As a CPA, perhaps one of your career goals is to become a partner. Whether that be at a Big 4 firm, a smaller firm, or perhaps starting up your own. One of the things I would always hear as it relates to partners is having a book of business. Maintaining clients as well as bringing new ones in. When I first started my career, business development seems like such a daunting task (who am I kidding, it’s still daunting at times). How do you even start? What knowledge or technical expertise can I even offer? What’s the point if I’m just starting my career and won’t need a book of business for a while?
I recently came across this article from the Journal of Accountancy that had some really great tips and insights for Young CPAs on business development. Some of them items I have already learned as I’ve progressed through my career. While networking can seem scary, the heart of it is really just meeting people and developing relationships. One of the best things I’ve learned and continue to try to practice, is to have a mindset going into networking events of not expecting to bring in business. As discussed in the article, your goal can be “simply to meet people and see what develops from there”. This takes a lot of pressure and stress off of you and it usually will feel more natural. As a Young CPA you never know where these relationships can lead to further down the path of your career if you maintain them. Also, it’s never too early to start. You may not need to have a book of business right now in your career but laying the groundwork now will pay off in the future. Many of the professionals you meet now will be around your age. In a few years they will likely move up in their careers as well and will be at the point where they need your assistance.
Hopefully you can find these tips as useful as I do. Happy Networking!