Do you have a pre-season tax prep marketing plan?

This week, founding members of my brand new Platinum Inner Circle program received the detailed pre-season marketing plan for my new tax office in Washington state. (If you’re a Platinum member and didn’t see that yet, you can find it in the members area under “Marketing Materials”).

Over the past couple days since releasing that document, I’ve had some exchanges with Platinum members about the marketing plan. A couple members had existing pre-season marketing plans, but most have not.

Your pre-season marketing plan sets the stage for your entire tax season.

I know what some readers are saying… “October 15th is next week. I don’t have time to worry about this right now.”

To which I reply, “Wrong answer!”

Here’s why…

First of all, your extension clients are not the bulk of your annual revenue. (If they are, then I’d say you have other significant business practice issues you need to address…). For most tax professionals likely to be reading this, that Feb. 1 through Apr. 15 time period is the single largest piece of their annual revenue. Even if it’s not (dedicated tax resolution practitioners, for example), tax season is most likely still significant to your annual bottom line. This massive revenue block should not be left to chance.

Second, you need to take into consideration the time of year. There is a window of opportunity open right now to bolster your results for tax season. That window closes once Thanksgiving rolls around, and doesn’t open again until after New Year’s weekend. Yes, you can (and should) send holiday cards to your existing clients and best prospects, but the time for creating brand new prospect connections is right now. The next six weeks, properly applied, can make or break your tax season.

Third, some of the January and February marketing that you should be doing to help your business needs to be arranged now. You need lead time time when it comes to printing certain materials, scheduling tax talks and seminars, arranging joint venture opportunities, etc. You also need to lock in the most desired spots in various advertising media, such as print publications, radio, billboards, etc. For me to get the best price, and perhaps try to be the only tax pro in the envelope, I need to be in touch with my Puget Sound ValkPak and Money Mailer reps right now — January is simply going to be too late.

Fourth, planning out your pre-season marketing and tax season marketing right now means that you’ll actually plan it out. The old saying applies here: Failing to plan is planning to fail. As you get closer to tax season, so many other things are going to eat up your time and attention. You know, the little things, like training seasonal employees… Bugs in your new tax software… Getting slammed with price-shopping phone calls (which you should ignore, but that’s a topic for another day)… Etc., etc.

So what exactly should be covered in your pre-season marketing plan? I’ll cover that in my post next week, so stay tuned!