Tax preparation can be a very rewarding career, but becoming a business owner can be even more rewarding. While there are different paths to choose once you’ve learned to prepare taxes, many of our students look to go right into starting their own business. Starting a business can be daunting and costly, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips that will help you get started as a tax business owner with a small budget.
Enroll in the ITS Comprehensive Tax Course with Tax Business Start-up Guides
First thing’s first, you’ve got to get the training you need to become a tax preparer. At the Income Tax School, we strive to provide all of the tools and resources needed for our students to become successful once they’ve completed our courses. Our courses are low cost compared to being trained in other industries. The best option if you’re looking at becoming a business owner is our ITS Comprehensive Tax Course with Tax Business Start-up Guides. The start-up guides include information on starting a Tax Business and Getting Clients as well as pre-written and easy to implement tax office policies & procedures.
Work out of your home
You don’t have to start with your own office, you can work out of your home and meet clients at their office or at your office of you feel comfortable with that. Working out of your home is a great way to start when you are trying to keep low overhead.
Keep your Tax Office Rent Seasonal Initially
If you do decided to get an office, you can opt to only have a seasonal office through an “Executive Suites” program. This allows you access to an office year-round by appointment. You could also opt to share office space with other professionals that have complimentary businesses or try working from a co-working space.
Purchase used or refurbished office furniture
If you do opt to rent a permanent office, this is a great cost saving option. Office furniture can be very expensive. Be choosy about what you choose when going for refurbished or used furniture. First impressions are important – you don’t want your furniture to look old or dingy.
Use Guerrilla Marketing Tactics
Guerilla marketing is effective, powerful, and low cost compared to other advertising and marketing solutions out there. Guerilla Marketing includes the following:
a. Public relations
c. Public speaking, writing articles
d. Advertise only on a test basis
e. Group tax programs
f. Professional cross-referrals
(Detailed Guerilla Marketing Tactics can be found in the ITS Tax Business Start-up Guides).
Use a website template service geared to tax preparers
A website is important but can be expensive if you’re looking to hire a web designer and start from scratch. There are plenty of services out there with pre-designed templates for specific industries. Purchasing a template that is already designed and coded is much more cost effective. You can always hire someone to re-design your website down the road.
Purchase a refurbished computer and other equipment
Office equipment is another big expense to incur. Refurbished computers are a great way to cut costs and can be found at places like Amazon, TigerDirect, Dell Outlet, Best Buy, or Office Max.
Use a pay-per-return tax preparation software option
This type of option is perfect when you are just starting out because you most likely won’t be preparing a large amount of returns.
Shop for the best values on the following:
- Bank refund transfers
- Telephone and Internet services
Join a tax professional association such as NATP for resources
The National Association of Tax Preparers is an excellent organization with tons of resources for its members. Joining means you are part of the communities of tax professionals and have access to practice management documents, research, news updates, webinars and other great resources.
Join Tax Business Owners of America for peer support
We have a very active and very supportive LinkedIn Group called Tax Business Owners of America. The members of this group are great and we’d love to see you join us!
Seasoned tax professionals, what can you add to our list?
For more resources on starting your own tax business, check out our whitepapers.