After I’d presented a talk to a group of accountants recently one of them asked for my advice. Our brief discussion might be of wider interest.

Q: I have a [huge] shopfront window at the front of my high street accountancy practice. 40,000 cars go past each day.

Could we use the window to STANDOUT and if so what should we put on it to help generate business?

A: If we had time I would look to find out much more about you and your practice. As we only have a couple of minutes, let me just ask one Q. What sort of work do you enjoy doing? (“Tax investigations. Though it’s really a typical general practice”)

Ok. So let’s focus on that topic. I’d consider putting “Taxman troubles? Pop in” on the window. As large as possible. It’s clear, alliterative and it doesn’t alienate conventional clients. It highlights a key topic and can be easily read and understood by drivers and passengers in passing cars and buses as I assume your signage generally makes clear that you run an accountancy practice from the shopfront. (“Confirmed”)


My thinking here was to look for a combination of just one key service line that prospective passing trade would recognise as being distinct from more traditional and general accountancy services. I’m never sure that simply listing all of those services on your shopfront is very helpful. People (think they) know what accountants do. Far better, in my view, to attempt to STAND OUT by highlighting either a specific service line or a niche and specialist client type.

Follow up

The next morning I received this delightful note from the same accountant:

“Thank you for the advice you gave me yesterday afternoon when I asked you for your thoughts on what I might put on my large shop front window for the 40,000 per day passing traffic to see.

I’m going to have a good look at your website.  I’d like to think you can help me grow  my practice in a meaningful way.”

I hope so too!