Back in the early 2000’s, Nate Hagerty was the Marketing Director of a tax firm that grew from one little tax and accounting office … into a multi-office tax empire that employed over 400 people in 15 different market areas and served over 27,000 clients.
Building a business empire like this required many small acts of decision along the way.
One of the primary ones — can I build this without sacrificing everything else in my life?
In this podcast, Nate interviews the then-president of this tax business, who managed to build and lead this team … all while he had plenty of time to spend with his 4 kids under 10 years old AND a maintain a thriving marriage at the same time. (Nate knows this because he spent plenty of time with them at their house at the time, and has remained close friends even as their professional paths took them to different places.)
- How can I cut my workload, but still keep growing the business?
- How can I reduce payroll costs and rapidly increase profits?
- How can I add extra passive income streams without hurting operations?
Connect with Nate Hagerty
This episode is brought to you by TaxProMarketer, a leading marketing agency serving CPA & tax firms. It was established in May of 2007 in response to increased demand for real-world, relationship-building (and profit-producing) marketing tools for use in the tax and accounting industry.
Currently, TaxProMarketer serves clients all across the United States and Canada who use their services to build relationships with their prospects & existing clients, as well as to grow the value of their business (for immediate cashflow and future sale-ability) by utilizing the following tools: a relational email marketing program, social media feed program, local listings management & optimization, and creating full “online marketing machines” for clients (which include SEO-optimized, conversion-centric custom websites).
TaxProMarketer is an Infusionsoft Certified Partner and a Digital Marketer Certified Agency.
Full Transcript from the Podcast
Nate Hagerty 00:24
Chauncey, I know you’ve prepared this presentation, and I’m going to pipe in with snarky comments here and there and ask you questions. Because I claim that privilege and I know I know how much you hate it. So I’m going to do it very delicately and very carefully, but are you ready to rock and roll?
Chauncey Hutter 00:45
Nate Hagerty 00:46
All right. Well, everybody. Look, through a lot of you, Chauncey needs no introduction, because he is the original success coach to the industry, as some people say he’s the OG to the CPA. I can’t believe I just used that term, that I’m not allowed to use that term. I shouldn’t use that term. You probably don’t even know that term.
Chauncey Hutter 01:07
I don’t know what that is.
Nate Hagerty 01:08
That’s fine. Anyway…
Chauncey Hutter 01:10
If only she was here, she would tell me.
Nate Hagerty 01:12
Yes, she would. So Chauncey Hutter…
Chauncey Hutter 01:15
I want to talk to her, what is OG?
Nate Hagerty 01:16
…is, he’s famous because back before the internet, Chauncey was coaching and consulting with thousands of tax and accounting professionals. How in tarnation did you reach thousands of tax and accounting professionals, because the dude is a genius when it comes to marketing, especially offline marketing. He’s gotten better with online marketing. But my friend, so I went to work for Chauncey, full disclosure, I have seen behind the scenes with Chauncey, he will forever have my loyalty, because of what I saw behind the scenes, and how he took the high road when other people took the low road. I saw that multiple times. When he hired me, he said to me, Nate, I don’t want you working for me four to five years from now and true to his word he helped me launch one business and then when I started Tax Pro Marketer, which is my second business, he cheered me on along the way, and we continue to remain good friends. I’ve been in his home, sat at this table. So when I say Chauncey is my friend, this is not just, you know, businessy like blah, blah, blah. Chauncey is dear to me. But even more than that, the reason why you may have heard of him is because he’s been famous for decades in the industry and he did this all before it was easy. Before, you know, you and I could just like, sit before a computer and blast an email to 25,000 people. Chauncey was hiring people to stuff envelopes full of mailers, and send them out in a sequence way, making it all work together in a way that felt right to the recipient. And he has coached, what’s the number, it’s like almost 4000 people, one on one in the industry as many more in a group format. He took his father’s little two room tax and accounting shop, and built it to a multi state, multi market area, 15 market areas, 23 office/24 offices, employing over 400 people 27,000 clients and Chauncey is one who did. His dad basically said, run with it, son. And I’ll do some work here in the back end. But you can build this with, you know, however you want. And Chauncey did. And he sold his share and a family business. It’s still operating, because he wanted to focus in on this. He also built a seven figure coaching and consulting business, again, pre internet and continues coaching lots of people into how to achieve this kind of success. The thing that I love, and the thing he’s going to talk about today is he did all of this, without sacrificing his marriage, without sacrificing his fatherhood, without sacrificing his health in his life. He he was able to be a present father, a present husband, and a present friend. There’s so many people in the midst of this and when you know, shut down at a certain time, didn’t bug me when I worked for him on the weekends. He wasn’t insane, because he had built systems. And because he had tested and failed in so many different areas related to workflows and how to organize your practice and maximize profit. These are things they’re not as sexy and the gurus don’t talk about these things very much. But Chauncey nailed these things. And he doesn’t brag about them very much. I’m so glad that he’s now talking about this more because this is a huge part of what made his business work as well as it did again, because that’s all behind the scenes. So Chauncey, I know that, like, there’s things that I’m gonna interrupt you and ask you about but again, he prepared this. So I want to step out of the way, and let you go from here. Is there anything that I missed that you want me to highlight?
Chauncey Hutter 02:24
No, you’re very kind
Nate Hagerty 02:40
You’re a lot less handsome than me. So let’s just say that-
Chauncey Hutter 04:22
You have a very kind introduction, but let’s don’t make it all about me. Let’s talk about your clients and how we can help them.
Nate Hagerty 05:22
Here we go. Alright, let’s do that.
