“No way!” we hear you say. We agree. But it does raise the question as to how many clients do you need to make your bookkeeping practice sustainable and profitable.

A survey of high performance franchise groups in Australia and New Zealand are revealing: these high performers set goals for 12-month targets in new client acquisition. On average, a typical franchise set a target of 60 prospect interviews a year (5/month). One franchisee boasted a $100k boost in revenue on the back of new client acquisition. Such figures can be intimidating for the sole practitioner looking to acquire perhaps one new client every three months. The takeaway is:

• Goal setting (targets) for lead generation is the first step
• Aiming for 5 prospect interviews and proposals a month may be feasible even for the sole practitioner

Onboarding new clients

Taking a new client onboard can be time-consuming; taking four or five new clients on board in a short time can be over-whelming. A process needs to be in place.

As a firm owner, think about what your business role to your client will be. What is your business philosophy? Do you desire to be an everything-to-everyone kind of shop or do you desire to specialize in your service capabilities and then outsource the rest. Then you can think about appropriate steps in mapping out your process to give the best onboarding experience to your clients.

If you are that jack-of-all-trades shop, then you can provide a more customizable and personalized onboarding experience for your client.

Understand the value proposition of your services

When thinking about how to automate your client onboarding process with your clients, it is necessary to customize your clients’ needs during the first of the prospect-proposal meetings. Commonly referred to as a Needs Analysis, this identifies those critical components.

Fortunately the accounting software marketplace is intensively competitive and knowledge from your preferred suppliers is manifold. And there are specialist firms dealing with training and implementation such as WhichAddon (www.whichaddon.com).

Use the spec lists, check lists, and other basic materials to edit accordingly. Integrate the information to help make it work for your clients going forward. This way when the actual onboarding process occurs, it will be quick, painless, effortless, and a success. Happy onboarding!