If you specialize in something other than tax return preparation, then today is just another day for you.
But if a significant portion of your annual income is derived from return preparation, then today is obviously a momentous day.
You’ve endured the long days and even longer weekends. The cranky clients, the slow-payers, the procrastinators.
Today is when everything gets tidied and up with a pretty little bow on top and sent off to our Uncle Sam, for tomorrow we party!
Or, at least that’s the fantasy world that the general public believes we live in.
You and I know that’s not really the case.
You have a pile of extensions. You have bookkeeping to catch up on. And every month we have FTD deadlines and other various filing deadlines, through every month of the year.
Which brings me to my main point for you today: If you’re in private practice or at a small firm, and are looking to absolutely maximize annual revenue, then the best thing you can do is maintain the intensity and productivity of tax preparation season all year round.
If you’ve ever worked at a really large firm, or a specialized, niche type of firm, then you know this is how they operate. Tax prep season is nothing special — it’s a just a minor extra blip in the year.
I know you want to relax, soak up some sun, maybe throw back some margaritas. And a little bit of that is good. But now is not the time to rest on your laurels.
As you probably know already, I spent the past 8 years as a one-trick pony, doing mostly IRS Collections representation. No bookkeeping, very little tax preparation, no Examination representation. Even more, I specialized in a narrow arena of Collections representation: 2290 and 941 liabilities for mom and pop trucking companies in five western states.
I did this work year-round, including for over 3 years at reduced yet steady volume while traveling 100% of the time.
More important than the niche specialization was the fact that I had no seasonal mentality about my business.
There are “riches in niches”, but the year-round consistency was a far more important factor for me having my dream lifestyle and a great tax practice.
So even though “Tax Day” is here, I want to encourage you to keep on truckin’. Be that one person in your local market that keeps charging hard through the spring and summer. Take advantage of the fact that your competitors will be coasting for the next eight months, and crush them.
I’m obviously biased, because doing tax resolution work was my ticket to the good life, but if you choose to, you can simply roll from tax preparation season to tax resolution season, and then later into tax planning season. If you want a 1040-focused practice, this is my Three Season Tax Practice model in operation. Three seasons that just repeat forever and ever.
If tax resolution season is on your mind, then I invite you to attend a 2 CPE hour webinar I’m presenting tomorrow, the 2016 Tax Resolution Update. Not as much changes every year in the Collections world as does in the return preparation side, but there are still changes you should be aware of, and this update class will cover those changes.
Above all else, remember this one key point: Successful people do what unsuccessful people are unwilling to do.
Your unsuccessful colleagues will choose to shift into neutral and coast for the rest of this year. You can choose to keep your engine revved and plow on, and punish your competitors for their complacency.