Chauncey Hutter 05:24
So just before we get going, I just, yeah, everybody that I’m talking, I talked to a lot of tax and accounting professionals every week, especially the last six months because of all this extra gone. And I’m hoping you have decided by being on this webinar, you’re deciding, look, it’s nuts out there in the tax and accounting world. So whatever I’ve been doing, I would like to be open to the possibility of trying some new things out, or making what I’m doing work better, but not the old way. The old way being you’re doing all the work, you’re the one that stressed out, you’re the one working long hours. And some people will follow what I’m going to describe to you and walk you through and others will hold fast to the past. And they will just say, I’m just gonna do it, like I’ve always done it, I don’t care about COVID, I don’t care about working long hours and being stressed out, I don’t care about my family relationships, blah, blah, blah, blah, I’m just gonna do what I’ve always done. I’m hoping that a good chunk of people that are listening to my voice will actually choose because of the pain, and just the absolute shifting nature of the industry, because of everything that’s happened, you are at a place where you’re willing to do something about it, like you want to change. If that’s true, I can help you. And I appreciate Nate giving me the opportunity to spend some time with you, we’ll go about an hour ish. And we’ll just have a good time. And when I say how to double your tax business profit without increasing your workload, stress, I mean that, but there’s a lot to coming, we’re going to go through a lot of stuff pretty quick. And so I will definitely answer your questions at the end. But stick with me here and we’ll have some shortcuts, and some ways for you to take advantage of what’s going on, and use my experience in the end that we’ll talk about.
Nate Hagerty 07:46
So let me jump in and say this, though there’s a significant number of my audience, maybe a little different than yours. But I think a lot of people are the same, just generally, that are very analytical and they come. Wait a minute, these are big claims. And I just want to say, again, because I’ve seen behind the scenes in his business, and I’ve seen the doubling many years of his business over time. It’s not just a marketing function, there’s a variety of functions that create that doubling. I want to invite you to turn off that part of your brain that says double business- nah… Double the profit- nah… Because when you implement these sort of things and I’ve seen his coaching clients do this, that’s the sort of thing that can happen. I just want to say that out there.
Chauncey Hutter 08:44
You guys really don’t know me, but I want to just quick introduce myself to one of my coaching clients, and he went from 75 tax clients to 8,400 returns. Just give a few seconds here just to see what Mark has to say.
Mark Preco 09:02
Hi! Mark Preco, I’m with Chauncey since 99, started off with 75 returns up to 8400 and I honestly could say I pretty much owe everything to Chauncey. He taught me how to market, run the office, hire employees, basically everything.
Chauncey Hutter 09:21
So Mark’s a great guy. He came into one of my seminars back in the late 90s and just has grown and done very well. And it’s what we teach and what we do a lot of times doesn’t happen overnight. However, based on what’s happened in the last six months, some of the stuff really can happen overnight where I mean overnight, as in within one tax season you can truly move the needle in your tax business if you want to. Alright, just want to welcome everybody and I just want to say right now if you failed at growing your tax business and living the lifestyle you’ve always wanted. Just gonna tell you right now, it’s not your fault. Why is that? Because nobody in the tax and accounting, you know a ton about taxes, you know a ton about accounting, you know all the numbers, but no one taught you how to grow a tax business. I got in this business many, many decades ago, nobody is giving you any information on a deal and that they are doing it, they’re not telling you the right way. And if you feel like it’s too late for your tax practices to be successful, I’m just going to tell you right now, you got to put those fears to rest. You can make up so much lost time right now, in this window of opportunity that we have in 2020 and 2021. You can make up for years of lost time and expand your business like you never thought possible, basically, because of the landscape that’s changed. All right. Now, the national chains… Nate, you guys got stuff going on in your office as loud, I just want to make sure you guys are hanging in there. Okay.
Nate Hagerty 11:08
We’re good. Sorry, I got conversations happening in the background. Sorry.
Chauncey Hutter 11:12
So the National Tax firms, you would think they would like you to do but you know, that they want you to think- he can’t get new clients or make more money and because they’re doing terribly. H&R block, they want you to fail, absolutely, they want you to fail. If you look at their numbers in there, and that numbers on the tank, the only way they’re growing is a lot to acquisition. I’m here to show you how you can be more successful as a tax business owner by making more money but working fewer hours with a heck of a lot less stress. And I want to say this, you actually can do I got in the business back in 1990. I did not know how to do a tax return. To this day, I still do not know how to do a tax return. The people ask you how can you grow and build and maintain and run and be the president of a multimillion dollar tax practice and not know how to do a tax return. The reason for that is the skill set what’s involved in growing a business has nothing to do with a 1040 or fill out a tax Trump with the IRS. So as soon as we get out of that we’re not preparing taxes for a living. Okay, we are actually in the business of growing our business, our company, your job as the owner is the marketer of the business, the expander, the profit maker, you should not be thinking when you put your hat on in the morning, I’m putting on my tax prep hat. Okay, that is not how you’re going to move the needle to a significant way that I’m going to be showing you. My goal, I want to help independent tax business owners, I want them to have new clients, I want them to make more money per client without having to deal with all the worrying stress normally associated with tax attacks business. You know, I know my dad’s been in this business he got back in when I was one year old. He was, gosh, I don’t know how old he was. But he was in it for almost 50 years before he retired. I come from my family tax, I know the drill, the normal drill is worried stress, work long hours during tax season, take some time off later. And I’m saying it does not have to be like that. All right. Now, the only way for