“Off Season”…never heard of it.
The pace of Tax Season has slowed from an all-out sprint to more or less of a crawl. We have had a few weeks to recover and now what? Vacations = Yes…but the work is never done.
Below are the 5 key things every business needs to be doing on a continuous basis and your tax business is no exception.
1. Set Some Stinkin Goals – Goal setting and future planning is one of the things we enjoy most here at RightWay. Setting goals is not only something you should do, it’s something you MUST DO. You can’t get where you are going without first determining the destination.
So, where are you going? Is it a revenue target? Is it expanding and opening another location? That’s for you to decide. Whatever you want to accomplish, making that objective a goal is the first step. To assist you in setting your goals, we highly recommend reading this Article: Golden Rules Of Goal Setting. This article provides a great framework for you to begin your goal setting journey.
2. Develop Employees – The most important asset of any business is its people. If I had to guess, personnel is also the largest business “expense” for your business. Are we correct? We would also guess that aside from the occasional challenging customer employees are also on of if not the most challenging aspects of your business.
Unfortunately, cloning yourself is not an option…So, the next best thing is to hire smart and train them well. We all know that good people are hard to come by but your business can’t grow without them. You weren’t always as smart as you are now but with time and dedication….here you are. So too is the case with employees. Invest in people and make sure your investment is constantly working for you.
3. Ongoing Customer Engagement – One of the challenges for a tax office is figuring out how to stay in contact with the client year around. Usually a tax office has less than a 1 hour interaction with the client annually. We need more touch points throughout the year. This can be achieved using a multitude of techniques.
- Pick up the phone! This is the most effective, most personal and the best way to know what’s going on in your customers mind. Emails can go unanswered. Social media posts can be ignored. Find an excuse to simply call them I.e. Birthday, Tax Law Update, Thank them for their business and ask for referrals. Unfortunately, this is also the most time consuming contact method.
P.S. Make sure to do this for non-returning clients also!!!!
- Email Campaigns – Sending out mass emails is very simple and there are tons of platforms (Constant Contact, Mail Chimp Etc.) to assist you.
- Social Media – Some Tax businesses have done a great job leveraging social media to promote their business and create a personal connection with their customer. The largest and probably best platform for this is Facebook. Although, we have seen others utilize Twitter and Instagram successfully also. Social Media is generally free and more than likely you are already using it personally…why not for your business. Click here to read a good article on the basics of social media marketing.
4. Business and Personal Budgeting – Next tax season is a long ways of and if it was anything like this year, we really won’t see big money again until next February. We have to make the money we do have last! If you do not have a written Business and Personal budget detailing Monthly Fixed and Variable expenses and monthly cash flows….then you need to get on and get it fast! If you are somewhat savvy you can easily build one in Microsoft Excel or you can subscribe to something like Mint.com or QuickBooks that will help you track all of that for a fee.
5. Continuing Education – Invest in knowledge! Continuing Education doesn’t always have to be sitting through a boring tax law class, although that is needed from time to time. Analyze your business and take a course in something that you feel you need to be better at. May we suggest Marketing? The amount of good, available and cheap/free information will blow your mind once you start digging. One of the most underutilized tools for learning is probably Youtube.com. Although it is great for watching people hurt themselves and cute cats… really smart people are sharing really smart things for FREE all the time.
Well, we certainly hope this article has provided some food for thought and will inspire you to make the most out of your “off season”. All the best and as usual, we are here to help!