The hard part of becoming a tax preparer was completing the qualifications; now you simply have to sit back and reap the rewards of your hard work right? WRONG. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the reality is that the work is only just starting. That’s the bad news; the good news is that provided you put in the hard work and effort required, you have the foundation for a very successful career.
The purpose of this article is to give you some ideas and tactics on how to grow your business. Marketing is an entirely different skillset, in its right, but one that is as important, if not more than your tax preparer skills. That may sound like a strange comment to make, but the fact of the matter is that you can be the most skilled tax preparer in the world, but without any clients, you won’t make a single cent.
Five Vital Skills You Need To Master:
Learn To Plan, Be Efficient And Organized
One of the most important skills that anyone launching their own business needs to perfect is that of organization and efficiency. Many of the people we work with keep informing us of the long hours they are putting into their business on a daily basis, and yet they are not making any progress.
When we sit down together and analyze their working day, productive planned work is the last thing they are doing. Read the next few statements and be brutally honest with yourself, if this reminds you of your habits.
They get into the office around nine o’clock, never before, and most often after. They turn on the computer, and the coffee maker, after all, you can’t start the day until your first cup of coffee can you?
About 9.30 they sit down at the computer and open the various news or sports sites, and have a little browse. Then it might be time for some Facebook; they may read about their mentors online, dream about having the internet lifestyle, and start imagining how they would spend all their money.
By now it is 11.30 and time to check the email. A couple of emails are funny video links from their friends, so it is important to watch those videos and have a laugh, and by the time they have done that, it’s 1.00. Time for lunch, before returning to catch up on Twitter, Instagram and all of the other important social media sites. At four o’clock, it’s too late to start anything substantive for the day, so why not close up early and head down to the pub for a beer. After all, it’s been a hard day’s work, and they deserve it.
This might sound a little flippant and far fetched, but that is the reality of a lot of home-based entrepreneurs. They may well have been in the office for 7 or 8 hours, but it isn’t the amount of time you spend at work, it’s what you accomplish during that time that matters.
Every evening at 4:00 write out a to do list for the following day. Put the worst jobs at the top of the list, to force yourself to complete them. Otherwise, those jobs will never be completed, and will always get bumped to the bottom of the list. By completing them first you will get a feeling of accomplishment, and that will give you the momentum to blast through the rest of your tasks during the day. As a self-employed tax preparer, there is no boss to apply the pressure, it is very easy to take things easy and not do much every day, but that is not the route to the success you dream about. You need to be focused, determined and work extremely hard to grow your business. Turn off all distractions and give total focus and commitment to the career you are trying to forge.
Hire A Professional Website and Graphic Designer
Before you panic, this does not need to be an expensive task, but it is critical that you start to develop a brand. That means you need a professional looking website, logos and a color scheme that will make your company stand out from the crowd. You want people to remember your company, and sometimes the branding can be critical for that purpose. Not only does a strong brand help you gain awareness and exposure, but it also makes you look like a professional company, that people are both happy to use and be associated with.
Create Your Google My Business Account
Although there are numerous other search engines, the fact remains that Google is the dominant company online, and the most important place for any business to feature. Google my business is Google’s equivalent to the old Yellow Pages, and it also includes a location marker for your business. It is essential that you claim this piece of virtual real estate, and then provide as much information as possible, so that Google will feature your business more prominently in their listings. Include photographs of your office, staff and anything else that confirms to Google that you are the legitimate owner of that business. This is not a long process, but it is one of the most important steps on your route to success.
Offer A New Customer Promotion To Generate New Business
One of the biggest challenges facing all new business owners is how to generate those initial sales. After all, as the new kid on the block, why would anyone come to you over the company that has established an excellent reputation over many years? The cold hard fact is that money talks, and it may be a good idea to launch an initial fifty percent off promotion, to generate interest and encourage your first paying customers. Remember that provided they are delighted with your services, (which they will be) they are highly likely to return year after year. Not only will this generate a long term profit, for a short-term cost, but the word of mouth advertising they bring could generate many many more new customers.
Focus On Activities That Generate Income
The final tip is to focus on activities such as sales that will generate income to the business. You need to develop a sixth sense with people who call your office, as many will be time wasters. Whatever activity you are doing during the course of your working day ask yourself the question – “Is this task generating me any money?” If the answer is no, then the likelihood is you probably shouldn’t be doing it. If sales are not your strong point, then you have two options. Hire a salesperson ( not an easy task in itself), or learn how to improve your sales techniques. Once you have mastered the art of selling, you won’t look back. Tax Course Central is releasing a Tax Business Marketing course on August 15th, which will go over what we have discussed in this article in more detail, plus much more. You can pre enroll in the course here –> The Tax Business Marketing Course