you to get new clients and make more money is by taking advantage of the current tax industry COVID-19 market conditions. I’m gonna keep repeating this. And it’s so true what I would do and how I would do it a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, did not work as well as it does right now. And it’s because of COVID. Now COVID is terrible. Bunch of terrible things have happened because of that. However, for a tax professional, if you know what you’re doing, you actually can have a significant change and some key tweaks in your business that cause you to like leapfrog ahead of your competition. I’m going to give you these things during this training. Okay, we’re going to talk some general terms, and then I’m gonna go specifics, and then I’ll answer whatever questions that you might have later at the end of this session. Now, are you ready to discover an easier way to be successful? Say yes. The answer is yes. You want or you’re not going to be here? You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want to. All right. Just my quick story summarizes I took my dad’s $50,000 tax business. We built a multi million dollar company with 24 locations. It was great. He sent me to the H&R block class, my first summer on the job and I’m like, starting in September, I’m like dad, you do not want me taking a tax class, it’s gonna be awful you want me to go out in there getting business for you. And I went into tax class-
Nate Hagerty 15:06
That still makes me laugh so much Chauncey
Chauncey Hutter 15:10
It’s the truth. I went in there and I’m sitting in the tax class, an H&R block’s tax class, and I could not stand it. I spend like three weeks in there, after three weeks, figured out who the smart people in there, got their name and number, and we call them after the thing was over and hired them. So you know, those, I needed to get, what I did my first day on the job is I didn’t know any better, I just walked across the street my first day, and I walk into a shoe repair shop, and I walk in there and the guy’s like, can I help you? I’m like, yeah, I’m right across the street. I work for the tax business over there. Just calling on some businesses in the area just to see if you guys need some tax up. What about you? He goes, actually, I needed some help. And I’m like, great! And he goes in the back and pulls out a shoebox full of receipts and filed in a couple years. And I didn’t know how that was funny because I wasn’t in the tax business yet. I mean, I didn’t know about tax season when people come in with these, you know, shoeboxes, full of receipts and stuff. So he goes, and I knew enough to know, I don’t know anything. It’s my first day on the job. And I say, okay, well, we need $100 deposit just to kind of get started. I didn’t know what else to do. I need to get some money to seal the deal. And so he gave me a check, 15 I walk back into my dad’s office up the stairs, walk in there, the hot summer day walk in there. And I say, okay, dad, here’s some receipts, here’s a check, got your first client. And he goes, you’ve been gone 15 minutes. And I’m like, yeah, this is how we roll. And that’s a funny joke. It really happened. But that first, I didn’t know anything about marketing. I didn’t know anything about how to go get clients, but I just did something. And the reason I tell that story is some of you guys need to just do something, like some simple steps forward and do something actually will break open your business like you never never thought. Now I went on, we grew that business really strong and our retail, but I started going to these IRS shows and people say well, what, what do you guys do? And they hear about it, we go to the IRS forum… How are y’all grown that fast? What’s going on, and I spend my time talking too much. And I’m like, look, I need to go put up a consulting business and coach some people on how to do it. So we did that back in the mid late 90s and started adding a bunch of tax and accounting professionals. So we have over 3000 of them coming in. It’s been probably up to 4000 now and so I end up becoming a leading marketing consultant and really a success coach to the tax industry. Now, I got laid off, I mean, so when I came to work, not knowing about my taxes, I literally just didn’t know but I did know that to pay attention to what the other tax firms are doing. And I was looking at H&R block and look at these other guys and they’re like these big dumb companies are stupid, doing stupid stuff. And I’m thinking how does this big company like H&R block, how they dominating in the industry, so I just saw opportunity, with big wide eyes. I’m like, if these guys that are not really good at what they do, if they’re the leader, boy, we can really take advantage and grow. And I didn’t know exactly how yet, but I knew there was an opportunity here. Here’s the problem. It was embarrassing back then. Because, you know, my dad didn’t exactly have the money to pay me I had to go off and sell stuff to get paid a commission. He would pay me 200 bucks a week, as a draw on whatever I was selling, I had to go out and kill before I could eat right? So I had to go out make the sale, we bring it back and then I would get paid at the end of the month. So we, you know, we have clients, but we need a lot more to be able to pay me. And so, you know, we got the tax season I was like oh my gosh, this is stressful. I mean, especially when you’re not making the kind of money you want to make and what I figured out pretty quick is whatever we made, it wasn’t enough expense. We didn’t make enough to cover expenses to the end of the year when we get too close to the holidays and we’re done more money. So I would spend the offseason searching for new ways to make more money in the tax business. Okay, you probably are looking out this year a little different. We’ve been spread out the services and so your cash flow is probably a lot better. Normally, cash flow is a little harder when in next month and the month after that, and hopefully it’s better for you this year. But what I’m telling you is it’s gonna get really, really a lot better if you pay attention to some of these things we’re going to talk about. So here’s what I discovered, finding a hungry market and selling people what they want is really the fastest way to make money. I mean, if you don’t have a hungry market, if you don’t, if people aren’t telling you, they want what you’re talking about, you’re just, it’s like, pushing a rope uphill. And Zig Ziglar famously said, you can help. I’m sorry, you can have everything in life that you’ve always wanted. If you just help enough other people get what they want. It’s a very true statement, a lot of wisdom there. So I embrace that and I applied to several new money making strategies, which is what began to expand our tax business. Nate, I don’t know if you remember, do you? Were you? Do you remember the when we got into the personnel service business?
