Bouncing Back – Returning to Business as Usual
The global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has moved the world into unprecedented times. New protocols and regulations are now being practiced by countries all over the world in order to create a “new normal”, something that millions of people have certainly never experienced before. Now, businesses—especially accounting firms—are focusing on surviving and keeping afloat, hoping to ride the waves of the crisis until steadier tides arrive.
Fortunately, many countries are now approaching the recovery stage—a relief from the stringent lockdowns imposed to stem the spread of the virus. Some accounting practices are restarting their services according to a brand new but uncertain environment. Here are three tips to keep in mind to make your company’s transition back to continuity as smooth as possible:
Go Above and Beyond
Jumpstarting your practice when going back to normal is important, as you want to make sure that your clients know you’re back to business as usual. Now’s the time to truly go above and beyond for your clients to make sure your business is at the top of their minds.
Before changing any management processes, get in touch with them to find out how they’re doing and if there’s anything your business can help them out with. Not only will they genuinely appreciate a company reaching out to check on them, but it’s also an opportunity to offer ‘free work’ that can lead to exceptional client loyalty.
Additionally, if they were dissatisfied with your response or service in the last few months, now is the perfect time for them to give you feedback and for your business to address it.
Offer Certainty to Your Clients
The entire world struggled with uncertainty over the course of the last few months, with more negative and unpredictable events showing on the news every day. The best way for your business to bounce back is to provide clients with the comfort of certainty in your own ways: when detailing your services, clearly outline what is covered by your fees and what isn’t.
The last thing your clients would want is to be surprised by hidden or unexpected fees, especially after the turbulence brought by the pandemic. Although you may not be able to personally meet in order to fully explain this, discussing it through clear and confident proposals and service terms will eliminate any confusion. Now is a great time as well to enforce your pricing structure, especially if you’ve made any changes to it.
Review Payment Terms
Another important step in making sure your practice returns to business as usual is revisiting payment terms that were in place prior to the pandemic. If you had clients that paid you an annual basis on completion, this will bring some risks to your business.
Given the nature of an accounting firm, things have to be paid monthly—your employees, your utilities, and even the software you use. As an accountant, you’re always providing your services, too. With the uncertainty plaguing the pandemic, you can’t be too confident that your clients will be able to pay in full after an entire year.
Offering your clients clarity is just as important to you as it is to them. Transitioning to monthly payments instead of annually will make sure you keep your practice afloat while reinforcing your relationship with your client.
As the world slowly transitions into a new normal, businesses are learning to adapt to new structures. The only way to deal with uncertainty is to operate your practice with confidence; and with these three tips, you’re sure to jumpstart your business and get things up and running in no time.
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