How to Find Your Tax and Accounting Firm's Niche

July 17, 2020

Who are your usual clients? Do you work with a wide range of business owners or do you notice a trend in the businesses you serve? There’s a growing industry-wide shift toward choosing a niche for your tax or accounting firm. By specializing in what you know and do best, you not only cement yourself as an industry expert, but you also open up your profit potential and set yourself apart from your competitors.

The biggest challenge is actually finding your niche - the specialty forte that will help you connect with more clients and grow your firm. We’re outlining a few guidelines to help lead you to the best niche for your firm and some key considerations to keep in mind as you make your decision.

Why Choose a Niche?

Choosing and committing to a niche can be a source of stress for professionals. You might worry that you will lose clients, limit your earning potential, or settle into the wrong niche. These are not unfounded concerns, but if you are careful and thoughtful about finding your niche, you’ll actually grow and improve your business

Selecting a specialty niche for your firm can help you connect with your target clients on- and offline, stand apart from your competitors, establish yourself as an industry expert, and build trust with prospects

Niches pave the way for growth because of the way clients respond to highly specific, personalized messaging. The human brain is wired to appreciate and seek exclusivity. Broad, general themes just don’t appeal to prospects the way tailored, exclusive themes do. 

When you market your services as a tax or accounting professional and potential clients see your messaging, does it appeal directly to them and their industry? Or is it written for a general, broad audience? General messaging that isn’t tailored to any specific niche is termed “spray and pray” marketing - the idea being, “Put it out there and we’ll see what sticks.” 

Rather than blasting out generic messaging that you hope is all-encompassing, find your niche and craft your messaging especially for them. When you’re serving a smaller, more targeted audience, you can market your services and firm much more effectively. You’ll be able to talk about pain points you know they’re experiencing. You can highlight your expertise in creating solutions. You can start to build trust by speaking clearly and directly to your prospects. 

In addition, using more specific terms to describe your profession and location can give you a boost in search results online, leading your best prospects directly to you. Creating messaging for “Miami real estate bookkeeping” instead of the generic “bookkeeping” will bring you the kind of clients you want to work with.

Finding Your Niche

Finding your niche is easier if you follow a few guidelines. First, you’ll examine your client list and look for similarities. Next, consider where your own interests intersect with the work you do. Finally, consider what types of businesses are in abundance in your area. These simple guidelines can help you narrow your focus and find the best niche for your firm. 

Examine Your Client List

Your current and former clients likely come from many business backgrounds and industries, but when you consider your client list as a whole, what stands out? Have a number of your clients come from an industry you’ve done extensive tax or accounting work in? 

Some of the most common niches to look for in your client list include:

  • Construction

  • Engineering firms

  • Law firms

  • Marketing agencies 

  • Medical practices

  • Non-profits

  • Real estate

  • Restaurants and bars

  • Skilled workers (electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians, etc.)

If you’ve done a lot of work with real estate agencies or law firms, you might consider specializing to serve these types of clients exclusively. Reviewing your client list is a simple step that can help you start to determine the niche you’re already most comfortable and experienced with. 

Maybe looking at your client list doesn’t seem to highlight a particular similarity between them. Instead, think about the clients and industries you’ve enjoyed working with the most. Which ones have piqued your interest, challenged you, or inspired you to learn something new? When you decide to settle on a niche, it’s essential that you pick something that won’t leave you feeling bored or stuck in monotony. 

Prioritize Your Interests and Skill Set

Finding your niche is not just about considering your clients - you’re an important part of this equation! You want to choose a niche that utilizes your skillset and keeps you interested. 

What’s the most interesting work you’ve done? What professional topics do others ask for your advice on? What’s one thing you feel supremely confident doing on the job? 

Don’t just think about your current role as a tax or accounting professional. What other jobs have you held? What are your hobbies and passions? What’s something you’re knowledgeable about outside of work? You might find that you’d be happy working with estates and trusts, forensic accounting, or international taxes. Considering your own interests and skill set will help ensure you select a specialty that you can stick with long-term. 

Think Local and Virtual

Your experience, interests, and skill set are all key in finding your niche, but if you specialize in a niche that isn’t well represented by businesses in your area, it will be much harder to get started. 

Consider local businesses and their industries. Your area may be full of untapped potential! What kinds of businesses are common near you? Chances are, many of them need a reliable tax or accounting specialist they can trust. Targeting these nearby companies can help you establish yourself as a niche tax or accounting professional locally. 

Once you’ve developed a niche clientele locally, you’ll be in a strong position to expand into offering virtual services in your niche nationwide. Rapidly makes it easy to connect with new clients online through our marketplace. We offer support for solo tax practitioners, CPAs, and small tax prep accounting teams with features like simple invoicing, software integrations, client communication tools, document storage, and easy pricing tools to help you set your rates and send custom quotes to clients. Click here to schedule your demo.

Optimize Your Firm by Finding Your Niche

Companies trust you with their most important financial information for a reason - you’re a respected professional in an industry that many find intimidating. By considering what types of companies you prefer working with, your experience in different industries, your own interests and skill set, and what types of businesses are plentiful in your area, you can find a profitable niche for your firm. 

If you haven’t landed on the right niche yet, keep these guidelines and principles in mind. You don’t have to settle on a single industry to specialize in right away, but the more specific you can be, the more targeted and effective your marketing efforts will be, and the faster your firm will grow.

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