Nate Hagerty 20:44
Chauncey Hutter 20:45
So we were actually bought franchises, the personal service franchises, we went in like four differen,t we tested in four different cities. And we actually had these things running year round. And our managers running in the offseason they became more profitable than the tax offices. That I mean, that’s just one example. We had a dozen different examples of what we could do so…
Nate Hagerty 21:10
And I loved how we did market research, before we entered into a particular market area, there was deep dives into demographic data and how it fit our target client at the time. And again, this is pre internet days, folks. This is like early 2000s, late 90s. When, yeah, it was there but all this data wasn’t easily accessible. It was shoe leather, it was going to the places and getting the data from the chambers of commerce, and like for your requests, and all these things that now you can just do with a few clicks of a mouse. But back then it was the hard labor of figuring myself.
Chauncey Hutter 21:50
I can remember asking my managers to fax me about 18, 20 pages worth of stuff to help teach me what his clients were and what they’re doing. And I mean, you’re right, we’ve done a lot. So how does this applies to you? You and your taxes in your market area. Okay. The tax industry is changing right before our eyes. People’s wants and desires are shifting right now. And I hope you’ve seen that and your market area. What if you adjusted, how you go about growing your practice by giving targeted groups of people what they wanted, and they made more money and made you more money and you had to work less with that being the result you’d be interested in? Like, would you be, just because things are changing? Would you? If you adjusted a few things and you gave a few targeted groups of people what they wanted, you got paid more, you got to work less, would you be open to that? I just want your eyes, some of the easiest money to make is sitting right under your nostrils. For real and there’s multiple ways to do this. But my gosh, is so much easier today just this year compared to three years ago compared to five years ago, 10 years of course, 20 years ago, way easier. And I’m gonna sprinkle some examples of some of my clients, my coaching clients and hear as we go, because I want to give you, show you that this is real, this is not playtime. I’m not wasting your time. I don’t want to waste your time, you’re not gonna waste my time working on my real results. Okay, real issues. Proof is when my clients Scott, Arizona, he says Chauncey has given me clear roadmap, how to put together an effective multi layered approach to grow my tax business using his methods. I put an extra 23,000 in the bank and first tax season, the future looks bright and my profits are increasing. Okay, that’s just one example. Okay. Now, here’s what we’re going to cover during my time with you today. We’re going to talk about three secrets. A secret is simply something that somebody else knows, that can show you how to do it. Here’s what I found about this, I find out about secrets. A lot of people might know a hint of a secret. They might know the idea of the secret, but they can’t produce it on their balance sheet and their tax office where they did what we talked about, and they actually show how they made 2, 3, 4 times more money or whatever the case may be. Don’t let your mind go to the place where you say what I know that. Okay, great. You might know that. Show me the proof where you’ve used it the last three years to double your business. Okay, It’s not about what you might know in your head, it’s about what you execute and do and not kill yourself. I’m talking about getting other people to do the work, and there’s enough margin in there, so you are not stressed out, you’re not in the weeds, they’re doing the work, you’re getting paid. Okay, that’s the whole point of having a business is so you can do what you want to do when you want to do it. Secret number one, how to add new clients to your tax business and grow by 20 to 40% every year. Secret number 2 how to dramatically increase your dollar per client revenue without losing them to low price competition. Secret number three, how to overwhelm your tax files with more referrals without spending money on expensive marketing campaigns. Those are our three we’re gonna cover. All right, let’s stick with number one. Don’t you want to add new clients to your tax business and grow 20 to 40% this coming year? Of course you do. Here’s the deal. You have a ton of potential new clients around your tax office right now, as we speak. Some tax pros are thinking I’ve never had 20 to 40% new client growth per year in my office, and my whole life, how in the world did that happen? All right, I got to help reshape your brain. Just because you haven’t had this happen before in the past does not mean it can’t happen now and in the future. Okay, let me tell you a quick story. I’ve invested 30 years of my life, the last 30 years learning how to successfully get new clients into tax businesses. Okay, this is what I do. Okay. thousands of other tax business owners have used my manuals, especially the 101 ways to build a million dollar tax business. That thing was written a couple of decades ago. This is my expertise. This is my wheelhouse. Yours is filling out a tax return helping a client not pay as much taxes, auditing and bookkeeping, payroll, whatever you do, that is your expertise. That’s not what I do. My expertise is getting new clients profitably in your business, and preferably without you doing all this work. All right. Based on my experience, you take what the marketplace gives you. Okay. Back in the day that Nate was talking about running ads, to targeted media, that’s what we did, we would do 60, 65, 70 different campaigns of tax season, all testing in multiple different cities, multiple offices. Okay, we ran a lot of ads, we covered a lot of ground, we spent, you know, some cases, a half a million pieces of mail going out, it was a lot of direct response marketing. You can do that. And I’m not saying you can’t do that. That was what we did a lot before. Next, we kind of moved into joint ventures with specific organizations that we worked with other businesses, other companies, other organizations that had like minded clients, that they would endorse us, and then we would get a whole new level of new clients because of that other organizations endorsement, or we would endorse them to our clients, and add a bunch of new profit, and a bunch of new sales revenue without doing any work that way, joint ventures were a big deal for us a lot of years. And now, we’ve moved into a whole new world of acquisition, of actually taking over your competition’s book of business. And it doesn’t even have to be your competition, as in locally, it can be outside of the local area. And you don’t have to pay any money up front for it. Yes, it is true. And we’ll talk more about this in a second. 