[IMGCAP(1)]Many accounting firms go through ups and downs with their marketing and business development efforts. The smaller the firm, the more of a roller coaster ride this can feel like. While we believe this should be a consistent effort, the reality of running a business can sometimes get in the way. Whether you own a budding new accounting firm or you are now into multiple generations of owners, here are six reasons to reinvest in marketing.

1.    Client Demographics are shifting. Your clients are aging. Along with that comes a transition in owners. Just as many accounting firms are facing succession challenges, so, too, will your clients. You will inevitably face some client attrition, even if you have a very proactive effort to build relationships with the successors. You will need new clients to replace those that you lose just to maintain the status quo.

2.    Keep good talent. You need great people to ensure your firm’s longevity and success. It’s difficult to promote and keep people engaged and challenged in their work if you aren’t growing. New clients, new opportunities and an attractive firm are needed to give them a reason to stay with the firm and, for those considering partnership, to buy in one day.

3.    Succession. Whether you want to transition your business internally or sell the business, your succession plan is heavily dependent on the value of the business. Firms that are growing and have a solid brand image and awareness in the marketplace are significantly more attractive and valuable.

4.    Your competition is marketing and selling to your clients and prospects. We no longer live in the day where the phone just rings. Yes, referrals are still a big part of where firms get their business, but that still requires effort. Accounting firms today are proactive about their growth and are actively out there marketing and selling. If you aren’t out there, you will miss a lot of opportunities.

5.    Client retention. Growth means being able to hire more, and invest in more training , education and resources. It can often also mean offering additional services. All of this can lead to better client retention. It can also help secure your clients. As clients grow, you should be able to grow with them. At a bare minimum, your growth is defense for all your competition already marketing to them.

6.    You make more money. If you are still not convinced to reinvest, I am hoping this does it. As your company grows, you make more money. Yes, there is an upfront cost and it doesn’t happen over night, but the long-term benefits pay off—hence the reference to investing.

Regardless of your size, all accounting firms can afford to invest in marketing and business development. You will be surprised how far a small investment in regular marketing and business development activities can take you.

Sarah Johnson Dobek of Inovautus Consulting is an accounting marketing growth advisor. She helps accounting firms identify and implement strategies to help them grow their firms and distinguish themselves in the marketplace. Connect with Sarah to learn more at 773-208-7170, sjohnson@inovautus.com, or www.linkedin.com/in/sjjohnson