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Discover Different Niches for Accountants

All right, let’s talk niches for accountants. If you guys can hear me and see my screen, let me know in the chat…it’s been awhile. I missed you guys. Did you miss me? I missed you. Yeah, it’s been a couple of days. Well, we give everybody a couple minutes. Come on in here towards the end of last week. I had a couple of days at an event with some of my top clients. It was unbelievable. You know, it’s so interesting because this world is all over the place. I saw a tweet recently and it probably describes it. Well, I can’t remember exactly what it said, but it said something like there’s too many crises going on for me to be able to process.

It’s so true. The crazy part is there’s so much bad news. There’s so much good news from blah, blah, blah. What does this mean? What does that mean? It’s like the pinball economy. I used to say, it’s like the landmine economy, now it’s like the pinball economy. I had this event with my clients last week and it was so interesting because literally,  for those three days, I’m going through with everybody tax firms, accounting firms, mixed service firms and so on…and so many of them they’re so fortunate when you look at how many businesses have been affected by this whole change this year. It’s interesting as what are you even going to call this year anymore? You’ve got the whole situation with the virus.

Then you’ve also got the lockdowns, got the unemployment, you’ve got the protests, you’ve got the riots, you’ve got all this stuff kind of coming together. It’s hard to even know what this year even is anymore. Through that, it was amazing to see just how many people…let’s say right now, it’s June 5th. From January 1st to June 5th, what were your total sales in that time period? Compare that to last year in 2019, that’s particularly interesting for tax and accounting firms because tax season got pushed in a lot of cases, depending on how people bill, depending on how people charge, some people already charged for that. People already delivered those services, but some people, they still have a lot of tax preparation work to be delivered sometime over the summer.

However, the number of people where their sales are up year to date versus last year, even though they’ve got that deferred tax prep revenue, was staggering. So many people you would think, because that tax for brevity got pushed and you also had this entire sort of economic, you know, you would think, “How are their sales going to be up?” If you’re a tax and accounting firm right now, and your sales are up year to date,  and you’ve got that deferred tax for property, you’re having a good year. Am I right? 

IIt’s really like, if your sales are even flat year to date, then they’re really up. Right. One of the things that I talked about a little bit with  our team at this event last week was, how do you think about picking a niche and how do you think about crafting your marketing messaging?

So, niches for accountants, whenever I think about picking your niche, I think about who is my niche going to be okay. What am I going to offer them? Then what is the message or the story that I’m going to send to those people to be like, “Hey, here’s what I can help you with.” How do you write that kind of story? I’m going to share my screen here in a second, because I think there’s an interesting framework to put on this because when you look at all the businesses out there, it’s not that easy anymore. It used to be. I had a client come through a few weeks ago. She said, what niche do I pick up? Thinking about medical practices and construction companies. I realized over the years, I’ve had this methodology for thinking about how to select the niche you’re going to go after.

Clearly the economy has changed. Clearly there are some industries that are not as good as others. How do we think about picking who we’re going to work with now, given everything that’s going on? And I put together a little bit of a framework for thinking about it, and it’s not clear, it’s not clearly like this industry, that industry, this industry, that industry. If you think about it, in the restaurant industry, there are a lot of people that have been negatively affected, but there are some people that haven’t been negatively affected. I’m going to share with you guys a little bit,  share my screen here. Let’s see if I can do it. I just got a new computer. Can we do it?

So, a good example is in the travel industry, right? You’ve got people that are doing RVs and camping that are crushing it. Whereas you’ve got people that are doing Airbnbs or hostels where it’s kind of like maybe not the best time in the history of that business. Then you’ve also got food and restaurants where…it’s a full service Mexican restaurant, let’s say not great. And then you’ve got something like Butcher Box where they are not accepting customers because their sales are exploding, there’s a shortage. It’s only so many supermarkets that deliver high quality meats and people are trying to subscribe and they can’t fulfill the customers. Then you look at software as a service companies where it really depends, right?

I mean, there’s some softwares and service companies where they were focusing on a specific industry and they’ve seen a massive hit in sales if they’re focused on restaurants or certain affected industries and then others where things are booming. It’s funny because I did this presentation before the protest and before these riots. I was talking about how the physical world is like a distressed environment. And then you’ve got the digital world where things are sort of growing. If you think about it, how much worse the physical world has gotten in the last six months versus the digital world. The digital world is only getting better. People are providing new products, new services…but in the physical world, it’s like as of 10 days ago, it was pretty weird, right?

There were all these government restrictions, government regulations. There was people wearing masks, there’s all this questioning about the virus. And some places are still locked down, are you going to go somewhere and get infected? There’s test sites everywhere.  There’s all this weird stuff going on in the physical world as of 10 days ago. Then add on top of that  store owners, they opened up or they closed down their store for the lockdowns. Then the lockdowns are done. They’re getting ready to reopen or they are reopening. Then bam, they’re there. You know, their store gets loaded. I saw a story of a guy the other day with six different restaurants that were destroyed. That’s a lot of restaurants to be destroyed. Imagine if you were already down for two months, sales were down, you’re borrowing money just to be able to make expenses.

Then on top of all that you have to renovate six separate restaurants. It could be like a million dollars. I mean, I don’t know the extent of the damages for him specifically, but it could be hundreds of thousands if not a million dollars or more, depending on the extent of the damage. So what other things might happen in the physical world? It’s interesting to think about the difference between the world of atoms, the physical world and the world of bits, the internet and how much harder things have gotten in the physical world where there’s uncertainty. I took this picture actually from the matrix where Morpheus shows Neo how this is what the world looks like now..