20 years ago, the media like I was talking about, we did targeted media, okay, 20 years ago, that was mainly what we did. 10 years ago mainly, it was joint ventures, mainly. You can still do targeted media, you can still do joint ventures. In fact, I don’t say don’t do that. However, the opportunity right now for today, in a no risk tax business acquisition, that is what is on the table, it is ripe for the picking, and you will be able to, with hardly any risk and no money upfront, get more business where you take it over and somebody else is doing the work for you and you’re getting paid. All right, that sounds interesting. All right, let’s keep going. The low hanging fruit strategy, all right, don’t go off and do hard stuff, just ain’t worth it. You know, as a tax professional, you have options. You know, you can learn a bunch of dreck. Now I’ve got trainings for that built million dollar companies that you can have and it show you how to target all kinds of media. And that’s, I mean, you’re using my same ads, you can do that. Okay, that’s one way to do it, you can do it. You can do joint ventures where you get more people coming to you or you get someone like I was telling before, where you get someone else to sell to your tax client less than get paid your, you know, you are this gatekeeper allowing the flow going either way, yes, do that too, low hanging fruit, or you can do acquisitions, or you don’t have to acquisitions is just so prime right now, to do it. Whatever the deal is best for you. That’s what you take. Let me back up for a second. Some of you, let me talk about just acquisitions just for an extra couple a minute here. What’s going on right now, in COVID-19 world, in the tax accounting world? How many of you, and it’s probably some of you on this call. But I’ve talked to many people over the last six months in the tax accounting world, my clients, I’ve talked to hundreds of them, and they have told me and they’ve talked to other people and because I’ve done some marketing, and I’ve done some tests, direct mail and some emails, I know, there’s a significant number of people that are basically punting. They’re saying, I’m out. I am not doing this anymore. I’m getting out of the tax industry. And they’re quitting. And if you saw the, the numbers back in 2000??? I don’t know, about two, three years ago, where they predicted by 2030, three out of four CPAs will be gone out of the marketplace. And I’m like, wow! That’s a lot. That’s a big number. And all of a sudden, COVID comes in and this past year, and that those numbers have ratcheted up, and all of a sudden, you have a supply and demand issue that is sitting here where so many more people are trying to exit and sell and not as many people are trying to buy and their deals to be had. Nate, you try to save them?
Nate Hagerty 32:23
I’m just interested to hear if any of your coaching clients have been acquiring and I’ve been hearing some noise about some no money down deals with some local CPA firms that are shutting down and people getting out of it.
Chauncey Hutter 32:37
Nate Hagerty 32:38
That’s something you’ve been walking through. Right?
Chauncey Hutter 32:40
That’s what we’re doing my private coaching clients right now.
Nate Hagerty 32:43
Chauncey Hutter 32:44
One client, I just talked to him a few weeks ago, he had a guy that’s, he’s not his best, he’s just gonna retire. And he’s like, I’m at, he’s 72 he has a very profitable business, and, and my, the guy I’m coaching asked him, well, what would you be interested in getting? What would it look like if I ended up acquiring your practice? And he’s like, well, I don’t want any money now. I just want to spread it out over the next couple of years and pay taxes later and I’ve got my granddaughter here she can help make sure all the forms get uploaded here.
Nate Hagerty 33:20
This is one of the savviest ways to build your practice that’s out there right now. it’s a marketing expense. Really. It’s not even a-
Chauncey Hutter 33:30
It’s the fastest marketing-
Nate Hagerty 33:32
Yeah, it’s the best thing you could do right now.
Chauncey Hutter 33:34
Yeah, we’re doing this right now with my clients.
Nate Hagerty 33:38
And I know you’ve done this before, yeah?
Chauncey Hutter 33:40
Yeah. Anyway, this is very cool. So let me give you a quick, another real life case study. This is from Harrison Johnson’s expertise in profit generating strategies with business management, common sense of reasons why I follow everything he says, we added over 90,000 net profit last year alone. So that’s Harrison, it’s just another example, another person that I’ve worked with over the years, it’s just sharing success stories and they’ve had. Now, you might be overthinking this. I don’t want, like some of you have already gone there. I am not like this one example, this one example that I was just sharing with Nate, that this guy is going to get 600 new clients but I’m showing him how he can actually have somebody else with the way online. This whole new online COVID world is accepted now. A couple years ago when I was doing this, this was a big stumbling block. Now it is not, we found out on this, we’ve already found out this is not stalking about and they understand that we can help service clients and we do not have to sit there in front of the desk. And so we have resources for people to get, you know, to take care of these clients. And I’m not going to get into the weeds of it right now, what I’m saying is, don’t overthink this, okay? Just because you’ve always prepared all the tax returns in your office does not mean you have to do that for the rest of your life. In fact, I don’t recommend it at all. Just because you’ve always had to do fill in the blank in your office, and you’re overthinking and analyzing, don’t go there. Okay? Be open minded about what the industry is giving all of us. There’s so much business out there. It’s not like it’s happening to you. It’s just everywhere. All right? So some of you’re thinking, I don’t understand how you can choose a growth opportunity for your tax business will actually work for you. I get it, I talk to people and this is like a big stumbling roadblock for them. This limiting belief that they can’t actually double their business and they couldn’t actually have somebody else do these types of things, because they’ve never had that experience before. