Eight Tips for Staying One Step Ahead of the Competition (And Maybe the Client, Too) —CPA Trendlines Reviewed by Momizat on . Key Strategies Include Building Competitive Intelligence, Reading Trade Media, Innovation and Response to Trends,  and More.   Bruce Marcus at CPA Trendlines of Key Strategies Include Building Competitive Intelligence, Reading Trade Media, Innovation and Response to Trends,  and More.   Bruce Marcus at CPA Trendlines of Rating:
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Eight Tips for Staying One Step Ahead of the Competition (And Maybe the Client, Too) —CPA Trendlines

Key Strategies Include Building Competitive Intelligence, Reading Trade Media, Innovation and Response to Trends,  and More.  

Bruce Marcus at CPA Trendlines offers a guide to trend-spotting for accountants:

Several things beyond outright behavior modification can make it possible for both professionals and marketers to participate in the change process:

1. Learn to fathom those elements, both economic and social, that are currently changing. For example, new technology, including the new social media. Even if you don’t plan to participate, learn it. You’ll understand a great deal of the dynamics of new aspects of society and the economy. You’ll spot trends.

2. Don’t insulate yourself from the marketing process if you’re a professional, or from the nature of accounting if you’re a marketer.

3. If you’re a marketer, try to understand the accountant. This means the people – the accountants – as well as the process. The attitudes, the points of view on the clients, the way they think, their values. Don’t try to turn them into marketers – marketing is your job – but rather teach them how to be participants in the marketing process. As a marketer, you’re not going to change the professionals, but you can educate them within the context of their professions. For example, some years ago, at a major accounting firm, I wondered if an audit could be used as a business management or planning tool. The answer was more arcane than practical, but I learned more about auditing than most non-accountants usually know, and the auditors learned more about marketers and marketing than most of them knew at the time.

4. If you’re an accountant, you don’t have to be a marketing professional if you don’t want to, but you should know enough about the process to be able to participate in it as appropriate, as well as to understand the marketers and how their minds work. Ultimately, in a successful marketing program, you’re going to have to participate in the process and in bringing the prospect into the fold. Learn how to do it well. It’s a process well within your training and experience.

5. Read the trade media – both the appropriate accounting magazines and business intelligence services (like CPA Trendlines) and the publications serving the industries the clients are in. Not just for the news, but for the trends.

6. When you spot a trend – particularly one that veers from traditional professional practice (such as moving from hourly billing to value billing, or keeping associates or accountants who are talented but not partner material) don’t make snap judgments. Not only are these strong trends, but even if you’re not ready to bring them into your practice, they may eventually be right for you.

7. If you can’t innovate, at least learn to respond to external factors that can affect your practice, your firm, and your clients.

8. Competitive intelligence is important. You should be aware of other firms and what they’re doing that you’re not – but should be. Or that may eventually be right for you.

 

Staying on Top of Trends Provides Competitive Advantage

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