Niche markets can be big business for accountants

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Many firms say they specialise in SME clients’ without realising that most other practices will say the same thing. As such, their clients have little to differentiate them from their competitors. Defining yourself as a niche firm, servicing a niche market, is a way to help you stand out from the crowd. While brand image, good marketing and so on can help you celebrate your unique selling points, perhaps one of the most effective ways is to focus on one or more niche markets, a move that brings additional advantages too.

This is according to Keir Thomas-Bryant, content specialist, writing on the Sage blog.

He says there are two fundamental advantages to serving niche markets and specializing as an accountant – optimised marketing and internal efficiency.

“From a marketing perspective, you can become one of the ‘go-to’ firms for clients in your sector and focus your marketing budget accordingly. This will be more effective than a general ‘scatter-gun’ approach and should bring greater success. Networking can be more targeted too. If the niche sector has conventions or meetings, you can attend these and expand your client base. Marketing via publications (such as the magazines or articles your niche uses) can also be quite focused, to make the public aware of your firm and specialization.”

He says the the second advantage is in the area of internal efficiency and will help improve profitability considerably. “If you are processing accounts and tax returns for similar clients, you can use efficient processes. This should be considered carefully in your staff recruitment, operational requirements and software choices, ideally prior to marketing yourself in this niche in the first place. You should also consider informing clients in the sector of the way you want them to keep their records (to make both your and their job easier) and incorporate this into your engagement terms with them.”

Thomas-Bryant offers the following tips in the article:

  • If you focus on a transactional specialisation (such as corporate finance or strategic tax advice – as opposed to providing compliance advice), your income may not be recurring.
  • Concentrating all your efforts in one area may also leave you vulnerable to economic change – for example, if a particular sector is hit by a recession.
  • Consider areas where you are technically competent or have an interest.

Read the full article here.