Summer is historically slower for accountants. That makes this the perfect time of year to take on projects to help the next busy season work more efficiently and productively.
You’ll probably need continuing education credits soon, so that’s a good place to start. Courses are available online. You might even find a local, state or national conference where CE credits are earned for attending seminars and workshops.
However you spend your summer, the slow season is perfect for improvement. Here are 4 things you can do to perform better at work, find new clients and help the office run smoothly through the busy months ahead.
#1: Market to a New Target Audience that Needs Your Services
Driving in new clients is part of the job when you’re an accountant. A good lead is practically worth its weight in gold. But with so much competition, it pays to get creative. Instead of trying to land major clients, think about some of the smaller niches that you could fill.
For example, what about a campaign aimed at small business owners? Hardly anyone needs an accountant more than people who are new to operating a business. Their taxes might not be as complex as a corporation’s, but the learning curve can be very steep. The penalties for getting it wrong can sting, as well.
HingeMarketing recommends beginning with research that you can write about. That helps make you an expert. Generate content that your audience can use and capitalize on your content to generate new leads.
#2: Hone Your Leadership Skills
Leadership is important at every level, even at the bottom rung. According to Randstad, chances are you’ll have the opportunity for leadership at some point. Because the industry is competitive, it’s better to fine tune those skills now than learn the hard way later.
Start by taking initiative. Volunteer to manage a team. Take on a new project. Instead of waiting for an opportunity to find you, seek one out. While you’re at it, start working outside your comfort zone. New challenges help you grow.
You can also find leadership courses online, many of them at no cost. Alison has a free Leadership Skills in Business course. Dale Carnegie Training offers a free Leadership Training for Managers session at locations throughout North America. And EdX makes Becoming a Successful Leader available at no cost.
#3: Tackle the Software Upgrades You’ve Been Avoiding
Is there anyone who loves software upgrades? It seems to never fail that as soon as the last download or file transfer is complete, something goes haywire. Files get lost, interfaces change and maybe passwords will work, but maybe not.
Fear of impending doom is just one of reasons why so many people, not just accountants, avoid upgrades until there’s no choice. This time, get ahead of the game and take on upgrades early. While business is slower, snags and hiccups won’t have much of an effect on your productivity. They’ll have less opportunity to frustrate clients, as well.
Whether you need minor upgrades or the whole office is in desperate need of new accounting software, now is the time to get it. While you’re at it when was the last time you updated your blog or website?
#4: Update the Office Interiors
You don’t need a serious budget to have a seriously great office. A nicely appointed workspace doesn’t just benefit your morale, it leaves a good impression with your clients.
How dingy are the office walls? Paint is by far the least expensive interior upgrade that you can buy, especially when you consider the impact it has on the whole office appearance. Do you use a professional cleaning service? If so, think about a deep clean. If not, try out a service.
Updating office furnishings can be costly, but you might find a few new-to-you pieces, such as an etagere or set of bookcases, secondhand. Seating can be reupholstered instead of replaced. If none of that is in your budget, consider a new furnishing arrangement. A one-time consultation with an interior designer can improve the look and flow of the office.
Summer is notoriously slow for many businesses, and accounting is no exception. But think about all of the months throughout the year when you wish you had time for something else. Whatever that something else is, now is the time to handle it. Whether you need more training, better software or just a better-looking office, once clients start pouring in again, you’ll be ready.
Continuing education is always on the docket and there’s no better time than now. Check out our CPA approved courses. When your license renewal rolls around, you’ll be ready for it.