While speaking with Hugh Duffy, Co-Founder of Build Your Firm, the conversation steered toward the opportunities and challenges that very small firms are facing these days. With so much talk in the profession of mergers and acquisitions this year, few are discussing what is occurring with the 1-5 person accounting practices. Apparently, the practice sales environment remains strong and fairly easy for those owning successful small accounting shops. “For the small practice owner,” commented Duffy, “you can sell your practice so easily and quickly if you’ve set it up to run efficiently and you have high profit margins…as many small operations do.”
Part of what is driving the high profit margins of these 1-5 person practices is their acceptance that perhaps outbound marketing is not working for them as well as it did in the past. Understanding how to leverage inbound marketing is clearly essential for firms of all sizes these days. On that subject, Duffy remarked, “Those who use it correctly have great opportunities to grow, despite the economy.”
Firms throughout the country are finding that permission-based marketing is delivering higher quality leads. Leveraging the Internet and its capabilities can offset sluggishness in organic growth; we hear that time and time again, whether it’s from a speaker at an accounting conference, or across the table at Caribou Coffee with an owner of a three-person accounting practice. As Hugh Duffy stated, “Not doing the same old-fashioned techniques is key.”
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