“You guys are everywhere!”
This comment from a prospective client made me realize that Kahuna Accounting was on the right track.
Truthfully, we weren’t everywhere. In fact, we were quite small. At the time, we had a few employees and less than 50 clients. But for this potential client, we had surrounded his ecosystem and he even said, “As I researched, I just felt like all roads lead to Kahuna.”
A conversation like that is a dream scenario for marketers. Our growth has skyrocketed since then – Kahuna Accounting now has over 250 clients and 18 employees. And we’re continuing to grow.
The secret to our growth is not that special. It's all about the niche. Find a small, specific niche that you can become an expert in. And clients will come to you.
Just so we’re on the same page, here is how I’m defining “niche”:
A niche is a specific type of business in a specific ecosystem, using a specific set of tools. They gather together in specific places – either physically or online.
At Kahuna Accounting, the niche we specialized in was small law firms with one to six attorneys using Clio as their practice management software.
In the past few months, we started to work with other accounting firms to help with their marketing and growth. I have shared our “be everywhere” strategy, and what I’ve found is that many firms are not struggling with marketing execution, but with the challenge of focusing in on a narrowed niche.
So, I want to share five reasons why you should absolutely commit to focusing on a specific niche in your accounting practice, and how that’s the key to predictable, profitable growth.
What Happens When Your Firm Focuses on a Niche
1. It’s easier to stand out
One of the biggest challenges in accounting and bookkeeping is differentiation. Most firms try to stand out by talking about themselves. “We’re unique because we have this, that and the other. We have experience, expertise, etc.”
But everybody has those things. Everybody does great accounting/bookkeeping and knows how to utilize technology. So your unique story is not enough to help you stand out.
What works is to have a specific type of client that you serve. When you have that, you can speak directly to their goals so they feel like you get them.
2. It’s easier to get clients
Once you identify a niche, your goal becomes delivering your message to the target. The largest benefit of specifying a niche is the simplification of your marketing strategy.
You can leverage influencers and thought leaders in the industry you are targeting and find out exactly how to get in front of your ideal client.
This will win you more referrals, speaking opportunities, organic growth and they will be looking directly for you – because you’re the expert.
This doesn’t happen overnight but is absolutely attainable when you become hyper-focused.
3. Faster sales process
Do prospects ever find your accounting firm and already know what they want? Are they ready to work with you from the moment they first talk to you?
That will never happen if you are a generalized accountant. But if you are an expert within a niche, it happens often. They’ve heard from their peers and they have seen you “everywhere”, so they already have confidence in what you do. They want to work with an accountant who specializes in their industry.
4. You can charge more
For all the reasons listed above, you have much more power in the pricing conversation when you specialize. At our firm, we dislike prospects finding us through the Xero directory, because when they do they are usually emailing 10 or more partners trying to find the lowest price.
When you are specialized in a niche you can create your own category where there is much less competition. You avoid getting caught in a negotiation where another firm is always offering to do it for less.
5. Easier to deliver service
Our desire to commit to a niche was motivated by marketing. We wanted to grow and thought it was the best way.
A byproduct that we didn’t anticipate? As we scaled, our accounting team was encouraging us to stay focused on the niche. The job of servicing got a whole lot easier. When you have a niche, you have the same questions, software tools and reporting. You become extremely efficient.
When you are spread out across all industries you are constantly learning and adapting on the fly. Our focused niche has made it easier to grow and deliver maximum value.
I have one final point to make that is also counterintuitive. Once we focused on a niche, we actually generated more leads that came from outside of the niche. I am not 100% sure why, but I know many people hesitate to focus, because they worry about limitations.
For us, it was not limiting at all. The more we grew in our niche, the more we grew everywhere else. I think in business, just like in life, momentum is really the key to everything. Once you have momentum, things just keep rolling.
Use a narrow niche to get your initial momentum going and you’ll have an easier time finding clients – and you’ll be glad to work with them!
About the author: Micky Deming is the Director of Business Development at Kahuna Accounting. Kahuna provides virtual accounting and bookkeeping for over 250 small businesses across the U.S. In 2016, Kahuna was named Xero’s Accounting Partner of the Year. Find out more at www.kahunaaccounting.com. If you have any questions, feel free to reach Micky at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. if you have already committed to a niche and want more information about how to grow in your niche, we’ve put together a quick 3-part video series on how to get leads and clients in a niche. Check it out here: http://www.kahunax.com/grow-your-accounting-firm