Finally, economic prospects are starting to look up for 2021, and small businesses can shift from crisis mode to growth mode. To connect you with next year’s new clients, the Gusto Partner Directory is here for you – full of new ways small businesses can search and discover your practice. What makes a powerful Directory profile? Here’s some inspiration and a few tips from Paul Glantz, founder and CPA at Launch Consulting, a full-service tax and bookkeeping firm in Austin, Texas.

Clients who found him through the Directory created avenues for high-level strategic advising, generated additional revenue, and referred additional business. Paul shares his experience, along with four simple ways to make your profile shine.

A long term client relationship, plus lunch at Google.

Through the Directory, Paul connected with an Austin-based software startup. After switching to Gusto, the company was looking for an accountant familiar with the software and kicked off a years-long relationship with Launch Consulting. When Google acquired the startup, not only did Paul help guide his client through a successful exit, he also secured a six-month contract with Google’s finance team. (“They have that bad-ass cafeteria with all the chefs.”) Afterwards, the startup referred additional clients to Paul, who provides those new clients with advisory, tax planning, and compliance services on an ongoing basis.

It begins with payroll

In the last three years, the Directory has created close to ten new client relationships for Paul. Many were businesses looking for help onboarding to Gusto’s payroll software – but that was just a starting point.

Initial services like payroll setup, registration with state agencies for unemployment insurance, and introduction to Gusto’s tools created opportunities for tax compliance work like year-end spot checks, payroll support, and additional accounting services. Demonstrating knowledge of Gusto’s software gave him credibility to win additional business, Paul said.

From once-a-year tax compliance to ongoing Advisory  Services

Based on another referral from Gusto, Paul went from preparing taxes to providing CFO services over the course of three years. Starting with the tax return, Paul gradually broadened his scope – first to monthly accounting (checking the general ledger, verifying expense categorization, reconciling accounts), then to weekly accounting (invoicing, accounts payable, calculating sales commissions for payroll), and finally to fractional CFO work (day-to-day accounting, cash flow management, business planning, and KPI analysis). 

This way, his firm provided increasing value to the client while growing additional recurring revenue.

Four tips for a great directory listing

What can make a successful profile on the Gusto Partner Directory? Paul has a few simple pieces of advice.

  1. Specify the industries you serve. Small businesses can search for advisors using keywords like “food and beverage” or “real estate.” Being specific about your industry focus upfront saves you time by screening out business who might not be a good fit. “That just better qualifies a lead,” Paul said. Plus, it lets you showcase your competitive advantage.
  2. List out your tech stack. Businesses searching on Gusto’s Partner Directory are likely a tech-savvy bunch, so listing the innovative software you use can give you a leg up. “Saying we use QuickBooks Online, Xero, Tsheets, or Expensify differentiates our profile from somebody that’s using legacy software,” Paul said. 
  3. Celebrate your badge. Since the Directory spotlights Gold and Silver partners, it can help small firms with more clients on Gusto – and deeper knowledge of the software – stand out from larger firms with fewer Gusto clients. According to Paul, Launch Consulting is a five-person shop, but having more than 50 clients on Gusto means he is a Gold partner, giving them an edge in the Directory against much larger firms who have fewer clients on Gusto. 
  4. List what you do often, and do well. When communicating the services you offer, focus on the ones you’re an expert in to ensure prospective clients are a good match. Expertise can come in many forms (Paul partners with a trusted expert for R&D tax credits, so lists that as a service at Launch Consulting), but he recommends listing areas where you dedicate your continuing education and training resources. 

Inspired? Go to Gusto Pro to update your profile. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and high-growth 2021!

Leah Brite Leah leads Product Marketing for the Accountants Program at Gusto. With a passion for telling compelling stories about well-designed products, Leah has built her career helping tech companies put the voice of the customer front and center. On the weekends, you can find her reading, crafting, playing at the playground, and teaching her kids to garden with a Colorado craft brew in hand.
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