How Locally Owned CPA Practices Can Draw Clients
The year is more than halfway complete and it is a good time to examine the merits of operating a local accounting practice and what you can do to bring in more clients and outflank the regional and national chains. Being local allows CPAs to leverage certain intangibles to earn the trust of area businesses and turn them into client relationships. Here are three ways to accomplish this:
Claim your Free Local Online Listings: Accounting practices with a local presence have the right to be listed in local online directories, an often-overlooked traffic source where many businesses look to find a CPA. The problem is that roughly half of all accounting practices have not even claimed their free listings. These are high-traffic directories such as Google Plus, SuperPages, Yelp, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, Foursquare, and many others. People use these directories to find local services and you should be listed in each one of them to capture as large a share as possible of these local prospects.
Become Involved in Local Charitable Events: A great way to connect with the community is to sponsor a local event such as a charitable event, sports function, or a local festival. If sponsoring is not in your budget, at the very least participate in the event. Having your name attached to these events helps you establish deeper ties to the community and it is a great way to network with other participating business owners that may need your services.
Attend Networking Events: As a local business owner, one of the best ways to leverage your physical presence in the community is by being present at Chamber of Commerce and other business functions. The national chains may be able to send a representative to a meeting like this but there is really no substitute for having the owner present. Local business owners that attend these meetings have a kinship because they are all in the same boat. An independent businessperson depends on others in the community for survival and they are far more likely to patronize other local businesses (like your practice), especially if they are able to get to know you personally.