Helen Cox Marketing Consultant Kent and London

How to fast-track your accountancy firm’s competitive analysis

Whilst you want to make sure that your accountancy firm stands alone in the industry, one thing is for sure; you are going to need to carry out a competitive analysis to know more about your competitors and what they can offer your pool of clients.  

Not only will knowing this give you some insight into what you need to change about your approaches, but it will also show the things that set you apart from others in the market.   

It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to competitive analysis, but to help you to make the most of this process (and for it to be as easy as possible), here are some of my top tips on how you can fast-track your efforts.   

Know who they are  

The first thing you need to do when it comes to competitor analysis is to identify who they are. You may be aware of some of the more local accountancy firms offering a similar service to you. However, do you know any deeper than this?  

Search on Google using the keywords that apply most to your accountancy and those you are trying to appeal to, and then see who pops up. You may want to add this information to a spreadsheet, making it as easy as possible to find and use.  

If you have the time (and I suggest making the time as this can be useful), you should organise your competitors into three categories—primary, secondary and tertiary options.   

Primary are those who are in direct competition with you. They will have services and products that match yours, and there is a good chance you will try to appeal to the same clients.   

Secondary are those who are indirect competitors. They will have a similar service and/or product to you. However, they will be trying to appeal to a different audience completely.   

Tertiary are those who share the same target audience as you but do not offer the same product or service. They are not in direct competition with you, but if they do, in the future, make changes or expand what they do, they could be.   

Work out where they are in the market  

For the most part, you should only look at competitors who are performing well. After all, there is a reason why they are doing so well. Look at their strengths and weaknesses and assess their position in the market.   

If they are doing well and rising (or staying near the top), they are one to watch. However, if they are not doing so well, or they have seen a decline in their position of late, you may want to focus on another option.   

Read their reviews as part of the competitive analysis

A great way to be able to ascertain how well a competitor is doing is to read their reviews. These reviews show the experience that their clients (and, therefore, your target audience) have had with them.   

By reading through reviews, you can see what your competitors are doing that is working and that people are happy with. You can also see some of the issues their clients have had in the past and whether or not this is something that you can offer a different vantage point on and, therefore, improve their experience.  

Look at their website   

You can tell a lot by what a business’s website looks like. This is true for you and your competitors, which means that you should always look at their websites when analysing them.   

What does their website look like? How well does it work? What comparisons can you make between your website and those around you?   

If you find their website easier to use, easier to move around on and contains relevant content to your target audience. Then this may be a sign that your website needs some changes.   

How do they promote their content?  

When it comes to marketing, you not only need to think about the content that you are going to create to get your message out there. But you also need to know how best to promote this content.   

Your competitors are going to help you to be able to ascertain this. They will have promoted their marketing content, which means you can see how well that worked for them. Then you can decide how to promote your content for maximum impact.   

Check out their pricing as part of the competitive analysis

Not sure whether or not your pricing strategy is in the right area? This is where your competitor analysis can help. Check out the pricing that your competitors are charging for the services that are most like yours.   

You are doing well if you think you are in the right area. However, if you are above what they are charging, then you will need to think more about what sets you apart from them (and, therefore, whether or not you can justify what you are charging and why it is more).  

If you are lower, you want to consider whether or not it is about time you bring your prices up to meet those around you.   

Pay attention to their social media  

Social media is a great way to build your accountancy and a cost-effective marketing approach that can work well for you. This means that there is a good chance that your competitors will already be using social media to their advantage.  

Luckily, the good thing about social media is that it is easy to learn from and take the information you need about your competitors. Look at their posts and see which ones are being engaged with the most. You need to find a way to replicate these posts on your own social media.   

You also want to look at how often they post and what times of day they are posting. This can help you work out your own posting schedule that will work best for you.   

You don’t ever want to copy what other accountancy firms are doing. But you can learn from them and put your take on their approach into your law firm. The best thing you can do is start learning more about what they do and how they do it, all by performing the very best competitive analysis possible.   

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If you would like help with your marketing then bringing on a marketing consultant with a fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference. I work with B2B businesses and professional service firms in London, Kent, UK and Europe as well as specialising as a Legal Marketing Consultant. Please get in touch or book a free 30-minute consultation.