A special note to practitioners starting their own firm

Today’s message is for a very specific group of people: Tax practitioners that are setting out on their own for the first time.

You’re embarking on an exciting journey. Some will call it foolish, some will applaud you. If you’ve been working at another firm, your colleagues may be advising you to think it over some more before leaving the “security” of that cushy job. Somebody is bound to tell you that “…you’re only a few months away from making partner.” If you’re just finishing up school or otherwise obtaining your license to practice, then there are those encouraging you to join an established firm, rather than “risking” it all on your own.

I’ve got a very different message for you: Congratulations! Now go demolish your competition!

See, fortune favors those that take risk. That’s why riskier investments pay a heavier rate or return than safer investments. It’s the reason that business owners should take home more money than their employees.

But aside from getting a bigger slice of client fees, starting your own practice provides you a tremendous opportunity to build the kind of practice that you think a practice should be. When you run the show, you get to make the decisions regarding new marketing experiments, what services to offer, and what fees to charge.

I have a few suggestions that I hope you will take to heart if you are launching a new tax practice. These suggestions are based on several years of helping tax practitioners, and seeing what works and what doesn’t in a practice.

  1. Select your service offerings carefully, based on what you most enjoy doing. You’re going to be doing this a while, so you might as well enjoy it. If you hate doing write up work, then simply don’t offer, ever, no matter how much you think you need the money — you’ll just regret it later.
  2. Strategically select a very specific, highly targeted niche market, and decide from the get-go that you are going to DOMINATE that target market and CRUSH your competition. Example: Regional mid-sized sub-contractors, such as electricians, plumbers, and HVAC companies, with at least 10 employees and annual revenues of at least $750,000, within a 150 mile radius.
  3. Set your fees high from the beginning. Specialists are always able to charge higher fees, and by offering a narrow range of specialized services to a highly targeted, niche market, you can charge high fees from day one. In addition, it’s much easier to start high and increase slowly, rather than starting low and trying to “catch up” with large fee increases later on.

Those are the three biggest tips that I can give any tax professional that is just starting out in private practice. Honestly, that advice applies to any business professional, anywhere, no matter what business they are in.

Lastly, I think it’s also a good idea to start you new tax practice with good systems in place. Having effective, efficient, documented ways of doing things from the very beginning in your practice will help you avoid years of frustration, headache, and wasted time and money.

To learn how to minimize waste, identify efficiency opportunities, automate your lead generation and prospect followup, and imply run a smoother tax practice, be sure to to join us for the Tax Practice Success Automation webinar series. There are still seats available for all four webinars, and the tactics and tips you will gleam from this webinar series will help you get your practice set up properly from the very beginning.

I wish you the absolute best as you launch your new tax practice, and look forward to watching your practice grow as you dominate your market!