category on your shortlist as it’s not out of the question that some may decline your offer. You don’t need to already know the people you’ve shortlisted as this is an exercise to cast out your networking further than its present reach.

* Select a suitable venue (restaurant) for a breakfast meeting. The venue owner may also become an informal member of the group as he or she is definitely in a position to refer business to your network members.

* Contact your prime candidates for round table membership, discuss the concept and invite them to the initial breakfast meeting.

* At the initial meeting outline the concept in detail and propose to meet on a regular monthly basis and at the same venue if everyone is happy with it. Emphasize that the success of the group will depend upon the number of referrals each person generates — to get leads, a person must be willing to give leads.

Starting Your Own Marketing Group Gives You an Edge Over Joining an Existing One

The major advantage in establishing your own group is that you are the natural chairperson of the group. With only a minor administrative workload you are perceived as a leader and ‘mover and shaker’ in the business community and, along with other round table members, benefit from the mutual referrals.

Additional Marketing Strategies

Networking is one of the key marketing methods that costs almost nothing to do. Module 4 of the Professional Bookkeeper course focuses on finding clients quickly and inexpensively. You will learn the guerilla marketing strategies that our students have tested and proven since 1979 and how they will get you earning $30 to $60 per hour right away.

Learn More About Marketing Training in the Professional Bookkeeper Program

Outsourcing your Bookkeeping

Editor’s Note
It’s unusual to find outside articles devoted to the needs of the freelance accountant. But, with the author’s approval, I am sending one to you in it’s entirety. It’s written by freelancing accountant, Thomas M. Begley, to business owners explaining the advantages of outsourcing their accounting. Although a bit lengthy I think you’ll find his insights helpful in selling your services to business owners and valuable as you develop promotional materials.

Enjoy!

“Outsourcing your bookkeeping. — How to move a non revenue task to your accountant and save money.”
By Thomas M. Begley

Small business owners and professionals are discovering that outsourcing your bookkeeping saves payroll, overhead cost and it’s a giant step in freeing up valuable time. For many owners, just the effort of hiring, training and managing a bookkeeper can take as much as 5 hours a week and if you’re doing the books yourself the numbers are even worse. As a business owner your time is best spent doing what you do well — working with customers.

There is a common misconception that an owner will lose control if they outsource the bookkeeping. In a properly designed system a local accountant only takes over the process of tracking transactions such as sales, accounts payable and balancing the books, but only the business owner makes management decisions. Using on line bill paying, the owner is the final word on who gets paid and when.

If you have great books or pretty sloppy books for the most part your customers never know. A generally accepted rule in business is to focus resources on tasks that add value to the customer relationship. Time spent on bookkeeping problems add little or no value to your customer relationship. Yet, books that are inaccurate or do not reflect the true health of your business provide no clue to managing your business. Being clueless at any level about where you are making money or who is a good customer is not being in control. Cash flow is never a problem in business it is a symptom of other problems, an outsourced bookkeeper can provide the answers and you will end up with more control of your business.

By outsourcing you solve the problem of hiring. Good bookkeepers with knowledge of accounting software are hard to hire, expensive to keep and in some cases difficult to manage. Your accountant controls the hiring process and your work is shared with a team so that if one person leaves you will not suffer an interruption of service. Because of new technology advances you now have the same alternative as Fortune 500 firms. Thirty five percent of Americas largest businesses outsource their bookkeeping.

New technology makes this possible. The acceptance of the ASP (application service provider) technology allows the outsourced bookkeeper to ‘reach’ into your network and do the accounting tasks from their office. The owner uses the ASP to look at their books at any time from any connected laptop or computer. This allows the business owner to review in real time the progress of their operation at home or on the road. Some owners log onto their ASP and review the business health and progress daily rather then waiting a month for financials.

In most cases outsourcing will save you money as well. The most common pricing structure for outsourced bookkeeping is to charge 10% to 20% less than the current bookkeepers salary. Not only do you save on salary but also you have no overhead, management, hiring or training cost when using an outsourced service. The overall annual savings can be up to 50%.

The reason an accountant is able to take over an existing process and deliver it back more cheaply is due to leverage, the most common of which is economy of scale. If the supplier does not have to significantly alter the way its current business function is set up and standardization has occurred, the opportunity for both supplier and buyer to benefit is great.

Technological advances have taken the cycle times in a business from several months to several hours, and our competitors no longer have geological restrictions or the hindrance of large bureaucracies. To remain competitive, it is imperative that a company rethinks its strategies, take a hard look at where they are creating value for their customers, then focus on those processes. The most successful businesses of today have gone to outsourcing and now have time and money to spend on differentiating themselves in the marketplace.

The most common reasons management chooses to outsource certain business processes are to reduce operating costs, improve company focus, improve quality, free up capital, increase capabilities not otherwise available and to reduce cycle time. If a buyer cannot receive an improved economic position as a result, then it should not outsource.

