What’s your North Star? Finding your metric and why it matters – a short intro for accountants

If you want to grow – and what business doesn’t? – you’ll need a North Star: a guiding light that influences everything your firm does – from its values and on-page messaging through to its employees’ telephone style and company culture

So, what’s your North Star? If you’ve struggled to find yours (or don’t know what the term means) you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn:

  • The meaning of ‘North Star’ in marketing
  • Why it should be part of your growth strategy
  • How to find your very own guiding light

NSM metrics definition

The basics: what is a North Star metric?

Sometimes referred to in shorthand as an NSM, it’s a metric used by businesses and organisations to determine the value they’re bringing to their customer relationships.

Naturally the chosen NSM will vary depending on the nature of the business and its sectors. A fast food company’s North Star will be radically different to that of an accountant firm such as yours.

The idea behind this metric is that if you continue to add value people will keep on buying your product or service; growth will then naturally follow.

Examples of North Star metrics to inspire you

Let’s break down NSMs into real world terms. What you’re trying to do here is encapsulate the aim of your business in a short snappy statement.

With that in mind…

  • A national pizza delivery’s motto might be ‘deliver more hot food on time every time’
  • Meanwhile, a hotel chain’s mantra could be ‘providing exceptional experiences without exception’
  • As for a new social app it’s aim is probably ‘to increase follower numbers month-on-month’

As accountants, what value do you create for your customers? Perhaps it’s one – or a combination – of the following:

  • Volume – how many customers you onboard each month
  • Revenue – your target turnover per month or per year
  • Retention – how many clients you retain over time

So, what’s your North Star? To figure out the answer involve everyone in your business to get as wide a perspective as possible. 

Once you’ve found your NSM, weave it into the DNA of your business including its values, content, communications, and processes. 

A North Star isn’t just a vanity statement It’s your reason for being. Deviate from it and you’ll lose direction – putting your firm at risk.

Turnover is a poor measure of success and therefore an invalid NSM

Earlier we gave three examples of NSMs your accountancy firm could focus on. One of these was revenue. In combination with other targets, profit is a perfectly valid North Star. On its own it’s a poor value to strive for.

Building trust with customers is hard in your industry. You’re asking them to hand over sensitive and highly personal data relating to their business then make key decisions in their best interest.

What’s your North Star Metric? It’s anything but profit; because even a badly run business can generate strong profits in the short term. Over time, though, its reputation for poor service will spread.

what is North Star in marketing

Focus on building long-term relationships with your customers and success will surely follow

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘jumping the shark.’ One happy customer tells two people about your superb service. They become clients and tell six others. And so the process continues – your firm’s reputation virally spreading until…

…growth starts to stall.

If you chose profit and volume as your NSM to the detriment of quality of service this drop-off in newly onboarded customers could signal the slow decline of your business.

On the other hand, if your response to ‘what’s your North Star?’ was ‘delivering industry-leading levels of service to our clients’ the inevitable decrease in fresh leads will be offset by higher retention levels that’ll secure your long-term success.

Still looking for your North Star or need some help refining it?

Then we’d love to help. Boss Digital specialises in helping B2B professional services companies like yours to engage with and retain its clients – while of course generating measurable ROI.

Book your free consultation today and let’s talk over a virtual brew.

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