Can Your CPA Firm Pass the Shark Tank Test? Financial Services Marketing Strategist Says, Probably Not

On ABC’s Shark Tank show, guests seeking investors are evaluated on overall profitability and growth potential. Businesses without a track record or a solid plan for growth are generally laughed out of the studio. It is unlikely that a financial services firm would be invited to appear on Shark Tank, but if you desire to sell your practice in the next few years – or make it attractive to investors – now is the time to have a strategic plan in place.

With tax season upon us, the next couple of months should be a busy time for CPAs. After April 15 practices that do not work with year-round clients may be wondering what to do with all that free time. Consistent cash flow is critical to any business yet few seem to know that they could be just one or two critical steps away from creating it.

In a recent survey of 100 independent CPA firms, Marketing Strategist Brenda Svoboda discovered some alarming facts about how they advertise for new business. 100% of surveyed firms are spending the majority of their budgets prospecting for new clients, and very little paying attention to existing and past clients. Said Svoboda, “Since it costs 5-7 times more to acquire a new customer, CPAs will get better results focusing on extracting more business from the clients they already have. There can be a long trust building cycle when you are meeting a prospect for the first time because they will be sharing some pretty intimate financial details if they decide to work with you.”

Any firm that has been in business over 5 years (the survey average was 18 years) has a potential goldmine of income that is hiding in plain sight. Instead of spending resources educating new prospects there is always additional business and referrals to be had from existing customers, if you know how to ask for it.

Another fact the survey revealed is that 99% of CPAs using pay-per-click advertising were sending visitors to a website and expecting them to make a decision on the first visit. The flaw with that tactic is PPC traffic (or any paid advertising) alone is not enough to generate qualified leads.

“People watching a TV infomercial almost buy, but put it off, to do the next time they see it, or jot down the 800 number, to do it later, but later never comes.” – Dan Kennedy. This means that if a website or other advertising medium doesn’t have a way to capture a visitor’s attention and contact information, that prospect is not likely to become a lead that can be followed up with.

There are many ways any business can experience significant growth over a 90 day period without a commensurate increase in marketing dollars. Doing the right things, at the right time and in the right order will always yield predictable and measurable results.

Brenda Svoboda works with established professional services firms to help them significantly increase their revenues and business value. To download free and valuable tips on how to accomplish this, visit today.