The decision to outsource can be an easy one. If there is a company or individual that can do it better, faster, and cheaper than you, then you do not want to keep the work in house. Outsourcing has become an accepted business tool worldwide. By turning over business processes to companies that consider these tasks their core competency, organizations now have the ability to become more profitable, more efficient and far more competitive by focusing on the tasks that are most important.

About the author: Tom Begley has been a practicing CPA in the Akron area for 26 years. His firm is an affiliate of Bridge21, a national network of 150+ accounting firms dedicated to helping clients increase profits through the correct use of technology. Thomas M. Begley Associates currently offers clients a wide range of outsourcing options varying from on-site services to outsourced

Other Articles about starting your business:

Selling:

Selling the benefits of your bookkeeping service

Make your first impression count

Five Tips to Strengthen Your Client Presentations

Outsourcing your bookkeeping

Marketing:

Finding Clients near home

Find leads at networking events

Promote your website

The best marketing strategy: word of mouth

Get a new client every week

Trade shows can be a gold mine!

Contact Accounting and Tax Clients Frequently

Let’s face it – you are never going to lose a client, or a prospective client for that matter, from too much contact as long as the contact is relevant to their business.

Keep In Touch to Keep Your Profitable Clients

One of the most frequently heard complaints from small business owners is the fact that they never hear from their accountant and that it’s always left up to them to initiate any contact.

So, if you want to shine among your peers, know that you will definitely stand out from your colleagues and competitors if you can get the contact formula right. Well, actually there is no set formula for all accounting and tax services. The desirable level of contact is in the eyes and ears of the client.

How and When To Make Contact

So when do you make contact and in what form? In recent articles I’ve given you some of the same advice listed below, just written in a different context. The following list ties it all together nicely. The redundancy also demonstrates how important this contact is to building and maintaining a successful practice of satisfied clients (aka: references).

Data Base of Clients

Use your client data base for details of birthdays, anniversaries, etc. and make sure that you send out birthday cards to your clients. Your own business card should be attached to the card you’re sending.

Know Your Clients’ Area of Expertise

Buy every local newspaper you can get your hands on and look for any news which may interest your clients or prospective clients. Copy them and mail or fax them again with a business card attached if you’re mailing. It’s important that you have a good grasp of their business to be able to achieve this.

Cheer Client Successes

Mail out congratulatory cards when you become aware of the success of your clients or prospective clients.

Be Unique

Give thought to mailing out cards which make you appear different to everyone else, for example "Welcome to Summer"and "Welcome to Bastille Day – You’re Really Storming the Market" cards. You can count on the fact that no-one else will do this.

Keep In Touch By Phone

Plan to telephone one client each day just to shoot the breeze about their business. Once you have done this a couple of times you won’t feel awkward and it will become second nature. You may discover a need for your services, that you didn’t know existed, from these calls.

Welcome Client Feedback

Make sure your clients and prospective clients know that the contact is not a one-way street and that they can give you a call whenever they have a problem, or even better an opportunity, which they need some advice about.

Wrapping It All Up

In conclusion, it’s imperative that you have regular contact with your clients and prospective clients without being "in their faces" – too much unnecessary contact can become a nuisance to the very people whom you’re trying to impress.

Implementing Your Marketing Plan

All of these strategies are inexpensive ones to implement. Why not start the ball rolling today with an implementation plan? The effect on your business will be significant and profitable!

Master Marketing Skills

In the course of a week, you run into potentially hundreds of small business owners that struggle to do their own books. They need the kind of service taught in the Professional Bookkeeper™ program. With its emphasis upon real-world small business accounting and bookkeeping, you will have an incredible edge when it comes to servicing their business that is taught nowhere else. The Professional Bookkeeper™ program teaches you how to find paying clients and to service their accounts efficiently, all while keeping your clients pleased with your unique talents.

Learn How the Marketing Method Taught in the Professional Bookkeeper™ Program Gets You Clients Fast!

How to get a new client every week

In this article, you will learn an incredibly effective marketing strategy for growing your accounting and bookkeeping business.

In creating an accounting and bookkeeping service, there are steps that work every time in marketing. For the best way, see: The best way to market an accounting and bookkeeping service Another approach in creating your own service is to contact those businesses with which you do business.

Your business contacts.

Small businesses that you deal with as a customer tend to be a great source of clients. These contacts are often overlooked. At the end of this newsletter is a list of businesses that are traditionally small, that you might have used at one time or another. As you are reviewing this list, note the names of businesses that you want to notify in regard to your services.

Working with other businesses requires a professional image to achieve respect. A letter is a good way to begin.

Learn accounting and bookkeeping tips, tricks, and shortcuts with our tutorial training courseThis letter tells them that you are starting your own bookkeeping and accounting business. As a customer of theirs, you would like very much the opportunity to show them how you can assist them in running their business better.

In our course we have a sample of a letter that works terrific. I can’t show it here because I have to save some secrets for the course.