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t had the experience. I mean, you’ve got to get out of your head, that stuff is not going to work for you, because you haven’t done it before. Okay? You have to break that off or keep an open mind. And we’re gonna keep going. But just do not let that stop you as we go through here. You might be thinking you don’t have a lot of money to expand. But the truth is, there’s so many of these opportunities don’t require upfront cash, you can pay after the new clients come in your office. The third, third, third, no money up front, these deals are happening. Might be wondering how you’ll have time to implement something new. But actually, you won’t be required to do much thing, since most of the work is done by whether it’s the media running the ads, or you’re doing Joint Venture Partners doing it or with an outsourced vendor doing these tax returns, so that’s how you go that route. Either way, the model that I’m explaining that I help coach my clients through is not about you doing more work, staying at your house, or extended your office too long. So you can’t go home to your house, that if you don’t have a business then. Some of you are going, okay, I still don’t understand Chauncey, you might be confused because you can’t think of ways to grow your business without risking a boatload of advertising dollars. I’m telling you, folks, you do not have to risk a bunch of money and try to, you know, in the past, you probably tried to run marketing ads and you run out advertising that just didn’t work and you wasted you felt like you flushed down the toilet. I get it, I understand that. That’s how you feel. But that’s not what we’re talking about. Okay? Since I’ve already expanded our family’s tax business into 24 locations, it’s easy for me to show you how to run the ads that actually works. So you don’t waste money. It’s easy for me to show you how to do joint ventures where you get paid from your joint venture partner or they pay you, your customers are buying their stuff or they buy your stuff. Either way, there’s money to be had. There’s so much, so many ways to do it. You don’t have to understand it all right now. That’s why we help coach you through it. Here’s the truth, the tax industry pros like you the paid tax practitioners, you’ve been losing market share for decades, at least one decade probably too. But I’d say 12, 15 years to all kinds of other competition online. A competition, the toxic kind professionals, are actually, you, we all know this, you go to any IRS, any conference, any place. Everybody’s older. Now I’m a part of the older group. I’m 55 now, so I’m now getting older. But you know, if you’re 50, 60, 70, 80, whatever, you know, there’s not a whole lot of 25 year olds in our industry. Okay, the baby boomers are moving through big time. It is a supply and demand deal. 75% of the current CPAs tax pros plan to retire and exit the tax industry by 2030. And that means more tax business owners and ever want to get out as great for you. If 10 tax fences in your area want to sell but only two or three tax pros are interested in buying, and you see how there will be so many sweetheart deals. Do you see that? Some of your going I don’t wanna to expand through acquisition. Yes, you do. You may not know that you want to yet but if you had somebody standing in front of you saying here’s 500 clients, don’t pay me any money now, pay me later. Only when they come in and you have somebody else that does the work and you have somebody else who oversees it. Make sure it’s compliant, the compliance and there’s enough money in there for you to get 20% after everybody’s paid and you don’t have to do the work. Yes, you want to pay attention to this. I promise. So look, I have a lot to say about this topic. We’re going to talk about it more and for those of you who decide to participate and join with me and work with me in some way, shape or form. I spent, this is all on, a lot of my time is spent on this going into these last three months of the year. This is a sweet window of time, where we have to do, we have is one window here and it’s the 90 day window is like right now. All right? Let’s go to secret number two, how to dramatically increase your dollar per client revenue without losing them to your low price competition. The people, if I could say one thing in 30 years, that I could help somebody, it would be this, it would be the successful tax pros in the real world. They do not leave money on the table, they charge correct fees, and they keep going up and they push the envelope. The people that come to me that are, I need, I don’t have any money leftover in the fall going into the Christmas holidays, I’m constantly going back into debt, going to get bank loans and trying to give your home equity line, and all of the stuff I got to do just to make it the tax season again, if that’s you, which is allowed people, you got to get out of that and start charging what you’re supposed to charge. And too many, it’s not rocket science. So if you’re broke, if you’re cashflow tight, if you run into these problems at the end of the every year for years, chances are really strong you’re not charging enough. Okay. Everybody knows that. If you charge more, you’re gonna make more, duh. Okay? Too many tax pros think I don’t feel comfortable charging higher fees. I’m sorry, if you don’t feel comfortable. I wouldn’t feel comfortable being broke. Okay, you take your pick. Okay. It’s been a crazy tax season. I’m going to tell you about my crazy tax season back in the day, I don’t need I don’t know, I don’t think you were working. This was like 9596. I get sick and tired of making not making enough minor taxes to justify the stress and the headaches that we went-
Nate Hagerty 42:22
I think I was oblivious college student when this occurred.
Chauncey Hutter 42:26
Well, we had buttons we had, I survived 95 Purple Heart buttons at the Irish and some of y’all remember this. And we were working all these extra long hours we need if we’re going to do, if we’re going to work crazy hours I need to get paid more. And I just went to my dad and said that we have to double our tax preparation fees across the board. I don’t care what the fee is. I don’t care what how long it takes us to do tax year. I don’t care anything. I don’t care what the client says we’re doubling our fees. If we’re going to do it be in this business, we’re going to make more money. And you’re thinking, huh? I know I had one of my coaching guys at the time said oh my gosh, we’re going to reduce our fees because it was so crazy last taxes we’re going to cut our fees and like don’t do this. I got really mad at them don’t do this. We’re doubling our fees don’t reduce, don’t cut your prices. And they got slammed. They lost so much money the next tax season. Well what happened to us? Not what you might think, funny thing happened, our revenue per client went up, we more than doubled 127% increase in the total our clients increased by 10%. So we actually got more clients. Hannah’s double the money actually more than doubled. I was so frustrated with our low profit margins. I didn’t care what other clients if they got mad or that if they left. Turns out now if our clients if they stayed not only did they stay but they referred their friends and neighbors too. Here’s my point, even if they did decide, even if some big, huge Exodus happened in our business, if you just do the math, we still would have made more money, much more profit, made much more money and gotten the the weasels the low, the tire kickers, the people that hate always give me the problems, they will be gone. Okay? So that’s kind of what we what we did back then and I was so happy that it worked. We just kept doing it for a number of couple of years in a row. Yes?
