New Approaches to Understanding Client Needs
If you’re on the lookout for new clients and you’re like many accountants and bookkeepers, it may be time to reconsider how you position yourself to your prospective customers. The new generation of small business owners (SBOs) isn’t going into business for the money. It’s out of a desire to achieve independence, freedom and flexibility. In the fall of 2015, Intuit Canada conducted a widespread study of hundreds of small businesses across Canada. I’d like to share some of these results with you.
It’s Not Only About Compliance
Numerous industry insiders have told me that the typical conversation with a prospective client is at least partially about expertise and ability to look after compliance with the law. Our survey results suggest that a better strategy would be to focus on how you can help them attend their children’s’ soccer games, or sleep better at night, with the understanding that they will make payroll this week.
SBOs Need to Better Understand Their Finances
Many small business owners may not know it, but they really do need the help of a bookkeeper or an accountant (and quite possibly both). About 28% of our respondent SBOs in Quebec, for example, reported that they are stressed out by running their business; so much so that 41% check their email or start thinking about work within 10 minutes of waking up. Thirty-two percent said they’re worried about cash flow. Recently, I had a chance to ask some SBOs what this meant to them, and they told me that they lose sleep at night wondering if they will have enough cash at month’s end to pay their suppliers, and if they’ll have enough to pay their employees every Thursday.
Make sure that your prospects understand that as a cloud accounting or bookkeeping professional, there’s no one better equipped to help than you. After all, you’ve worked with countless other businesses, and by training, you have expertise in the art of making the most of limited resources. Armed with real-time cloud-based data, you are you in a great position to provide a SBO with the information they need to confidently make the right decisions and contribute to their success.
Freedom in the Cloud
The common belief that entrepreneurs do it for the money is incorrect. In our surveys, only 18% of small business owners started their own business to increase their pay, while 33% wanted to be their own bosses and 21% were looking for a better work-life balance. Knowing your prospects’ motivations, consider tailoring the conversation around what you – the cloud-friendly accountant or bookkeeper – can do to help an SBO make informed decisions for their businesses. Also discuss how the cloud technology you leverage can help them to make it to hockey practices, recitals and more.
Your Role as an Accountant or Bookkeeper Helps Entrepreneurs Reach the Freedom and Flexibility They Hope to Achieve
Our research indicates that the majority of SBOs have missed family events because of business. Consider positioning yourself in a way that speaks to your ability to further support your clients’ work-life balance. For example, the advantages of cloud accounting, seen in apps such as Receipt Bank, Hubdoc and Invoice Sherpa, may not only help save time, but also help make an SBO’s life better, enabling them to catch their kid’s hockey game or attend a family event. And that, as stated previously, is worth more than any amount of money an entrepreneur can make.
Chances are, you’re a small- or medium-sized business owner yourself. Think about what you crave as an owner and consider those points when marketing to these clients. Many people strive hard to attain freedom and flexibility in their work-life balance. With your help, QuickBooks® Online can help small businesses get one step closer to that goal.