Government regulation. There’s also talk about how they want to do litigation support for the business owners, because the business owners, if their team members get sick or if their customers get sick, like right now there’s no legislation protection for them. It’s a severely inhibited environment, and by the way, when I did this presentation, there wasn’t even any riots yet. Plus, you add that in here, the digital world getting better by the minute. I put down here a list of industries that are just inconvenienced, the things that we’ve been talking about here, right.

Not to mention the riots on top of it, which affected so many of these different types of businesses and then in the new economy where things are growing now at a faster pace, some of them were growing before, some of them weren’t, and it’s just going absolutely nuts.  Really when you look at it between these two, how do you think about who you’re going to be working with? So I kind of walked through this with my clients and I said, I kind of think about the small business economy right now and these four different categories. And I think about if you come across a small business and they’re coming back online now, but their services aren’t really needed.

Airbnb’s, not needed. Jim’s craft breweries. I’m not saying that those fall into those categories. It’s just interesting because I think some of them will, some Airbnbs might be unneeded and we’ll have to see how it fully affects that kind of a market. Then there’s also businesses that are impacted. So, they were hit hard by the virus, the lockdowns, the economic crisis, but they’re going to come back. So you look at things like doctors, dentists, chiropractors, and so on where they might’ve had months where sales are down 50%, 70%, 90% or more, but they’re going to come back relatively strong, or a full return, over the next 12 months. 

And then you look at industries where they’re unaffected. A lot of times you’ll see a construction company where there’s just a lot of people that didn’t lose their contracts, whether they were government contracts or even private. They were a lot of times deemed essential services. Then a lot of online consultants. So if a lawyer was working online with industries that weren’t affected, a lot of them are fine.

A lot of different consultants online were fine through it where they weren’t really affected. Then you look at people like COVID beneficiaries. I kind of break those into two categories. One is where obviously businesses grew during this time. They benefited from it. But one is where they were already in a business that gets a bump, like anything that was in delivery or cybersecurity, or e-commerce got a bump…or they pivoted to a growing industry. Hand sanitizer or whatever the case may be. So, when you look at a small business owner right now, these things are really important to understand because it’s going to affect what services you offer.

If someone’s unneeded, you might be looking at government support, you might be looking at what’s going on in the balance sheet, how many months left until we run out of cash? How many months left until we run into credit? How many months left until we’re going to file bankruptcy as opposed to someone who’s a COVID beneficiary, where you might be looking at, “Hey, this person just tripled their income. We need to do tax planning. We need to take a look at the CFO services. We need to take a look at wealth management.” And so it’s going to affect the services that you’re offering based on where they’re at. Like I said before, it’s not clear industry to industry. I went through and put together for all of the people that came to our most recent event, newsletter templates.

These are templates you can send to your clients. You can even send if you don’t know which category your clients are in, or like a lot of you, you’ve got clients in multiple different places. If you were to look at the software industry, they’re going to be in each of these areas because they serve all the other industries. That’s one example or even lawyers fall in every category. It really does depend on what type of services that they’re doing. So these templates, you can either send them like,” Oh, everybody in my niche was impacted.” So you might say, “ I’m going to use this.” But you might say, “In my industry, people fall in all of these.”

You have to communicate to them based on where they’re at. Then also the Facebook ads and also the Facebook funnel for that. This kind of communication has been incredibly helpful to see, for example, people that are unneeded, they’re kind of thinking like, “Are we going to return? How can I possibly survive this? I may have to close my business. I can’t survive on 30% of the sales I used to have, can I pivot my business to service other customers unaffected?”  or, “I dodged a bullet, the lockdowns didn’t get me, but will there be a recession that gets me? How can I start planning for troubled waters ahead? How do I address the tax changes? And the cares act?” These are just topics of what’s in that person’s head, but that’s different than necessarily going through and saying I’m going to email this person. I’m going to market to them and say, “Because you are a COVID beneficiary, you need tax planning.” Or “Because you are unneeded, you need relief lending.” 

Now, if you’re just thinking, “I’m just going to go out and do my same thing. You’ve got to  be careful. I had a client who made a great statement, probably two weeks ago. She said, “In the old economy I would see something. And if I wanted it, I’d buy it. Now when I look at something, I think, do I need that?” That’s the thing, people are retreating with their checkbook unless they can see deep value, unless they can see that you deeply understand them. Niches for accountants…are about understanding your niche.

Unless they can see that you are going to be able to solve specific sets of problems, particularly related to where they’re at today in this new economy. So, I wanted to share that with you guys, if you guys would like to get access to some of these marketing materials, if you’d like to get access to some of the newsletter campaigns, some of the Facebook ads, some of the funnel templates,  if you’d like to change the way you’re communicating with different segments, you can go ahead and do that. Go ahead and opt in, there’s a little video that talks a little bit about what we’re doing, how we built out the marketing sales and service delivery for the relief lending, the cares act, the forecasting, the budgeting, the tax planning, CFO, wealth management, all that stuff. And then also the marketing to build a market and sell that, and then fulfill on it.

If you guys have not had a chance to check that out, I wanted to shoot this quick video and give you a little bit of an update. I know my team was getting on to be too. I’m coming back for a more regular video session. I might even do a more regular time, as I just kind of popped on here before we get to the end of the weekend. Hope that you guys have an awesome rest of your day. 

 

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