After several hours of listening to IRS seminars and watching the hour hand slowly approach twelve, you realize the last hour was spent thinking of how to best get in line for food. You try to focus, but let’s face it, you need a break. After all, there’s only so much information you can digest in one day. Alright, so after 17 pens, 6 folders, 4 shirts, 2 pins, and an obscure doll, you go back home and get ready for the next trade show. There’s a wide variety of things that people give away at trade shows. God knows we all love the occasional free supplies. But at what cost to your business?
These shows provide an opportunity far greater than something you could’ve picked up at Staples. My message is clear. You need to understand where you lack resources or what challenges you’re facing, and find a better option that can help alleviate that pressure. This is an opportunity to learn from fellow tax professionals and understand where the industry is headed. Only then, will you take steps into becoming an expert and a successful business owner.
Here I’ve outlined several ways to become more efficient during trade shows.
Like I mentioned before, there are two ways of dramatically improving your business. Assuming you’ve done your research, one way is to implement a new revenue stream. Another way is to fix inefficiencies and improve your workflow. Now, how does this relate to trade shows? Well, these shows provide a forum that shares information in a unique way. You’re capable of talking to several representatives from different companies within a 150 foot radius. Pretty powerful stuff huh?
Ok. So now you have the perfect forum, or the “where”. The trade show floor will also provide the different companies, or the “who”. As a business owner, your next thought should be on the “what”.
What would help me increase productivity with my staff? What part of my business should I focus on? What tools can I implement to increase my workflow? What are my biggest challenges? What can I do to minimize costs? What recommendations do they have that can help?
These are questions that you need to address.
After you’ve figured out the “what”, then you look for resources that can fix or help address your obstacles. Here you address the “why” and the “how”.
How does this help minimize costs? How does this system differ from that one? Why is this resource necessary? How does this help me become more efficient? How else can you help?
These questions provide very clear steps to achieve what you want from the tax forum. In my previous posts, I’ve emphasized the importance of being different. This helps you do that. Let’s say there are 1,000 attendees at a trade show. How many of them do you think see this more of an obligation or just going through the motions? 60%? 70%? Dare I say 80-90%?
Remember, this is your business you’re trying to make better. These are ways to help you think differently and help make your business grow.
Along with having a set agenda for the trade show, I strongly encourage tax professionals to converse amongst themselves. Talking to one another will give you actual feedback and reviews from any business implementation. It’s pretty obvious that companies will promote their brand as the most efficient in the industry. So even though you want to see what's the best fit for your company during the trade show exhibits, don’t be afraid to ask other tax professionals what works for them. You will find two main things from asking around. First, you’ll receive an unbiased opinion about the product. Second, you can reaffirm or discredit what you learned from the companies you initially spoke with.
The tax forum provides a breadth of information from people of different regions and backgrounds. Each forum has over 1,000 attendees. Whether you’ve just opened your tax practice or have been in the industry for several years, I can’t stress how important it is to share best practices. Not only does it provide perspective on your aspirations, but it gives you a reference, one that can be very useful down the road.
We still have a majority of trade shows within the next couple of months, so I highly encourage you to think differently and be more proactive. I hope this outline serves as a starting point. The most important part is analyzing your needs and wants. Once you do that, you’ll see significant improvements in your workflow and overall business. As a result, you’ll notice how incremental revenue will help address other challenges down the road. The main goal is to view these shows as another platform for success.
We hope to see you at the next show and would love the opporuntity to discuss what challenges you’re facing and how to be well equipped for next year. Please click here to sign up for a meet and greet with one our sales professionals. We are very excited to talk about our latest products and improvements!