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How to Grow Your Tax and Accounting Firm by Focusing on a Niche or Speciality

June 24, 2020

When you find your niche or specialty, you’ll never sell yourself as a generalist again.

What is a generalist? They’re the tax and accounting professionals who offer every service possible to every type of client – whether or not they have the expertise to fulfill this service commitment. 

And, quite honestly, whether or not the professional even enjoys that type of work. 

That being said, some may ask how one tax and accounting professional can be the best Cannabis accountant, or expat tax pro, or the best for any other niche or specialty?

The answer: you can’t. 

However, establishing a focus for your practice – like 401k audits or working exclusively with Dentists, for example – makes your job easier, and makes you better at your job. 

From knowing the rules and unique ways people work to finding new clients and getting referrals, focusing your practice on a specialty or niche has huge perks. 

Specialists Bring in More Money and Build Stronger Reputations

You probably know a CPA or EA who “owns” a specific area and is known in many circles as the expert. You may even lose business to those specialists because of their perceived knowledge advantage.

Guess what? When a client that works with this specialist goes to a Zoom chat room or event with other individuals like them, guess who they refer people to when asked? Exactly – the specialist. 

Are you sensing the opportunity here?

How to Choose Your Niche or Specialty

First, you need to decide if you want to target a specialty or a niche. Here’s the difference:

Screenshot of tax resolution website

Targeting a specialty means you aim for clients seeking a specific type of service. Here are some examples:

  • SBA loan and disaster assistance
  • Expat tax services
  • Cannabis tax services 
  • IRS tax problems
  • Virtual CFO
  • Tax planning 
  • Financial statements and audits
  • Business start-up
  • SaaS businesses
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Estates and trusts 
  • ADP payroll

Screenshot of accountant website for mortgage brokers

A niche market is “a segment of a larger market that can be defined by its own unique needs, preferences, or identity that makes it different from the market at large.” Examples include:

  • Restaurants
  • Mompreneurs
  • Medical offices
  • Lawyers
  • Veterinarians 
  • Architects
  • Construction and builders
  • Uber and Lyft drivers
  • Farmers
  • Actors and entertainers
  • Airbnb, HomeAway, etc.
  • Nonprofits 
  • Real estate (realtors)
  • Retail
  • Photographers and creatives
  • Wine, beer, and spirits
  • Auto dealers

And yes, you can even be a niche specialist. 

You can also select a few target audiences so that you can protect yourself against seasonality or economic slowdowns in one category. 

When you start narrowing down your area of interest, you need to ensure that you have not targeted a niche or specialty that is so small there are not enough prospects available to make your practice profitable. This would be one considerable risk that might accompany a niche specialization (e.g. financial statements & audits for veterinarians).

Building a Niche or Specialty Into Your Brand

The goal of selecting a target is for people to start associating that niche or specialty with your brand. You want to be known as the “specialty” expert. Think about it like this: If I am starting an eCommerce business, I am much more likely to select an accountant who is an expert in this area rather than a generalist. 

When clients start working with a specialist, they appreciate several things: that you get them, know how they work, understand the challenges they face, and have an approach for how to solve those challenges. 

To build this type of practice, however, you must invest in marketing. No one will believe you are a specialist unless you cultivate a brand and message that illustrates this. 

This comes down to creating content, branding, and copy that speaks to your target audience. 

  • What are their pain points? 
  • What keeps them up at night? 
  • Why are you the right pro to solve those problems? 

You also need to understand their service needs and the frequency of these touch points. In other words, you probably wouldn’t want to focus your practice on a target whose needs are only quarterly.

Here’s an example: Would you target lawyers for retirement plans only or a full breadth of services? 

There are 1,350,000 attorneys in the US. 

Would it be more lucrative for you to offer a full suite of services, from start-up through tax planning, rather than focusing on one service type? 

Remember: When choosing your approach, you want to get specific so you stand out – but not so specific that your audience size or service frequency will not support your efforts. Focusing on the niche of lawyers is still a specialization that will help your practice build expertise and a reputation in the market. You don’t have to go too small or too specialized in order to glean the benefits. 

Developing a Roadmap for Success

Since the beginning of our company, we’ve worked with thousands of CPAs, EAs, and tax professionals and have seen firsthand the numerous successes for those who have left their generalist tactics behind.

So, how can we help you develop a roadmap for success? 

Our websites are ultrafast, mobile-optimized, and ready for you to launch at any time. We have done-for-you templates across many high-value specialities and niches that you can set up in minutes.

Not only will your site give you a competitive advantage by helping you specialize among a sea of generalists, it will also help you outrank the competition in search due to our ultra-high scores on Google speed tests. 

By positioning yourself as the go-to tax and accounting practice for a specific niche market, you’ll gain a competitive advantage over generalists while also creating a valuable, focused message for your practice. At the end of the day, you want your prospects to hear what you have to say and think, “This pro gets me.”

Want to learn more about focusing on a niche or specialty? Set up some time to chat with us.

Author: Lee Reams II and Lauren Detweiler

Pro advice, ideas, and information to help your practice get going and grow.

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Lee Reams II and Lauren Detweiler

Lee Reams II
I am a marketing junkie who has spent the last 20 years developing and executing "best in class" word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. With over 10,000 happy clients I think we are on to something. The explosion in web marketing and social media have redefined the way independent professionals market their practices. Follow my blog to see if you can take some of our actionable ideas to market your own practice.

Lauren Detweiler
My passion lies in storytelling. I start work every day aiming to convey the right messaging to the right people, and the role of content manager for the CountingWorks PRO team allows me to do that for both our company and clients across the country. Since graduating university, I have been traveling and working remotely across Europe, Africa, Asia, and the USA.

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