Right now, you have a small window of time between when summer ends and before the holidays begin to grab the attention of your clients and get yourself prepared for what will undoubtedly be a wild tax season.
This upcoming tax season will mark the first year since Congress’s sweeping tax reforms were signed into law. The tax law changes are bound to cause some confusion – which also creates an opportunity for you to attract some new clients. That’s why you want to plan now to make tax season easier for you and your clients.
Act on your marketing plan
Back in July, I wrote about “5 Summer Tasks to Help You Grow Your Business.” One of those five tasks was to create a marketing plan. Did you do it? If so, great! It’s time to act on it and get people thinking about your services. It takes an average of seven points of contact to get someone to even notice your company or brand. Start contacting them now in order to be on their minds come tax filing season. (Or, if you’re looking for corporate and business clients, you definitely want to encourage them to come see you sooner rather than later.)
If you haven’t created that marketing plan, it’s not too late, but don’t delay any longer. You want to have time to reserve ad space, print fliers or postcards, prepare social media posts, and write emails and blogs ahead of time (because goodness knows you won’t have time to write them later). If you have to rush certain items, particularly anything you have to print and mail, you could end up costing yourself extra in rush set-up fees. Also, some advertising opportunities, such as mail coupon packs, could fill up with your competitors. So, get a plan and put it into motion now.
Send your clients an organizer or checklist so they can start preparing now
By sending out and organizer or checklist of items that clients need to start gathering and thinking about BEFORE the holidays hit, they may actually have time to get some preliminary things organized and ready for filing.
Everyone is so busy in November and December. January and February can catch individual tax filers off guard. And corporations have end-of-year deadlines they need to meet right around the holidays. Sending a friendly checklist and reminder serves two purposes. First, it’s an added point of contact – a way to stay on people’s minds in a helpful, friendly, non-pushy way. Second, if your clients actually follow the checklist, it will serve both you and them and make working together easier. It’s a real win-win!
Train and hire seasonal help
Whether your sweet spot is “soccer moms” who help out with tax season to make extra cash, “empty nesters” with time on their hands, college students or anyone in between, NOW is the time to get their attention.
First, introducing the training materials earlier rather than later means your associates will have that knowledge in the back of their minds. Even if they’re not actively thinking about taxes, having that knowledge and familiarity makes a difference when you come back to training later. Second, it’s so hard to get anyone’s attention about anything in November and December. Start your recruiting and training now during September and October. That way, if you’re forced to pause around December, you can pick back up in January with a talented crew that’s ready, motivated, and has at least a basic familiarity with the training material and subject matter.
Move fast to snag more corporate clients
Businesses have to file quarterly. They also have certain end-of-year deadlines they have to make if their business runs on the calendar year. Make sure you are reaching out to businesses and corporations now in order to help them file by their end-of-year corporate deadlines.
Network as much as you can
Network now while people are still focused on business. That way you can relax and enjoy your holiday parties!
Get your office in order
If you haven’t already started this process, make sure you have what you need in your office or at least have it on order. Need new furniture for more employees? Office supplies? New antivirus software? Just a good cleaning in general? Do all of it now so you feel ready and prepared come January. Having a clean, organized office to walk into after the beginning of the new year will automatically alleviate a lot of stress for you.