Is It Time to Hire a Marketing Consultant?

two masked people meeting in an officeFour questions to ask yourself first, plus 10 more things to know.

By Marc Rosenberg
CPA Firm Growth: Keys to Practice Development

Many firms struggle with revenue growth for many years and then, reach the point when reality sets in: The partners recognize they don’t have the skills or the desire to be active and effective at business development.

 

MORE: How and Why to Hire a Marketing Director | Marketing Plans and Why You Need One | Working Business Development into Your Day | How Marketing Systems Produce Business Growth | 6 Keys to Developing New Client Prospects | Protect and Grow Existing Clients | 19 Takeaways from the History of CPA Firm Practice Development
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Many of these firms decide to hire a marketing consultant to jump-start their marketing and get them on a path to growth.

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How and Why to Hire a Marketing Director

11 reasons why and 4 ways to make sure they fail.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

CPAs are generally not comfortable with business development and are rarely skilled in implementing marketing plans.

MORE: Marketing Plans and Why You Need One | How to Manage the Practice Development Function | 14 Marketing Activities Needed Now More than Ever | Now Is the Time to Activate Your Referral Network | The 4 Marketing Disciplines
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As a result, many firms go through a phase where the partners say to each other: “We all agree that the firm needs more revenue. We all agree that our partner group sucks at marketing. Doing nothing is unacceptable, so let’s get someone to bring in business for us.”

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When CPA Partner Votes Go Wrong

Percentage signs on round hanging tagsThere’s a better way.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

It may seem intuitive to use ownership percentage to decide important financial and governance issues.

MORE: Why Billing Less May Mean Earning More | What Smaller Firms Must Do to Become Firms of the Future | The 13 Signs You Have a Partner Problem | COVID-19, Adversity and Innovation | How Covid Impacts Partner Retirements |  Three Tough Questions in Partner Buyouts | Reward Partners for Performing Like Partners | 7 Points of a Well-Crafted Partner Buyout Agreement | Smart Tech Tips from Top CPA Firms
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Here are three common reasons why… And one important reason why not.

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Marketing Plans and Why You Need One

Maze with word "plan" at the centerHow it differs from a strategic plan.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

Sorry for those of you who have absolutely no interest in football, but a marketing plan is as important as a football team’s game plan for the week. It’s a blueprint for how to win the game: how much passing versus rushing, working on the opponent’s weaker players by name, running left versus right, short passes versus long passes, who plays on which plays, and so on.

MORE: How to Manage the Practice Development Function | How to Brand and Differentiate Your Firm | Why Consultative Selling Works | How NOT to Develop Your Practice | Does Your Firm Recognize All Its Skills? | 15 Powerful Niche Marketing Practices
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A marketing plan is a comprehensive written document outlining

  1. The firm’s practice development activities within a set time frame
  2. Goals and action steps necessary to achieve the firm’s targeted revenue growth
  3. The best use of the firm’s resources
  4. The partners’ preferences in terms of what they are willing and not willing to do. Examples: how active the partners agree to be in selling and advertising, use of internal personnel rather than relying on outsiders like marketing consultants, and whether they prefer to be generalists or specialists
  5. A budget for the firm’s investment in practice development activities

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Why Billing Less May Mean Earning More

Businesspeople discussing chartsHere’s the proof.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

QUESTION FROM A CLIENT: “As the firm’s MP, I’m trying to encourage our partners to delegate as many billable hours as possible to the staff instead of doing it themselves. What is the benchmarking metric for how much of partners’ billing responsibility should be performed by themselves?”

MORE: What Smaller Firms Must Do to Become Firms of the Future | When Managing Partners Can’t | COVID-19, Adversity and Innovation | Is Mandatory Retirement a Best Practice? | Merging in Sellers: What You Need to Know | Take Yoda’s Advice on Strategic Planning
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ROSENBERG RESPONSE: There is a natural tendency for partners to perform high levels of billable hours, perhaps in the 1,200 to 1,500 range annually.
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How to Manage the Practice Development Function

Dollar being built of blocksYour firm’s existence depends on marketing.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

Sometimes the most important ingredient in marketing success has little to do with marketing.

MORE: How to Brand and Differentiate Your Firm | Working Business Development into Your Day | How Marketing Systems Produce Business Growth | 6 Keys to Developing New Client Prospects | Protect and Grow Existing Clients | 19 Takeaways from the History of CPA Firm Practice Development
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This statement may seem illogical, even unbelievable, in a series professing to teach CPA firms how to generate revenue growth. But stay with us and you’ll see what we mean.
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What Smaller Firms Must Do to Become Firms of the Future

12 trends to consider.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

It used to be common for practice management conference agendas to include a panel of luminaries – prominent consultants and rock star managing partners – to make predictions for the CPA industry. As an up-and-coming consultant (who was too new to be invited as a panelist), I saved several years of these predictions to see if, years later, the predictions came true.

MORE: When Managing Partners Can’t | Don’t Let Exiting Partners Double Dip | How COVID Impacts Partner Retirements | COVID-19: How Your Firm Can Respond | 8 Ways Comp Systems Get Partners to Do What the Firm Needs | Buyers Name 20 Big Merger Turnoffs | Why Governing by Partner Ownership Is Bound to Fail
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I was not surprised to find that only 10 percent of these predictions came true. (Examples: the demise of small and midsized firms; outsourcing to become mainstream; tax law simplification.) I vowed then, as I continue to do today, to refuse invitations to make predictions.
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How to Brand and Differentiate Your Firm

And why it matters.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

Selling CPA services can be challenging. There are many CPA firms and purveyors of financial services in most markets. Many people aren’t entirely sure what a CPA firm is or what it does. It can be difficult for CPA firms to stand out against the competition. That’s where branding comes into play.

MORE: Working Business Development into Your Day | Networking for Fun and Profit | 14 Marketing Activities Needed Now More than Ever | Now Is the Time to Activate Your Referral Network | The 4 Marketing Disciplines | Why You Have to Kill the Old Paradigms | Are You Ready for the Great Disruption?
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Overarching goal of branding

One of the main goals of marketing is to make it easier to sell. One way to do that is by enhancing the name recognition of your firm. And one of the best ways to do this is with branding.
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Working Business Development into Your Day

Businessman standing outside the office on the phone with coffeeAnd five ways to counter possible objections.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

The accountants’ use of their time is critically important to running a successful, profitable accounting firm.

MORE: Networking for Fun and Profit | Why Consultative Selling Works | How NOT to Develop Your Practice | Does Your Firm Recognize All Its Skills? | 15 Powerful Niche Marketing Practices
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Time management is critically important to business development:

  • It helps you determine how much time to spend on business development. Spending 100 hours a year on business development should yield better results than spending 10.
  • It helps you determine when you spend your time.

Let’s drill down on the when.

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