Accountants – Ace your USP and stand above the competition
A key challenge for all businesses is understanding what differentiates you from your competitors.
This is your unique selling point. Your USP.
Is it possible for an accountant to be unique?
Well yes, it is.
The challenge here is that often, accountants say that they offer something different. They may for example say, that they not only look after the accountancy, tax and book-keeping needs of their clients, but that they offer a pro-active and bespoke, business-growth service.
Most accountants also offer ‘secure cloud accountancy packages.’
However, if many accountants are saying the same thing, how does a potential customer get to think, ‘Yes, this accountancy practice is for me. This is the one I must work with?
You need therefore, to stand out.
So, how can you identify and show your difference?
It is a simple, three-step process.
1: Know thyself
A key kick-off is to objectively look at your business personality. By this we mean, who you are, how you work, the benefit you bring, and the people you’re best placed to help.
To help you understand this, begin by looking around you. Look for example at your office environment. Do you have white painted walls with framed certificates and brown furniture - or are you white furniture with lime-green walls?
Or are you perhaps, somewhere between the two?
Also, how do your people dress? It is formal business suits for all, or do your employees adopt a more dressed-down style?
Have a look at your shop windows too. By this, we mean your website and your social media (including the images and the tone of voice you’re using).
Look again at your logo. Is this a regal-looking goldcrest, or is it a contemporary colour and font combination?
Talk also to your people about their role. Ask them how they see themselves and how they see the organisation they work for. This will give you an opportunity to find out more about your employees, as well as your business.
The aim here is to understand your brand and then, if needed, adapt this to create and demonstrate your USP.
Remember, your brand is your personality. It is what drives your business and it is what people buy into.
2: Know your customers
Another group of people you need to involve in this review process is your clients. Gaining honest customer feedback involves welcoming criticism.
Ask them to tell you what you could be better at, and what they want, and need more of.
As all market research professionals will tell you, there’s some work involved here, in getting the questions right.
3: Focus the benefit
Do you say perhaps, that you offer accountancy growth services to all SME businesses? If you do, then how is your potential customer going to see that you are right for them?
It may be better to focus your specialism.
Perhaps you have employees who are highly knowledgeable about R&D tax benefits for manufacturing and engineering. Perhaps you have found (because you understand complex payroll) that you’re picking up lots of clients in catering and hospitality.
If you can target the organisations you bring the very best benefit to, it is much easier to profile your USP as specifically focused to help this audience.
You can then carve out a niche and thrive.
Here to help
There is, of course, more work involved here than we can fully unpack within this brief blog.
However, if this feels like a change that you’re hungry to make, then you may benefit from some support and guidance.
Here at Insight 101, we help accountants define their offer and develop their brand to ensure that their message is unique and compelling.