The bookkeeping profession really has come a long way and shown just how willing a group, that is perhaps better known as being conservative, old-school and boring, can really embrace change and technology. Fewer and fewer bookkeepers want to sell time for a declining hourly rate. Rather, there is an accelerating transition to cloud-based applications and mobile devices with much more work being done virtually than on site. These are supportive trends for the firm of the future but how many are growth hacking?
Understanding the future role of the future firm
Growth hacking is one of the aspects of ‘big data’ that has some powerful opportunities for bookkeepers. What is it? It’s the application of data to marketing in order to identify areas for growth. It really is the conjunction of technology and marketing nous where data can become invaluable for marketing, sales and growth.
Past growth has, traditionally, come from word-of-mouth as well as accounting firms and, for the more progressive bookkeeping firm, internet marketing and AdWords marketing.
Smart data means higher revenues
It may not be available as an off-the-shelf product or service but growth hacking is going to be a marketing tool for the savvy bookkeeping firm (and the sole practitioner who does not want to be on the treadmill of trading hours for a declining rate for basic bookkeeping services).
The key to growth hacking for the bookkeeping firm is to get close to their business client’s data. And who is better placed than the bookkeeper when it comes to performance data of the business?
There’s gold in that data
Speak to any business owner and you will inevitably discover their dissatisfaction with the performance of their business. Slow payers, margins being squeezed, slow-moving inventory and so on. Published information on business performance points to a number of specific categories that can almost always be improved such as supplier terms and accounts receivable.
As case in point, bookkeepers can play an important role in assessing the impact of supplier terms. A plumbing supplies business for example may have hundreds of items in their warehouse or have terms of trade with suppliers that have not been altered for years. A bookkeeper can correlate valuable data from product sales and stock turnover. There are numerous add-ons that can help build a dashboard that can point to money-saving strategies.
The bookkeeper is often used to spot ways to save money. In today’s era of data manipulation how prepared are you to spot ways of making money for your business client?
Growth hacking can be one key to unlocking the higher value fees that can also help your client make money.