Tactics vs Strategy In Your Tax Practice

I have run out of new technical material to teach tax professionals.

Let me explain…

Over the past couple months, it has become more and more difficult for me to come up with new topics for these blog posts. I’ve been writing them for two full years now, and a LOT of ground is covered on the TaxMarketingHQ.com blog.

The same holds true in my books and courses. All of my systems, checklists, marketing materials, marketing knowledge, technological application, tax law, forms, etc. — they all now exist in various formats that everybody can purchase access to at any time.

I’ve discussed this matter with several clients, and also more extensively and recently with my own mentor, James Orr. James and I have been referring to all this stuff as the “tech”. “Tech” means all the how-to info…the tax resolution programs…the marketing samples…the Internet marketing tips…that’s all “tech”. And it’s all there — I don’t have any more “tech” left to create for you.

What James did point out however, is that I’ve barely scratched the surface on strategy. I read a great book over the weekend (also at James’ suggestion) that talked a lot about this, and it was definitely eye opening.

I’ve started doing more strategic stuff, such as the IDEAL practice blueprint idea, and some strategic coaching for tax professionals (such as the recent introduction of hot seats), but it wasn’t a conscious shift from the tactical to the strategic.

In military terminology, tactics are the specific tasks implemented on the battlefield to achieve short-term objectives. Strategy, on the other hand, relates to allocation of resources and high-level planning – identification of goals and how to achieve them. Long-term peace in a region is strategic; dropping a nuclear bomb to destroy a single city is a tactic.

Here’s why all of this is important to me (and to you, hopefully). I’m the kind of person that functions best when I’m operating for a well defined purpose. If I don’t have a purpose (aka, strategy), I pretty much just drift aimlessly and I’m not successful as a person. I generally have multiple purposes at any given time, as I think most people do. Different areas of my life have different purposes and goals.

For Tax Marketing HQ, my purpose for 2014 is to shift from the tactical to the strategic.

For the past two years, I’ve created a slew of tools and resources for you to use in your tax practice. From the very first tax resolution training program I created covering just Installment Agreements, to the latest marketing pieces and checklists, I feel happy with the volume and quality of the tactical “tech” I’ve created for you to use.

But what I haven’t been very good with is the strategic side, and for this I offer YOU my sincerest apologies.

While creating all the “tech”, I should have also been showing you how best to apply it. While creating checklists and systems, I should have also been showing you how to integrate them into your existing practice. While teaching tax resolution, I should have been offering advisement on whether it’s something that even fits into your long-term goals for your practice.

In my own tax practice, I believe I’ve done a good job of creating a practice that is 100% lifestyle-based for myself. When other tax professionals have asked me how to accomplish this, I always provide an answer that is based on the “tech”: Internet telephony, fax-to-email bridges, secure postal mail scanning, tax resolution services. These are all tactical things. I never mention the strategy.

In many ways, I think I’ve focused on the tactical side over the strategic because it’s what I’ve thought everybody wanted. But as I look book over the interactions I’ve had with tax professionals during 2013 in particular, there is an obvious desire for the strategic planning as well, and I basically missed it.

So in 2014, I’m going to be focusing a lot more on delivering the strategic components to you. We’re going to delve into goal setting, implementing “transformative change”, lifestyle design, and a lot of the “head game” stuff that goes into creating the life you really want. You can have the best marketing tactics in the world, but if you’re not allocating resources to implement those tactics based on a long-term strategy, knowing the tactic is useless.

Don’t worry, there will still be “tech” — it’s too ingrained in me to walk away from discussing the tactical side. But there will be a lot more coverage of the strategic this year, and I’ll be working to create resources based on strategic outcomes rather than tactical outcomes (for example, business plans vs marketing plans).

All in all, I’m excited about 2014, and I hope that you are also. I want this to be the year that YOU join me in achieving your lifestyle design objectives. Make this the year that your practice works for you, rather than you working for it.