Defining your practice’s client strategy

To deliver an articulate, cohesive service offering, practice owners need to define who they want to serve and who they don’t.

Without doing so, practices risk being left behind – as others set a direction of travel and leverage the latest technology to achieve their goals.

So, what does the process of defining client/service offering look like?

Well, the starting point is to understand what your current client base looks like – and this is usually easier said than done. Think carefully about where you hold information, how to access it and then present it in a way that is transparent – and comparable.

You must then take stock of your current offerings, and contextualise in relation to the clients, including:

  • What services are being offered; and to which sector? Which are most profitable?

  • What is the menu-driven pricing for those services?

  • Are there opportunities to develop additional services for this client?

  • Which clients are difficult?

  • What technical expertise is required to service your clients?

  • Have you found ‘hidden’ sector specialisms?

  • Which clients are price-sensitive?

This will lead you to a point where you understand your client base – certainly by sector and/or other types of segmentation (profitability/service provided). And now, you can take a more structured approach going forward – which may even include becoming much more niche, by vertical sector or by offering.

There are then further steps to take.

Marketing, for example, must be broached. If you’re looking to push your payroll services, you may look to automate as much of the payroll process as possible – including a centralised technical/clerical team – to free up managers for business development.

If you are to expand certain offerings then outsourcing may create flexibility in pricing and scale. There are also other big issues to face, such as dropping clients that don’t fit the profile of your developing practice.

You also need to set a strategy for the practice as a whole – which will mean a deep understanding of your staff and partners ambitions, skillsets, and future direction. That’s a conversation for another day…

If your practice is facing up to these issues ->

We’d be delighted to speak to you about client strategy, and other areas of focus for your practice. Please email Julia Whistler at

Foulger Underwood is a team of M&A and strategy consultants focused on the accounting, legal, trust and corporate service and wealth management sectors. You can find out more about our broad range of value-building and practical service offerings here.