Cure for your revenue problem

The cure for any revenue problem is simply to increase revenue. The more revenue flowing into your tax practice, the better things in general tend to be for everybody at your firm.

In order to get more revenue flowing into your practice, you must add more value to the world.

What does this mean, “add more value to the world”?

You add more value to the world when you make solve more people’s tax and accounting problems. When you give somebody a solution to a problem that keeps them awake at night, they happily pay you money for doing so.

In order to solve more people’s tax and accounting problems, they need to be made aware of the fact that there actually exists a solution to their problem. You need to make them aware of that solution. Also, realize that most people are a bit stubborn, and resistant to change. So, you need to tell them multiple times that there is a solution to their problem.

Because marketing isn’t a one-shot game, and you should be receiving marketing support on an ongoing basis, I have decided to make some drastic changes to how our programs here at Tax Marketing HQ are structured.

While our comprehensive systems courses (the Tax Resolution Toolkit and the Tax Marketing & Practice Management Mastery Course will still be available individually, as will the new subject-specific courses we create each month (such as last month’s Direct Response Marketing course), we are also making that course content available through our new premium membership plans.

These new premium membership plans are an outgrowth of this daily newsletter, merged with our tax lien data subscriptions, and enhanced with the marketing plans, ready to use marketing templates, and other resources you need to grow your practice.

Where is this coming from? So many tax practitioners have asked me to either take over their marketing entirely, or to bundle different pieces of our bigger courses together just for them, that I started seeing the need. Many readers of this newsletter need more than just mailing lists — they need ready-made marketing pieces, very specific “how to” instructions for getting their message out, assistance evaluating tax resolution … Continue reading

Change is inevitable, especially in the tax world…

It’s been a wild ride for the past two years in the magical land of Taxlandia.

We’ve seen shifting IRS enforcement priorities, endless debate about the Bush-era tax cuts, burdensome new reporting requirements, and the dawn of IRS oversight of non-U.S. financial institutions with the passage of FATCA. Who would have thought we’d see a day where Swiss banks lifted the secrecy provisions they’ve maintained for eons, let alone see the devaluation of the Swiss franc?

We’ve seen five European nations declare the insolvency of their financial systems. Here at home, we’ve enacted an individual health care mandate that will be enforced through the IRC, and operated our Federal government without a firm budget solution for two entire fiscal years now.

In tax resolution, we’ve witnessed the bankruptcy or regulatory shutdown of the five largest national tax resolution companies, creating massive market opportunity for smaller firms. The IRS has expanded streamline resolution criteria, and fixed what I considered to be the most egregious flaw in the Offer in Compromise program, the remaining income multiplier for calculating RCP. Who would have guessed that they would ever actually fix that problem?

On the marketing side of things, we’ve seen the debt settlement provisions added to the Telemarketing Sales Rules, which gave us all momentary pause until the temporary exclusion of tax debt settlement was announced, but which still leaves many people asking questions since it’s not really settled yet.

When James and I first sat down two years ago to create a web-based platform for cost effectively delivering tax lien sales leads to tax practitioners, the TSR debt settlement provisions hadn’t been announced. The month we went live with this web site, the provisions came into force, causing a slight shift in our own long range business plan.

Acknowledging that change is inevitable is healthy. Looking to the future, what sort of changes can we expect to see that directly impact those of us that make our living through tax services?

This year’s PTIN requirement already eliminated tens of thousands of tax preparers from completing returns, and the examination requirement for next year will thin those numbers even more. I see this as nothing but a good thing for licensed professionals.

We have yet to see any enforcement at all of illegal telemarketing by unlicensed salespeople, but I think that is very soon to change. And yes, it is illegal for an unlicensed person to telemarket to … Continue reading

Don’t wait for things to happen…

…Make them happen.

Many times we encounter what we think are obstacles to progress. We think that we don’t have the time, the money, the energy, the ability, the knowledge, the skills, the…. STOP.

Successful entrepreneurs don’t permit obstacles to their success. Successful entrepreneurs find ways to make things happen.

This is the single most important lesson that any accountant could learn to ensure the successful growth of their practice.

If you sit around waiting for the stars to align, then you’re going to be waiting until you’re dead. Quite frankly, this is also one of the most fundamental differences between the poor and the not-poor in Western, industrialized countries.

Let’s look at one of the simplest examples. I’ve been harping lately about the necessity of doing multi-hit marketing to your leads, rather than one-hit marketing. The single biggest complaint I hear about the process of doing this is, “I don’t have the money to do that.” Inevitably, my answer is, “Find a way to make it happen.”

“But how?” Well, there are any number of means of making it happen. Utilize the resources at your disposal. Hold a garage sale and use the money for marketing (which I’ve done). Take items of value that you own down to the pawn shop or sell them outright in order to do marketing (also done). Simply find a way to make it happen.

So, you don’t have the cash in the bank to do a 12-week sequence to 2,000 tax liens. Then do a 6-week sequence to 200 tax liens. Can’t do that? Then physically show up at the offices of local small businesses in your area that have employees and sell payroll processing or Quickbooks work face to face. Get out there and do SOMETHING to start getting revenue in the door. Then, once there is revenue, you can use that revenue to fuel better marketing methods.

There’s an old saying: “You can’t do business sitting on your ass.” Truthfully, we actually CAN do that these days, especially in our profession. But the message is still there.

One of my favorite business stories has to do with the launch of the Chrysler Sebring convertible. Ordinarily, it takes a team of engineers 2-3 years to design a new car. Plus, auto makers put millions of dollars into public opinion research to see if a new car design will even be sellable.

Well, sometimes the luxury of … Continue reading