After you’ve reached certain degrees of success or even encountered unfortunate failures, a couple of things can happen. Your success can make you complacent or empower you to work harder. In the same way, your failure can make you feel discouraged or propel you to fight more. With that said, my point is simple. Your success is directly correlated with how well you plan and how well you execute that plan. Perhaps you’ve come across a phrase that reads, “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time you’re late. And if you’re late, don’t bother showing up”.
Being on time means starting to plan now. By taking the time to plan for next year during the off-season, you will be more prepared, more capable, and less frantic.
My experience with tax professionals and understanding of the industry helped me find creative marketing approaches that are both engaging and enjoyable. Here, I’ve listed three ways that will promote your business effectively in the off-season and develop necessary habits for future growth.
The Element of Surprise: Increase Retention and Referrals
One of the biggest things most businesses miss is proper follow up. Remember, part of your business is maintaining relationships with existing customers and the other is bringing in new ones. Fortunately for tax preparers, the offseason presents the unique element of surprise.
During the off-season, do you think that your clients expect something from you? I think the safe bet is...no. And why should they? Tax talk is irrelevant so far out. Ok ok...let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. The most successful people take advantage of opportunities that others consider irrelevant. In this case, tax professionals need to be creative in expanding their business. We don’t expect taxpayers to be responsive to tax talk or tax news. It’s certainly something you should still incorporate, but my thought consists more of a reaction or surprise.
The important part is being memorable.
Incorporate personalized letters and small gifts into your approach. Depending on how much of your business falls in your community, invite people to a barbecue. First, it creates an environment where people talk about you. Secondly, you utilize the art of reciprocity. If someone does you a favor, then you owe that colleague a favor. In the context of the social obligation, people are more likely to say yes to those that they owe.
Be a Leader in your Community:
It’s important to utilize the resources around you to build your client base and create more support. For example, participating in your local Chamber of Commerce or local school PTA’s will have a significant influence on your business's perception. These groups serve as a platform for education and an opportunity to build trust within your community. It’s important to be transparent and honest. When that happens, more people will be willing to hear about your service and be an ambassador for your product. Along with serving as a platform for education, the Chamber of Commerce is an incredible opportunity to collaborate with other business who have the same objectives in mind. Whether it’s increasing revenue or being more involved in the community, it’s important to work together.
The Art of Listening:
Perfecting your service requires listening to your customers. I’m sure I’m not reinventing the wheel when I explain how listening to your customers will help you improve and even expand parts of your business. Here, the importance lies more in the approach. Assuming you have email list for customers, creating a simple online survey will give you the information you need to improve. The online survey does two things. First, it provides anonymity. This means more people will be willing to provide genuine feedback. And second, you can customize it. The simpler you make the survey, the more responses you’ll receive. If you’ve already gained the trust and respect of your community, I can assure you that people will take the time to help improve your business.
These are some ways that help you become more efficient for next year. Don’t be afraid to try different approaches, and challenge yourself to think creatively. It’s an ever-changing industry, so make the best of it. For more tips on how to keep your clients engaged after tax season, watch our free webinar here.