In the second paragraph you emphasize two very important points. First, you state that you have an accounting system uniquely designed for their specific business. Secondly, you explain that you will customize the system so that they can do the whole thing alone, you can do it with them, or you can do the whole thing yourself. It’s up to them. This let’s them know that you are there to help them.

Finally, in the third paragraph you announce that you will be in the area at a certain time during the next three or four days, and that you will stop in. (Be sure to make a note in your calendar to drop by at the appointed time.)

Try to be there about five minutes early. It will make a positive impression and also provide a buffer in the event that you run into unexpected traffic jams. If you can’t make it on time, be sure to call them, and let them know you need to reschedule.

You will want to send out only ten letters per week . No more — no less. Initially, this might seem like a small number. That’s alright. At first you will want to spend more time rehearsing and reviewing your presentations. Later, as you start setting up new clients, and follow up on past visits, ten letters will seem like a lot.

There are other articles showing easy methods of marketing your own accounting and bookkeeping service. For information on the other articles, you can link to them here:

The best way to market an accounting and bookkeeping service

Save time and money by finding clients near home

For continual information on marketing tips and strategies, click here to sign up now for our newsletter.

For complete information on marketing an accounting and bookkeeping service, see our section on Building a Successful Accounting Service at our Accounting Made Easy site.

Here is a list of some of the businesses you may work with, (just to get the creative juices flowing):

Accountants
Appliance Sales
Appliance Service
Appraisers
Architects
Auto Rental
Auto Glass
Auto Body Shops
Auto Parts
Auto Repairs
Barbers
Bars
Beauty Salons
Boat Dealers
Bowling Alleys
Brick Masons
Builders
Butchers
Cabinet Makers
Cafes/Restaurants
Car Washes
Carpet Cleaners
Carpet Layers
Caterers
Chiropractors
Computer Sales
Computer Service
Computer Software
Contractors
Day Care Centers
Dentists

Draperies/Curtains
Elect. Contactors
Engineers
Excavating
Fitness Centers
Florists
Funeral
Furniture
Garages
Gas Stations
Golf Courses
Grooming
Health Foods
Hotels/Motels
Insurance Agencies
Janitors
Jewelers
Landscapers
Lawn Care Services
Lawyers
Machine Shops
Manufacturing
Massage Centers
Miniature Golf
Mobile Home Sales
Mobile Home Service
Moving and Storage
Music Stores
Opticians
Painters
Pet Care
Pharmacies
Physicians
Plumbers
Printers
Real Estate
Recreational Vehic.
Refrigeration Sales
Rent-All Stores
Repair Shops
Roofers
RV Rental/Sales
RE Repair
Sand and Gravel
Sewing Machine
Sprinkler Installers
Sprinkler Service
Stereo Sales
Stocks and Bonds
Swimming Pools
Taxi Companies
Television
Theaters
Towing Services
Travel Bureau
Typewriter Repair
Upholsterers
Used Car Lots
Veterinarians
Video Rentals
Water Softeners

PB – Professional Bookkeeper Program
Learn More

Training Included:

Accounting Made Easy – – Course Module 1
Master the tools, procedures, and underlying principles that make up the bookkeeping processes of all businesses. Understand the core building blocks of Accounting and Bookkeeping. — 9 Videos & Manual. See Sample

Practical Small Business Applications — Course Module 2
Apply your understanding of the core accounting principles to specific industries. You will learn to set up books from scratch, do payroll like a seasoned pro, and much more. — 6 Videos & Manual.See Sample

Advancing your “Account-Ability” — Course Module 3
Sure ways to set up complete bookkeeping systems and manage the books for a variety of more sophisticated industries. — 9 Videos & Manual.See Sample

Building a Successful Accounting Service — Course Module 4
Learn the steps to finding paying clients. Start and Grow an accounting practice following a proven program tested and perfected since 1979. — 7 Videos & Manuals.See Sample

Two Additional Months Follow-up Support (Free Promotional Offer)
1 month support is included for each module plus 2 months extra for a total of 6 months follow-up support

Customized Web Site (Free Promotional Offer)
With your purchase we will create a custom Web site for your business and host it for you for free for 6 months. Your Web site will become a valuable part of your marketing; in many cases you may only need to refer prospective clients to your site and it will sell your services for you. See CustomUniversal Accounting® Website

Two Additional Practice Sets (Free Promotional Offer)
Practice makes perfect. The modules already contain practice sets for nine different businesses. With your purchase you’ll receive two more practice sets, giving you eleven in all. This will give you even more confidence and experience in various industries and the opportunity to work with additional types of clients.

Professional Bookkeeper Testing (Free Promotional Offer)
Certificate of completion (final grade greater than 65%)
Certified Professional Bookkeeper (with 90% or better grade)

Course Countries (US, Canada, etc)
Course intended for US, Canada, and anywhere people have accounting needs.

Professional Bookkeeper Guarantee
If, after completing the course, you feel the course didn’t live up to your expectation, simply return the materials to Universal, for a 100% refund of any monies paid.

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