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4 business growth strategies for accounting firms
Lucas HamonOct 17, 2018 10:43:40 AM6 min read

4 Business Growth Strategies Every Accounting Firm Needs

4 business growth strategies for accounting firms

Trying to choose between business growth strategies for your accounting firm?

We know the struggle well. You're competing with younger, more nimble accounting solutions. Automation is taking over faster than offshoring. And you're struggling to tap into the growing market of smaller businesses headed up by Millennials.

To top it off, you've never had to invest much into marketing, so even though you're starting to understand that it's time to go there, it's very difficult to understand where your efforts and money are going to be the most meaningful.

To help sort through these challenges, we've compiled a list of 4 business growth strategies that apply specifically to accounting firms in your exact situation. 

Take a look, and leave a comment if you have experience going down any of these paths.

1. Find your Niche

"Riches are in the niches." You probably know this already. If you've been around, you do, anyway. But are your niches still relevant? Businesses are changing. They're becoming smaller, more nimble, and their demands are changing with them.

Because of this, you may be underselling your talent if you're still only focusing on the tax business.

2. Lean into Automation

I know it can feel counter-intuitive to lean into the very thing that threatens your existence, but hear me out.

To start, it's not going anywhere. Because of this, it's transforming your industry. Think back to the first point made about niches. There are two things contributing to this:

  • Millennials are taking over - they grew up on computers, and expect immediate gratification whenever they open up their smartphone.  They also expect things to be easily digestible, and they need simple solutions to complex challenges.

  • We are in the age of information. Technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace.

As mentioned by author Jamie Notter, this isn't just about changing your business practices... it's about changing your mindset. The key is to base your services around these four pillars: Clear, Fluid, Fast, and Digital. (source:

A lot of what you do today can be automated. But you don't have to see this as a downsizing opportunity, but rather, a shift in your mindset, and a shift in how you do business, and what kind of business you deliver.

3. Build your Sales Infrastructure

The days of golfing for the big fish are going away. Rainmakers aren't getting nearly as far as they once were based purely on that comradary that comes from sinking a birdie on a long par 3.

Not only are there fewer big fish out there in the "new business" category, but it's just not the right crowd. Again, they need a MUCH quicker response time to their inquiries. Here are some statistics that prove my point:

  • There's a 20 x better chance your rainmakers will connect with prospects if called within 5 minutes vs 90 minutes of engaging with your content (website, emails, etc)
  • There's  a 4 x better chance of connecting if called withing 5 minutes vs 10
  • 50% of all deals are awarded to first-responders

Your sales infrastructure, fueled by a Modern CRM, is the key to achieving first-response, and putting decision-makers on the phone with your rainmakers in less than five minutes of them engaging with things like:

  • Proposals
  • Bottom of funnel marketing collateral
  • Important pages on your website (like pricing, etc)
  • Sales collateral

Getting your infrastructure in gear will make it easy for you to hold performers accountable, and see why some people perform and some don't... without the narrative... based purely on HARD data.

For source information and more staggering sales statistics, check out our Introductory Guide to Growth Planning:

Grow your b2b business with this plan 

4. Align Sales and Marketing

There is nothing more frustrating as a marketer than to have all of their hard work vaporize the minute they hand off a lead to sales. To compound their frustrations, YOU are likely to side with sales when it comes time to play the blame game. Why? Because sales pays the bills. Marketing has historically provided no service of quantifiable value.

But that's not entirely their fault. Part of it lies with the lack of technology (historically) that allows you to measure the entire funnel, not just marketing KPIs and end of day sales.

The technology exists now... as mentioned above.

Technically, it's your fault for not having clearly defined rules of engagement spelled out and formally agreed to. Of course, without sales infrastructure to measure TOTAL outcomes and all the peaks and valleys in between, it was never possible.

But it is now. Again. I must emphasize that it IS possible to objectively measure and gauge performance of your entire sales & marketing funnel.

MORE LIKE THIS: Don't Invest in Inbound Marketing Until You Fix your Data Integrity

With clear data and rules of engagement, executing Service Level Agreement (SLA) between sales and marketing has never been easier. 

A word of caution - don't execute and run.... you should be measuring individual outcomes every month, and pitting them against global outcomes at least once a quarter. Be prepared to adjust the terms too. Going into it, you'll only have hypothesis' to light the way. In three months you'll have hard data.

5. Growth Hack

Growth hacking is a term more commonly found among start-ups, and it's more often related to marketing than it is sales. True growth hacking also involves product development. Since you're likely going through an identity crisis will the shifts in your market, why not apply it there too?

What is Growth Hacking? 

According to Wikipedia:

"is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing funnel, product development, sales segments, and other areas of the business to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business. A growth hacking team is made up of marketers, developers, engineers and product managers that specifically focus on building and engaging the user base of a business."


"Growth hacking is particularly prevalent with startups, when the goal is rapid growth in the early-stages of launching a new product or service to market.[4] Growth hacking may focus on lowering cost per customer acquisition, or it may focus on long-term sustainability as Mason Pelt points out in a 2015 article on "The goal of any marketing should be long-term sustainable growth, not just a short-term gain. Growth hacking is about optimization as well as lead generation. Imagine your business is a bucket and your leads are water. You don't want to pour water into a leaky bucket; it's a waste of money. That's why a true growth hacker would care about customer retention."[5]

To be clear, you should never start here, because in order to achieve any of these things, you need to be able to objectively measure results. The act of growth hacking involves A/B testing, and making small, incremental changes over time in order to fully optimize your online collateral.

Things you can growth hack:

  • Sales emails
  • Marketing emails
  • Slide decks
  • Flyers
  • Presentations
  • Online content offers
  • Automated sequences
  • Calling schedules
  • Calling frequences


Let's recap. The four strategies we're suggesting are:

  • Find your niche
  • Lean into automation
  • Deploy sales infrastructure
  • Growth hack

To build a growth strategy that fits where your accounting firm is today, check out our DIY growth planner. There are 5 pages of questions (page 2 is the heaviest), and at the end, it will spit out a high-level assessment along with areas for improvement, and how those improvements can be made:

Build your own growth plan with this free tool


Lucas Hamon

Over 10 years of B2B sales experience in staffing, software, consulting, & tax advisory. Today, as CEO, Lucas obsesses over inbound, helping businesses grow! Husband. Father. Beachgoer. Wearer of plunging v-necks.