Marketing and Lead Generation for Accounting Firms
The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Marketing
The concept of outsourcing functional aspects of your business to organizations that can perform these services more effectively is not new. For years, Lou Dobbs has been hammering away at companies for exporting jobs through global outsourcing and the impact on domestic employment. In fact, some of the best companies in the U.S. are also the biggest outsourcers, like IBM, Cisco, Dell, HP, Intel, Oracle and Unisys. Heck, even Google outsources development work to India. These companies are outsourcing core functions of their business like software development, manufacturing and customer support while generating major productivity benefits.
Years ago, IBM never would have considered outsourcing core functional responsibilities outside of their own facilities. Their inbred culture and commitment to doing it the IBM way would never allow for this. Well, bringing in an outsider like Lou Gerstner changed a lot of that thinking. Today, IBM's old manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S. in many ways mirror steel production areas throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio. Trust me, I grew up in the town where IBM started and it's not a pretty place any more.
Are YOU resisting outsourcing? Are you trying to accomplish too much in-house because that's your culture?
What is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the practice of using outside firms to handle work that normally is performed within a company - it is a familiar concept to entrepreneurs. Small companies in the U.S. routinely outsource many functions like payroll processing, accounting, distribution, legal, IT, and temporary staffing. Why not outsource your marketing and lead generation as well?
While many companies are outsourcing to cut costs, many outsource and have discovered that a third party can perform this function more effectively as well. When you factor in the "true costs" of marketing and lead generation for your practice (that ABC accounting concept that they taught in B-School), the benefits are overwhelming. Scary thought, less expensive and more productive is a lethal combination. Sounds like one of those simplify your life things...
The Benefits of Outsourcing your Marketing
Control Fixed Costs - Outsourcing your marketing function converts fixed costs into variable costs, simplifies your management responsibilities, and enables you to focus more energies towards "rainmaking" and client retention. For "new accounting firms," this enables you to pump capital directly into revenue generating activities like lead generation and appointment setting while keeping your headcount and office space to an absolute minimum.
Increase Efficiency and Effectiveness - Companies that try to do everything themselves have a much higher cost structure, that must be passed on and integrated into the fees. They are also more complex to manage.
As an example, large companies always outsource advertising to a large advertising agency and pay exorbitant fees because the large agency has some fancy office in the highest rent district of a major city (e.g., Madison Ave, Michigan Ave, etc.). As a client, I remember getting the quotes for developing a commercial, just knowing we were getting shafted because our advertising agency could not produce a commercial for less than $1 million.
Reduce Variable Costs - Outsourced marketing keeps your headcount down, thereby reducing your labor costs, training and turn-over. In small organizations, hiring and training low level staff for short-term or peripheral projects can be expensive, especially when you factor in re-training, re-hiring and day-to-day management responsibilities. Not to mention all the W-2's that this generates.
Speed to Market - An excellent outsourced marketing company can get your new initiative up and running quicker. Doing things in-house sometimes start with good intentions but never get off the ground. And hiring people takes time as well.
Increased Focus on YOUR Core Competency - Every business has limited resources and can only tackle a couple large initiatives concurrently. Outsourcing marketing can help you focus on client acquisition, processing the work and client retention. Keep it simple and your clients will refer more business.
Level the Playing Field - Most small firms simply can not afford to match the in-house staff of larger firms. Outsourcing functional responsibilities like marketing provides expertise that large companies enjoy.
Reduce the Risk - Every business initiative involves a certain amount of risk. Outsourcing marketing to a "reputable" company that truly understands YOUR industry can be extremely valuable because they have much more information to make informed decisions and know what issues to look out for.
If you would like to streamline your organization and focus on what you do best, then consider outsourcing your marketing to the experts.
By Hugh Duffy
Hugh Duffy is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder of Build Your Firm, a practice development and marketing provider for accounting firms.
OUTSOURCED MARKETING FOR ACCOUNTANTS - If you're interested in outsourcing your marketing, consider Build Your Firm's Outsourced Marketing Program. We offer a customized coaching and lead generation program created for those who do not want to manage in-house marketing. This is an individualized marketing program allowing you to acquire new business clients, worki more productively and operate at an overall high profit margin. Call 888-999-9800 x1 to learn more.