Nate Hagerty 44:28
I’ve heard you said this before. And you’ve always been pushing your clients on pricing. I assume this is something that you’re working directly with, because there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. I would imagine that you stumbled into something that worked but you wouldn’t do it this way, right?
Chauncey Hutter 44:49
Nate Hagerty 44:49
Chauncey Hutter 44:50
Nate Hagerty 44:50
You wouldn’t recommend what you just shared.
Chauncey Hutter 44:53
No, no. I’m not saying just, I mean if it comes between keeping the same prices, or doubling, I would double, I would not keep the same prices. Now, I’m not saying go off and double your prices, I’m trying to wake you up to the fact that if you stay the same, you’re just leaving money on the table.
Nate Hagerty 45:17
Well, and I think the reality is that a lot of our clients in our industry, yours and mine, don’t value themselves, like-
Chauncey Hutter 45:25
Nate Hagerty 45:26
And it’s more of an identity issue, more than it is a business philosophy issue, and people will ascribe it to business philosophy, but so much of it relates to self worth. And it’s, oh man! And sometimes you just need somebody in your corner, who sees into your world who listens to you talk for a few hours, and then can tell you this is possible, and then can point to you that look, you know, for that 1031 exchange or whatever, like, thing you did you charged $800 for that, if you should charge $2,000 for that, and your class will be happy, even happier.
Chauncey Hutter 46:09
Well, what I found, Nate, in many, many, many thousands of experiences, I find that it takes pain for somebody to say, I’m doing this, I’m gonna make an aggressive move forward. If you’re in comfort zone, and you’re happy with how things are going, you’re not gonna make a move.
Nate Hagerty 46:28
Right? So if you are looking at your monthly P&Ls, and I mean, we all do. And you’re not happy with the P, part and your top line revenue, and your your expenses, all that, I would really consider like, going forward with looking in the mirror at least about where your fees are.
Chauncey Hutter 46:56
Yeah, with my clients, when they sign up for coaching, we do our first strategy session with them. And one of the first things we do is I have a simple, four or five, easy, it’s the 80/20 rule, we do four or five things really quick to jump up their profits. And in just minute they are thrilled because they’re making more money.
Nate Hagerty 47:20
That’s your pays for anything that they do with you for like the next 10 years.
Chauncey Hutter 47:23
Nate Hagerty 47:24
Chauncey Hutter 47:26
All right. So another quick case study. Here’s John Neal. He gave this great testimonial. With one idea I got from Chauncey is a higher fee per client strategy. I put over $60,000 in my pocket every year at no extra cost to me. Again, I’m just showing you proof from all these strategies I’m talking about from other tax accounting professionals. I’m not just making this stuff up. We do this all the time, and we have clients to do it. And now some other tax business owners might be thinking, Chauncey, my clients are different. They would never pay higher fees. Chauncey, I feel very uncomfortable increasing my prices. Chauncey, every new prospect who calls me on phone asked about my price of why wouldn’t they want to be? Why would I want to have my prices as low as possible. All that is trash. Your clients aren’t different. And I don’t want to get like overly aggressive here. But you might lose a handful of clients. And I’m telling you, that handful of clients would be the best thing for your business to get out because they just bring you at, let’s just say 20% of your clients, which isn’t going to happen, let’s say 20% of your clients left, you got the bottom feeders gone below. And you only got higher paying 80% you bet your business would hum, you would love it. And when you make this kind of move on your fees, just do the math, you guys are numbers, people do the spreadsheet and show. You can make way more money with less expenses and less pressure, less time, less stress, less headaches, by far. Okay, you know that I know that. But that’s not really what’s going on here. What’s going on here is fear between the ears. False evidence appearing real. That false evidence appearing real stops people from doing what we’re describing. And I mean, I hate to be so blunt about this, but I’ve watched so many tax professionals struggle for years, and they’re not willing to increase the fees. The good news is there’s a super easy way to fix this issue. And it doesn’t take much time and I walk you through it over the phone if we’re in a relationship, a coaching relationship I walk you through over the phone what to do and you’ll be- come 2021 you will be thrilled when you look at your bank account, each week or each month. Tax Service Pros with higher margins make more money than the discount tax prep service offers. I mean, this is not rocket science. This is common sense, correct? Of course, if you have higher fees, you’re gonna make more money. I’m telling you, the people that have these lowball low fees are the ones that whine and complain to me the most that how they’re not happy with the profit margin success, and this is the first place I come look. Okay, let’s go transition to secret number three, how to overwhelm your tax office with new referrals without spending money on expensive marketing campaigns. How this really works. Now, I’ve mentioned a little bit about this 80/20. But the 80/20 principle, you focus on your top 20%. That’s how this really works. The problem is you and many other tax accounting pros, you treat all your clients the same. Now you don’t, you do not treat all your clients the same. I’m not saying you don’t give them great service. I’m saying there’s 20% of your clients that will by higher level, they want to give you more money for better in VIP service and they want to refer you. You just haven’t given them a platform to do so well. Okay. Something sometimes pros expressed to me, I don’t want to get people being taxed up to common. Yeah, I don’t like promoting myself and asking for referrals. I can’t have too many people wanting to file the taxes all at the same time. Don’t make up these excuses. You know? You do know how to handle a lot more people contacting your office. If you’re not the one doing all the work you do want to promote yourself specially to the 20% that are eager to refer you, you just not have given them a good way to do it. And they are mad at you for not giving them an easier way to refer their friends and neighbors and co workers they are and you can handle so many more people than you realize because you got to stop being like the bottleneck. You’re capping your business because everything’s running through. You got to get out of that. I’ll tell you a quick worst story. Nate, I know you weren’t here for this one. This was early on in the game. One tax season we were so overwhelmed with new clients, I had to stand up on a chair in our tax office lobby and whistle to get everybody’s