“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”
– George Herbert
I’m starting with a personal note: Earlier this week (on Tuesday), my wife and I
accepted a referral for a sweet little five year-old girl who will be joining our family.
She’s currently in Uganda, but sometime this summer or fall, we’ll be flying over to
bring her home. We’re waiting on another referral (we’re adopting two children), and
when that comes … well, we make plans to go.
Oh, and her name will be “Hope”.
Hope is so vitally important to you and your business right now. Even if you’re flying
through a haze of forms and client calls, it’s critical that you not lose heart. I’ve written
about this before. Many times.
Some of you reading this right about now are dealing with slow-to-empty offices,
while the rest of you are scrambling as YOUR rush is just beginning. Whichever
situation in which you find yourself, fight for your hope.
To that end, I want to remind you of what I spoke to last month–you MUST make time to
work “on” your business, and not just “in” it–even now, as the stuff hits the fan. Otherwise,
you’re setting bad habits that WILL carry on after the heat wears off (if this is you, set a date
NOW to make the “switch” to closed-door hours and radical INaccessibility with your staff).
Don’t get bogged down in doing low-paid work now–even if it’s $20/hour work (preparing taxes).
You can delegate that.
Here’s what you CANNOT effectively delegate entirely:
Bringing in new business (even with a sales force—they‘re not laying awake at night
about it), i.e. Marketing.
And, that is the highest-paid position in your business. Don’t neglect it, even now. To that end,
here are some thoughts for right now:
“Profit For Life”
Tax & Accounting Business Marketing Strategy
Resources Under Your Feet For Marketing Your Tax firm
Even if you think your marketing stinks, there are still resources sitting under your feet right about now that I want to point you to.
1) Your employees.
Have your employees make some phone calls to non-returning past clients (some of you don’t have that list managed effectively–a word about that in a minute). You can also make these calls to “Lost” clients (those that did NOT come in last year), and modify your scripts to ask these clients what would it take to have them come back? (This is similar to the approach used in print via direct mail–transferring the strategy back to “in person” is a natural extension of good salesmanship).
I suggest offering some sort of bonus to your employees (like $10 per client that comes in from their calls) to motivate them to do these calls well.
2) Your current Client List
A couple things worth mentioning here:
* Do you have your list readily accessible? Something that continually shocks me and my staff … many of you do NOT have your client list readily accessible! This is actually something you can have your employees compile for you. Make it so if you want to leverage this most valuable resource.
Once you’ve done this, you MUST have the ability to sort them by when they came in last, how much money they’ve given you, etc. I’m continually amazed at how many tax professionals do not have this information available, and worse–never use it!
Keep cranking out there, and we’ll talk again