If you’re reading this blog while sitting at the office then stand up and take a look around (if not, do this the next time you’re there). What is the overall feel of the office? How well does your equipment work? How old are your computers? Does the ambiance feel dated? Are your preparers ready to pull out their hair because of old equipment?
While you may not want to put in the money to update things in your office, running a tax office that feels out-of-date sends the wrong message to clients. The ambiance of your establishment is an important part of your professional appearance and is also a factor for repeat business. If your office feels dated, your clients may get the impression that your firm is dated. Here are some things to consider updating in your tax office that will freshen up the look, feel, ambiance, overall impression and even operations.
Does your office look like it belongs in a 1980s IBM or Mac commercial? How old are those computers (how slow are they)? Updating your computer can be costly but can also be a huge improvement in your staff’s overall workflow.
Another update to consider is investing in dual monitors. Having an extra screen is extremely helpful and time saving during tax time.
Take an overall inventory of equipment like telephone systems, printers, scanners, copiers, etc. How old are they and how well do they function? Maybe even send out an email asking your staff what they feel needs replacing or what they think hinders their productivity. You may uncover workflow issues you didn’t even know you had.
When was the last time you reviewed your policies and procedures? A lot has changed in the tax industry over the years, and chances are a lot has changed within your organization. It’s always good to review and maybe revamp out dated policies and procedures.
We have a great Policies and Procedures Manual already written and ready to implement into your tax business. For more information, click here.
Do you have one? If not, you are missing out on a world of opportunities to gain new clients, connect with old ones and grow your business. Building a presence online is extremely valuable and one of the best ways to compete with national tax firms. It’s also much more affordable than traditional marketing channels like television and print ads. Consumers these days spend lots of time online researching other businesses and products before making their purchasing decisions. In order to compete, your tax office needs to have a presence online.
If you already have a website, it might be time to update it. Is it easy to navigate or clunky and hard to use? Does it have a professional look and feel or does it feel old and dated? Along with a professional website, you also might want to look into incorporating a couple of well-managed social media channels. Look into setting up a Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Twitter.
Want to know more about creating an online presence? Check out our Tax Office Marketing Manual.
Software is also something that needs to be regularly updated. Tax software and computer operating systems should be high on your priority list of things to update.
How are the furniture and the décor in your office? Are we back to looking like a 80s or 90s commercial or is your office more modern looking? Does the furniture in the waiting room look worn and dated or is it clean, modern and well maintained? When a new or potential client walks through your door, what they see and how they are served are both very important. This is their first impression of you – you want to make an impact and leave them with the feeling that they are in the hands of professionals who care.
Here are some things to consider updating or incorporating into your waiting room.
- Kids toys for parents who may need to bring children with them
- A coffee and/or water station
- Music or a video player
- Well maintained furniture
- A receptionist desk
- Plants or other inviting décor
Does your office look professional and inviting from the outside? If you have a storefront is the exterior illuminated sign clean and brightly lit? Do you have professional window signage? Are the windows and door glass clean? Does the office have enough lighting near the entrance so that it does not appear to be closed? Do you have your office hours posted in professional lettering? Do you have a “Welcome” decal at eye-level in the door? All of these things are an important part of making a lasting impression and attracting business.
For more on getting your office ready for tax season, check out our Tax Season Ready Checklist.