attention. It was like we’re a bunch of herd of cows in there. You know, it was, in a loud voice I’m standing, waving a clipboard and I told everybody in the office, if your name is not on the sign-in sheet you’re not going to receive a tax service today. And this is back old school. We had a little clipboard, we’ll sign in sheet, put their name and their social or whatever, we would go back and pull out of our holidays, this is old days. But we had so many people and this is an old house. And it got a lot of rooms, hallways upstairs, everything’s jam packed full of people. And in these rooms we have like three or sometimes four deaths with tax preparers cranking out returns, right? It was so crowded for like we’re standing on the front of the rock concert, you know, large stage everybody’s, you know, all front jostling for position. What happens, I would go back, since I’m not doing tax returns, remember that everybody else is cranking out returns, we had to actually shut the door because we could not help the number of people we had, we went to a third shift and we did everything we could to help. We went from doing a handful of tax returns a day to doing 100 tax returns a day. And so we had to go and buy more computers buy an extra printer. I mean, this is back when computers were expensive. You know, printers were like 2,500 or $3,000 for a laser printer. I mean, we were having to do all kinds of stuff to get the crank out more business. We had people come in and volunteer to start coming in at 10 o’clock and work into the early mornings to kind of process returns. We were just cranking them out. We’re giving great service to our clients. And so I’ll go around to these different tax preparers and these different rooms in this old house. And I asked all the clients that were sitting there when they’re getting the tax on how did you hear about us? Everyone of them said someone else told them to come. All of them. I just listen, what are you talking about? How did you hear about us? My parents told me about you, my work, people at work told me about you, we’re walking down the street going to lunch, people talking about you wearing your T shirts and everything, because we’re constantly hearing about you. So what we would do in this scenario is we would literally, we didn’t just do one thing to get somebody refer, okay, everybody gets the option to refer, we know that we want them. But we would actually look at the data in our list and see who was most likely to refer. And you could tell some people when they came in, that they’re most likely to refer because they’re just that kind of outgoing person anyway. So we had something that went to everybody, you know, and I think Nate’s got some cool stuff that he does, automated with emails and things like that. But just old school where we were handing them refer friend slips, we hand them things that they don’t normally see with these referal, these hundred dollar bills, refer a friend slips, we have this crazy money, that referral money will give out different prizes, we would do, we would send them back through when they would exit when they get their tax return, we would have gifts form and give them out, we’d give out merchandise. We did all these extra things that nobody else was doing. No other tax firm was doing. And I’m just telling you, even if you try, the only way we could do that we do some easy stuff for everybody but the only way we could do what I’m describing is we focused in on the 20% they’re most likely to get their friends, neighbors and co workers do, to follow us and come and get the taxes done with us. So our refer friend campaigns went through the roof. Now, here’s another success story from Carlita relates to referrals. Chauncey helped me increase my sales by 80%, his tax business referral ads or work like crazy for over 10 years. It’s scary to think about in my practice with how would it be without Chauncey’s help. Again, another example, proof showing you along the way that all these different topics, we’re talking about these things work.
Nate Hagerty 57:24
What I love about Carlita story, and because that we served her for a while too, she sold her firm for a good, good price. Because of your help, I love that.
Chauncey Hutter 57:34
I helped her negotiate it.
Nate Hagerty 57:35
And she did pretty great.
Chauncey Hutter 57:38
And some of the thoughts that are going through your head right now, but Chauncey, I don’t know how to hire extra employees to handle all these new clients. Okay, I prefer doing all the work myself, so I can’t have too many new clients. Still not clear on how trying something new is going to help me make more money. We all have these. I call it head trash, where something’s presented to you and you are mentally having thoughts come to your head saying this is why this won’t work for me. Oh, I can see why it works for Chauncey but this is why won’t work for me. This is why it won’t for me, I’m trying to break these terrible thoughts that are holding you back off of your brain. So you actually can move forward and actually have a tremendous amount of growth, literally doubling your tax business profit, but doubling the actual number of clients or both. I don’t want you to hold yourself back. Okay, with your self talk that has caused you to be stuck for years. Okay, we’re trying to help you get unstuck. The reality is referrals are already the number one way you get clients now. True? Of course, that’s true. You’re in the service business, you do taxes for a living, you help people with their personal stuff with the IRS. They love you, they are going to refer you that is the number one way you get clients now. That’s the number one way every tax and accounting pro gets new clients, okay? The problem is you have no process that encourages your clients to automatically refer more people to you. Now, you may have a little process, I want to expand your process, I want to overwhelm 20% of your clients with multiple options that makes sense for them. So they will more likely get more of their friends, neighbors and co workers to come to business with you to increase your referrals. Remember, making something that’s already working for you better is actually much easier than trying to do something completely new. Right? Think about it. This is not something that you have to bring out of the air somewhere. You already have referrals. I’m just gonna show you how to get a lot lot lot lot more referrals. Okay? Okay, let’s push pause here for a second. Has this real tax business success webinar training open your eyes to some new possibilities in your tax presence? Is it yes or yes. Nate, are we good?
Nate Hagerty 1:00:26
Oh, I’m just here to make snarky comments brother.
Chauncey Hutter 1:00:30
Let’s review real quick. The three secrets how to add new clients to your tax business and grow 20 to 40% each year, how to dramatically increase your dollar per client revenue without losing in the low price competition. Your third secret is how to everyone your tax house on new referrals without spending money on expensive marketing campaigns.